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A broad stroke of the harmoniously colorful students, faculty, and events of the Fine Art Department at the Academy of Art University. Find out more about Art in the Bay area, what goes on at 60 Federal, and our extended family of students and faculty throughout the world.

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Entries filed under 'FA'

    Painting the Japanese Potter: An interview with MFA student Tara Sood

    By Jesse Mangerson (FA Faculty)

    One of the most interesting aspects of our MFA online program, from the instructor’s point of view that is, is learning of the variations on Thesis concepts being completed by our MFA students. The range of subject matter that is being addressed based on culture or location keeps our work as instructors continuously engaging and diverse. Working with students located in Norway, The Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Japan to name a few, offers amazing insight into the places and the cultures that influence their work.

    Tara Sood is one of these students. She is an American living and working in Japan whose work and project epitomize this idea. 

     

    I had the opportunity to work with Tara last semester in FA 811: Process and Thesis development. Her Fine art painting MFA Thesis project is based on the work of the Japanese Potter and the firing of the Noborigama kiln.  Her work and story are inspiring to say the least. I sat down with her in an asynchronous interview about her project

    Structure housing a Noborigama kiln. Okinawa, Japan

    Structure housing a Noborigama kiln. Okinawa, Japan

    J: Will you share your Thesis statement?

    T: Japanese pottery is revered and prized in Japan. Unlike the western world where sets of dishes all matching are treasured, a Japanese household will offer their guests each a unique pottery tea cup or plate. Among the most prized types of pottery are the teapot and the bonsai pot. My next three years starting in June 2016 will be spent in Okinawa, Japan. Having access to the Japanese culture I seek to paint the art and process of Japanese potters. There will be at least 15 representational oil paintings of the figure working in their environment – outside or in the studio. The finished sizes will range from 12x16 to 30x40 inches. The information for these studio paintings will be collected through on location oil and pencil sketches and photographs. Further sketches in oil will be made working out color and composition using the references collected prior to completing the final piece. The color palette will be inspired from Japanese culture, art, and life using seasonal colors and colors with specific meaning (i.e. in Japan white indicates death, red equals a wedding or new beginning). A painterly approach will use an expressive brushstroke to explore the elements of atmosphere and light and shadow effects paired with explorations of contrast in value, color, and texture at the area of interest.

    J: Where are you located in Japan?

    Pathway to the kiln

    Pathway to the kiln

    T: The four 'kojo' - factories that I am working with in Okinawa was stumbled upon on a scouting trip with my translator and friend - Kyan Yuko.  She suggested visiting Yomitan village of potters first in my search for a potter to work with.  There are 30 plus potters in this village that run studios, factories, and kilns and it took some time to walk through and talk with some of 

    T: My family and I are living in Okinawa, Japan, a small island part of the Ryukyu Archipelago south of the mainland.  We are actually really close to Taiwan.

     

    J: How did you get acquainted with this group of potters?

    Making clay. Okinawa, Japan

    Making clay. Okinawa, Japan

    them.  I was looking for a potter that used more traditional Japanese methods in pottery such as the kiln built into the hillside and the overall appearance of a potter's studio close to nature.  This large quadrangle was one of the last we visited and there were signs on all the doors of 'Staff Only' and 'Please Private Entrance'.  Having Yuko-san there was essential because I would have just walked past all the studios because of the signs.  In mainland Japan signs like this are like unspoken rules and if broken it is like a breaking of trust.  But as I've found many things are a little friendlier and a little easier here in Okinawa, my translator suggested we go in and talk to the master potter.  I was pretty nervous being an American! 

    We lingered around the entrance to the most direct kojo and a worker happened to emerge with a long board filled with just formed pots and we introduced ourselves and told a little about what we were looking for and who I was.  He smiled and went to put his burden down and came back and introduced us to his sensei - the master potter of that studio - Miyagi-san.  He was kind enough to listen to my project explanation and direct inquiry of whether I could photograph him working

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    Fine Art Students paint Mural for S.F. Firehouse

    School of Fine Art students donate their skill to a dedication mural for San Francisco Firehouse Station 1 in the South Market area. The mural depicts the history of the fire department in the city and the officers who serve the community. 


    The Fine Art Printmaking department introduces a new class

    FA 499-24: SPECIAL TOPICS: 

    ZINES: TECHNIQUES FOR COMMUNICATION & EXPRESSION

    Ever wanted to make a zine, using Xerox and Risograph? Zines are a way to create editioned content in a reproducible and accessible format. We’ll investigate the history of zines, develop all sorts of content while exploring different formats of this democratic medium. Great for Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers, Photographers and anyone looking to explore ideas through text and imagery. 

    Watch a promo video


    Study Abroad Florence, Italy

    SP17 Block layout Fine Art 11 X 17

    Artist Interview: Andrew S. Conklin

    By Sean Connor

     

    Could you tell us a little about your self, your history and experience with art before arribing at the Academy of Art University?

    My Earliest memories of drawing were of copying Audubon bird prints in color pencil, following the example of my older brother.  While continuing to draw, I did not consider the fine arts and occupational choice, having no clear concept of the life of a professional artist.  My first experience painting was in an undergraduate course in Chicago, and the frustration I felt spurred me to want to master the form, particularly in painting people.  Luckliy, just after that term, a friend invited me to join him in NYC, where we would study at the National Academy of Design.  I stayed in New York for sixteen years, during which I studied with a range of incredible painters.  In addition, my colleagues were also an imprtant source of inspiration.  Also critical were anual trips to Europe to see the great Western painting in situ.  Finally, my wife, Helen, whom I met while a student, and who subsequently trained as a paintings conservator, sparked my interest in the technical aspects of painting.  She and I eventually relocated to Chicago.  It was while teaching there that I was encouraged to pursue an MFA, which is how I learned of the Academy of Art's program.

    Did you have any rewarding experiences or intereactions with teachers while you studied at the Academy?

    Absolutely!  Notwithstandingmy prior experience as a visual artist and teacher, I found my understanding of picture-making deepened through the courses and the wisdom of my instructors, both in studio and art history courses.  This dedication by the Academy faculty bore fruit in my thesis project, where, in working with Sean Connor, Warren Chang and Zack Zdrale, I combinedmy interest in the human form with that of CGI technology to create a series of paintings set in a motion catupture studio.

     

    Are you having any upcoming shows that you'd like to share with us?

     

    This April, my wife Helen and I will be subjects of a two person show at Chicago's Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts.  She and I have been painting together since we met in art school in NYC, and occasionally show together.  This show will be a bit different, since it will highlight much of our working process and contain sketches, cartoons, oil studies as wall as finshed work.

     

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    Mason Mansung Kang featured in Sedona Art Prize Artist Spotlight

    Contributed by Gateway To Sedona on 07 Sept.2016

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    Painter Mason Mansung Kang Follows His Passion Full Time After Retirement from Petroleum Industry

    Sedona, AZ:  Artist Mason Kang spent the better part of his life working in the petroleum, oil and gas industry, during which time painting was more of a hobby than a career. But at age 61, after he retired in 2012, his hobby became his prime focus and passion, and his accomplishments over the last few years are nothing short of brilliant. Mason is currently competing at the Sedona Art Prize


    Mason-Mansung-Kang-300

    Mason Mansung Kang was born in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). He obtained a BS Degree in Chemistry Education from Seoul National University in 1975. Mason worked for the petroleum, oil and gas construction industries until he retired in 2012 after 35 years of service. Learning to paint has been his dream since childhood. He was finally able to pursue painting full time after retirement and began studying at the Academy of Art University obtaining his Masters Degree in Fine Arts in August 2016.

    Mason specializes in scenes of nature utilizing what he describes as “harmonious light and shadows.” In 2015, he joined the Fine Art Study Abroad program and traveled to Florence, Italy. During that time, he gained

    considerable experience with plein air (outdoor, from life) painting. He recently won the 1st, 3rd, and the ‘Body of Work’ prize under the MFA Landscape/Cityscape Category in the 2016 Spring Show at the Academy of Art University, primarily due to his painting “On the Hill.”  In June/July 2016, he won the Best Landscape Award in the 6th Plein Air Salon, was selected as the ‘Winner Emerging Artist’ of the Artmuse Contest in 2016, and was also selected as the Painter for the Online Gallery, Leisure Painter Magazine, in August 2016. Mason is now represented by the Bill Hester Fine Arts gallery located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Mason comments: “After retirement from 35 years of service in the petroleum business, at the age of 61, I decided to pursue my long-time dream to paint. As a Christian, I feel the awe and wonder of the Divine Providence to see every corner of this world. I think the world we live in is truly a beautiful place. Every natural entity is different and unique and this diversity makes the world beautiful. To share this beauty is the goal of my efforts. I have just begun to experience this in my own work and want to develop my ability to paint beyond what I simply observe from life. I want to show the exact feelings that I have while I'm on site.”


    Mason hopes that his works can ultimately present viewers with a sublime sense of warmth, happiness, and contentment. You can find more of his beautiful paintings at MasonMansungKang.com


    Artists' Oil Colour Demo by Winsor & Newton

    FACBROWNAOCAAU3

    Academy of Art instructors chosen as Small Plates book artists for 2016

    Three long time instructors from the Academy’s Fine Art department, specializing in Book Arts and Letterpress, were invited by the San Francisco Center for the Book to produce artist’s books for the Center’s Small Plates imprint. Macy Chadwick, Jennie Hinchcliff, and Bettina Pauly were chosen by a panel of board members, teachers, and community members on the strength of their proposals to create the small-scale books, in an edition size of 100.

    The books were released at a party on June 10, at the Center for the Book, in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood. At the well-attended opening, each artist spoke about her process, from conceptualization to production. In addition to the books themselves, tools and proofs from that process were on display.

    Macy Chadwick, a letterpress and book arts instructor at AAU since 2003, created a book called Input/Output. Chadwick says, “This is a book about the creative process. As artists, we gather information, text and ideas as fuel for making art. How does creative input transform into artistic output?” Her book is comprised of several folded sheets, which open up to reveal a complete image. In describing the process of designing and creating the book, Chadwick said, “Conceptually, I followed my usual mode of working—bouncing back and forth between structure, text, and idea in developing the book as a cohesive whole.” She did her printing at SFCB, rather than in her own studio, which presented both benefits and challenges. “It helped me focus on this specific project, and also gave me access to volunteers and equipment. But, I found that there was the added challenge of designing and producing the book in a public space.”

    Proclomatie is the book by Jennie Hinchcliff, who has been teaching book arts at the Academy since 2007. Her book is an homage to the early 20th century Dutch artist H.N. Werkman, using text from his 1932 manifesto on art making, and employing many of the same techniques as Werkman himself – including spontaneous design decisions, hand stamping, and printing on an iron handpress. Hinchcliff found the 4x4” size to be comfortable: “small, personal, a book that the reader can hold in their hands and connect with.” The edition size was larger than anything she had ever worked with, though. “Planning out the logistics for 75 books (and then making each book happen) was a new experience for me,” she said.

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    Artist Interview : Meisha Grichuhin

    Meisha_Grichuhin

    Meisha Grichuhin show California Calling is at 625 Sutter Gallery

    Artist Reception: Thursday, July 7th, 5:30 - 7:30pm

    Prior to Meisha's opening we interviewed her about her carear.

    Did you have any rewarding experiences or interactions with teachers while you studied at the Academy?

    I feel very lucky to have had such wonderful instructors at the Academy. Some stand out for their teaching ability, some for their advice, and some for their processes. Paul Kratter, Tomutsu Takishima, and Kevin Moore are all memorable instructors for me, but the teacher who has influenced me the most is definitely Craig Nelson. The first class I took with Craig was Wildlife Painting. 

     

     

     

    I was worried that since I had no experience in landscape painting, I wouldn’t get as much out of the class. Craig helped me so much in one semester! I really understood his way of teaching and explaining things- and his style is similar to what I wanted to achieve in my own work. I took as many classes as I could with him after that.

    Are you having any upcoming group or individual shows that you would like to share with us?

    Yes! I have a solo show with the Academy at 625 Gallery (625 Sutter) for the month of July. The show opens on July 2nd, and the reception is July 7th from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Stop on by! I’ll have roughly 20 pieces on display. I also have two pieces included in the 59th Juried Exhibition at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, which opens the same night, and will be on display until mid-September.

    Another group show that I’m participating in for the second year in a row is Sanchez Art Center’s 50/50 Show in Pacifica. This is a really fun show where each artist creates 50 6”x6” artworks in 50 days to a theme of their choosing. It’s challenging but also rewarding to create so much in a short period of time. It’s fascinating to see everyone’s efforts through their different themes and styles. The reception will be in August, and the show up through September.

    All of the information for my exhibitions, as well as contact information can be found on my website: www.meishagrichuhin.com.

    The Grandeur 20"x20" oil on canvas

    The Grandeur 20"x20" oil on canvas

    What subjects are you drawn to?

    I am particularly drawn to landscape painting. I love being outdoors and find the beauty of nature immeasurably pleasing. Studying and sharing my natural surroundings through my work is my passion. To me, there is nothing more relaxing and grounding than spending time outdoors in a beautiful setting- whether it’s mountains, ocean, pasture, or my own backyard. My other favorite subject is animals, which really goes hand in hand with landscape.

    What was the hardest lesson you learned?

    Don’t be afraid to start! Get some paint on the canvas and be bold. You can always refine from there. The more you paint, the more you learn. I often think about a quote Craig Nelson uses: “It’s only a mistake if you leave it.” This frees you up to paint without worrying that everything has to be perfect from the start.

     

    What advice would you give to students?

    Paint! Paint more! Work hard and pay attention. All the demos and advice your teachers give you are invaluable. Absorb them and, even if you can’t do it at the moment, all those words of wisdom are there for you to pull from when you need them. 

     

     


    Artist Talk: Carrie Ann Plank

    Meet Bay Area artist Carrie Ann Plank on Sunday, March 20 and learn about her recent residency!

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    Sunday, March 20, 2-3pm

    Join Carrie Ann Plank as she talks about her recent residency at Bullseye Resource Center Bay Area. She'll touch on the learning curve of working with glass for the first time, the inspirations for her prints, and the process of translating imagery into glass.

    This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited—RSVP required.

    About the Artist

    Carrie Ann Plank’s work is included in public collections including the Fine Art Archives of the Library of Congress, the Guanlan Print Art Museum in China, and the Iraq National Library in Baghdad. Recent shows include American representation at the International Print Art Triennial in Sophia, Bulgaria, the Liu Haisu Museum of Fine Art in Shanghai, China, and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Guangzhou, China. 

    She is the director of the printmaking MFA & BFA Programs at the Academy of Art University and is a board member of the California Society of Printmakers. 

    Bullseye Resource Center Bay Area
    4514 Hollis Street
    Emeryville, CA 94608
    (Map this location)

    510.595.1318
    bayarea@bullseyeglass.com
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    Interview with Calvin Lai

    artist photo

    Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your history and your experience with art before arriving at the Academy?

    Art for me is an addiction that helps me stay sane and happy. It is the one thing that has been my constant companion throughout the years. Growing up in the suburbs of LA, I was often faced with situations where I felt out of place and withdrawn. It's a common story among artists, and not surprisingly I found myself always drawing. I would copy pictures and photos that were compelling to me, and through trial and error I gained an understanding of light and perspective at an early age. Eventually, I received a BA from San Francisco State, and afterwards I spent a long time traveling and studying music. It wasn't until 2008 when I decided to go to the Academy for a master's degree in illustration, but gravitated towards fine art painting instead.

    Where do you see yourself in five years time?

    There's no turning back now from my path of painting. I'm too old to do anything else career-wise with any great amount of vigor. So in five years I see myself in a large studio with an abundance of natural light, honing my skills as a painter, and getting my artistic vision out into the world. I also see this happening in or around the Bay Area as I've found a thriving musical community here which is hard to find in other cities. Being a realistic painter, I'll be making a living off of commissions and gallery sales.

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    Interview with Diana Majumdar

    majumdar_IceHouse

    We spoke with Diana Majumdar before her show opened at the Academy of Art University.

     

    Could you tell us how you became involved in art making?

     

    Since a very early age I have been exposed to art in many forms and shapes.  I grew up in Estonia in the last days of the Soviet Union.  I was first introduced to art through my father.  He took me to see museums in Estonia, Russia, and Armenia.  I loved watching my father draw.  He taught me the basics of watercolor, and gave me his large set of art books that were printed in Russia and Armenian.  So when the choice for a field of study presented itself and I had to ask myself what I would like to learn, the choice was easy.

    Has there been any particular class or teacher that really opened your eyes while studying at the Academy?


    Mixed Media taught by Ms. Lynne Margulies, was the class that changed the way I approach art.

    Artistic freedom was the key take away from that class.  After taking countless classes with structure and order, I felt liberated at the end of this class.  It was pure joy.  Using the approaches she taught, art just seemed to flow out of me.  The approaches she taught were daring.  To do a charcoal drawing then run a wet brush over it, completely obliterating the charcoal image.  It wasn't destruction per se.  It was creating something throught the process of destruction.  Creating something unexpected.

    I am not afraid to try unusual combinations of medium.  I am not looking for a final perfect vision but take it one step at a time.  It is a truly freeing experience and changed my whole approach to creating art.  It infused an aspect of creative fun in the process that was previously lacking.  Rather than seeing it as a stressful series of steps to follow in creating art, it became an enjoyable pastime.  

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    AAU Galleries July

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    Interview with Inderpreet Kaur

    IKaur_Sunny%20Swamp

    Inderpreet Kaur's solo show The Allure of Northern California will be displayed at the Academy of Art University Gallery July 1st through July 29th.  

     

    Inderpreet_Kaur

     

    What inspired your path to art?

    My early life had no freedom of expression, as I have mentioned before that I was not allowed to go outside beside school or temple. I used to use my imagination or sometimes from references I draw on paper with crayons or pencil colors. My teachers and friends used to appreciate my drawings that brought inspiration to keep drawing and painting. 

    Prior to Inderpreet's opening at the Cannery we interviewed her to learn of her artistic journey, influences, and hopes for the future.  

    Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your history and your experience with art before arriving at the Academy?

     

    I was born and bought up in New Delhi, India. I came from a Sikh business family. Due to family customs I was not allowed to go outside beside School or Sikh Temple. So, I used the paper as canvas and started drawing at an early age. My parents supported my passion by providing useful art material. My father used to reward me whenever I painted something new but it was not developed further due to religious oppression for women at that time. I was a self taught painter without having any foundational knowledge that I needed to learn and always dreamed of becoming an artist before arriving at the Academy. 

     

    Grandeur

    Grandeur

    What subjects are you drawn to?

    Nature and Landscape have always been a part of my life through travelling. I have travelled to many countries like Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Austria), London, Turkey, and Hong Kong etc. I used to see the beauty of those places but never got opportunity to paint then and convey my emotion on canvas. My trip to Lake Tahoe was inspiring subject matter in hand, which turn into my thesis work. I am drawn to and enjoy places where there is water although I have love and hate relationship with water. I don’t know how to swim so to come over that scare I paint water in most of my paintings.      

    The Peace

    The Peace

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