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 'Events'

    Technology and Touch: Intention and Serendipity in San Francisco and Reykjavík

    Carrie Ann Plank & Robynn Smith


    Carrie Ann Plank and Robynn Smith have been investigating relationships between technology and traditional printmaking techniques, both within the realm of their personal work, as well as in global printmaking practices. A recent lecture by the two at the Íslensk Grafík in Reykjavík, Iceland inspired a cross cultural exchange of work and ideas between Icelandic printmakers and San Francisco Bay Area printmakers in relation to this space between technology and tradition.  The exchange led to a curation of the exhibition, Technology and Touch, focusing on the variety of approaches to technology in the two disparate locales. Featuring the work of Icelandic artists: Greta Mjöll Bjarnadóttir, Valgerdur Hauksdóttir, Elvar Örn Kjartansson, Soffía Sæmundsdóttir, Laura Valentino, and Bay Area artists: Jimin Lee, Monica Farrar Miller, Michelle Murillo, Carrie Ann Plank, and Robynn Smith, the exhibition will travel from San Francisco at the Academy of Art University’s 688 Gallery in Union Square (November 2017) to the Southern Graphics Council International in Las Vegas at the Priscilla Fowler Fine Art gallery (April 2018) to Reykjavík in the gallery of the Icelandic Printmakers Association, Íslensk Grafík, IPA Gallery/Grafiksalurinn, within the Reykjavík Art Museum building during the Culture Night festival (August 2018).  Discussions, gallery talks and workshops accompany all of the exhibitions, resulting in the sharing of contemporary technologies and traditional printmaking practices across cultures.

    Co-curators: Carrie Ann Plank and Robynn Smith Photo credit: Bob Toy

    Co-curators: Carrie Ann Plank and Robynn Smith Photo credit: Bob Toy

    The authenticity of art resides in human expression, in our ability to use tools to further our ideas. The hand refers to the individual. It is our personal mark, our connection with our humanity, our relationship with nature and the wild.  Technology is innovation; bright, shiny and complex. Since the advent of the printing press, a major technological breakthrough, printmaking has always reflected the relationship between technology and the hand. A mark is made, and through the alchemy of technology, that mark is transformed and transferred to another surface. That relationship is always there, from the Gutenberg Bible of the mid 15th century to today’s laser cutters and photopolymer plates, the best printmakers seek just the right balance of handwork and technology.photopolymer plates, the best printmakers

    Artists from the project at the artist talk in San Francisco (left to right): Elvar Örn Kjartansson, Laura Valentino, Greta Mjöll Bjarnadóttir, Michelle Murillo, Carrie Ann Plank, Robynn Smith, Soffía Sæmundsdóttir, and Valgerdur Hauksdóttir. Carrie Ann Plank’s Data Rondures (Large Forms) in background. Photo credit: Bob Toy

    Artists from the project at the artist talk in San Francisco (left to right): Elvar Örn Kjartansson, Laura Valentino, Greta Mjöll Bjarnadóttir, Michelle Murillo, Carrie Ann Plank, Robynn Smith, Soffía Sæmundsdóttir, and Valgerdur Hauksdóttir. Carrie Ann Plank’s Data Rondures (Large Forms) in background. Photo credit: Bob Toy

    Both Reykjavík and the San Francisco Bay Area function as technological giants, yet in both places it is possible to feel the primitive, powerful nature of the wild. A five-minute drive out of Iceland’s capital is a primordial landscape of hot springs and lava. Standing a few hundred yards from the Golden Gate Bridge, the power of the Pacific Ocean is unfurled in an unbroken vista, all the way to Japan. Does the proximately to such dramatic landscape affect an artist’s use of technology? Does technology offer artists new tools to express their connection to the natural world?

    Every printmaker must strike a balance between technology and touch. This exhibition explores that balance, showcasing printmakers from two cities with a striking relationship between contemporary technology and the timelessness of nature.

    Two magnificently beautiful cities, both technology and trade hubs focused on the future, steeped in tradition and full of printmakers. Is there a connection?

    This question is what motivated us to explore an international exchange between printmakers from the San Francisco Bay Area and Íslensk Grafík, the Icelandic Printmakers Association based in Reykjavík.

    Read More »

    Artists' Oil Colour Demo by Winsor & Newton


    Artist Talk: Carrie Ann Plank

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


    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)

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    AAU Galleries July


    Academy Students Shine at the Book Club of California

    Article by Chris Rolik

    On Monday April 13th The Book Club of California hosted their annual Student Showcase and Pop-Up Exhibition featuring Bay Area Book Arts students from SFAI, Mills College, City College of San Francisco, and the Academy of Art University. Participating Academy students in this year’s event were Grad student Yishu Wang and Undergrad Keisha Mrotek, both Printmaking majors.

    Students were asked to each present a formal five-minute PowerPoint slide show representing an overview of their current work. 


    Each student was also given table space to set up a display of their bookworks and related art. The students were able to chat informally with guests and show their work both before and after their presentations.

    The work shown was varied and fascinating. Among the works AAU students displayed were Keisha Mrotek’s politically satirical “Humiliate Them”, a mix-and-match card game based on the Dadaist “Exquisite Corpse”, images separated into segments that can be rearranged to create new, absurd combinations; and Yishu Wang’s 

    L’Isle Joyeaux”, an approximately 6-foot-long accordion book structure comprised of her series of complex, multi-layered screenprinted images inspired by the musical composition of the same name. Our Academy students gave stellar presentations.

    Read More »

    Fine Art Printmaking Guest Lecture Series continues with a visit from Paul Mullowney

    by Carrie Ann Plank, Director of Fine Art- Printmaking MFA & BFA


    Paul Mullowney of Crown Point Press and Mullowney Printing came to the Fine Art Department for a lecture and workshop on to demonstrate traditional Japanese chine-collé techniques and refined approaches for intaglio printing.  Mullowney lived in Japan for an extended period and is considered a master at eastern chine-collé techniques. In the informative workshop, he discussed conservation issues relating to adhesives, eastern paper properties, and he demonstrated proper approaches to chine-collé.  Students were also given a tutorial on Mullowney’s master printer approach to wiping plates to achieve the richest image. Mullowney also gave a lecture on the exciting array of projects executed at Mullowney Printing including examples by well-known contemporary artists such as Sandow Birk.

    Students were given the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback on their own printmaking projects. 


    Summer Expo'15


    Come to San Francisco for Expo '15

    Admission is Free! 

    Campus Housing is only $375 for the week/8 nights


    Meet Your Program Directors: Learn More About Your Program & Get Expert Advice

    Get Involved: Benefit from Hands-On Workshops, Field Trips, and Live Demonstrations 

    Network: Connect with faculty, alumni, and other students 

    When: Saturday, June 20 -- Sunday, June 28, 2015 

    Where: Academy of Art University, San Francisco 

    Who: Students who are taking all of their classes Online 

    Register for EXPO 15'

    For more information, please contact Melinda Mettler @

    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.    


    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.

    Read More »

    Students reap the benefits of annual printmaking conference

    by Dennis Peterson. Printmaking Faculty/Printmaking Studio Manager


    Coming off the heels of last year’s Southern Graphics Conference International hosted by the Academy of Art University, printmaking and graphic design students ventured to Knoxville, Tennessee, the sight of this year’s annual event.

    “SGCI was a really great opportunity to meet other printmakers, see what's being produced in the community, and learn new techniques,” states Jen Wright, undergraduate Printmaking Major in the Fine Art Department. 



    “Between demos, lectures, and gallery shows there's so much happening that it can be overwhelming, but in the best way because it's something I love. In essence, SGCI is like ComiCon for printmakers,” says Wright.

    Several printmaking students were able to attend this year’s conference thanks in part to their hard work at last years S.F. event. A letterpress and bookmaking project at last year’s event, entitled SPAN, was the brainchild of printmaking and book arts 

    Read More »

    Spring Show 2015

    SPRING SHOW 2015