Emerging Artists at AAU


Dialogue, by Lucia Hye Yoon Joo

The 2008 Academy of Art University Annual Spring Show presents exceptional achievement from student artists who have joined their superb talent with first-class instruction from the school’s distinguished faculty. As the west coast’s most trusted locale for discovering exceptional rising artistic talent, the Academy of Art University’s Annual Spring Show’s opening night awards ceremony on May 22, 2008 holds prime importance for fine art students and industry insiders alike. The results of the juried award selection for the School of Fine Art’s departments of Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture showcase the acclaimed artistic achievement on display at the 2008 Annual Spring Show, which is on view through July 25, 2008.

Among exhibiting students from the Academy of Art University’s prestigious MFA Painting program, Jeremy Mann received three top awards for the masterful work Composition #18, including First Place in MFA Landscape Painting, MFA Students’ Choice Award, and MFA Faculty Choice Award. Mann’s elevated approach to composition, value, and brushwork showcase his strikingly reflective perspective in accentuating subtlety and layered mood. Mann’s work was recently honored at the 2008 Salon International at the International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art in San Antonio, Texas with Honorable Mention for Artistic Excellence.

MFA Painting graduating student Greg Gandy also received two prominent awards for his urban landscape paintings brilliantly evoking a familiarity of atmosphere. Rainy Day in North Beach won Second Place in MFA Landscape Painting and his accepted body of work won the MFA Directors Choice Award.

Daniel Ochoa firmly impressed the Graduate Fine Art Painting Annual Spring Show jury by winning First Place in MFA Abstract Painting for Sudanese Boys Armed and Seated. Ochoa’s additional accomplishments this spring include exhibiting in the Wendt Gallery’s Bay Area Influence show in Laguna Beach, juried acceptance to the California Art Club’s 97th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, juried acceptance to the 2008 Salon International, and winning one of the prestigious 2008 Murphy & Cadogan Fellowships in the Fine Arts, sponsored by the San Francisco Foundation.

In the realm of figurative realism, Thalia Stratton won First Place in MFA Works on Paper and Hyeong Gon Kim, originally from Korea, won First Place in MFA Figurative Painting.

The Academy of Art University’s comprehensive Undergraduate School of Fine Art Painting presents a spectacular range of artwork with its 2008 student award winners.

Veteran Spring Show award winner Hsin-Yao Tseng secured First Place in BFA Still Life Painting for Escape, First Place in BFA Landscape Painting for Muir Beach, and the sought after Best BFA Body of Work Award. Tseng’s adeptness at combining expressive brushwork with polished compositions exemplifies the beautiful results of the Academy of Art University’s signature emphasis on classical foundations in its curriculum.

Rachel Gillen also received significant recognition by winning First Place in BFA Contemporary Painting for Don’t Trip and Second Place in BFA Landscape Painting for Yesterdays, works that evoke the poetic nuances of everyday life. Gillen was also recently honored by The Artist’s Magazine with Honorable Mention for their Best Art of 2007 Competition.

BFA Painting student Eddie Rodriguez earned First Place in BFA Figurative Painting and the BFA Faculty Painting Choice Award for Modern Controposto, as well as Second Place in BFA Contemporary Painting and the BFA Works on Paper Award. Rodriguez focuses his artistic vision on daily observations in public transit, teasing individual identity out of subtle gestures and industrial effects.

Also focusing on the human figure, realist painter Jon Tocchini received special recognition by Undergraduate Director of Fine Art Painting Craig Nelson for Stevie. Tocchini’s astounding skill at capturing a full narrative within a single startlingly life-like portrait earned him the BFA Director’s Choice Award.

In the realm of Printmaking, MFA student Jeong Han Yun swept several of the sought-after Spring Show awards, as he also accomplished at the 2007 exhibit. Yun won First Place in MFA Printmaking, the MFA Printmaking Students Choice Award, and the MFA Printmaking Faculty Choice Award for Where is Zen with its strong roots in quick brushwork and impromptu movement. Yun’s handmade papers’ inherent variations in texture are a core component in the integrity of his Zen painting mission.

Meredith Cheng secured the Director’s Printmaking Award for Leafy Wedges, which reflects her dedication to the medium of woodcutting. Cheng often finds inspiration in Scandinavian design and the nuances of form resulting from the printmaking process.

The Academy of Art University’s esteemed School of Fine Art Sculpture also honored its excelling students with awards for their highest artistic achievements.

Lucia Hye Yoon Joo earned the top award of MFA Sculpture Best of Show for Dialogue, a stunning hanging installation of organic forms. Joo often employs her art to reflect on the mother-child relationship and her personal experiences as an American immigrant from Korea.

Lindsey Eisentraut won Second Place, MFA Sculpture Best of Show for her captivating Bug and Seedpod sculpture installations.

MFA Sculpture 2008 graduate David Sekoll won the MFA Directors Choice Award for Geometric Inflorescence 12 showcasing the quality of his fabrication craftsmanship, the intricacy of his linear structures, and the consistency in his harmony of form. Sekoll’s artwork was also recently juried into SURGE: The SNAG Student Exhibition in Savannah, GA.

In addition, MFA Sculpture student Mike Feeney won the Best Fabricated Sculpture Award with Growth. Feeney excels at building a sculpture’s aesthetic based on imagery resonating with his viewers, often employing forms that are intentionally without definition.

Adam Reeder, also a School of Fine Art Sculpture graduate student, received the prestigious Figurative Sculpture First Place Award for the innovative, yet classically styled, Pan with his iPod. Reeder’s additional impressive accomplishments this summer include being one of thirteen chosen participants for the 29th Annual National Figure Modeling Competition, co-sponsored by the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, the National Sculpture Society, Brookgreen Gardens, and the New York Academy of Art; being a chosen exhibitor for the 17th Annual Loveland Sculpture Invitational in Loveland, CO; and having the Medtronic Foundation commission a sculpture from him for exhibition in their diabetes research gallery.

Among Undergraduate School of Fine Art Sculpture award winners, Melissa Christensen won the BFA Sculpture Best of Show award for Feminine Transformation, a unique metal arts jewelry collection showcasing Christensen’s delicate construction techniques. Feminine Transformation appeared with acclaimed fashions by Academy School of Fashion MFA alumna Sherise Eways at the Academy of Art University Fashion Show at New York Fashion Week in February 2008. Zachary Roberts received Second Place, BFA Sculpture Best of Show for his textured ceramic sculpture Undiscovered Species of insects in graceful movement.

Additionally in the Academy’s renowned metal arts concentration, Tura Sugden won First Place in Best Small Metal Arts for Worm Bracelets. Her fresh portrayals of the natural form of insects with the artistry of organic design were also prominently featured in the Academy of Art University’s 2008 San Francisco Spring Fashion Show.

BFA Sculpture student Ah Young Jeon took home the award for Best Ceramic Sculpture for Chocolate Snails, an imaginative sculpture installation employing vibrant ceramic glazes and playful expressions.

Finally, Elizabeth Symington received the Best Installation Award for the highly original piece Tactile Color. This imaginative artwork evokes a blind person’s palpable exploration of color.

The 2008 Annual Spring Show will remain on view to the public through July 25, 2008. The exhibit takes place at 601 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, and is open from 10AM to 6PM daily, except Sundays and holidays. Please contact Larissa Dozier at (510) 219-3100 or [email protected] for biographies and images of artwork by 2008 Annual Spring Show award winners, from the Academy of Art University’s acclaimed School of Fine Art.

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco
With nearly 12,000 students, Academy of Art University is the nation’s largest private art and design university. Established in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BFA, M.Arch and MFA programs, as well as continuing art education with classes in copywriting, fashion merchandising, interior design, new media, computer animation, sculpture, graphic design, cinematography, industrial design, digital photography and car design. Students can also enroll in a flexible online degree program in art and design.
Academy of Art University is an accredited member of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (BFA-IAD) and NAAB (M-ARCH).
For more information visit www.academyart.edu or call 1-800-544-2787.