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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 'Classes'

    Murals and Professional Projects

    By Carol A. Nunnelly

     

     

    Fine Art and Illustration students are creating a mural for the Samesun Hostel on Franklin Street in San Francisco. Directed by Craig Nelson and Carol Nunnelly, the mural class places students into a real world project where professional jobs meet emerging art students.  Mural painting offers artists an opportunity to collaborate and work on a “Real World Project.” 

    As a part of urban renewal, the mural was requested by the property owner, Simon Sin and approved by the Academy's Vice President of Community & Government Affairs, Rebecca Delgado Rottman.  Rebecca has been a tireless advocate for murals in San Francisco and as a member of the City's Graffiti Advisory Board, she believes murals are an essential way to bring together communities, promote safety and enhance neighborhoods.

    The students will learn the business side of mural painting from costs estimating, project management, project completion and client satisfaction. Learning by doing is our motto.

    The mural painting students were asked to produce style options for the project including Art Deco and Realistic painting styles and color variations in keeping with the structure and remodeling plans.

    Themes of the Fall Semester mural include concepts that bring together San Francisco and the World. Questions asked during the brain storming session included: Where do we find the world in San Francisco? What does San Francisco give to the world?  What does the world give to San Francisco?  Exploring these ideas created the basis of the initial sketching and design work for the project. 

    The design process included reference gathering, research, and development on three paintings. Each student created an original design. These were painted to scale using measurements gathered on site of the wall.

     

    Design by Mykaela McGrew

    Design by Mykaela McGrew

    These color paintings show different approaches to the project. In one example we see the backstory of San Francisco. Starting in Golden Gate Park at Hippie Hill and moving through to Chinatown there are stories told of the unique and special nature of the diverse characters and icons of the city by the bay. Moving through to Northbeach, showing the Cable Cars, and Seeing Street performers, the artist Mykaela McGrew- Higgins has depicted the famous wild parrots, Tree Man, Gold Man, and she tieseverything together with rhythmic ribbons of music. There are postcards from around the world depicted in a flying scatter.

     

    Design by Zihao Wang

    Design by Zihao Wang

    Another painting by Zihao Wang, is a depiction of the city as a map or 3D game board. Pop up figures and icons of the city flow throughout the design. He created imagery of SF Zoo, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park and the Ferry Building with Golden Gate Bridge. 

    Design by Zihao Wang

    Design by Zihao Wang

    Xiaolu Lin created an Art Deco styled design using the Ferry Building, Japan Town, and elements of San Francisco as a graphic images flowing seamlessly throughout the design.

     By promoting inclusivity, diversity, and adventure,  youth hostel will be a place for San Francisco and the World to meet. Finding new people in new cities, this backpacking hostel will welcome guests from around the world.

    The class is excited about the mural and are looking forward to painting on site starting the week after midterm.


    Zines

    New Zine Class offers Conceptual Development and a Variety of Skills

    ZinePosterFinal

    The Academy of Art is excited to offer a new class for Spring 2018: Zines: Reproduction Techniques for Communication and Expression. Zines are self-published small-run magazines, often created by artists, photographers, illustrators or anyone interested in exploring an idea and publishing it on their own. 

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    Zines provide a forum to explore alternative ideas in a print format.  Communities of artists and zinesters put on annual events such as the SF Zine Fest every September in Golden Gate Park, the New York Art Book Fair, and the San Francisco Art Book Fair. Artists and publishers come from all over the world to sell, buy and trade zines.

     

    The Zines class gives students an opportunity to explore their current technical field, but also explore other ideas and avenues of content development. The class will use Xerography and Risography as well as collage, typography, design layout, photography, illustration, fiction and non-fiction writing to develop ideas and create zines. Sign up now for this exciting Spring class!


    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

    Senior Painting Studio

    Senior Painting Studio is a classes offered to undergraduate fine art students.  The class is taught by faulty member Kevin Moore who advises the students towards a "pop up"at the end of the semester. 

    In the comming weeks you will be introduced to each artist, but in the mean time here is the concept for their show.

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    We are a dedicated group of emerging artists who believe art is an integral part of our society and as such should be accessible to everyone regardless of financial means. We would like to attempt a new take on the art show convention by creating a unique experience in the form of a pop-up show in San Francisco. An unfortunate reality of the art world is that at times money can be an obstacle for many when it comes to obtaining original artwork. We would like to have a show where money does not determine who can and who cannot own a piece of art.


    The unique structure of this show encourages the community as a whole to support the arts, which in turn allows artists to make art accessible to the whole community. We are excited to provide a venue where the value of art is not determined by a price tag, but instead based on the merits of the work itself. Every guest will have an equal opportunity to become the owner of a well-crafted, thoughtful piece of art.

    We would like to create a sustainable model for this type of show in which expense does not affect the outcome. In order to do so, we require financial support to host the event; this is why we’ve chosen to ask for your assistance through our Go-Fund-Me campaign. The success of the show heavily relies on community contributions and support to cover artists’ expenses and compensate them for their time and effort.  This will allow the art to function solely as art and not as a market driven product.

    We feel that art is greater than the established commercial market. To any who feel the same way, we ask that you support our goal. Every contribution no matter the size will help and be greatly appreciated. With the community’s support of this show, we hope to achieve something new that transcends the status quo of the art world. Thank you for your support!

    To support click here.


    Classic Human Anatomy in Motion by Valerie L. Winslow

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    We spoke with Valerie Winslow since her new book Classic Human Anatomy in Motion was published recently.

    Could you tell us how long have you have been teaching for the Academy of Art University?

    Since 1989 when I began teaching at the Academy of Art University, I have taught figurative art and artistic anatomy.  For the last 11 years I have been the Anatomy Coordinator for The School of Fine Art.  

    How did you become an exhibiting artist?

    I began my professional career by submitting examples of my paintings to galleries. Networking, meeting people in my field, and developing connections is an important part of my success. 

    After joining a co-op gallery when I completed my education, I was given the chance to exhibit my work. Many opportunities for group and solo shows were possible at this time. 

    Why did you write your first book and what happened that made you want to write a follow-up book?

    When I began teaching, many students encouraged me to write a book about anatomy. Since I teach the concepts in an easy-to-understand way for the artist, and keep the information anatomically accurate, writing a book was a natural development for me. 

    The research I gathered through my teaching enabled me to present information and drawings to my publisher when I proposed my first book, Classic Human Anatomy.  This book was published in 2009 by Watson Guptill, and was designed to be a basic anatomical reference guide for figurative artists.

    After the positive responses to the debut of my first book, including many professional artists, art students and physicians in the medical field, I felt encouraged to write a follow-up book. This book called Classic Human Anatomy in Motion was released in August of 2015 and is about anatomy with an emphasis on movement. It contains over 500 drawings and includes anatomical charts, life studies, gesture drawings, and longer study poses. This book is intended to create a bridge between the anatomical concepts of motion and drawing the live model in action.

    Why does the study of anatomy help an artist?

    Depending on the focus of an artist and the artistic discipline being studied, anatomy allows us to understand the complexities of the human form on a deeper level, whether we sculpt, paint or draw the figure.

     

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    Ecorche

    by Steven Perkins, Anatomy Instuctor AAU

    Ecorche is a French word meaning “flayed figure. When you think of those muscle man figures without the skin, those are ecorche figures. Ecorche in the larger sense is a method by which artists can study anatomy in a comprehensive and highly effective manner. Flesh coats and obscures the forms of the body, so without that, the forms become more obvious. It is this definition that artists seek in order to make their work more believable, meaningful, beautiful and capable of conveying meaning. 

    Ecorche2

    Glancing over the large arc of figurative art, one thing is clear. The elevation of the art form has gone hand in hand with the understanding of the artist. A large part of that understanding has been the knowledge of how to depict their most important subject, a human being. There are other subjects. Landscape if you think about it is our home and we are dearly in love with this planet in all its variety. Still life are our things, our possessions. We tend to collect things that we love as well. The human figure however, is who we are. There is no more important subject, nothing that stirs us so profoundly. We fall in love with it, tell infinite stories about it, judge everything by it. The human figure is who we are and so it is that the history of art has at its center, this most basic subject. 

    If we as artists are to spend a lifetime using this form in countless ways to tell stories, emote feelings, create arch types etc. then it is incumbent on us to understand that form profoundly. People know what other people are supposed to look like. We are hard wired in that way. That means that everyone is an art critic and we as artists have to be very good in order to engage them. Paint on a canvas or charcoal on paper or clay or bronze, none of these is a human being. In a sense, artists are liars, trying to get others to believe that this stuff is a person or landscape. We have to be good to do that. Michelangelo is reported to have said that Tintoretto's figures looked like “bags of walnuts”. What he meant was that each form looked like the next, rather than having its particular characteristics that make it appear as what it is. You have to know that. If you don't know it, you won't see it and you won't get it in your work.

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    PG&E Mural Dedication

    By Carol A. Nunnelly

    PG&E(HiRes)Mural Image2

    On April 10, 2015, Tenderloin merchants, community leaders and Academy of Art University students gathered to celebrate the installation of a collection of mural panels depicting the history of the neighborhood. The 13 vibrant murals on a PG&E substation at the corner of Eddy and Larkin in San Francisco were created under the direction of School of Fine Art Executive Director Craig Nelson with full-time faculty member Carol Nunnelly. These striking works serve to brighten the corner and bring new visual interest to the building.    

    MuralGroupSmall

    Stabilizing the area and halting the spread of crime was a goal of this project. It emerged from a class called Mural Painting, offered both online and on campus during spring and fall semesters. The class gives students an opportunity to learn the business side of mural production and how to paint large-scale works, teaching real-world skills and preparing students for careers as artists    

    Nelson says he started the class with the idea that students can benefit from working on projects that teach them how to produce art for a living. “It’s a chance for the students to collaborate and learn how to budget time and expenses,” he says. “We partner with a client who covers all expenses. We paint a mural during a 15-week semester, and manage time constraints to meet deadlines.”    

    Students from the Schools of Fine Art, Illustration and Art Education created the PG&E mural panels. The student crew were assisted by Academy faculty and Academy alumni.

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    Taking it to the Hallway

    by Carol A. Nunnley

       

    On a recent Friday morning at 60 Federal, at the School of Fine Art Building on campus, students of Aron Meynell’s MS 606.1 Still Life Painting Class were seen scattered around the building. Getting involved in the arrangement of a still life is something students often enjoy the most when painting a still life. On this day the process of setting up was even more interesting since the goal of the assignment was to think about often overlooked corners, odd shaped objects, and other small details that could yield a new result for compositional power and dynamics.

    Craig Nelson, the Executive Director of the School of Fine Art said, “this started in my quick studies class as a way to learn how to see creatively. Getting students involved in the selection of the still life subject matter and arrangement and changing the format from inside the classroom to inside the entire building, offered new possibilities for painting small gems. The ordinary is seen in a new light and students are composing and making critical decisions in their work.”

    Photo Mar 27, 11 04 22 AM

    To see more images of students "taking it to the hallway" and learn how the assignment rates from a student perspective,

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