Academy Alumni Win Space in de Young Museum Exhibit
Academy of Art University Alumni Sebastian Parker,
Fine Art, and Arlene Elizabeth,
Graphic Design, will have their Asian-inspired work
featured in the renowned de Young Museum. Winning a juried competition with submissions from all
over the Bay Area, Sebastian and Arlene gain invaluable exposure through working with such a high
“It’s a wonderful chance for students and alumni to showcase their work in a fine art
institution, and it’s good for us to get to know new and existing talent,” said show curator Robert
Melton. “It can be difficult for new artists to connect with museums, this show gives them the
opportunity to refine their approach and cultivate relationships.”
Arlene was thrilled to learn she would be featured in the show. Since graduating from the
Academy, she has sampled a variety of vocations including book designer and custom furniture maker.
“The Academy of Art University is the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” she said. “I
studied so many different things that I wouldn’t have been able to study at another school. It made
me a more versatile, confident artist.”
Arlene’s piece Greetings from Tibet resembles a quilt from afar,
but get closer and viewers will find that the entire thing is constructed of hundreds of origami
cranes. Arlene exclusively folds cranes because they are a peace symbol and her mosaic work is a
way to express her passionate political views.
An aura of asymmetrical Zen surrounds Sebastian’s
sculpture, Whirlybird, which is inspired
by the smooth turns and graceful forms of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi and the kinetic
sculpture of Alexander Calder. The sculpture landed the prime spot on the show’s invitation.
This type of opportunity defines Academy of Art University. Students not only unlock their
potential and ignite their passions, they also gain real world knowledge and contacts. During the
Spring Show each year, industry leaders from major
companies around the world are flown in to review student work. Many students receive job offers
from companies like Apple, LucasArts, Pixar, Zac Posen, Escada and many more!