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.

Request Information

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,

How does this assignment rate from a student perspective?  

Velma Gay: “When you are in a classroom you can rely on what you know. I know what an apple looks like. When you are out here you have to see the subject more, you have to constantly look back, so it makes you study the non - traditional still life subject. It forces you to judge what you think you know and what you see. This exercise forces you to see what is there vs. what you think you know.”

Nicole Steffus: “I love this project! We do a lot of still life painting in class and it was fun to be able to pick our subject for this exercise.”

Sammi Kroll: “It was a good experience. Going out and finding something to paint gives me a chance to create my own still life.”