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Creative Professionals Awed by Breakthrough Artists and Designers at Spring Show 2010

Spring Show Portfolio Review

Anticipation of fresh talent fueled excitement as up-and-coming artists joined industry leaders for an exhilarating day at Academy of Art University’s Spring Show. Stepping into the Academy’s state-of-the-art facilities, attendees were met by breathtaking displays of art and design. Galleries brimming with brightly colored illustrations, inventive product designs, fine art sculptures and more ignited the senses for all to experience.

The Annual Spring Show provides a unique opportunity for the rising stars of the art and design world to shine. Hundreds of industry professionals attend each year to keep a finger on the pulse of emerging talent and to hire the year’s best graduates. For students, the event is a springboard to success. They meet with creative professionals for one-on-one interviews and a chance to land their dream job.

Academy of Art University Board Member and owner of JTDNA, Jeff Teague, found himself astonished by the caliber of work produced by Industrial Design students. “They really stood out as being top notch, really professional, and really ready to go,” Teague said.

The Spring Show has earned a sterling reputation with recruiters as well. Bill Maughan, Director of Graduate Illustration, received an enthusiastic response from representatives of Disney-ABC Television Group. “They were told as they were visiting other schools and recruiting, ‘Wait until you get to San Francisco. It’s going to blow you away,’” Maughan said. They arrived with high expectations, which were easily exceeded by work they saw at the Spring Show.

Spring Show Winners 2010

With such well-earned prestige, it’s no surprise the Spring Show drew representatives from more than 100 top companies such as Mazda, Sony, PDI/Dreamworks, Electronic Arts, Nickelodeon, Facebook, PDN Photogroup, Gensler Associates, Dark Horse Comics, Zynga, Williams-Sonoma and many others.

Paul Harney of architectural and interior design firm Perkins Will felt the Spring Show work far surpassed work done by students at other schools. “Because the faculty comes from a perspective of working in the industry, the level of work is just more professional,” Harney said.

Ralph and Diane Waterhouse, of Waterhouse Gallery, went even further, comparing the Spring Show work to professional artists they have seen in the past. “We go to many professional shows each year. And this is better!” said Diane Waterhouse.

Academy alum Brent Jentzsch of 3D animation service Mixamo complimented students not just on their work, but on their outlook as well. “There are some great attitudes here, great personalities and great work,” Jentzsch said of the students.

Academy of Art University’s facilities also impressed guests. At the show, students and professionals joined Director of Multimedia Communications Jan Yanehiro in exploring the potential of the brand new equipment students will use in the School of Multimedia Communications studio this Summer. This cutting-edge technology provides students with hands-on experience using industry-standard tools.

Graphic Design students received high praise for their innovative design concepts. Rod Dyer, President of Rod Dyer International, has been in the graphic design business for over 50 years, working with clients like Absolut, Shangri-La Entertainment, and Gramercy Pictures. “I was very impressed with the Graphic Design Department. Unbelievable,” said Dyer.

Amid elaborate fashions and stunning photography, students waited anxiously to show their portfolios to industry representatives. Piper Robbins, recent Photography grad, seized her opportunity to meet with Rolling Stone and The Lucie Awards representatives. “It’s the best possible ending to the last five years, getting to meet people that I really admire and getting them to give honest feedback on my work,” Piper said.

Industrial Design students who specialized in Toy Design were especially excited to meet Bryan Benedict, Hot Wheels Design Manager at Mattel. Benedict admired the impact of the Academy’s instructors – all industry professionals – on the caliber of student work. “There’s a great knowledge base that they’re learning from and an understanding of the industry,” Benedict said.

As opening day came to a close, students departed, focused intently on their future careers. Industry professionals, thrilled and inspired by the day, eagerly turned their thoughts to the immense potential of next year’s show. As Jeff Teague said, “Like everything Academy of Art University does, the Spring Show just keeps getting better.”

Congratulations to all the student winners and many thanks to industry participants for making Spring Show 2010 an unforgettable experience for students.

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