Thought it would be fun to post photos of the first day and last day of instructor Alicia Ponzio’s Life-Size Figure Modeling class (FASCU 360). A fantastic body of work from a set of very talented students! Model Andre, who the life-size sculptures are based on, sits at front-center in the second photo.
“When I heard the words ‘classical figurative sculpture’, I thought this is a place that really interests me,” says AAU Sculpture Chair Lawrence Noble, recalling his first reaction to the possibility of heading up the university’s sculpture department at the Cannery in San Francisco. “It just hit me right where I live in terms of what my work symbolized and what a wonderful opportunity it would be to explain the 40 year adventure I’d been on.”
Lawrence Noble, who built a solid reputation as a graphic designer and movie poster illustrator in the 1970s, launched his acclaimed sculptural career in 1980 when a chance viewing of The Empire Strikes Back inspired the artist to try his hand at sculpture. “It was the character Yoda,” says Noble. “After I saw him, I just felt this need to express the inspiration into three dimensions, not my usual two. Some things just exceed our ability to completely understand them.”
Since that brush with the Force three decades ago, Noble has evolved into a master sculptor, counting bronze installations of Civil War General Philip H. Sheridan in Chicago, The California Firefighters’ Memorial, the San Bernardino County Peace Officers’ Memorial, and a new life-size Yoda for Lucasfilm’s Presidio headquarters in San Francisco among his many public commissions since 1990.
I recently sat down with Lawrence at the Cannery campus to discuss his new role as Sculpture Chair at Academy of Art University:
How did you find AAU, or how did AAU find you?
I was recommended to AAU by Eugene Daub, who is one of America’s foremost sculptors. We have a good relationship, respect for each other’s work, and we’ve known each other for decades. So I felt good that he felt good enough about me to recommend me here.
2012 was an exciting year for students enrolled at Academy of Arts University’s School of Sculpture, with a number of classes moving from the 410 Bush campus in the city out to the scenic bayside locale at San Francisco’s historic Cannery building at Fisherman’s Wharf. The Cannery, an earthquake retrofitted 1907 structure that boasts classic architecture and fantastic high-ceiling studio interiors, is the perfect venue to inspire students looking to explore the sculptural arts or refine and enhance their artistic skills. The Cannery is also host to several AAU galleries that are open to the public and well-positioned to showcase our students’ work to the many travelers that frequent this landmark location.
As a way of introducing AAU’s new Cannery facility to both current and potential students who haven’t shuttled out to the wharf yet, we’ve posted a handful of photos above to give you a sense of what you’ll find when you visit us, including some peeks into the galleries and classrooms below. We hope you’ll stop by to visit us for a more thorough look at our facility and the wonderful amenities this new location has to offer (seriously, stay for lunch – there are TONS of great eateries!).
While many AAU Sculpture courses have moved out to the Cannery, some still currently reside at the original 410 Bush location. Here’s a breakdown of the FASCU (Fine Art – Sculpture) classes currently offered at each campus (these are the current Spring 2013 courses and are subject to change):