Art Academia is among a very small group of companies that have won the Best of San Mateo Award for three consecutive years. This distinction has qualified Art Academia for the 2017 San Mateo Business Hall of Fame. Needless to say we are honored, and could not have done it without all the amazing students, parents, and friends of our school. Thank you all, and congrats...this accomplishment is yours!

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AuthorYury Polnar

"My mother said to me, 'if you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead I was a painter, and became Picasso." - Pablo Picasso

Happy Mother's Day to all the Art Academia mom's - thank you for supporting your little Picassos!

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AuthorYury Polnar

We would like to invite you to Art Academia's 2nd annual participation Silicon Valley Open Studios. This is a fantastic event where professional Bay Area artists open their studios and galleries to the public so they can witness and interact with the all the creativity that's quietly happening all around them each day. 

Our very own Inna Polnar has curated some of her favorite paintings that she's created over the years, and will be displaying them at the Art Academia gallery. All paintings will be available for sale. So please gather your friends and family, and join us next weekend - it's guaranteed to be a fun time! Here's an artist directory so you can see all of the open studios around the bay area too.

When: May 14 & 15 from 11am to 5pm
Where: Art Academia - 28 East 3rd Avenue, San Mateo CA 94401
Who: Everyone who loves art

Thank you so much for supporting the arts - we look forward to seeing you at the event!

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AuthorYury Polnar

Thank you to all Art Academia students, parents, friends, and family - we're all winners! 

Art Academia has been selected for the 2015 Best of San Mateo Award in the Art School category.

Each year, the San Mateo Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional success in their local community and business category. These are companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These standout companies help make the San Mateo area a great place to live, work, and play. And we are thrilled to be part of the winning circle in 2015. 

Thank you all the supporters of Art Academia, it is your unbridled passion and unwavering support of the arts that make recognition like this happen. 

About San Mateo Award Program
The San Mateo Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the San Mateo area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The San Mateo Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

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AuthorYury Polnar

It may be chilly outside, but the memories from 2015 could not be warmer. Join us in taking a brief look back at some of our top events and highlights that made this year so special.

 

 

 

 

 

Ceramics is on fire

Thanks to Marina Smelik's masterful vision and instruction, our ceramics program reached new heights this year. Our students transformed globs of clay into exquisite bowls, cups, plates, and figurines. And using our new line-up of advanced glazes and our trusty kiln, they created vibrantly eye catching art.

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Summer art camp shines

This year, we had our most exciting summer art camp ever. Students painted outside in the sunshine, worked with ceramics, built puppets, and made 3-D art. Our field trips to San Mateo's Central Park and other Bay Area locations served as amazing backdrops for all the new friendships, laughs, and fun we had. Stay tuned for details about our 2016 art camp.

Students sparkle at art exhibits 

Among several other exhibits, our students were invited to showcase their art at the San Mateo Arboretum Society in Central Park. On display were many of the flower and natured inspired paintings that were created this year - and the rose garden at the Arboretum was the perfect backdrop. This was a fantastic opportunity for our aspiring artists to show their work in their community. We plan on doing many more of these exhibits in 2016, and we hope you'll join if you didn't get a chance this year. 

Master series workshops launch 

Art Academia was honored to host world-renowned Australian artist Colley Whisson for a 4 day workshop where he conducted daily demonstrations and taught fundamentals needed to produce paintings with powerful light effects, loose brushwork, and sensitivity to the subject. In 2016, we are thrilled to welcome Colley Whisson back to Art Academia, and are bringing Slava Korolenkov from Russia to teach two additional master series workshops - learn about our 2016 workshops and register.

 

Thank you to all of our amazingly talented students, their supportive parents and guardians, and of course our passionate staff - each of you helped make 2015 a truly remarkable year. We wish you a warm, prosperous, and art filled 2016.

If you have memories of your own you'd like to share, please leave a comment below or write a Yelp review

Happy holidays!

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AuthorYury Polnar

Art Academia had the wonderful privilege of visiting the San Mateo Arboretum Society to showcase our students' art work during their annual plant exhibit.

Our students displayed their flower and nature inspired works, and the rose garden at the Arboretum was the perfect backdrop. We had many admirers of the art, and we all learned an appreciation for the diverse plants on display - both live and on canvas. It was a great time for all, and we are appreciative of the San Mateo Arboretum Society for inviting us.

Thank you for all the students who volunteered to display their work - sharing art with the world is a sign of a true artist!

If you weren't able to attend this event, stay tuned for more student art shows and exhibits. We have many more coming up, and you wont want to miss them!

(This blog post was guest written by Jennifer Ruo)

 

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AuthorInna Polnar

As we wrap up our Summer Art Camp, it's pretty clear just how awesome this summer has been.

Our students have shown remarkable growth and learned lots of new art techniques which will enhance their individual creativity, and the ability to observe and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all each and every day. Some stand-out projects included outdoor painting, hand-build ceramics, puppets and 3-D animal art. Each of these projects were designed to encourage our students to grow and develop their skills through the study and use of traditional art techniques involving experimenting with textures, colors, and forms. And of course all of our field trips, new friendships, laughs, and messy paintbrushes were a testament to all the fun we all had!

See the full summer camp gallery here

Looking forward: We are now enrolling for the Fall, with a whole slew of new classes and time slots, please take a look at our schedule if you'd like to take art lessons after school. 

We wish our students the very best on their upcoming school year...and hope to see you all next summer at camp!

(This blog post was guest written by Jennifer Ruo)

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AuthorInna Polnar

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Hayley Ashkenas as the newest resident instructor at Art Academia, where she will share her extensive painting, drawing, and ceramics knowledge with our students. We're especially excited that she's with us, because she used to be a student at Art Academia herself, so she has a deep understanding of our unique philosophy and teaching methodologies. 

Getting to Know Her: 

Hayley has pursued classical oil painting from a young age, studying at various representational painting academies and ateliers around the Bay Area. She herself studied at Art Academia some years ago under the tutelage of Inna, where she developed a strong method and approach to painting from life. 

Later, she went on to receive her BFA from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Connecticut, a rigorous fine arts school specializing in the building of a firm, foundational skill set. There she was able to explore other traditional media including printmaking, sculpture, Renaissance drawing methods, and egg tempura to name a few, giving her a wide breadth of academic experience that she's excited to now bring back to Art Academia.

In her own studio practice, she focuses on portraiture and the figure in oil. And because of of Hayley's prior involvement with Art Academia, she and Inna share very much the same methodology in painting and make a highly compatible team of traditional fine art educators. 

Please join us in welcoming Hayley back to Art Academia, we are incredibly fortunate to have you!

If you'd like to enroll in one of Hayley's drawing, painting, or ceramics classes, please visit our schedule of classes or contact us directly and request her by name. 

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AuthorInna Polnar

Drawing the human face can be an intimidating assignment for any artist because of its many complex features, but once an artist learns to visualize the underlying forms (ex: spheres for the cranium, blocks for the jaw and cheek bones, etc), the exercise can be rewarding one, indeed.

In a recent class, some of our 12-16 year olds created these fantastic drawings of the human head, by following the basic principles of geometrical de-construction depicted above. Great work everyone, very impressive!


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AuthorInna Polnar

In a recent exercise, some our teenage students (13-17) were shown a violin, and were asked to flex their creative muscles to bring it to life using paint brushes and their own unique style. From oil paint to pastel and watercolor, each artist took us on an interpretive visual journey. Take a look!

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  Fantastic work everyone!

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AuthorInna Polnar
Tagsviolin

If you've been to San Francisco City Hall lately, you have undoubtedly come face to face with at least a few bust sculptures honoring famous bay area figures. But did you know that Art Academia's very own Inna Polnar helped design one of the newest busts on display? It's true!

Entering the building from Van Ness Street, guests are greeted by a large bronze Adolf Sutro sculpture set on a solid granite pedestal.

Inna worked closely with famous sculptor Jonah Hendrickson, who is also credited with crafting the Harvey Milk bust in the same building, and the United Humanitarian Mission which raised funds for the project. Today, the Sutro bust occupies a prominent first-floor spot, previously held by a Willie Brown bust (which has since moved upstairs).

Initial small scale model (known as a maquette)

Initial small scale model (known as a maquette)

Completed bronze sculture (Located in SF City Hall)

Completed bronze sculture (Located in SF City Hall)

Next time you visit San Francisco City Hall, we invite you to find this Adolf Sutro bust, take a photo with it, and upload it to our Facebook page!

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AuthorYury Polnar

Alexandra Munoz (age 15) worked diligently and tirelessly to create this wonderfully touching portrait for her grandmother's birthday. Not only did Alexandra showcase her advanced artistic skills with this piece, but she masterfully conveyed the love and affection she so clearly has for her family. For all of this, she is truly deserving of Art Academia's first ever Student of the Month Award - congrats Alexandra!

To hear more about this beautiful portrait, here are a few words from Alexandra and her mother:

I painted this portrait of my grandmother around her 82nd birthday and ended up giving it to her as a Christmas present. I wanted this painting not only to reflect my beautiful grandmother, but the legacy she left: her grandchildren. She has done nothing but care for us since each of us was born. I painted this as a way to say thank you to her for everything she has done for us. Inna guided me throughout this entire process, from the first idea to the final product. She helped me take a simple idea, and turn it into this piece of art.
— Alexandra Munoz (Age 15)
When I saw the painting of my mother, done by my daughter I was touched. I was touched by the way she was able to capture all the feelings we feel for my mother. She showed the love and happiness my mother feels for her grandchildren. I was truly amazed with what my daughter could capture with paint. She made sure the memory of my mother will always last.
— Alexandra's Mother
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AuthorInna Polnar

In September 2013, Professor Kokhno visited Art Academia all the way from Saint Petersburg, Russia to teach a week long master series workshop about still-life. We had a fantastic turnout and the knowledge gained was tremendous. Thank you to everyone who attended, and a special thank you to Professor Kokhno for sharing his expertise and enthusiasm with us all. Until next time!

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AuthorInna Polnar

A few weeks ago, we found an old stuffed goose at a local shop and thought it would be a great way to teach our students about avian anatomy and landscape drawing essentials.  

After studying and discussing this bird in great detail, each student was tasked with bringing this goose to life in an imaginary setting of their choosing. Using watercolor and acrylic, each student practiced essential landscape principles including perspective and depth. 

Without stepping foot outside of our studio, each student was able to encounter and tackle real life challenges facing artists whenever they try to depict our three dimensional world. As you enjoy the finished works below, pay particular attention to how our 7 to 14 year old students use color, light, and shadow to depict realistic landscape drawings featuring this goose. Fantastic work everyone!

Alexis 10 y/o. Acrylic. 16x20

Nicole. 10 y/o. Watercolor.

Amy 12 y/o. Acrylic. 16x20

Julia 7 y/o. Acrylic.

Winnie. 10 y/o. Watercolor.

Douglas 14 y/o. Acrylic. 16x20.

Vallery 11 y/o. Acrylic.

Charlotte 8 y/o. acrylic. 14x18

Sharanya. 11 y/o. Acrylic.

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AuthorInna Polnar