Annual Auction Raises Funds for Student Scholarships
More than 200 art collectors, dealers, and enthusiasts
gathered at Academy of Art University for its highly anticipated 13th Annual Faculty & Alumni
Fine Art Auction. Exhibiting approximately 350 works of fresh paintings, sculpture, and jewelry by
nationally esteemed Academy faculty and alumni, this year’s auction achieved an extraordinary
$159,000 in fine art sales. The artists of top-grossing works included Zack Zdrale, Earl
Enriquez, and Brian Blood.
With special thanks to Bonhams & Butterfields, an enthusiastic art collecting community
from across the country generously expressed their support for students pursuing their fine art
education at the Academy. As in past years, half of the proceeds from the 13th Annual Faculty &
Alumni Fine Art Auction benefit students through the Fine Art Student Scholarship Fund, with the
rest going directly to the artists themselves.
As the nation’s largest private art and
design university, the Academy of Art University has brought emerging artists from across the world
to San Francisco for nearly eight decades. Even amid a sharp economic downturn, all bidders
at this year’s non-profit, fund-raising Fine Art Auction confirmed San Francisco’s status as one of
the top emerging art centers in the world. In addition, these informed collectors spoke
volumes about the dazzling artistry of the Academy’s faculty and alumni works newly placed in
hundreds of homes.
“The incredible turnout and lively
bidding at the 2008 Faculty & Alumni Fine Art Auction far exceeded my expectations,” says Dr.
Elisa Stephens, President of the Academy of Art University. “The phenomenal generosity that so many
collectors showed towards AAU’s emerging artists in the midst of economic uncertainty is truly
inspiring. I look forward to passing these scholarships directly on to deserving AAU students
through our merit-based juries at the 2009 Annual Spring Show this coming May.”
Zachary Zdrale came to the Academy’s
School of Fine Art Painting MFA program after many years
of avoiding a career in fine art out of fear. Concluding that if he could “make great,
tightly rendered, and life-like figure paintings I would be happy no matter how poor I was,” and
discovering work such as this was possible in the
contemporary art market when visiting
John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, Zdrale pursued his dream at the Academy.
Earl Enriquez first experienced the ambition to become an artist growing up as a child in the
Philippines. Fusing his awe for such honored talents as Bernini, Caravaggio, and Velazquez
with influences from contemporary sculptors Eugene Daub and Bruce Wolfe, Enriquez has built an
impressive following for his bronze figurative sculpture on both sides of the Pacific.
As one of California’s most sought-after plein-air painting artists, Brian Blood has excited
and inspired fine art collectors for over two decades. Since graduating from the Academy of
Art University and becoming a faculty member in the School of Fine Art, Blood’s signature
California landscapes have been featured in a multitude of publications including
American Artist, Art of the West, Plein Air, and