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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 'Painting'

    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. 


    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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    2016 Fine Art Auction

    faculty-alumni-fine-art-auction

    Preview
    November 10–11
    10 a.m.–6 p.m.

    Reception & Live Auction
    Saturday, November 12, 2016
    2 p.m. - Reception begins
    3 p.m. - Live auction begins

    Silent Auction
    Ends approximately 30 minutes after close of live auction

    Where
    AAU Galleries at The Cannery
    2801 Leavenworth St
    San Francisco, CA 94133

     

     

     

     

    Benefitting Academy of Art University's Student Scholarship Fund.


    Mason Mansung Kang featured in Sedona Art Prize Artist Spotlight

    Contributed by Gateway To Sedona on 07 Sept.2016

    mason-kang-on-the-hill-california

    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


    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. 

     

     


    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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    Samantha Buller

    By Anna Nelson

    Samantha Buller at work in her studio

    Samantha Buller at work in her studio

    Samantha Buller graduated from the Academy of Art University with a  BFA in Fine Art and studied for a semester in Italy with the Fine Art study abroad program.  Italy inspired Samantha to continue her love and passion for painting beautiful light and color.  

    Samantha’s current solo exhibit for Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento features her contemporary still life work inspired by Wayne Thiebaud.  The body of work entitled “Nothing But In Thing’s” focuses on simplistic, everyday objects painting in a very stylistic manner.  

     

    “As children we are told from the very start to color inside the lines.  These paintings are an everyday practice for me to push outside my own lines/boundaries, and trying to discover them again by pushing and pulling paint between background and foreground.  From time to time I feel myself tense up, not wanting to loose the “perfect” mark…that’s when I know I need to take a breath and do just that, paint through that beautiful moment I was stuck on.”

    Buller has had the opportunity to teach workshops in California, Kansas, and Colorado, as well as work along side well known landscape artist, Scott Christensen, mixing paint for two of his larger works.  She shows in several galleries, including Abend in Denver, CO, Room Art Gallery in Mill Valley, CA and Wild Meyer Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ.  She paints out of her studio in her home in northern California. 

    www.samanthabuller.com

     


    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.

    mish-mash2

     

    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.


    Interview with Deepa Kataria

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

     

    My name is Deepa Kataria. I am an abstract landscape painter. I was born in Mumbai, India and grew up in New York City, United States. I found my passion for arts in India’s Junior High School. This gave me a pathway to continue my arts education at high school in Queens, New York. My passion and love for the arts was further nurtured when I was accepted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. After successful completion of my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007, I was determined to bring my artistic skills to a professional level.

    FullSizeRender

     I then decided to come to San Francisco Academy of Art University in order to earn my MFA degree. I have two years of classical training with emphasis on abstraction. Being the graduating class of Spring 2015, I am looking forward to my Solo Thesis Show coming up in October 1st to October 28th, 2015, at 625 Gallery at Sutter Street. 

     

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

    Yes. Every teacher has played an important role in my MFA learning process at the Academy of Art University. One example, Prof. Bao Ping Chan told me that painting is a reflection of the artist. Further studying with my tutor Ho Jun Lee during classical training brought up the same concept and taught me in depth how the artist’s works reflects the artist’s life (values, character, and lifestyle). I learned at that point that core values between abstraction and realism are the same for the artists.


    Where do you see yourself in five years time?

     

    I see myself participating in group and solo shows consistently and planning solo shows for next five years.

     

     

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

     

    One can check my upcoming events at  Deepkataria.com

     

    Read More »

    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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    Interview with Jessica Newman

    jessica newman

    We sat down with Jessica Newman to discuss her show that is currently displayed at The Cannery Galleries, 2801 Leavenworth Street Suite 112 June 3rd till the 28th.  

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

    I started painting in high school and studied fine art at the Rhode Island School of Design for my freshman year of college. After a year, I transferred from RISD to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I graduated with a BFA in Interior Design, and my career in interior design has been a successful one. I worked for Hirsch Bedner and Associates, the top hospitality firm in the world, as well as smaller architecture and interior design firms in New York, Georgia, and California. Everywhere I worked I was always the one who did the architectural illustrations that were presented to the 

    client. I eventually started a freelance business doing architectural illustrations, and most recently co-authored a textbook on perspective drawing for Pearson/Prentice Hall, “Perspective and Sketching for Designers.” The textbook focuses on perspective drawing methods and has been published in English and Chinese. 

    Soon after graduating with my BFA in Interior Design, I began to paint again. I studied in the studios of artists whose work I admired: George Benedict in New York, Sarah Hughes and Chris Didimezio in Atlanta, and Jeff Watts and Janet Cooling in San Diego. I was very excited to enroll at AAU’s online program in 2006(!) to study painting. I took classes slowly (one or two at a time) while working full-time as an instructor at the Art Institute of California – San Diego, where I teach undergraduate interior design classes. The MFA degree seemed so far away, I wasn’t really focused on it. I tried to enjoy my classes and learn as much as possible to become a better artist.

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    Fa 604 Figurative Painting with Zhaoming Wu

    Zhaoming Wu has been teaching figurative painting at the Academy of Art for more than 2 decdes.  His exceptional talent and experience has bestowed an advanced level of ability in painting the the nude form to his students.  To see examples of Zhaoming Wu's art check out his webpage.

    Fa 604 Figure Painting is a Graduate class that is offered every semester. The high calibur of oil painting that is produced in this couse is often represented in the Academy of Art's Annual Spring Show.

    Below are few examples of mid term projects produced this semster by his students.  

     

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