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Meet Our Academy Artists Featured at the New Hyatt Regency

Alumni and students of Academy of Art University proudly have their artworks on full display for all to see in the new Hyatt Regency hotel in San Francisco.

Initially announced in the latter part of the previous year, this partnership was intended to “showcase the evocative and inspiring talents of the Academy’s students within Hyatt Regency’s remarkable new hotel,” according to Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of the Academy.

The students and alumni who participated in this project came from various schools, including the Schools of Fine ArtArchitecturePhotography, and Interaction & UX/UI Design (formerly known as Web Design & New Media).

Today, the $70 million renovation of the establishment previously known as Park Central Hotel, is completed and open to the public. The one-of-a-kind artworks commissioned by the hotel can be viewed in its public spaces and gathering areas, as well the Executive and Presidential Suites. 

Congratulations to the 10 Academy of Art alumni and students for this successful collaboration with Hyatt Regency!

Excerpts of Artists’ bio from Hyatt Regency

Dora Duan, MFA Photography, 2012
Fine Art Photographer – San Francisco 

With a strong emphasis on the emotional content, Duan creates photographs that explore identity and personal experience on a psychological level. Her work evokes inner connections with viewers through minimal visual elements and aesthetic aspects. 

Ajin No, MFA Fine Art-Painting, 2021
Painter – San Francisco

Ajin No is a painter currently based in San Francisco, originally from Seoul, Korea. She has a BFA and an MFA in Fine Art Painting from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, USA.

She is more interested in expressing the invisible world rather than in how to interpret the visible world. This gave birth to her signature mixed media collages combining cityscape with abstract painting. A finite image that can best show her the appearance of a city that remains unchanged is a photograph. And infinite emotions are expressed in colors. A photograph shows the structure of the mind and the color expresses what breaks the frame. Also, using palette knives and rollers represents the ever-changing and moving emotional state, and helps visualize the invisible too.

Alana Burke Colville, MA Photography
Student – San Francisco

Colville is drawn to bold colors, minimal compositions, and authentic storytelling. Music is her biggest inspiration and is interwoven into everything she creates. In 2020, she left the medical field to pursue photography full-time and has devoted herself fully to the craft ever since. Colville also has a bachelor’s degree from University of Oregon and has been featured in the University’s Spring Show as well as Juxtapoz Magazine. 

Benjamin Schindel, B.Arch Architecture, 2020
Intern Architect – Alberta, Canada

Schindel combines his design language formed through architecture with his experience in woodworking into his designs. Exploring the natural textures and patterns in nature and the built environment, he looks to create layered elements of wood that examine the scales and geometry into a cohesive composition.

Brandie Grogan, MFA Fine Art-Printmaking
Mixed Media Artist – San Francisco

Grogan works with printmaking, encaustic, and sculptural techniques. Combining these processes with found objects – wood, metal, resin, and fabric – she creates both two-dimensional and three-dimensional installation work. Currently, Grogan teaches printmaking at the Academy of Art University.

Claire Nitchman, BFA Commercial Photography, 2020
Photographer – San Francisco

Growing up, Claire was always encouraged to see the world through creative eyes. Somewhere along the way she was gifted a photography class, and so she picked up a camera and has nott put it down since. When she moved to San Francisco she found a love for architecture, design and all things creative. Something 

Egor Rose, BA Web Design & New Media*, 2019
2D/3D Designer – San Francisco

*now known as Interaction and UX/UI Design

After bumping into motion designer Colin Evoy Sebestyen on a campus tour, he enrolled in Academy of Art University’s Web Design & New Media program, where Colin taught. Rose now specializes in three-dimensional motion design in Cinema 4D. His process is simple, he takes big inspiration from his daily life, always taking photos and notes of eye-catching details and gestures around him.

Herbert Martinez, BFA Fine Art-Sculpture, 2019
Sculptor – Central California

His work is very much influenced by his unique perspective of society. The certainty and unmoving rigidity of steel juxtaposes the ever-changing perspectives and fluid mistrust of anyone that looks different, acts different, or does not conform to the preconceptions forced on them within a multicultural society. With this duality of forms and concept the work of Herbert Gilberto Martinez Jr. is very influenced by his formative years.

Tirdad Aghakhani, MA Photography, 2020
Photographer/Visual Artist – California

Tirdad’s love for human beings and nature is exhibited through his work, largely collections of ordinary people, artists, and also fashion photography. His artistic and poetic vision behind the camera has shaped his unique style of photography.  His photographs have won multiple awards and been published in various magazines, including Vogue Italia. His quest for new experiences has made him an artist with a wide range of skills and unique works.

Ximao Miao, MFA Jewelry & Metal Arts, 2017
Artist/Freelance Jewelry Designer – Bay Area, CA

Ximao’s work is an interpretation of the natural environment that integrated his childhood memories of a small village in central China and life experience in the States, and suggests a meditative process by using natural materials such as wood, clay and metals. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including Belgium, China, Japan and the States and received awards both in China and the States.

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