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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Archive for '2015'

    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 Growing up in the suburbs of LA, I was often faced with situations where I felt out of place and withdrawn.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.

    Read More »

    A Quick Look: Selected Book Arts Midterm Projects

    By Chris Rolik 

    Hard to believe, but we’re halfway through Fall semester already – and that means Midterm projects are due! The following are just a few selected Midterm projects from the many different Book Arts classes running this Fall. 

    Itay Kapitulmik's game "Funded"

    Itay Kapitulmik's game "Funded"

    Itay Kapitulnik created a board game he calls “Funded”. Based on the geography of the San Francisco peninsula, the board’s playing space ranges from the bottom of Silicon Valley to the tippy top of The City. Different aspects of the game involve dealing with traffic, housing, R & D, and money, with the object of the game being to obtain enough funding to ultimately build the winning “killer app”. Itay’s awesome design skills are evident in every part of the game, including his own laser-cut Prius-shaped playing pieces. 


    Apinya Srikhwanthong used skills she developed by taking the Paper Sculpture class (taught by Jeff Nishinaka) to create her sculptural altered book entitled “Life’s a Beach so Relax and Eat More Lobster!” She colored, shaped, and built her lovely lobster and his garnish, which she then placed into an old, obsolete coffee table book she’d hollowed out and painted – a process that, as Apinya will attest to, takes a whole lot longer than you’d think! The end result is a sculptural book transformation that is simply magical. 


    Celia Cueto Morilla used her own photographs assembled in layered collage compositions reminiscent of the Dadaists in her three tunnel books entitled “Air, Earth, Water”. The tunnel book structure utilizes depth and layering, and must be handled and manipulated to be fully experienced. This interaction is mesmerizing because it is so toy-like, and is the perfect vehicle for Celia’s delightfully whimsical compositions. 

    This is just a small sample of the exceptional work produced by Book Arts students each semester. The Book Arts class (in the Printmaking Department, which is in the Fine Art Department) is open to all majors and all skill levels, with no prerequisites. Do come join us! Thanks to Itay, Apinya, and Celia for the use of their images, and congrats to all on a job well done! 

    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.


    Alumni Excels at Roadworks Printing Festival by Meri Brin

    Each year, the San Francisco Center for the Book hosts the Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival. Artists, Printmakers, Book Artists and enthusiasts all come together to visit with vendors, play with equipment, make pieces of art at do-it-yourself tables, and watch as a 7-ton 1924 Buffalo Springfield steamroller prints 3 foot by 3 foot large hand-carved linoleum blocks. This was the 12th year of the event, and quite a few of the Academy of Art’s alumni were there participating and celebrating. 

    Vendors and shoppers enjoy guitar playing as well

    Vendors and shoppers enjoy guitar playing as well

    Leah Jachimowicz, Coffee n Cream Press

    Leah Jachimowicz, Coffee n Cream Press

    MFA Printmaking Alumni Leah Jachimowicz, owner of Coffee n Cream Press, is a one-woman printmaking powerhouse. Leah designs and prints greeting cards and artwork. She also enjoys working directly with clients creating custom wedding invitations. Leah participates in many street fairs and art events around San Francisco, selling her unique designs directly to art lovers. She also has over a dozen stores in California, and even one in Louisiana, that stock and sell her cards. Leah enjoys working directly with clients creating custom wedding invitations


    Ryan Vicente

    Ryan Vicente

    Ryan Vicente’s print.

    Ryan Vicente’s print.

    This year BFA Printmaking Alumni Ryan Vicente agreed to carve of Steamroller’s large scale linoleum blocks. He transferred his drawing to the “battleship” linoleum, then spent about a week of long days and evenings carving the image into the block. Ryan proofed the block in small sections as he was carving it in his studio, but had to wait until the day of the event to see the whole image. Using the surface of the street as the press bed, a team of San Francisco Center for the Book volunteers inked up the block, laid it on the ground in a designated spot, and watched as the steamroller ran over it, transferring the ink from the block to the paper that was laid on top. The prints, once dry, are then available to purchase through San Francisco Center for the Book. If you missed this exciting event, be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s Steamroller! 

    The steamroller.

    The steamroller.

    Volunteers remove the paper from the inked linoleum.

    Volunteers remove the paper from the inked linoleum.

    The final print.

    The final print.

    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.



    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.


     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


    Read More »

    Classic Human Anatomy in Motion by Valerie L. Winslow


    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.


    Read More »

    Interview with Diana Majumdar


    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.  

    Read More »


    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. 


    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.

    Read More »

    AAU Galleries July


    Interview with Inderpreet Kaur


    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.  




    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. 




    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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    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.

    Read More »

    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 »

    Welcome to Fine Art Showcase

    by Craig Nelson Director Fine Art Painting

    Welcome to Fine Art Showcase!

    Our new blog will encompass a lot of great information about the School of Fine Art Painting and Printmaking as well as Fine Art as a profession.  Our goal is to add valuable knowledge and insight with regard to your Fine Art education.  We will provide visuals, abbreviated thoughts accompanied by short videos as well as commentary and updates on our Fine Art news and upcoming events. 

    Faculty, professionals and alumni may offer insights and occasional opinion.  We hope that you will gain some valuable and interesting information…but most of all, enjoy the blog!



    by Craig Nelson.  Director of Fine Art Painting

    I recently have run into alumni working in various venues and was a bit disheartened to see that they were not continuing to work on their art as much as they had hoped. 

    As students, we all have deadlines imposed upon us.  Believe it or not, this serves as a motivating factor.  We all have often wished for more time to produce higher quality work.   However, these deadlines are what motivate us and get us working.

    It is true that we all believe that the love of making art is enough for us to produce works of art.  While this may be true for some of us, for others, life may interfere.  A commitment to a deadline is necessary to motivate us to continue to produce art.

    Now as a student, deadlines are a constant.  But as a professional, it might be necessary to find a venue to impose a deadline.  It can be a gallery, an art festival, a small show at a local venue or an open studio.  I can honestly say that this can be the exact motivation needed to get back to work and re-discover the sheer joy of making art. 

    Go for it, now!

    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 »

    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,

    Read More »

    Spring Show 2015

    SPRING SHOW 2015

    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.  



    Small and Beautiful by Thomas Marsh,


    Thomas Marsh, Fine Art Instructor (since 1981)

    Since November I have had the good fortune of three magnificent museum experiences:  at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC,  the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The National Gallery and the Met, naturally, are vast and their collections provide the highest levels of aesthetic experience  for museum goers and researchers. I would like to comment on a VERY small sampling of works in these two museums, the Vermeer paintings, and compare these to a current exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.

    My numbers may be mistaken by one or two, but if my memory serves me correctly the Met has four Vermeer paintings in their collection, and the National Gallery has three. Vermeer, a Dutch painter of the 1600’s, worked very small (think of your 11 x 14 drawing pad as about the typical size of his paintings), most likely made use of the camera obscura to achieve heightened realism, and produced relatively few paintings in his life (compared to a huge abundance of works by his contemporary, Rembrandt).  And, Vermeer’s work is breathtakingly realistic in his handling of light. To recap: his works are small, they are few, they likely utilized some technical means (the camera obscura), and they are among the greatest works of Western Civilization.

    Read More »

    Student Showcase: Lucas Bononi

    Self Portrait
    lighterversion small
    Gravity small

    Fine Art Feature Emerging Painter – Lucas Bononi by Carol A. Nunnelly


    Lucas Bononi is an emerging talent in the world of Fine Art Painting.  His work has been exhibited both in San Francisco, California, where he is currently earning his BFA degree in painting at the Academy of Art University, and in his native country of Argentina.


    Recently Lucas sat down with us and we learned more about him and his creative process. Since he has studied art most of his life, his passion and enthusiasm for the act of creating is infectious.


    CN: What drives your painting and offers inspiration?


    LB: Both master painters and more contemporary painters inspire me. The idea of bringing new approaches to painting while still studying the traditional masters has caused my work to evolve. I studied art from a very young age and have attended several schools. Being exposed to a wide variety of approaches and various ways to go about things, I began to understand the struggle it is to represent form, while trying to successfully produce unique paintings. Since each painting is different, there is no formula. In my opinion a successful painting is one that can hold true to its own reality, whether it may be realistic or abstract. This can be achieved through foundation skills, and by simplifying your palette for as long as possible. The world around you determines your palette; your palette does not determine the world around you for you.

    Read More »

    Florence Study Abroad Program, June 22 – August 12

    The Academy of Art Department of Fine Art is currently accepting enrolment for the Florence Study Abroad Program.  The 7.5 week class provides our students the opportunity to live in Florence Italy, the home of the Italian Renaissance.  Students can study either painting or printmaking.  

    The painting students will focus on plein air painting and drawing.  Painting on location allows our students to observe how the Medeteranian light describes the form of both architecture and nature.  With access to our host facilities studios the students can work from the photos they've taken while out exploring the region.  

    Printmakers can take advantage of the wonderful facilities provide by our host campus focusing on both printmaking and book arts.  

    In addition to Florence there are five day trips to Tuscan hilltop cities as well as  weekend trips to Rome and Venice.  Classes are held Monday throught Thursday  leaving the weekends open to explore Itanlian art and culture.  The final week students will exhibit their work at the gallery space of the host facility.  

    Take a moment to watch our video describing the life changing experience of studying abroad in Florence