Get to Know Us

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
Want to get in touch with us? Visit the Directories.

Lawrence Noble

Chair – Fine Art Sculpture

Currently the owner of Noble Studio, a design and sculpture company founded in 1973, Noble originally earned an esteemed reputation as illustrator and designer of movie poster campaigns such as Time After Time, Flash Gordon, Sharky's Machine, and The Empire Strikes Back (10th Anniversary Poster). Lucasfilm commissioned four life-size bronzes from Noble for their Presidio campus, including father of film Eadweard Muybridge, Jedi Master Yoda, special effects pioneer Willis O'Brien, and television inventor Philo T. Farnsworth.

Dr. Craig Nelson

Executive Director, School of Fine Art-Painting

For over 30 years, Craig has been depicting figures, landscapes, California coastal paintings and various environments in rich, vibrant oils. He has painted countless movie posters, many book covers, and album covers. Some of his most prestigious works have been his Broadway production posters for Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers and Proposals, both originals are in the private collection of Neil Simon. During his illustrious career, Craig has won over 200 awards of excellence in various shows, five gold metals, four silver metals, and in 1996, a painting of his was chosen for the Communication Arts Annual cover.

Carrie Ann Plank

Director, Fine Art-Printmaking

Carrie Ann Plank is an artist working in both the mediums of printmaking and painting. She exhibits locally, nationally, and internationally. Plank’s work is included in private and public collections including the Fine Art Archives of the Library of Congress, the SGC International Archives, the Special Collection at Washington University, and the Permanent Collection at The University of Virginia, Charlottesville Va. Recent and upcoming noteworthy shows include the Zoller Gallery of the Pennsylvania University, the Liu Haisu Museum of Fine Art in Shanghai, China, and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Guangzhou, China, and residencies at Druckwerk in Basel, Switzerland and the Venice Printmaking Studio in Venice, Italy. Additionally, Plank is the Associate Director: Printmaking MFA & BFA Programs at the Academy of Art University. She is active in the local arts community as a participant, juror, and volunteer, and is a board member of the California Society of Printmakers. Plank also sits on the Steering Committee for the 2014 SGC International Conference. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from East Carolina University and her Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Pennsylvania State University.

Portfolio

Carolyn Meyer

Director, School of Fine Art-Painting

Carolyn Meyer is also a full time faculty member teaching Landscape painting and Abstract painting classes. Her career began as an art director for an advertising agency in San Francisco, and was one of the founding principles of Paris Printing, a large size printing Company in Northern California. Her works is on display at ArtHaus, William Lester Gallery, and Hang Gallery in San Francisco as well as several others around the U.S.

Margaret Keelan

Associate Director – Fine Art Sculpture

Margaret Keelan received her BFA at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and her MFA at the University of Utah. In 2003 she juried the California Clay Competition at the Artery in Davis, CA, and was invited to lecture on her latest work at the 2005 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts in Baltimore, 2007 CCACA, Davis California and at 2007 SOFA, New York. Recent exhibitions have included Vanitas: Transient Treasures at the Lacoste Gallery in Concord MA and Regina Clay: Worlds in the Making, traveling across Canada. Other venues have been in Chicago, New York, Santa Fe, Montana, and Pomona, as well as solo shows in St. Louis, MO and Seattle, WA. Her work can also be seen in 500 Figures in Clay: Ceramic Artists Celebrate the Human Form, The Craft and Art of Clay, Ceramics: Art and Perception. Confrontational Ceramics, and Ceramics Review in England.

Peter Schifrin

Full-Time Faculty - Fine Arts Sculpture

Peter Schifrin is a professional sculptor who has created numerous largescale public and private commissions in bronze, including 18-foot bronze, Full Sky for award-winning home in New York (2008), 17-foot bronze, Earth & Sky for DeLoach Vineyards, Sonoma (2009), 16-foot bronze and steel, Coyotes in downtown San Jose, the11-foot bronze and steel, Firefighter in San Ramon, 9-foot bronze, Wounded Man for the city of San Mateo’s Performing Arts Center, and Play Sky a 12-foot bronze at a private residence in Sonoma (2009).

In 2004, Peter Schifrin created two 22-foot bronze monuments, Confluence and Skyward at Post and Mason St in San Francisco's premier Union Square District, commissioned by the Academy of Art University. His work is highlighted in the hardcover monograph, Love and Fear: The Sculpture of Peter Schifrin with accompanying film on DVD. In 2009 thru 2012 Peter collaborated with artist David Duskin, to create a monumental-scale work, J-Line. Peter Schifrin is a member of the International Sculpture Center and is a voted "Fellow" with the National Sculpture Society.

Steven Krochman

Online Coordinator – Sculpture

Steven Krochman holds a MFA and BFA in Sculpture from Boston University and CSU Long Beach. He has over 15 years of professional experience in Fine Arts including work as a Mold Maker at the New England Sculpture Service, Graduate Student Teacher for Life Sculpture, and work on a commissioned project for the Elbert Weinberg Estate. His work has been exhibited in solo, group, and juried exhibitions in galleries at Cal State University at Long Beach, Boston University, Long Beach Arts Association Gallery, Cypress College and Chemers Gallery. He won the Friedman Brothers Fellowship while studying at Boston University.

Portfolio

Annamarie Nelson

Online Director, School of Fine Art-Painting

Annamarie Nelson, also known as Anna, started teaching still life painting in 1992 for the summer Art Experience program at Academy of Art University and has been a member of the faculty ever since. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Italian Language and Literature, worked for the Italian Department at UCLA as well as various travel agencies acting as tour guide for students studying in Florence, Italy. She attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA as an illustration major and after 6 terms began accepting freelance work and commission paintings. Anna continues to contribute work to the annual Academy of Art faculty/alumni auction to help raise scholarship money benefiting Academy students.

Portfolio

Valerie L. Winslow

Full-Time Faculty, Anatomy Coordinator

Valerie L. Winslow is a professional fine artist exhibiting her paintings and drawings in museums and galleries nationwide since 1977. Her work has won numerous awards and is in many private collections.

Valerie has been teaching figurative art and artistic anatomy for over thirty years and has been with the Academy of Art University since 1989, where she is a Full-time Faculty Member and Anatomy Coordinator in the School of Fine Arts. Her artistic anatomy book Classic Human Anatomy was released nationally in 2008 by Watson Guptill Publications.

Tomutsu Takishima

Full-Time Faculty, Painting

Tomutsu's work has been seen in many exhibitions in the bay area, including AAC, Romeo 5 Art Cafe, and Merced Multicultural Art Center. His awards include a 3rd place MFA Fine Art Painting Award from AAC, as well as a first award in oil from society of western artists national open show. Tomutsu received his BFA with distinction in Painting and Drawing from AAC in 1994, and received his MFA in Painting from AAC in 1998.

Brandon Smith

Full-Time Faculty, Painting

Brandon is a California native raised on the central coast, and is now residing in Oakland. Brandon is a traditional oil painter whose subject matter is primarily figurative. In addition he is known to paint street scenes, and the occasional still life and landscape. He began teaching for the Academy in 2003, and in 2008 became a full time faculty member of the Fine Art department. His paintings are represented by Grey McGear Modern in Santa Monica.

Portfolio

Kevin Moore

Full-Time Faculty, Painting

Kevin Moore was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1976. His father's role as a missionary with the Church of the Nazarene took the Moore family to Kenya, South Africa, France and Zaire before settling in California. He has exhibited consistently in San Francisco and has works in collections in Italy and Denmark. Moore has been reviewed in ARTNEWS, American Art Collector and WHERE Magazines, and was selected as one of the top "21 under 31" emerging artists by Southwest Art Magazine in 2005. The artist lives and works in the Bay Area and is a full-time faculty member at Academy of Art University where he graduated in 2000.

Christine Rolik

Full-Time Faculty

Chris Rolik is an artist and educator who wears a number of hats – maker of one-of-a-kind altered books, creator of textile-inspired sculptural objects made primarily with found and recycled materials, and instructor of popular bookmaking classes and workshops in San Francisco and around the country. She also maintains a busy textile conservation practice where she has the unique opportunity to handle and spend time with all manner of historical textiles, traditional costume and the occasional ritual object. These different areas of interest all end up having a wonderful and exciting  influence on one another.
 
She is full time faculty at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she has taught Book Arts since 1998. She maintains a studio and lives in Dogtown – West Oakland, CA.

Jennifer Almodova

Faculty

Jennifer Almodova has been a faculty member at Academy of Art University since 1991. She has 25 years of experience as an exhibiting artist, visual designer and is an educator in design, color theory, painting and sculpture. Her watercolors are noted for their exquisite light, luminosity, color harmony and brush language. It is for these reasons that artists seek out Almodova’s private painting workshops in California, Hawaii, Italy and France. She considers teaching a privilege and exhibits internationally, with work hanging in collections across the United States, Europe and Asia. She received a first place award from the National Association of Printers and a Grant Award from the Sesnon Foundation. A partial listing of collectors include: the Bank of Tokyo, Pacific Bell, Bill Graham Presents, Ruth Asawa and the collection of Stephen DeStaebler.

Meri Brin

Faculty

Meri Brin was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to the Bay Area in 1994. She received her BFA in Printmaking from the School of Fine Art at Academy of Art University. She currently teaches Printmaking and Silkscreen. Previously, she taught paper crafts at Zeum and Silkscreen at Mission Grafica. She has shown locally and nationally, including a solo show at Oaklandish in 2012. Group shows have included Junk Mail at The Soap Gallery in 2010 and the Print Zero Exchange in Seattle, Washington. In 2008, she won a materials award from the Monotype Guild of New England. Besides prints, Brin also makes books, zines and stationery under the name Fixed Orifice Press. She has contributed artwork to Good Mail Day from Quarry Press, and the Stoner Coffee Table Handbook from Chronicle Books. Brin is a member of Southern Graphics, and is on the board of the California Society of Printmakers.

Baoping Chen

Faculty

Mr. Chen has over 25 years of experience as a professional fine artist. In 1984 he graduated from the Guangzhou Fine Art Institute in China where he became an instructor. He then attended Academy of Art University in the United States and graduated with a MFA and has been teaching at the Academy of Art University since 1995. Mr. Chen has had many one-person exhibitions in New York and San Francisco. In addition, he has had many solo and group exhibits throughout the world, and has sold many collections.

Sean Connor

Faculty

Mr. Connor attended the Academia Di Belle Arti in Venice, Italy – graduated from U.C. Berkley with a Bachelors degree in fine art, then received his Masters degree in painting from the graduate school of figurative art at the New York Academy of Art, a teaching school based on Ecole des Beaux Artes which concentrates on the figure and the pictorial mode. Mr. Connor’s specialty is the figure as he has strong anatomical skills, but he is also well versed in various media. He feels, “An understanding of art, especially figurative art is important for students as they gain an awareness of themselves and what they want to express.” He has taught part time at Academy of Art for ten years.

Portfolio

Beverly Lazor

Online Coordinator, BFA

After a long career as a freelance illustrator and product designer, Beverly Lazor found her passion for plein air painting as well as instructs online classes. She currently has work exhibited in Jessup Cellars Gallery in Napa, California, as well as galleries in Southern California.

Portfolio

Jesse Mangerson

Online Coordinator, MFA

Jesse Mangerson studied Illustration at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire earning a BFA. He then migrated west where he earned his MFA in Illustration at Academy of Art University, where he continues to teach in the online Foundations and MFA Fine Art Painting departments. His work shows in galleries in Northern California and the Midwest. Independent publishers on both the East and West coasts have published his illustrations both in print and online. Mangerson lives with his wife and two children in Madison, Wisconsin, where he works from his home studio.

Portfolio

Carol Nunnelly

Faculty

Carol Nunnelly is an artist, illustrator and master teacher based in San Francisco, California. Nunnelly has over 60 semesters of classroom experience at Academy of Art University. She is noted for her ability to bring out the best in her students through innovative teaching methods as well as serving as an inspiration and mentor to her fellow faculty members. Her experience at Academy of Art University has included curriculum development, professional development workshops for faculty and extensive exhibition and special events production. She is currently a full-time interdepartmental instructor for Academy of Art University. Nunnelly is also a gifted illustrator, painter and muralist with numerous projects and publication contributions to her credit. She has been recognized for her ability to work with clients to realize their vision through research, design and innovative execution. Her book, The Encyclopedia of Fashion Illustration Techniques, was released in June of 2009.

Dennis Peterson

Faculty

Dennis Peterson’s artistic practice stems from extensive training in traditional printmaking mediums such as lithography, intaglio and letterpress. Although viewed as obsolete tools, these printmaking practices have led him towards an interest in visual communication as conveyed through letterforms and symbols. His works are an experiment with these methods and their extraordinary power to both create and confound meaning. Peterson received his BFA in 2003 from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Printmaking Department and his MFA in 2009 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, he has studied traditional Japanese woodblock printing at Kyoto Seika University in Kyoto, Japan. In his current position, Peterson teaches letterpress, lithography and other printmaking courses within the School of Fine Art at Academy of Art University. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, cats and bicycles.

Zhaoming Wu

Faculty

Zhaoming Wu was born in China and grew up in Guangzhou City. He received his BFA from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art China and his MFA from Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Since 1983, he has been exhibiting his work in Asia, Europe, the United States and other countries around the world. He has won numerous awards, including the Merit Award at the 6th National Art Exhibition in Beijing, China, the Gustafson Fund Award, from the National Oil and Acrylic Painter's Society, 1st place in the 9th Biennial National Figure Painting and Drawing Exhibition, from Mendocino Art center, California; Second Prize Winner in International Artist magazine (Aug/Sept 2001), grand prize winner in International Artist magazine (Aug/Sept 2005); the Daler-Rowney Award from the Oil Painters of America (2000) and the Art Distributor Award from the Oil Painters of America (2005). Long active as both an artist and a teacher, he served as a professor of painting at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art and is currently an instructor of painting at Academy of Art University. His works have been featured in many publications, including two drawing books of Zhaoming Wu and two painting books of Zhaoming Wu; International Artist magazine (April/May 2003, August/September 2005), Art of the West magazine (September/October 2004, July/August 2007), Art Talk Magazine (February 2005), and American Art Collector (January 2007).