November Exhibitions 11/5 – 11/30

Atelier

Carolyn Meyer, SF+NYC

Artist Reception November 6, 5-8pm

TheEdgeOf PacificHeightsAndPresisio48x48

Urban landscapes are a favorite subject of Carolyn Meyer, and while she approaches all of her landscape and still life works with the same daring and fearlessness that has become her trademark, it is the cityscape that draws her back again and again, and has become a cornerstone of her career.  Her current Exhibition SF+NYC finds its inspiration in two of America’s most iconic cities, each a cultural center and symbol of the coast it represents.

Bridging the gap between realism and abstraction, Meyer displays an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of a city through keynote icons, whether they be the rooftop water tanks of New York or the precipitous hillsides and sweeping bridges of San Francisco. Her large canvases surround the viewer, engaging the senses and capturing the massive scale of the modern city. Distant rooflines dissolve into skies which surrender to a spectrum of urban grays ranging from from concrete to asphalt. Closer subjects bleed with local colors as cool shadows offset the heat of an afternoon sun. Surface and form are defined through a vigorous impasto that seems barely controlled, yet sure and deliberate, never tenuous or indecisive. Splatters of color seem more a by-product of urban vitality than a painterly device, a spontaneous result of the often abrasive urban environment where even the atmosphere takes on a gritty texture.

Carolyn Meyer completed her BFA and MFA degrees at Academy of Art University, and is currently the Associate Director of the School of Painting, where she continues to teach classes in abstract and urban landscape painting. SF+NYC will exhibit at Academy of Art University’s Atelier Gallery from November 5 through December 28. An artist’s reception will be held on November 6, from 5-8pm.

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625 Gallery

Haley Tucker, Inchoate

Artist Reception November 6, 5:30-7:30pm

Picture 003

Haley Tucker’s “Inchoate” is a series of self-portrait photographs taken in abandoned houses and buildings. The artist’s presence creates a dichotomy between the empty space and the ghostly intruder, who walks freely among the ruins yet clearly does not belong. Vacancy assumes its own personality, sketching out the empty spaces, yielding a negative impression that gives an uncanny sense of the former inhabitants through the traces they left behind.

“Growing up as an only child overfed my curious nature,” says Tucker. “I found myself constantly wondering how other people lived and if I was up to par by comparison.” Exploring abandoned houses provided a tangible medium and a literal metaphor; the solitary explorer seems to try on these environments like clothes, looking to fit into the empty, forgotten spaces.

Haley Tucker’s childhood curiosity has continually developed and matured into artistic inspiration. After graduating from California State University at San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, she enrolled in the MFA program at Academy of Art University, where she completed her MFA in Photography, specializing in analog photography and historic processes. She currently interns at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, and teaches photography at The Riekes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo Park.

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The Cannery

19th Annual Faculty+Alumni Fine Art Auction

Saturday, November 8th, 2:00pm – Live Auction 3:00pm

Untitled

It’s that time again, and Academy of art University’s annual fundraising auction is back, bigger and better than ever. Once again, The Cannery Galleries will be filled to bursting with artworks available for bidding. Half of all proceeds go directly to the artists, the rest  to AAU’s Fine Art Student Scholarship Fund. This is the perfect opportunity to build your collection while supporting the future of fine arts education. We hope to see you there!

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October Exhibitions 10/1 – 11/2

Atelier

Breno Aragon, Prayer Lamp

Thesis_July_2012_1

Breno Aragon’s photography series “Prayer Lamp” explores the mystical and phenomenological aspects of the forest environment. Drawing inspiration from cinematography, lithography, and traditional landscape paintings, Aragon seeks to portray fantastic realities that are also allegories of mental states.

“These landscapes carry a dreamlike charge, a seductive tension between light and dark, soft and sharp that results in a dark, ghostly wonderland.” Early memories are are reconsidered in terms of light and color, while their emotional aspects provide a spiritual connection that informs and guides the artist’s work. Aragon views his artwork as an exploratory practice, not in search of answers, but as a way to evolve his questioning; most of all, to discover what to photograph next.

Born in Brazil, Breno Aragon spent his formative years traveling throughout North America, developing his senses and collecting the memories and experiences that would later influence his artwork. Although music was his first chosen medium he later began working as a photographer’s assistant, eventually taking photography classes at Estacio de Sa University in Rio de Janeiro while working towards a degree in Portuguese and English literature. With a desire to further his artistic ambitions, Aragon enrolled in Academy of Art University in 2009 and completed his MFA in Photography in 2012. Today he works in photography, translation, and music performance.

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625 Gallery

Young-Ji Cha, Across California

Cha_House by the Road

Young-Ji Cha’s latest body of work represents the flowering of a seed that was planted long ago. “Across California” illustrates the artist’s view of nature as it has matured throughout her lifetime.

“An appreciation towards nature began to grow for me at a young age when my family started going camping along the coasts of Mendocino, California,” says Cha. “That was the time I started noticing nature and the peace that it can bring to everyone.” Highlighting the relationship between nature and the manmade, Cha considers architecture as a bridge between our lives and nature. What might seem a contrast by definition becomes a harmony through execution. Nature and structure are unified into a cohesive environment, an extension of the lives that make and shape the world around us.

Young-Ji Cha completed her BFA in Painting at Academy of Art University in 2014, where she received numerous awards for her work. She has participated in several group shows at local galleries, and has done commissioned work as well. “Across California” is her solo exhibition debut.

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Cannery Suite 108

Yi Shin (Nora) Chiang, Half Empty, Half Full

Thesis

Nora Chiang’s “Half Empty, Half Full” is a portrait series that examines the critical moment when two opposing emotions coexist in competition, the depiction of an unresolved dilemma as revealed in the facial expression of someone paused at a turning point.

“This ambiguous moment is both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time,” explains Chiang. “There must be times in life when you hit a crossroads. Any kind of decision you make can change your life completely, but there would be no turning back once the choice has been made.” Chiang works exclusively with close friends and family, taking countless photos in preparation before executing a life-size study, then the final portrait.  The figurative paintings represent earlier explorations of a similar theme in which ambiguity is expressed through the suggestion of motion, yet encompasses emotional ambivalence as well. Comparison of the two series provides insight into the maturing of the underlying concept.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Chiang always liked to put colors on paper but had no opportunities for formal art instruction before attending Academy of art University in 2006. Chiang began her studies in fine art but later switched to illustration,  completing her BFA in 2010.  Still feeling a need for more expressive capability, she returned to fine art studies and stayed on to achieve her MFA in Painting in 2014. Her diverse art education has inspired her with an urge to pass on what she has learned. “If I now have any change in my career, I would like to become a drawing teacher for K-12 students; and thus there would be more children to have the opportunities to learn and gain the skills they need in drawing and hopefully cultivate their  knowledge of art.”

Chiang has received numerous awards and participated in several group shows in recent years. “Half Empty, Half Full” is her solo debut.

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Cannery Suite 110

Martin Aguilar, Before We Met

Through the FirePlacing shadowy figures in stark metaphorical settings, Martin Aguilar stays close to the center of the abstract/figurative spectrum, embracing the freedom of abstract painting while maintaining clearly representational subjects. Back for a return engagement at The Cannery, “Before We Met” picks up where his April exhibition left off. Focusing on the abstract human figure, Aguilar continues to explore his subject, where starkly limited palette and contrasting textures move beyond mere description and into the realm of examination.

“Painting fills me with a sense of accomplishment and integrity,” explains Aguilar. “I approach abstract painting with spontaneity, balancing form, color, and composition in my work.” Seeking above all to convey a sense of calm, the artist employs his figures in unconventional ways. Coalesced from layers of colors and varied textures, the figures are developed rather than drawn. Gestures are reduced to inclinations and movement is minimized into direction; the silhouette shapes quietly assert their form and solidity. Aguilar’s figures command a substantial presence, existing rather than doing, occupying as well as inhabiting their space, and revealing a steadfast insistence in their own validity.

Growing up in New Mexico’s bright landscape, Martin Aguilar developed an appreciation for color and light at an early age. Upon visiting San Francisco and discovering the abstract works of Hans Hoffmann and Richard Diebenkorn, he knew at once that he had found his new home and artistic niche. Aguilar completed his BFA in Painting and Drawing from Academy of Art University in 2010, while exhibiting in numerous group shows and auctions. His debut solo exhibit in April 2014 was part of Academy of Art University’s Emerging Artist Series.

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Cannery Suite 112

Agnieszka Bernastein, A Moral Code

choice

At first glance we might be tempted to approach Agnieszka Bernstein’s “A Moral Code” in terms of traditional still life paintings, since they are composed of toys and everyday objects. Further consideration reveals a much more complex dynamic at work. While traditional still life remains calm and passive, these arrangements of toys and objects display an inner vitality that is anything but still.

“I don’t paint toys; I paint Ideas,” says Bernstein. “Unlike traditional still life paintings that depict banal, everyday objects, the toys in my paintings are actors on the stage of abstract concepts.” By suggesting the active potential in inanimate objects, Bernstein infuses them with life and purpose. Rather than highlighting only physical beauty, Bernstein looks deeper in search of narrative, as revealed in the nuanced arrangements where toys and everyday objects seem to spontaneously assert themselves through deliberate tableaux.

Born and raised in Poland, Agnieszka Bernstein moved to the United States in 2001. She recently completed her BFA in Illustration at Academy of Art University, and is now studying at Sadie Valerie Atelier in San Francisco. She pursues a career in fine art painting while working on a graphic novel.

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September Exhibitions: 8/30 – 9/28

Cannery Suite 104

William Chad Willsie, I AM

Artist Reception September 4, 5:30-7:30pm

WilliamChadSince 2013, William Chad Willsie has been inspired by the the concept of self expression within a defined subculture. His painting series “I AM” illustrates his explorations of individuals who strive to express themselves through the tattoo and body modification phenomena. Examining the fine line between adhering to a cultural identity and expressing individuality, Willsie documents the extreme actions undertaken by individuals to differentiate themselves while still identifying with a specific subculture.

“There is no absolute method to my madness,” says Willsie. “Each painting is conceived through a chaotic moment, and/or shared experience with the subject.” Beginning with hundreds of reference photos, he limits himself to just one before beginning the life size oil painting. By letting the dynamics of the figurative form dictate the dimensions of the canvas, Willsie allows the subject to assert its irregularity in the finished work.

Canadian born William Chad Willsie earned his BFA in Drawing from Alberta College of Art and Design, then came to Academy of Art University to complete his MFA in Painting. He exhibited at Miami/Basel in 2010 and currently exhibits along the west coast in San Francisco, Portland, and Vancouver, Canada. Willsie currently lives and works in San Francisco.

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Cannery Suite 108

Yi Shin (Nora) Chiang, Half Empty, Half Full

Artist Reception September 4, 5:30-7:30pm

BlackHoleNora Chiang’s “Half Empty, Half Full” is a portrait series that examines the critical moment when two opposing emotions coexist in competition, the depiction of an unresolved dilemma as revealed in the facial expression of someone paused at a turning point.

“This ambiguous moment is both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time,” explains Chiang. “There must be times in life when you hit a crossroads. Any kind of decision you make can change your life completely, but there would be no turning back once the choice has been made.” Chiang works exclusively with close friends and family, taking countless photos in preparation before executing a life-size study, then the final portrait.  The figurative paintings represent earlier explorations of a similar theme in which ambiguity is expressed through the suggestion of motion, yet encompasses emotional ambivalence as well. Comparison of the two series provides insight into the maturing of the underlying concept.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Chiang always liked to put colors on paper but had no opportunities for formal art instruction before attending Academy of art University in 2006. Chiang began her studies in fine art but later switched to illustration,  completing her BFA in 2010.  Still feeling a need for more expressive capability, she returned to fine art studies and stayed on to achieve her MFA in Painting in 2014. Her diverse art education has inspired her with an urge to pass on what she has learned. “If I now have any change in my career, I would like to become a drawing teacher for K-12 students; and thus there would be more children to have the opportunities to learn and gain the skills they need in drawing and hopefully cultivate their  knowledge of art.”

Chiang has received numerous awards and participated in several group shows in recent years. “Half Empty, Half Full” is her solo debut.

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Cannery Suite 110

Martin Aguilar, Before We Met

Artist Reception September 4, 5:30-7:30pm

Through the FirePlacing shadowy figures in stark metaphorical settings, Martin Aguilar stays close to the center of the abstract/figurative spectrum, embracing the freedom of abstract painting while maintaining clearly representational subjects. Back for a return engagement at The Cannery, “Before We Met” picks up where his April exhibition left off. Focusing on the abstract human figure, Aguilar continues to explore his subject, where starkly limited palette and contrasting textures move beyond mere description and into the realm of examination.

“Painting fills me with a sense of accomplishment and integrity,” explains Aguilar. “I approach abstract painting with spontaneity, balancing form, color, and composition in my work.” Seeking above all to convey a sense of calm, the artist employs his figures in unconventional ways. Coalesced from layers of colors and varied textures, the figures are developed rather than drawn. Gestures are reduced to inclinations and movement is minimized into direction; the silhouette shapes quietly assert their form and solidity. Aguilar’s figures command a substantial presence, existing rather than doing, occupying as well as inhabiting their space, and revealing a steadfast insistence in their own validity.

Growing up in New Mexico’s bright landscape, Martin Aguilar developed an appreciation for color and light at an early age. Upon visiting San Francisco and discovering the abstract works of Hans Hoffmann and Richard Diebenkorn, he knew at once that he had found his new home and artistic niche. Aguilar completed his BFA in Painting and Drawing from Academy of Art University in 2010, while exhibiting in numerous group shows and auctions. His debut solo exhibit in April 2014 was part of Academy of Art University’s Emerging Artist Series.

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Cannery Suite 112

Agnieszka Bernastein, A Moral Code

Artist Reception September 4, 5:30-7:30pm

choice

At first glance we might be tempted to approach Agnieszka Bernstein’s “A Moral Code” in terms of traditional still life paintings, since they are composed of toys and everyday objects. Further consideration reveals a much more complex dynamic at work. While traditional still life remains calm and passive, these arrangements of toys and objects display an inner vitality that is anything but still.

“I don’t paint toys; I paint Ideas,” says Bernstein. “Unlike traditional still life paintings that depict banal, everyday objects, the toys in my paintings are actors on the stage of abstract concepts.” By suggesting the active potential in inanimate objects, Bernstein infuses them with life and purpose. Rather than highlighting only physical beauty, Bernstein looks deeper in search of narrative, as revealed in the nuanced arrangements where toys and everyday objects seem to spontaneously assert themselves through deliberate tableaux.

Born and raised in Poland, Agnieszka Bernstein moved to the United States in 2001. She recently completed her BFA in Illustration at Academy of Art University, and is now studying at Sadie Valerie Atelier in San Francisco. She pursues a career in fine art painting while working on a graphic novel.

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625 Gallery

Bonnie Rae Mills, Acquaintances

Artist Reception September 4, 5:30-7:30pm

CHRISTINAAs a photographer, Bonnie Rae Mills strives to present things as they are, not as they could or should be. Her portrait series “Acquaintances” attempts to strip away everything that is not absolutely native to the subject, revealing instead what is genuine, essential, and true. Working with friends, as opposed to strangers, Mills has to overcome familiarity in hopes of catching something alien, the inner struggle between the known and unknown.

“Faces are funny things,” says Mills. “”They move and twitch, each little micro-expression telling a million stories. It can be a little overwhelming.” Mills sees the studio photography experience as a great equalizer, leveling the playing field between creator and muse. “In an empty room there is no hiding behind a pretty sunset or field of flowers. There’s just you staring back at me.”

Bonnie Rae Mills fell in love with photography in high school, and after graduation went to work as a freelance photographer for her local newspaper. It was while covering the Seattle music scene that she decided to make photography her career. She came to San Francisco to attend Academy of Art University, where she graduated valedictorian with a BFA in Photography in 2013. Since then she has worked as a full time photographer, and is currently engaged in a documentary/editorial with “A Better Way,” a local non-profit that strives to aid foster children and families in Alameda and San Francisco counties.

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August Exhibitions: 8/2 – 8/27

Cannery Suite 104

The Photography Intensive

Artist Reception August 4, 5:30-7:30pm

MouryaDandu

The Photography Intensive is an MFA course designed around creating a series of photographs working within the confines of shooting in a single location during a condensed period of time (the summer semester). Each student is challenged to create their own visual resolution of their experience photographing at the Marin Headlands. The course encompasses not only the photography, but also the selection and preparation of images for presentation. This exhibition is the culmination of their combined work.

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Cannery Suite 108

Meena Kamal, Emotional Spaces and Places

Artist Reception August 7, 5:30-7:30pm

MeenaOilMeena Kamal’s painting series “Emotional Spaces and Places” begins with photos taken from airplane windows and reinterprets them as abstract landscapes. Interacting with the painting process to channel her instincts, intuitions, and emotions, Kamal adds and subtracts, building up and scraping down to reveal what lies beneath, both physically and emotionally.

“It is fascinating that a landscape situated far below and seen from high above transforms into unrecognizable lines, texture, color, and patterns,” says Kamal. Dynamic angles set at odds against the balanced security of the square canvas suggest energy and movement – not of the landscape, but of the viewpoint.  Expansive vistas parallel emotional mindscapes, and the metaphor of travel becomes one of self-exploration.

Born in Meerut, India, Meena Kamal dreamed of becoming an artist since she was awarded second prize in an interschool competition at the age of 12. Although she went on to earn her LLM in International Trade at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2009, she later came to Academy of Art University, where she completed her her MFA in Painting in 2014. She has participated in group exhibitions around the world, including Art Basel 2014. Emotional Spaces and Places represents her solo show debut.

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Cannery Suite 110

Alex Vietti, Construction

Artist Reception August 7, 5:30-7:30pm

6_DrillHow many of us can pass by a construction site without peeking through the fence in hopes of catching a glimpse of something wondrous? Theres something about that rare chance to look beneath the surface of the everyday world that appeals to us all, to see the bones that support the modern world we take for granted. Alex Vietti’s “Construction” taps into this fascination and considers the construction site as a transitory zone of instability. Uniformed workers take on the appearance of a secular clergy, gatekeepers of the mysteries of concrete, steel, and heavy machinery, working to restore a disrupted equilibrium.

“From their daily labor they give birth to the new structure,” says Vietti. “Observing them working has given me the chance to look into another world, a constantly fluctuating world that lays the foundation for my own as I walk through the city.” Vietti’s straightforward realistic technique presents the subject without distracting from the narrative. Decay and Destruction bring instability, workers move in and restore equilibrium, then move on to the next project.

Alex Vietti received his BFA in Drawing from Northern Illinois University, and is working towards his MFA in Painting at Academy of Art University. He has exhibited in numerous fine art galleries around the United States, and has won awards for his short films and animation.

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Cannery Suite 112

Yucen Tang, Self Discovery

Artist Reception August 7, 5:30-7:30pm

Yucen_Wavy_Tang_13In the works of Yucen Tang’s “Self Discovery” jewelry design becomes a medium for expression of identity, and self exploration becomes self invention. “From amoeba and protozoa, I caught a feeling that the process of discovering myself is constantly changing and building to be special itself,” says Tang. “Thus, my concept of art is to show the process of discovering myself, a subconscious state of mind of realizing me.”

Organic forms contrast with hard materials as amorphic amoeba shapes are realized in metal and other materials. Some of Tang’s pieces dispense with traditional necklace/bracelet formats and employ semi rigid wire to hold protozoan elements suspended on or around the face. Outward visualizations of microbiological motifs represent the internal process of self-discovery, made manifest at a macro level.

Born and raised in China, Yucen Tang’s original path of study was architecture. Learning about space, structure, and decoration gave her the creative foundation that  led to her current interest in jewelry design and fabrication. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree in architecture at Suchow University of Science and Technology in 2010, Tang enrolled in Academy of Art University to work towards her MFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts. She is on track to graduate in 2014.

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625 Gallery

Ragit Phiosuwan, The Subconsciousness

Artist Reception August 7, 5:30-7:30pm

EmergingUtilizing various printmaking techniques such as lithography, silkscreen, and intaglio, Rajit Phiosuwan’s “The Subconsciousness” considers thoughts as printed images, combining the conceptual with the aesthetic for a visual interpretation of the subconscious thought process.

 “We can never truly know the processes of the subconscious, but I believe they can be exposed through daily actions, such as how we interact with people and express our emotions,” says Phiosuwan. “I believe the effect of the subconscious’ processes evokes both positive and negative energy through actions.” The printmaking media achieve a range of values from white to black, mirroring the range of energies from negative to positive, complexity to simplicity, obscurity to enlightenment.

Growing up in a Buddhist household, Rajit Phiosuwan learned to appreciate balance and harmony at an early age. Although she began her artistic education in Visual Communication Design, earning her BFA at Silpakorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, she found that discipline incapable of providing the subconscious introspection that she desired. Phiosuwan continued her artistic development at Academy of Art University, completing her MFA in Printmaking in 2013.

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July Exhibitions: 7/2 – 7/30

Cannery Suite 104

Kristen Brown, Memory Landmarks

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

KristenBrown_4Memory can be unreliable; images blur with the passage of time, narratives become simplified, and the original experience gradually fades into obscurity. We treasure photographs and keepsakes as physical anchors that keep us grounded in the realities we wish to preserve. Kristen Brown’s oil painting series “Memory Landmarks” begins with snapshots taken with cheap or vintage film cameras, and likens their pictorial defects to our distorted memories.

“My life often feels as unreal as a photograph or a movie,” says Brown, “and I often feel that recalling my past is similar to watching a film about someone else.” Using traditional techniques in an unconventional manner, Brown builds her paintings in thin transparent layers, progressively blurring her images rather than clarifying. All the hallmarks of a cheap lens – chromatic aberration, distortion of perspective, flares, and halos – serve to heighten the surrealistic mood and take the viewer outside the realm of reality. Narratives become unreliable, emotions suspect; as the disassociated memory scenes are obscured they become more general, and begin to strike chords of recognition in all of us.

Kristen Brown earned her BFA in Studio Art from University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and is currently finishing her last semester in the MFA Painting program at Academy of Art University. Memory Landmarks is her third solo exhibition, in addition to numerous group exhibitions in the US and Canada.

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Cannery Suite 108

Academy of Art University 2014 Spring Show  - Fine Art Sculpture

cap2

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Cannery Suite 110

Alex Vietti, Construction

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

6_DrillHow many of us can pass by a construction site without peeking through the fence in hopes of catching a glimpse of something wondrous? Theres something about that rare chance to look beneath the surface of the everyday world that appeals to us all, to see the bones that support the modern world we take for granted. Alex Vietti’s “Construction” taps into this fascination and considers the construction site as a transitory zone of instability. Uniformed workers take on the appearance of a secular clergy, gatekeepers of the mysteries of concrete, steel, and heavy machinery, working to restore a disrupted equilibrium.

“From their daily labor they give birth to the new structure,” says Vietti. “Observing them working has given me the chance to look into another world, a constantly fluctuating world that lays the foundation for my own as I walk through the city.” Vietti’s straightforward realistic technique presents the subject without distracting from the narrative. Decay and Destruction bring instability, workers move in and restore equilibrium, then move on to the next project.

Alex Vietti received his BFA in Drawing from Northern Illinois University, and is working towards his MFA in Painting at Academy of Art University. He has exhibited in numerous fine art galleries around the United States, and has won awards for his short films and animation.

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Cannery Suite 112

Asma Salehi, Behind the Burka II

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

Salehi_BBII_6Born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1972, Asma Salehi grew up during her country’s  tumultuous transition from monarchy to republic, experiencing from her earliest days the growing tensions that resulted in the Saur Revolution and subsequent Soviet invasion. Her still life series “Behind the Burka II” examines the cultural plight of women and children rendered powerless by war, politics, and an oppressive culture.

“Each composition is created by a collection of items that are symbolic in Afghan culture,” says Salehi. “For example, the Burka is an icon for Afghan women.” But Salehi’s images look deeper into the issues. “The problems are not only about the Burka garment, but about women being sold into marriage, boys getting abducted to become sexual slaves, poverty, self immolation, vitriolage on women who seek education, and more.” Taking inspiration from her memories as well as contemporary news coverage, Salehi creates still life narratives that bear witness to those unseen and unknown in the world today.

Asma Salehi’s family escaped to Pakistan in 1982, and was later granted asylum in the United States. Asma discovered her artistic talent during an elective art class at Diablo Valley College, and went on to complete her Bachelors degree in Graphic Design at Queens College, New York. She completed her MFA in Painting at Academy of Art University in 2014.

“Behind the Burka II” expands on the artist’s earlier solo exhibition at SOMArts, San Francisco in 2010. Her primary mission as an artist is to provide visual awareness to help give voice to oppressed women and children around the world.

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625 Gallery

Lisa Manes-James, Parallel Nature

Artist Reception July 10, 5:30-7:30pm

WhereEverItComes.48x24hrLisa Manes-James’s abstract painting series “Parallel Nature” represents an experiential journey through memory and imagination. “My art references the natural world, based on observation, in which nature is seen paralleling the human condition” says Manes-James. “My painting process is a free expression of my feelings, resulting in non-objective abstract explorations.”

Manes-James works intuitively, using brushes and tools to build up layers of color. Allusions to nature are realized through organic shapes, colors, and texture, as each painting evolves over the course of its execution. Engaging memory and imagination, she strives to invoke a reflection of place. The experience of painting becomes a metaphor for the internal and external forces that shape us as human beings.

Lisa Manes-James is a California abstract artist whose paintings are based on connections to the natural world and are inspired by the natural environments of Northern California. Originally from the Central San Joaquin Valley in California, Lisa holds a BA and teaching credential in art from California State University Fresno and an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She now resides and works in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area and has exhibited her recent work in juried shows at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in Sebastopol and the Academy of Art Spring Show in San Francisco. Lisa has been teaching art in California public schools for thirteen years.

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Atelier

2014 Spring Show Award Winners

Cap

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June Exhibitions: 6/4 – 6/29

Cannery Suite 104

Theo Felizzola, A Touch of Light

Artist Reception June 5, 5:30-7:30pm

theofelizzola_Shade_for_Thought.jpgTheo Felizzola’s oil painting series “A Touch of Light” draws on the long artistic tradition of finding inspiration in the female form, yet presents the subject in the fresh terms of contemporary realism.

“I’ve come to the understanding that it’s my job as an artist to create extraordinary paintings from ordinary subjects,” says Felizzola, who works with friends, classmates, and local women as models. “It is from their delicate poses, smooth gestures, and simple feminine beauty that I start each piece.”

By allowing the underlying inspiration to guide the painting process, Felizzola conveys mood and emotion while eliminating extraneous details. Backgrounds recede while careful development of focal points, such as jewelry or facial highlights, enhance without distracting. Unity of purpose ensures depth of exploration; feminine beauty is always kept forefront.

Born and raised in Brazil, Theo Felizzola’s love of sports was matched only by his love of drawing and animation. His interest in the visual creative world led him to a BA in Digital Communications from Unisinos and a BFA in Illustration from Academy of Art University. Having discovered a love of oil painting, he stayed on to complete his MFA in Painting in 2013. He has exhibited in the US and in Brazil, where he has also ministered workshops in figure drawing and painting.

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Cannery Suite 108

Academy of Art University 2014 Spring Show  - Fine Art Sculpture

Spring

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Cannery Suite 110

Farnaz Tasbihgoo, The Trapped

Artist Reception June 5, 5:30-7:30pm

HiddenHatchConflicting themes of comfort and restlessness lie at the heart of Farnaz Tasbihgoo’s self-portrait photography series “The Trapped” in which the artist explores ambivalent feelings about her personal journey. Placing herself in starkly inhospitable environments and wearing nothing more than the Islamic Chador veil, she defines boundaries in both physical and cultural terms. The crumbling walls and diaphanous veil offer limited but elective protection, comfortable in their familiarity, yet easily escaped if so desired.

“These abandoned and partially demolished locations represent a temple of entrapment” says Tasbihgoo. “It’s a temple in which I have been imprisoned, yet I feel safe and comfortable. But at the same time, I know I must get out.” Cultural taboos that once offered security have become barriers on the artist’s pilgrimage to express her true feelings, yet they are forsaken only at a price.

Raised in Iran by two architect parents, Farnaz Tasbihgoo was encouraged to study art from an early age. The gift of a camera at age 11 would prove to be most influential, as photography has been a mainstay throughout her artistic training. While studying for her AA in Painting at Azad University in Tehran and her BA in Architecture from École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, she always incorporated photography in her work. Tasbihgoo completed her MFA in Photography at Academy of Art University in 2013 and today lives and works as a photographer in the Bay Area.

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Cannery Suite 112

Lisa Moore-Long, Unique Forms in Nature

Artist Reception June 5, 5:30-7:30pm

MooreLong1It is often said that the job of an artist is to show us things unseen. Lisa Moore-Long’s “Unique Forms in Nature” takes this concept a step further by exploring patterns and forms in natural objects we see all around us. Striving to liberate the hidden forms in leaves, mushrooms, or pinecones, she uses them as the genesis for her sculpture pieces.

“When I am hiking, I always look for the faces, figures, or animal forms found in roots or bark,” explains Moore-Long. “I see little personalities in a piece of driftwood that looks like an old man’s face or a swimming figure.” Whether anthropomorphic features in wood or mathematical spirals in a pine cone, Moore-Long transforms these natural phenomena into ceramic or steel, adding permanence to the ephemeral, artistically fossilizing a moment of natural history.

Born and raised in New York State, Lisa Moore-Long studied at Hobart William Smith Colleges, earning her BA in Sociology along with a Studio Art Minor. Once she realized that art was her true calling, she came to San Francisco and completed her MFA in Sculpture at Academy of Art University in 2014. Her work has been exhibited at  the AAU 2013 Spring Show and at other venues including the deYoung Museum.

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625 Gallery

Nina Fabunmi, Origins

Artist Reception June 5, 5:30-7:30pm

SONY DSC“My art is a celebration of our roots, the simplicity of our culture, the beauty of our land, the values that we still practice, the wealth of our people, that which makes us who we are. As an African Ambassador, art is my language and as you appreciate the work of my hands, you become a part of it too.”

With bright warm colors providing a luminescent glow that seems at times to light her subjects from within, Nina Fabunmi’s portrait series “Origins” represents the latest stage of a long artistic journey, and a the fulfilment of her childhood dreams. Born and raised in Nigeria, Fabunmi’s earliest memories are of drawing and making art. Encouraged by her parents to enter a more conventional profession, she set aside artistic ambitions and eventualy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estaste. But while working in the banking, telecommunications and real estate industries, Fabunmi kept up her drawing and painting as a hobby. In time, she came to the attention of a local gallery and began exhibiting with ever increasing success.

A major commission provided the financial breakthrough Fabunmi needed to return to school and resume her education on her own terms. She completed her MFA in Painting from Academy of Art University in 2014, and her paintings and book illustrations have shown in galleries and museums in The United States and Nigeria.

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Atelier

2014 Spring Show Award Winners

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Highlights from Graduation Fashion Show

2014 Graduates debut their creations on the runway!

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Academy of Art University’s 2014 Graduation Fashion Show revealed lots of bold new looks, combining traditional elements with cutting-edge trends for a fantastic riot of color, movement, and style. Bright colors held their own amid slick monochromes and sophisticated darks. Geometric shoulders, long tunics and coats, and an awesome range of children’s fashions kept the energy high. If you weren’t able to be there in person, here are a few photo highlights that we hope will encourage you to attend next year.

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May Exhibitions: 4/30 – 6/1

Cannery Suite 108

Manli Chao, Celestial Reflection

Artist Reception May 1, 5:30-7:30pm

#21 Celestrial Reflection (48x48)Exploring the limitless realm of pure abstraction, Manli Chao’s latest exhibition “Celestial Reflection” is inspired by the artist’s contemplation of beauty encountered in the natural world. “I observed the transformations rain made on windowpanes, starting as dots, merging into lines, and eventually coalescing into aggregate forms,” says Chao.

By focusing on perception, memory, and experience, Chao distills observation into complex layers of form, line, and color. Moving quickly to capture the moment, she prefers the spontaneity of fast-drying acrylics and water-based Chinese inks. Form and pattern are achieved through process as colors are applied layer upon layer using various brushes and non-traditional objects. Chao’s visual interpretations coalesce as the individual strokes, splatters, and drips of color are united into a single collective harmony.

Originally from Taiwan, Manli Chao began her art studies at Queens College and New York Studio School. After moving to the Bay Area, Chao completed her MFA in Drawing and Painting at Academy of Art University in 2001. Her work has been exhibited extensively in California, Taiwan, and China.

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Cannery Suite 112

Jacqueline Bernal, Another World

Artist Reception May 1, 5:30-7:30pm

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Jacqueline Bernal’s debut solo exhibition “Another World” challenges our ideas about reality by blurring the boundary between perception and recognition. Presenting her digitally manipulated California landscapes in a stark and straightforward style, she avoids the usual cues that tell us we’re looking at a altered image, and asks us to rely on our own judgement of what we recognize as real.

“There’s something about things that are naturally occurring that we take for granted,” says Bernal. “In one glance we see what we expect and move on. But here I want to keep things familiar as long as you know they’re wrong — to have you see that and more.” Therein lies the point of fascination. We want to get past the tipping point of recognition into that comfortable realm of the familiar, but uncertainty holds us back. In Bernal’s world of exaggerated sea swells, sweeping trees, and swirling skies, all undulations and symmetries become suspect. We find ourselves confronted with a subtle surrealism, and want to explore its limits before we move on.

Jacqueline Bernal has always felt an affinity for the photographic process. Born in Miami and raised in New Jersey, she completed her BFA in Photography at Academy of Art University in 2013. Today she works as a photographer in New York.

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625 Sutter

Byong Jun Park, Reflecting Behind The Surface

Artist Reception May 1, 5:30-7:30pm

Park10Byong Jun Park’s photographic series “Reflecting Behind The Surface” employs the mirror as both narrative object and introspective metaphor, a window on the inner world reflecting hidden sides of objects and revealing emotions that lie behind the scene.

“My formal design borrows from the traditional surface textures such as Daguerrotype or Calotype,” says Park. “I am interested in the traditional textures because they allow me to express the realm of subconscious emotion.” Distressed surface elements express the decay of age and invoke the mirror-like aspect of historical glass plates, thus extending the mirror metaphor to include the viewer. Combining the worn esthetic with contemporary digital processes and printing his images on metal sheets, Park creates timeless scenes that invite the viewer to explore the internal world of dreams, desires, and memories.

Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Byong Jun Park moved to San Francisco and attended Academy of Art University, where he completed his BFA and MFA degrees in photography. Today Park works as a photographer in San Francisco, and is a member of City Art Cooperative Gallery.

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 Continuing Exhibitions:

Cannery Suite 104

Whitney Lau, Simple Enjoyment

Exhibition Continues through May

The title of Whitney Lau’s debut solo exhibition “Simple Enjoyment” provides the perfect approach to experiencing her artwork. Finding beauty and meaning in familiar, the people in her life and places she frequents, Lau reminds us that when we look too quickly we see to little. Whether they be children at play, boats at anchor, or waves on the beach, Lau’s subjects evoke a sense of unhurried calm, and invite us to take a break from the frenzy of modern city life.

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“The figures that I painted are people that I am familiar with in my life,”  explains Lau. “They could be my friends, my students in my pre-school art class, and the particular homeless that I pass by on the street.” By taking a straightforward approach with semi-loose brushstrokes, Lau keeps the focus on light and color and allows the inner beauty of her subjects to fully reveal itself. “I believe simple enjoyment could happen anywhere, as long as you are willing to open your internal eyes and look for it.”

Whitney Lau displayed artistic talent at an early age, but it wasn’t until she took a visual art class at her Hong Kong middle school that she discovered her “seed of passion.” She minored in art while completing a BA in Management at University of California, Merced, where she realized that painting was her true passion. Lau received her MFA in Painting from Academy of Art University in 2013 and today lives and works in San Francisco as a painter and art teacher.

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Cannery Suite 110

Alumni Art Group Show

Presenting a selection of work by Academy of Art University alumni.

Jiali Yu, Power
Jiali Yu, Power

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April Exhibitions: 4/2 – 4/27

Atelier

Martin Aguilar, The Space Between

Artist’s Reception: April 3rd, 5:00 – 8:00

Aguilar800Placing shadowy figures in stark metaphorical settings, Martin Aguilar stays close to the center of the abstract/figurative spectrum, embracing the freedom of abstract painting while maintaining clearly representational subjects.  Moving beyond an earlier interest in landscapes, his debut solo exhibit “The Space Between” focuses on the abstract human figure. Aguilar’s starkly limited palette and contrasting textures move beyond mere description and into the realm of examination.

“Painting fills me with a sense of accomplishment and integrity,” explains Aguilar. “I approach abstract painting with spontaneity, balancing form, color, and composition in my work.” Seeking above all to convey a sense of calm, the artist employs his figures in unconventional ways. Coalesced from layers of colors and varied textures, the figures are developed rather than drawn. Gestures are reduced to inclinations and movement is minimized into direction; the silhouette shapes quietly assert their form and solidity. Aguilar’s figures command a substantial presence, existing rather than doing, occupying as well as inhabiting their space, and revealing a steadfast insistence in their own validity.

Growing up in New Mexico’s bright landscape, Martin Aguilar developed an appreciation for color and light at an early age. Upon visiting San Francisco and discovering the abstract works of Hans Hoffmann and Richard Diebenkorn, he knew at once that he had found his new home and artistic niche. Aguilar completed his BFA in Painting and Drawing from Academy of Art University in 2010, while exhibiting in numerous group shows and auctions. His debut solo exhibit is the latest in Academy of Art University’s Emerging Artist Series.

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Cannery Suite 104

Whitney Lau, Simple Enjoyment

Artist’s Reception: April 3rd, 5:30 – 7:30

The title of Whitney Lau’s debut solo exhibition “Simple Enjoyment” provides the perfect approach to experiencing her artwork. Finding beauty and meaning in familiar, the people in her life and places she frequents, Lau reminds us that when we look too quickly we see to little. Whether they be children at play, boats at anchor, or waves on the beach, Lau’s subjects evoke a sense of unhurried calm, and invite us to take a break from the frenzy of modern city life.

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“The figures that I painted are people that I am familiar with in my life,”  explains Lau. “They could be my friends, my students in my pre-school art class, and the particular homeless that I pass by on the street.” By taking a straightforward approach with semi-loose brushstrokes, Lau keeps the focus on light and color and allows the inner beauty of her subjects to fully reveal itself. “I believe simple enjoyment could happen anywhere, as long as you are willing to open your internal eyes and look for it.”

Whitney Lau displayed artistic talent at an early age, but it wasn’t until she took a visual art class at her Hong Kong middle school that she discovered her “seed of passion.” She minored in art while completing a BA in Management at University of California, Merced, where she realized that painting was her true passion. Lau received her MFA in Painting from Academy of Art University in 2013 and today lives and works in San Francisco as a painter and art teacher.

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Cannery Suite 108

Nathan Nash, Neglected Spaces

Artist’s Reception: April 3rd, 5:30 – 7:30

Nash800Having spent his early life in rural Alaska, Nathan Nash grew up with little exposure to urban architecture. It’s no surprise then, that his move to San Francisco should profoundly influence his artistic vision. Combining artistic experience with a fresh viewpoint, Nash explores the structural aspects of architecture that pass beneath the notice of most city dwellers. His exhibition “Neglected Spaces” examines these unseen elements, the angles, corners, and surfaces that make up the urban environment.

“My paintings are an exploration of the subtle narrative between the planes and edges,” explains Nash . “Each plane is like an entity that interacts with other planes, creating an unspoken dialog as it encounters and interrupts other surfaces.”  Nash explores the unspoken dialog between intersecting surfaces, as well as the textures and edges that define them. Applying paint with various knives and grout applicators, he builds up texture rich layers that reflect the vibrant energy that inspires these works.

Nathan Nash received his BFA in Painting from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Alaska and California. He moved to San Francisco in 2009 to pursue his graduate degree, and completed his MFA in Painting at Academy of Art University in 2013. He has since moved back to Alaska, where he continues to work as an artist.

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Cannery Suite 110

Jason Halley, Morbid Landscapes

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“Some people probably wish never to see the things I’ve seen,” states photographer Jason Halley. “But I believe my experiences have made me who I am today.”

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Working as a Staff Photographer for his hometown newspaper, Jason Halley repeatedly found himself face to face with death in his own community. Documenting the locations where human lives had come to violent or unjust ends forced Halley to confront not only their physical aftermath but also the social aftershocks. As he witnessed his community disconnect and withdraw in fear, he felt compelled to examine the subject most people choose to ignore. His current exhibit, “Morbid Landscapes” is the result of these experiences.

Highlighting the pathos of figures reduced to stain on the landscape, Halley preserves memory and moment, giving voice to the impact and repercussions felt by those left behind. “I didn’t want this idea of murder being allowed to flourish in the shadows,” he explains.  Working alone and playing the part of the victim in his reconstructed crime scenes, Halley explores his own relationship to the issue that has taken on such significance in his life. The large format view camera captures high resolution images that preserve every detail at presentation size, and fully envelop the viewer in the scene.

Jason Halley first discovered photography in a high school elective class. What began as a hobby has grown into a successful career as a studio photographer and photojournalist. Halley received his BA in Communication Design from CSU Chico, and completed his MFA in Photography at Academy of Art University in 2013. “Morbid Landscapes” was his master’s thesis project.

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Cannery Suite 112

Duanyang Li, Time-Fade-Decay

Artist’s Reception: April 3rd, 5:30 – 7:30

Li800Present becomes past, past becomes memory, memories fade and change over time.  Duanyang Li’s debut solo exhibition “Time – Fade – Decay” is an exploration of the process of change, depicting the ephemeral nature of the present moment. Each of Li’s abstract environments records an evolving conversation with the canvas as the transition of time is realized through morphing abstract layers.

“My landscapes express memories and times of change, with each layer representing a fading memory and reflecting the process of Time – Fade – Decay,” explains Li. Old themes give way to new as each successive layer of paint moves the focus ever forward in time . Foundations of past layers remain intact and viable though they are permanently altered by those that follow. The result is a harmonious whole, a summation of these sequential changes into a geographical landscape waiting to be explored.

Duanyang Li found early inspiration in the Chinese brush painting “Eight Shrimps” by Baishi Qi, and as a child wondered about the possibility of an artistic life. With a view toward entering the family business, Li completed his BA in Interior Architecture at Hubei Institute of Fine Art University. But after a year as an architect, he began to remember the love of painting that drew him to art in the first place. Duanyang Li moved to San Francisco and entered Academy of Art University, where he received his MFA in Painting in 2013.

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625 Sutter

Cathleen Clarke, If You Ever Make it Home

Artist’s Reception: April 3rd, 5:30 – 7:30

ClarkeUsing old family photos and found images as models, Cathleen Clarke’s latest solo exhibition “If You Ever Make it Home” examines age-old ambiguities about our relationship with the past. Inspired by memories of her midwestern childhood, Clarke’s visions of figures standing in barren fields wrapped winter coats confront the viewer with the fragility of life and the beauty of solitude.

Posing for a snapshot is not the same as posing for a painting, and Clarke exploits the difference to profound effect. Informally captured moments are deconstructed through the painting process as Clarke reconsiders the subjects in relation to their common environment. Expressions suggest an acute awareness of situation and surroundings, and reveal thoughtful emotion that is not always readily apparent at first look.

Born in Chicago, Cathleen Clarke eventually made her way to a small town in northern Illinois. Inspired by the peaceful solitude of country life, she began to paint in oils but eventually felt the need to leave small town life behind. Clarke settled in San Francisco and is currently working toward her BFA in Painting and Drawing at Academy of Art University.

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Southern Graphics Conference – Opening Night Reception

Bridges: Spanning Tradition, Innovation, and Activism

SGC International Printmaking Exhibitions
Limited Engagement: Atelier and Cannery Galleries, March 26-29, 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWednesday evening, AAU Galleries were packed with enthusiastic art lovers, all taking in the latest and greatest works from printmaking artists. With so much great artwork, it’s no surprise that enthusiasm was high, but the degree of discussion between artists and newcomers to the field of printmaking was refreshing to witness. Artists were on hand to discuss and introduce their concepts, materials, and processes, in addition to having a conference kick-off celebration. For those who missed it, here are a few photos of the festivities.

Show runs through Saturday March 29th, so be sure to stop by The Atelier and Cannery Galleries before this amazing exhibition goes away.

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SGC International’s 42nd annual conference in the San Francisco Bay Area is the first West Coast conference in the organization’s history.  The three-day event takes place at venues throughout the Bay Area and features exhibitions, panel and paper presentations, and printmaking demonstrations. Speakers include Kathan Brown, Founding Director, Crown Point Press, and Karin Breuer, Curator, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in conversation with David Kiehl, Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Mor information at http://sgcisanfrancisco.org/

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