Academy of Art University
|Academy of Art University|
|Motto||Built by artists for artists|
|Location||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Campus||Urban and online|
|Colors||Black and Red|
|Athletics||NCAA Division II for cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, track and field|
The Academy of Art University (formerly Academy of Art College), a for-profit university owned by the Stephens Institute, was founded in San Francisco, California in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens. With an enrollment of over 18,000 students,1 the academy is reportedly the largest art and design school in the United States.2
In 1929, the Academy of Art University was established in San Francisco as the Academy of Art Advertising by Richard S. Stephens, a fine arts painter and the creative director for Sunset.3 Assisted by his wife, Clara Stephens, Stephens opened the new school in a rented loft at 215 Kearny Street to teach advertising art. Over the next few years, he hired a faculty of practicing art and design professionals and formulated the school's philosophy to hire established professionals to teach future professionals. In 1933, the curriculum was expanded to include Fashion Illustration, and a Fine Art Department was added in 1936.
Stephens' son, Richard A. Stephens, took over direction of the school after graduating from Stanford University in 1951. During the son's tenure, the academy expanded its enrollment from 50 to 5,200 students. Richard A. Stephens oversaw continued expansion of department majors, starting with the addition of a Foundations Department, which offered courses in the basic principles of art and design, along with other Fine Art departments. In 1966, the school was incorporated as the Academy of Art College, and the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education granted the school the authority to confer the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree that same year. In 1977, the Academy of Art College added the Master of Fine Arts program to its degree offerings, marking the inauguration of its graduate school, with the state of California later approving the Master's program in 1983. In 1992, Elisa Stephens, granddaughter of the school's founder, succeeded her father, Richard A. Stephens, as president of the school.
The Academy of Art University offers both on-campus (traditional instructor-led) and distance education (online) degrees and certificate programs in its fine arts programs. The university offers Associate of Arts (AA), Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) for undergraduate degree programs, Master of Arts (MA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Architecture (M.Arch) for graduate degree programs, and certificate programs for personal enrichment. The Academy of Art University offers degree and certificate programs in 23 majors.4
In May 2007, Academy of Art University received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of the six major regional accreditation commissions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.5 Degree programs offered by Academy of Art University are also accredited nationally by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).6 The Academy is also an institutional member of the Career College Association (CCA) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).7
The on-campus Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs offered by the Academy in Interior Architecture & Design is accredited as a Professional Level Program by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (formerly "FIDER," the Foundation for Interior Design Education and Research).8 Accreditation was extended by the Council for Interior Design Accredition in 2008 to the online BFA and MFA Interior Architecture & Design programs.8
The on-campus Master of Architecture program offered by the Academy's School of Architecture has been accredited as a Professional Level Program since 2006 by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).9 In 2010, the Bachelor of Fine Art-Architecture program did not receive candidacy from the NAAB accreditation commission but remains accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The program applied again for candidacy in October 2012 and had a favorable on site visit by a NAAB evaluation team. The NAAB Board will decide at its January, 2013 meeting whether or not to grant candidacy. The Master of Architecture program has been accredited since January 1, 2006, and the next visit for evaluating continuing accreditation will take place in 2013.9
The Academy of Art University holds classes in over 40 buildings located throughout the eastern and southern sections of San Francisco, making them one of the largest property owners in San Francisco.10 A handful of these buildings are significant historical structures bought by the Academy to preserve them from demolition or irreversible commercial redevelopment. As part of its goal to encourage education in the arts, the Academy purchased art studios that were once owned by the non-profit San Francisco Art Institute to keep them from being converted to other uses. Residence facilities and all academic buildings are linked by an extensive school shuttle bus system used by both students and employees of the school.3
The Urban Knights are the athletic teams for the university. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level and sponsors fourteen sports, six for men and eight for women. The Academy of Art University began its athletic program in 2008 and soon after applied to join NCAA Division II.11 It became a member of the Pacific West Conference in 2009 in the same year the university began its first year of NCAA candidacy membership.12 As part of the multi-year transition process, the Academy of Art was not eligible for NCAA Division II postseason competition, though it was eligible for the PacWest Championships and Commissioner's Cup.12 AAU became a provisional member for the 2011–12 academic year;13 and became a full member of the NCAA Division II in the 2012–13 academic year after the university met the required NCAA obligations.14 In 2013, the school's women's track team claimed the championship of the NCAA Division II national indoor track meet. Its women's basketball team won the PacWest Women's Basketball Tournament and will play in the NCAA Division II Western Regional starting on March 16, 2013.
- Asencio, figurative painter represented by Crown Thorn Publishing, graduated from the Academy of Art University.15
- Chris Milk, music video director for artists U2, Green Day, Kanye West, Gnarls Barkley, John Mellencamp, Modest Mouse, and Chemical Brothers, among others.16
- Alejandro Lalinde, cinematographer of music videos for such talents as Ne-Yo, LL Cool J, Lil Wayne, and Nas, among others.17
- Deanne Fitzmaurice, a BFA graduate of the Academy and a staff photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography18 for her photo essay of efforts by Children's Hospital Oakland to treat an Iraqi boy for life threatening injuries sustained in an explosion.19
- Kara Laricks, fashion design20
- Mari Matsumoto, an MFA School of Fashion graduate of the Academy who was mentioned by Forbes Magazine as one of "five future fashion designers to watch."21
- The design works of the Academy's current and former students – Natasha Shah, Malia McGlothlin Pawsey, Jessica Thompson, Jennifer Bolanos, and Tianyu Li – were featured on the Home and Garden Television (HGTV) show Designer Finals.22
- Lee Cheol-ha, a MFA School of Motion Pictures & Television, director of the feature films in South Korea.232425
- Jason Sperling – creator of the “Get a Mac” ads received an Advertising MFA (1998) from Academy of Art University.26
- Kourtny Hicks – member of the iPod Nano Design team27
- Ian Takahashi – Cinematographer on Sleeping Dogs Lie27
- Chris Cortez – Winner of The Cut, Tommy Hilfiger’s CBS reality show28
- Anna Sheffield – Creator of the Bing Bang jewelry line29
- Moby Francke – Art lead at Valve Software;30 Team Fortress 2 art director31
- Lauren Conrad32 and Heidi Montag,33 of The Hills, became acquainted as freshmen at Academy of Art University in 200434
- Chris Morley - Visual Effects Supervisor at Tippett Studio, Emmy Award Nominated for Best Visual Effects in a Supporting Role 2012 for Hemingway & Gellhorn 35
- Steven Ellison - Music Producer and Rapper who performs under "Flying Lotus"
- Alexandria Von Bromssen - Runner-up of Project Runway (season 12)
- Bilal Lashari - Director of the film WAAR(successful film in Pakistan history)
- Tsutomu "Tom" Matano, Director of the School of Industrial Design/ "Father" of the Mazda MX-5
- Diane Baker, Executive Director of the School of Motion Pictures & Television / Acting and veteran Hollywood actress36
- Jan Yanehiro, Director of the School of Multimedia Communications and televisions first Asian-American broadcaster.
- Lanny Liu, illustrator of webcomic Single Asian Female37
- Lindsey Yamasaki, former basketball player at Stanford and the WNBA who currently coaches the Academy's women's basketball team38
- Terryl Whitlatch, illustration instructor who has worked extensively as a creature designer on the Star Wars prequels, where she worked directly with George Lucas39
- Eli Harris, illustration instructor who was part of the Sketch Travel book project, along with Enrico Casarosa.
- Jeremy Roland, Game Design instructor and Lab Supervisor who wrote the book Mudbox 2013 Cookbook and has worked in games, film, television broadcasting, music videos, and architecture.
- College close-up: Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California. (2006). Peterson’s, a Nelnet Company. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
- Lloyd, C. (September 14, 2004). The creative landlord: The Academy of Art University runs a bustling dormitory business in downtown SF. The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
- Academy of Art University: Majors & Degrees (2011). Academy of Art University. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- Statement of accreditation status: Academy of Art University. (July 19, 2007). Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- NASAD member list. (2006). National Association of Schools of Art and Design. (2006). Retrieved December 16, 2006.
- Database of institutions accredited by recognized U.S. accrediting organizations: Academy of Art University. (2006). Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
- Accredited Program History. Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- Architecture programs: Academy of Art University. (2006). National Architectural Accrediting Board. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- "NCAA Division II Changes". St. Mary's University, Texas. August 1, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "NCAA gives PacWest, Academy of Art, Dominican vote of confidence". Pacific West Conference. August 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "Academy of Art Approved For NCAA Candidacy Year Two". Academy of Art University. July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "New members for 2012–13 could include Association’s first Canadian school". NCAA. July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "Artworks of Henry Ascencio". Crown Thorn Publishing. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Chris Milk Official Site. The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 7, 2008.
-  Alejandro Lalinde Official Site. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
- The 2005 Pulitzer prize winners – feature photography: Deanne Fitzmaurice. The Pulitzer Prizes, Columbia University. Retrieved December 17, 2006.
- Operation Lion Heart. (2005). The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
- Dunhill, Heather. "Qs for Fashion Star's Kara Larick". Heather Dunhill's Fashion IQ. Sarasota Magazine. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- Tang, S. (September 15, 2006). Connoisseur's guide: Ones to watch. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved December 17, 2006.
- Designer Finals, Home and Garden Television (HGTV). See Designer Finals interviews of Natasha Shah (episode 105), Malia McGlothlin Pawsey (episode 108), Jessica Thompson (episode 110), Jennifer Bolanos (episode 205) and Tianyu Li (episode 209).
- IMDB:Cheol-ha Lee (June 16, 2008). IMDB. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
- 2009 Sonoma International Film Festival ScreenDaily. Retrieved Mar 28, 2009.
- Sonoma Film Festival Selections indiewire.com. Retrieved Mar 29, 2009.
- http://www.academyart.edu/news/academynews.jsp?type=CampusNews&article=/news/campus_news_0420.html Academy Alum's 'Get a Mac' Named Campaign of the Decade – Academy of Art University Website
- http://alumni.academyart.edu/assets/Alumni_Newsletter_FA_08v2.pdf Academy of Art Alumni Newsletter
- http://alumni.academyart.edu/assets/pdf/A_Journal_09_FALL_ISSUE.pdf Academy of Art Alumni Newsletter
- http://www.academyart.edu/news/mktg_news0070.html Jewelry Artist Anna Sheffield Featured in W Magazine Academy of Art University Website
- "Executive Director of the School of Motion Pictures & Television / Acting". Academy of Art University. Retrieved 2009-08-24.
- Pang, Angela. "New Comic Strip Seeks Single Asian Female Perspective." AsianWeek. November 10, 2006. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- "2008–2009 Women's Basketball Coaching Staff". Academy of Art University. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- "Highly Celebrated Terryl Whitlatch Joins Illustration Department". Academy of Art University. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
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