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Academy of Art University Goes Green with French Rabbit Competition

Earlier this year, the University and eco-friendly wine producer, French Rabbit, challenged students to create works of art, products, sculpture and fashion pieces inspired by and using French Rabbit environmentally friendly packaging. Jean Charles Boisset, President of Boisset America - the parent company of French Rabbit, awarded scholarships to the thirteen winners of this challenge.

Jean Charles Boisset and Dr. Elisa Stephens

For years, the Boisset family has been a leader in introducing sustainable, biodynamic and organic winemaking methods at all of its vineyards. With the launch of French Rabbit, Boisset and his team take things to the next level with the introduction of the Tetra-Prisma containers. 100-percent recyclable, the Tetra-Prisma containers take less energy to produce, transport and recycle. These containers reduce packaging waste by 90 percent compared to glass bottles and reduce emissions and greenhouse gases during shipping.

Imagine – 25 trucks of empty glass wine bottles is the same as one truck of empty French Rabbit cartons; once filled, 3 trucks of glass wine bottles is the same as one truck of French Rabbit. Since launching in July 2005, French Rabbit has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4,400,000 pounds, which is the equivalent to taking 146,600 cars of the road for one day or 400 cars off the road for one year.

The Best of Show French Rabbit Scholarship Award winning project was “Rabbit with a Green Heart” by Zachary Roberts, Michael Feeney and David Sekoll, all students in the School of Fine Art Sculpture. The welded steel rod rabbit has panels made from the French Rabbit packaging and stands over 11.5 feet tall. Through an empty panel, one can view a potted tree where the rabbit’s heart would be. This represents French Rabbit’s partnership with America Forests in planting more than 35,000 trees.

Scholarship Award Winner: Rocket Ship by Stephan Krasner, School of Fine Art Sculpture.

Scholarship Award Winners (left to right): Hooded Scarf by Van Kim Le, School of Fashion; Evening “sequined” gown by Virgil Sparks, School of Fashion, that landed the cover of the May 3rd Issue of FashionLines.com; Dress designed by Jackie Lee-Nakayama and Sarah Alvidrez, School of Fashion, dubbed by Loulou de la Falaise as the “bubble dress” and covered in the May 6th edition of San Francisco Chronicle; Necklaces by Tura Sugden and Emi Ando, School of Fine Art Sculpture.

Scholarship Award Winners (left to right): Umbrella by Paul Galang, School of Industrial Design; Rabbit Herb Garden by Robin Casey, School of Graphic Design.

Scholarship Award Winner: Surf Board by Derek Smith, School of Graphic Design.

When the School of Fashion premiered their creations at the graduation fashion show, executives from Macy’s West were so impressed that they decided to put the looks in their 25th Anniversary Macy’s Passport fashion show this September.  This fundraising extravaganza occurs in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. For the past 25 years, Macy's Passport has increased social awareness of HIV/AIDS related issues, and raised nearly $22 million to benefit HIV/AIDS research, care, prevention and education programs.
In addition to the scholarship-winning looks of Virgil Sparks’ “sequined dress” and Jackie Lee-Nakayama and Sarah Alvidrez’s “bubble dress,” Macy’s West chose the following looks for their Macy’s Passport fashion show.

Additional runway looks from the School of Fashion (left to right): Aisha Drake, Helen Jang and Megan Rork created the silver and green “lace” dress; Ashleigh Tucker created the “shredded” dress design that ended up in the pages of the May 17th issue of SF IS; Rhiannon Hartig designed the orange and purple “molecule” dress; Maho Fujita and Sook-Yeong Kwon designed the “ruffle” dress; Dulce Chavez designed the “armor” dress.

Dresses were created using the French Rabbit packaging and later shipped to Bordeaux, France where French Rabbit will display them at Vinexpo, the world's largest wine and spirits fair.

Hand Woven Bag by Solomon Choi, School of Industrial Design.

Rabbit Wonderland by Vic Setiawan, School of Graphic Design, and Trivia Board Game by Jessy Dewi, School of Graphic Design.

Tote by Katrina Cordiale, School of Fashion. Lamp by Sandy Kim, School of Graphic Design. Purple dress by Erin Kears, School of Fashion. Flower dress by Wendy Cheung and Darana Phonoi, School of Fashion.

An exhibition of this project will be on display until June 29th at the Annual Spring Show, 601 Brannan Street. Click here for more information.


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