Get Immortalized With Yoda and Indy at New Park

Later this summer, San Anselmo residents and Star Wars/Indiana Jones fans alike will have a new place to soak in the Marin County sunshine and become one with the Force. The San Anselmo Park project, which is being built on land donated by San Anselmo resident George Lucas and will feature two life-size bronzes sculpted by Academy of Art University’s very own Sculpture Chair Lawrence Noble, will provide San Anselmo residents with a new city jewel and visitor destination.

(See also: Lucasfilm’s Yoda Fountain: A Discussion with the Artist)

Yoda and Indiana Jones bronzes by Lawrence Noble will be installed over a fountain at the new San Anselmo Park

Life-size Yoda and Indiana Jones bronzes by Lawrence Noble will be installed over a fountain at the new San Anselmo Park

The bronzes – a Yoda identical to the one installed at Lucasfilm’s Presidio and Big Rock Ranch campuses and an all-new life-size Indiana Jones – will tower over an artful stone fountain along the western edge of the park, which is located at the corner of San Anselmo Ave. and Magnolia Ave. While the land has been donated by Lucas, the fountain, benches, lampposts, drinking fountains, trees, landscaping and other features will be funded by donations collected by the San Anselmo Community Foundation – which is where fans and park enthusiasts come in!
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FASCU Student Sculpture Installations at San Francisco Zoo

Designer Van Nguyen stands with the steel skeletal structure of "Soul Connection" which will soon be installed at the SF Zoo

Designer Van Nguyen stands with the steel skeletal structure of “Soul Connection” which will soon be installed at the SF Zoo

Academy of Art University instructor Peter Schifrin’s Maquette to Monument class (FASCU 499) continues its strong relationship with the San Francisco Zoo this semester with several student installation projects currently underway. The following images represent the concepts submitted and approved by the SF Zoo, which we’ll update with a future entry that includes finished images once the installations are in place!

Van Nguyen – ‘Soul Connection’ – steel, stainless steel, cable-steel and mosaic

Van Nguyen – ‘Soul Connection’ – steel, stainless steel, cable-steel and mosaic

Melisande Inness-Brown – ‘Animals in Motion’ – copper forms and stainless steel

Melisande Inness-Brown – ‘Animals in Motion’ – copper forms and stainless steel

Deanna Wardly – ‘Voronoi in Nature’ – welded steel and etched copper

Deanna Wardly – ‘Voronoi in Nature’ – welded steel and etched copper

Spencer Roland and Evan Benelli – ‘The Helper’, welded forged steel on existing tree.

Spencer Roland and Evan Benelli – ‘The Helper’, welded forged steel on existing tree.

Kelly Froelich and Kelsey Evans-Lang – ‘Zooprint’ – glazed hand-made ceramic tile

Kelly Froelich and Kelsey Evans-Lang – ‘Zooprint’ – glazed hand-made ceramic tile

Lucasfilm’s Yoda Fountain: A Discussion with the Artist

Several weeks ago, Academy of Art University Director of Sculpture Lawrence Noble and Director of Online Graduate Studies Jason Shaeffer had the privilege of visiting Lucasfilm’s Presidio campus in San Francisco to discuss the many bronze statues that adorn the park-like campus. The bronzes, which were all sculpted by Director Noble in the years before his arrival at AAU, have become something of an attraction at Lucasfilm headquarters, none more so than the Yoda fountain that greets visitors at the complex’s main entrance near Letterman Drive.

As the video discussion reveals, each sculpture is the result of a journey from concept to realization as well as a meeting of the minds between artist and client. We at AAU are extremely thankful that Lucasfilm provided this rare opportunity to hear the stories of these bronzes from the artist who created them, and hope that they will inspire students of sculpture to suit up (Noble’s words) and do, or do not — there is no try (Yoda’s words).

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll share some of the other bronzes Director Noble has done for Lucasfilm at the Presidio, including those of Willis O’Brien, Eadweard Muybridge, Philo Farnsworth, and Darth Vader – stay tuned!

For those interested in the Yoda bronze, you’ll be happy to know that The New San Anselmo Downtown Park project will be installing a bronze Yoda — and life-size Indiana Jones — on land donated by George Lucas himself! For details about the park and how you can make a donation to get your name on a plaque installed at the park, visit the San Anselmo Downtown Park Fund site!

Student Sculpture Proposals for FASCU Office

With a new set of lovely French doors recently installed in the FASCU offices at the Cannery, an unexpected blank space was created to the left of the entryway — and what better way to fill it than with a custom relief sculpture created by a FASCU student?!

At the request of Sculpture Chair Lawrence Noble, instructor Scott Donahue (Relief: Expression & Interpretation) set his students to work proposing several different possibilities for the space, which we are showcasing below. The students were instructed to carefully consider the space surrounding the relief (15th century English oak paneling) and the context of its location.

After much deliberation, a fantasy-themed Victorian elephant relief by student Seok Don Choi has been chosen to occupy the void framed by the centuries-old paneling, and is the final piece depicted below. We’ll update this story once the final relief is in place!

Many thanks to the students of FASCU 645 for their dedication and wonderful proposals!

PROPOSALS:

Jihoon Choi chose to incorporate AAU school iconography and an old English font to convey the tone and purpose of the space:

Luotian Zhang incorporated several facial profiles into his design, each expressing a different emotion:

Welat Binavi took a more non-literal approach with a rather pleasant color-scheme:

Wenquing Cui took inspiration from the old walls to create an Egyptian hieroglyphic motif:

wenquing

Finally, Seok Don Choi’s fantastical Victorian elephant proposal was selected for the space, which was supported by his stunning sketches and 3D mock-up:

Seok Don at work on the relief:

UPDATE: Check out the final work installed below — we think it’s absolutely fantastic!!

Finished elephant relief by Seok-don Choi

Test Tubes

According to Neon/Illuminated Sculpture (FASCU 237) instructor Bill Concannon, the filled cans are not “waste” but the necessary product of skills development — everyone learns to bend neon tubing this way.

Online Class: Art of Moldmaking & Casting 1

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Online Coordinator Steve Krochman sends some great pics of BFA Fine Art Sculpture student Debra Davis’ waste mold cast figure as well as some process shots. Debra says she has the best of both worlds, enjoying the sun in front of her studio while receiving advice and feedback from instructor Krochman every step of the way! Interested in taking some online courses at AAU? Read more about our program here!

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Noble’s Yoda and Indy Bronzes Featured in Star Wars Insider

The latest issue (#140) of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Insider magazine includes a 2-page spread showcasing AAU Sculpture Chair Lawrence Noble’s iconic Yoda and soon-to-be-unveiled Indiana Jones bronzes. The story announces their imminent installation at a new park being developed in San Anselmo on land donated by George Lucas himself. We’ll stay on this story as things develop!