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Successful Academy Alum and Instructor Shares Wisdom With the Next Generation of Artists

Academy of Art University has a place for everybody – from the novice to the most skilled artist. Zhaoming Wu was already an accomplished artist in his homeland of China when he came to the Academy of Art University to further refined his skills.

Zhaoming received his BFA from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art in China. After graduating, he taught painting at the Guangzhaou Academy.
He decided to come to San Francisco to enroll in Academy of Art University’s MFA program in the School of Fine Art. He wanted strong classical painting training in the Western tradition and found that the Academy offered that and much more.
Academy of Art University not only gives students technical training, but also the business and career skills they need to become prosperous artists. This information was crucial for Zhaoming to break into the fine art market in the United States. He used what he learned at the Academy as a “source of information in the art business.”
Using the impressive portfolio he amassed at the Academy,  he began pursuing high-end galleries. He also entered national and international art competitions and did exceedingly well. A few of the honors he garnered include 1st place in the 9th Biennial National Figure Painting and Drawing Exhibition; Second Prize Winner in the International Artist magazine's Challenge No. 4; the Daler-Rowney Award from the Oil Painters of America as well as many more.

He has participated in numerous shows all over the world and is currently working with eight galleries in the United States, Europe and Taiwan. In addition, Zhaoming published a book of his drawings in 2003 that has been reprinted in eight editions. The book is very popular in the U.S. and China and continues to be reprinted. He has also published a book of his paintings, currently in its third edition. His work has also been featured in International Artist and Art of the West magazines.

Zhaoming is well known for his figurative paintings. He is inspired by 19th century French painting and describes his style as “representational, but not traditional classical.” His work is not “traditional classical” because he uses modern elements in his work, such as graphic design.  


“I combine a lot of graphic design elements – that’s something different from 19th century painting,” he said.
On top of everything, Zhaoming is also an instructor at Academy of Art University, teaching Figurative Painting, Portrait Painting and Head Drawing. Though it can be difficult to balance his personal work with his teaching, this highly regarded artist is an invaluable resource to his students. For Zhaoming, there is nothing more rewarding than “passing the excellent classical art tradition to the next generations.” 


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