Recently, Academy of Art University student Pratik Parulekar employed his imagination and skills to earn himself international awards. In a competition with more than 4,000 entries, Parulekar’s photographs entered in the still life category were awarded a gold medal, one of only 31 that were awarded. He also won a silver medal for another of his images entitled “Impossible Paint,” a bottle of pink nail polish that spills out onto a piece of M.C. Escher’s artwork. This painting won an additional prize in the still life category in the photography magazine PDNedu’s contest and was featured in the magazine’s spring 2019 edition. In the Sony World Photography Awards Open this same year, “Impossible Paint” was one of the shortlisted images in the still life category.
The encouragement and support that he received from his Academy instructors who had seen these photographs in their classes led Parulekar to decide to enter the photos into a competition. Parulekar credits these instructors for his valuable experiences that taught him his winning skills. Parulekar’s instructors also urged him to find an internship. With the help of the Academy’s associate director, John Vano, Parulekar obtained a position with Dwight Eschliman, an Academy graduate who is an accomplished commercial still life photographer.
When associate director Vano praised Parulekar’s work that demonstrates graphic understanding of lighting, color and arrangement into his photographs, Parulekar, in turn, attributes this understanding to his mentor, Eschliman, and he credits the Academy for his earning of awards because he gained knowledge from his education and much confidence from his internship in the art and commercial world.
The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, was founded by Richard S. Stephens, a fine art painter. Since 1929, this school has been family-owned and has always had open admissions in numerous areas of study. Many of the instructors are professional artists, and some are former students. Working with the students, these artists prepare those who aspire to positions in the fields of communication, design, photography and the arts.