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 'April 2015'

    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.

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    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 

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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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