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PreCollege 2 017

June 19–July 14 ­­A ges 16–18

Students in the experimental cinema course during a film shoot.

About The Program San Francisco Art Institute PreCollege helps you get a jump on the college experience with a four-week intensive and transformative program in the arts. This college credit program combines intensive study and practice with SFAI’s renowned faculty to help you build foundational skills, develop a portfolio, experiment with new media, and collaborate with like-minded peers who are driven to create. Visits to local museums and exhibition opportunities complement this immersive experience.

Above: C. da Silva, Myles Lowrie-Otter, and Elizabeth Gomez in class. Right: Flower installation by Brendan O’Shaughnessy.


PreCollege takes place on SFAI’s legendary campus at 800 Chestnut Street in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Russian Hill neighborhood. Inspiring views of the Bay, a monumental Diego Rivera fresco, and a constant stream of visiting artists and visionaries are part of daily life at SFAI.

For students who have completed the tenth grade, but haven’t yet started college.



Above: Noel Jones, Katie Buckley, and Zayn Compton work on their final paintings.

With an innovative curriculum and a commitment to handson learning and active dialogue, SFAI fosters an authentic artistic community engaged in interdisciplinary thinking and contemporary studio practice. PreCollege offers a diverse and introductory course of study comparable to that of a first-year BFA student. Students pick two different courses (morning and afternoon) that meet for three hours each, Monday through Thursday. Friday academic activities, studio hours, and exploratory workshops enhance the studio curriculum. Student Campus Schedule

Monday, Wednesday, Friday | 9:30am–4:30pm Tuesday and Thursday | 9:30am–6:30pm

Evening Studio

Tuesdays and Thursdays | 4:30–6:30pm


Commitment to the creative process is integral at PreCollege. The required Evening Studio allows you to practice making work independently and is a fruitful time for collaboration and peer support. Studios, equipment, and campus resources are available throughout the week, and students should expect to commit approximately ten hours per week—including the required studio hours—to thoroughly develop and complete projects.

Courses Morning


Monday–Thursday | 9:30am–12:30pm • Expressive Figure Drawing • Performance and Video Art • Painting and Permutations • Digital Photography Tools and Techniques • The Constructed Photograph • Screenprinting • Sculptural Forms: Hand-Building and Materiality

Monday–Thursday | 1:30–4:30pm • Expanded Line Drawing • Collage • Experimental Cinema • Installation Art • Narrative and Identity in Painting • Documentary and Street Photography • Lighting and Portrait Photography • Ceramics

Below: Dean Ray, Hold on Tight.


Fridays In Focus

Above: All student field trip to SFMOMA.

An exciting range of workshops and activities fill Fridays at PreCollege. Meet new people, work with faculty, and explore the Bay Area. Friday morning and afternoon activities are required for PreCollege students—you wouldn’t want to miss them anyway—in addition to classes and studio time. Attendance in all Friday sessions is mandatory. If you choose to withdraw from PreCollege early without attending the final exhibition you will not receive program credit.

Friday Workshops

Workshop Topics May Include:

June 23, 30, + July 7 | 9:30am–12:30pm

Friday Workshops introduce new mediums and methods of creativity. You’ll interact with SFAI faculty and discover new ideas and practices to enhance your own work.

• • • • • •

Real-Life Comics Portfolio Development (led by SFAI Admissions team) Screenprinting T-shirts Image Transfer Techniques Cyanotypes Darkroom Film Processing

View the complete PreCollege calendar online with updated schedule information in Spring, 2017:


Emerging Curators Workshop Friday, June 23, 30, + July 7 | 9:30am–12:30pm

Collaborate with staff from SFAI’s Walter and McBean Galleries and learn to curate and produce your own exhibitions. Critically examine exhibition history, design, and concepts through readings and discussions to develop a unique vision for an exhibition.

Art in Context

Friday, June 23, 30 + July 7 | 1:30–4:30pm

Friday afternoons at PreCollege are all about engaging with the local art community and your peers. See what the Bay Area’s museums have to offer and find new artists to inspire your practice. Friday, June 23

Visit the recently-expanded SFMOMA, home to groundbreaking special exhibitions, as well as a world-renowned collection of celebrated artists from the past century. Friday, June 30

Visit one of the extensive Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the largest public arts institution in the City of San Francisco and one of the largest art museums in the United States, and explore the beautiful public parks surrounding the museum. Friday, July 7

Explore cutting-edge, contemporary art museums in downtown San Francisco, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and The Contemporary Jewish Museum. Final Exhibition

Friday, July 14

You will meet with your studio courses on Friday, July 14 for exhibition preparations, final critique, and installation. Then, show off all the work you’ve produced in PreCollege and share your accomplishments with friends, family, and the public in a culminating campus-wide final exhibition. For families and friends, we’ll kick things off at 3:30 pm with a screening of projects from the Performance and Video Art, and Experimental Cinema courses, followed by a campus-wide exhibition from 4:30­–6:30 pm.

Right: Haley Pearson with final digital photography work.


Spread: Caroline Herbert, Pressures, 2016. Archival Inkjet Print.

Course Descriptions Expressive Figure Drawing

Learn to tell stories, communicate visually, and imagine new worlds through large- and small-scale drawings working from models and beyond. Use a range of 2-D media including charcoal, ink, graphite, gouache, and collage. Beginning with work from live models and observational drawing, followed by more involved works from photography and more, you will uncover the nuances of composition, line, value, and scale as related to the figure. Models in this class are nude.

Expanded Line Drawing


Develop observational abilities and technical skills that are the foundational elements of drawing. The goal is to give you the necessary tools to understand how you see and perceive visual information in the world, and how to translate these experiences onto a two-dimensional format. While upholding traditional drawing methods, this class also looks to drawing as an experimental process and as a gateway to explore broader thematic and conceptual frameworks. During this course, there will be several extended drawing projects that provide opportunities for you to further investigate your creative responses to material, scale and subject matter. Above: (left) Drawing studio, (right) Emily Spector drawing.



Above: (left) Myles Lowrie-Otter poses in front of his final drawing project, (top) Amanda Lee collage.



In this course, we’ll explore the broad spectrum of practices collage encompasses and discover their formal and conceptual possibilities. Juxtaposing images, materials and concepts, practice combining materials to create something entirely different from the sum of its parts. There will be an emphasis on the use of found and reused materials such as paint, wood, glass, and fabric, composition, combined with drawing from observation. Complete an array of individual and group assignments focused on both formal and thematic subjects.

Above: (top) Alexandra Chin still of 16mm film, (bottom) Kavi Dalal and James Hill shooting.

Experimental Cinema


Enter the world of cinema as an expressive medium—not merely an instrument of narrative and illusion. In this course, there will be very few explosions, love scenes, or breathtaking chase sequences— instead you will capture concept, emotion, and intention. Experience alternative, avant-garde, and experimental cinema through screenings, discussions, and hands-on workshops. Starting with the technical including Super 8, 8mm, and 16mm, we will then move to concept-driven projects utilizing video, editing, audio, and installation with your culminating project to be screened and/or installed at the final exhibition.


“At SFAI we can focus on our art, with a great mix of independence and structure that provides us the opportunity to develop creative ideas. It helps to develop self-discipline because the program is for you, and you alone are responsible for the work you do.� Bennett Koziak, Los Angeles, CA Above: The Institution, Performance by Bob Vieira.

Performance and Video Art

Experience the intersection of live performance and video through the exploration of human actions as art. This course introduces the rich and corporeal practice of visual artists using their bodies, time, and space as a medium for their work. The video component of the class draws upon a wide range of methods and styles— documentary, performance, and experimental video to assess how video captures the meaning and presentation of performance art and explores effective strategies for production and dissemination from technical, methodological, and philosophical perspectives. Students enrolled in this course are expected to work both independently and collaboratively to define their own projects.

Installation Art

Exploring the history of installation art, urban interventions, performance and time-based work, will allow us to critically examine strategies and theories behind installation production. An active studio component allows you to adapt and explore personal work within your specialized art practice to implement a series of installation projects. Other components include documentation of artwork through video, photo, audio, and written formats, plus proposal writing for installation projects.


Above: (top) Zoe Edwards, Shadows (bottom) Adriana Furlong and her family in front of her work at the final exhibition.

Painting and Permutations

Emphasize originality and craftsmanship as you bring your ideas to light through the mediums of oil and acrylic paint. Handson painting demonstrations focused on technique dovetail with critical discussions that cultivate a common art vocabulary. We will examine modern, postmodern, and contemporary art movements to contextualize studio work, pushing you to embrace experimentation and explore the conceptual possibilities of paint.

Narrative and Identity in Painting

Explore ideas surrounding notions of identity, home and family using psychology and emotion as impetuses to create and resolve a series of paintings around those themes. Students are encouraged to reference photography and memory, paying particular attention to space, objects and people that connect the artwork to the personal. Slide lectures and readings will provide contemporary and historical context for discussion of painting as a storytelling device.



Above: Sabrina Morgan, The Art of Growing Up.

Digital Photography Tools and Techniques


Discover the world of digital photography through hands-on practice in the digital lab, lighting studio, and in the field. Learn to compose images and produce digital prints while learning advanced Adobe Photoshop features like selections, layers, masks, and channels. Group discussions on contemporary photography offer insight—and room for debate—on photographers, their artistic practice, strategies, and concepts. By the end of the course, you will have produced a cohesive body of photographs and broadened your expertise in digital photography and printing. Photography requirements: Students must provide their own digital SLR camera. Additional photography equipment is available on loan.

The Constructed Photograph

Above: Olivia Otts digital photograph.

The artist’s studio operates as a home base, a laboratory, and even a stage to launch new ideas and inquiries about the intricacies of the everyday world. We will examine what it means for the artist to work in a directorial mode, whether with people, objects, or materials, paying close attention to the evolution of the constructed photograph from the conceptual 1970s and into the contemporary realm. This genre makes use of a vast range of techniques including lighting, staging, styling, directing, crafting, scripting, and more. Constructed images in this course can include a wide array of mediums and materials from celluloid film, found or constructed objects, paintings, drawings, prints, to sculpture and installation.

Documentary and Street Photography

This course will cover a range of street photography and will expose students to advanced conceptual frameworks prevalent in contemporary image-making. Students will be challenged to think creatively, employ non-traditional approaches to seeing, and generate expressive images that fuse process with concept. A study of the key figures of street photography will ground our understanding of the medium’s fundamental concepts.

Lighting and Portrait Photography

Discover creative techniques to change the mood of your photograph through the use of controlled lighting. Learn how to build lighting sets as used by commercial, fashion and fine-art photographers. Examine the work of contemporary photographers and the use of light in their work. Technical demonstrations and hands-on collaborative projects will teach proper use of professional studio equipment and help achieve desired lighting.



“There is nothing more valuable than a community of artists who live, learn, and create alongside each other. I’ve found so much inspiration in my classmates and teachers. This program has broadened my definition of art itself. The SFAI environment—the entire atmosphere of it—has challenged me as a student and as a visual artist.” Myles Lowrie-Otter, Milwaukie, OR

Above: T-Shirt Screenprinting Workshop.



Learn to combine various forms of imagery such as drawing and digital photography through layering, playing with ink transparency, and printing on a wide range of surfaces. Develop a new way to showcase your art through screenprinting as we explore processes, materials, forms, and philosophies around this technique. Generate your own concepts as you develop your drawing and design skills as well as engage in lectures, group discussion, and demonstrations that will give you a historical understanding of screenprinting as a printmaking art form.

Below: (left) Katie Buckley final screenprint project, (right) Eileen Bettinger eyes sculpture.

Sculptural Forms: Hand-Building and Materiality

Blend construction methods, design, and functionality of contemporary sculpture as you explore processes, techniques, and concepts of sculpture by designing and building structures using a variety of materials from plaster casts to fabric. We will review site, place, and juxtaposition of objects, meaning, and content to push our work to greater spatial heights.


This course will examine clay as a sculptural material with special focus on hand building techniques. Coil building, slab construction, and slip casting will act as the primary approaches to making. Surface articulation, including glaze strategies and the incorporation of supplementary materials will also be addressed. Project prompts will act as loose starting points to give students room to develop personal styles of making. The history of ceramic sculpture and contemporary ceramic practices will be introduced with a special attention to Bay Area ceramics. Students will complete the class with considerable knowledge of the ceramic process and fully realized projects.


Student Life San Francisco is thriving, and SFAI is your gateway to the cultural scene. PreCollege organizes visits to museums such as SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Asian Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, de Young Museum, and Legion of Honor, as well as galleries, pop-up spaces, and site-specific happenings. Our ample green spaces, eclectic music venues, spirited technological innovations, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean are part of what makes the Bay Area such a vibrant and inclusive setting to practice any form of art.

Housing Supervised housing provides PreCollege students with a convenient, affordable, and secure living environment that supports artistic growth. Professional housing staff and a team of enthusiastic full-time SFAI Resident Advisors live with PreCollege students, helping to familiarize them with the school and its surroundings. You will live just steps away from Union Square. This bustling neighborhood is filled with galleries, alternative art spaces, shopping, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. Public transportation between the Residence Hall and SFAI campus is readily available within close walking distance. All students in housing receive transportation passes valid on the San Francisco MUNI system. Frequent events provide structured opportunities for you to explore the city, gain confidence in living away from home, and bond with other students. We encourage you to explore and immerse yourself in the vibrant Bay Area arts scene and community in groups of two or more.


Sunday, June 18 | 9am–3pm


Saturday, July 15 by 10am


Questions or concerns about SFAI housing? Contact us: 415.351.3556 or

Residence Hall Amenities Community Kitchen

Residents enjoy mealtime in a community kitchen. The kitchen is equipped with everything your need to prepare food, including a full-size oven, range, microwaves, and toasters.

Cable Television

Each room is equipped with a television and basic cable.


Coin-operated washers and dryers are conveniently located in the residence halls. Use quarters to purchase wash cycles for $2.50 and dryer cycles for $2.00.

Internet Access and Computers

The residence hall is equipped with wireless Internet throughout the building and in the rooms. Residents also share use of community computers located in the building.

Recreation Room

Residents relax and socialize in a fully furnished recreation room equipped with a pool table and foosball table, as well as a flat screen television. This popular community space is also used for residence hall programs and activities.

Above: Friends Julia Madsen, Amanda Lee, and Isabelle Grybow at the final exhibition.

As safety is always a top priority, PreCollege students are required to abide by set evening curfew hours, as well as a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, in addition to other special rules. All residence hall policies are outlined in the housing application, which students receive upon acceptance to the program.


Orientation For Students

Join us for housing orientation Sunday, June 18 at 3:30pm at the Residence Hall. We’ll get you settled, begin getting to know each other, and review housing policies. Required for PreCollege students residing in student housing.

For All Students (Parents Welcome)

Join us for a lively orientation, beginning with a continental breakfast reception at 9am on Monday, June 19 at 800 Chestnut Street. Students will attend class, beginning at 9:30am, at which time we invite parents to attend a special discussion with PreCollege staff, and join students at 11:30am to meet the faculty, tour campus, enjoy a communal lunch, and learn more about program policies. Required for all PreCollege students.

Meals All students are automatically enrolled in a $250 SFAI Café cash plan that can be used like a debit card in the Campus Café during normal business hours from 8:30 am–2 pm Monday through Friday. Serving breakfast, lunch, and other light fare, all food at the SFAI Cafè is made from ingredients that are organic, local, and seasonal. Breakfast offerings include juice, pastries, bagels, eggs, fresh fruit, and parfaits. Lunch includes salads, sandwiches, a hot entrée with a vegetarian option, and desserts. The café also serves organic fair-trade coffee, espresso, and organic teas. Students in housing enjoy the flexibility of selecting or preparing their own dinners and weekend meals. Helping students adjust to independent living, Resident Advisors plan at least one cookingoriented event per week, including shopping trips to local grocers.

Extracurricular Activities Right: performance by Oliver Hawk-Holden.


PreCollege offers numerous opportunities to relax and connect with friends at weekly events like dance parties, movie nights, community dinners, photo shoots, and more focused on building an understanding of your own identity, your role as a community member, being an artist in San Francisco, and supporting exhibition practices. A full schedule of events will be distributed during orientation and posted to our website calendar.

“I’m very grateful to have met and been welcomed into a community of unabashedly weird, talented, and thoughtful artists here at SFAI. You have immensely influenced my relationship and approach to art just in the past few weeks.” Eve Anderson, Larkspur, CA



Expenses and Fees Fee Breakdown

Residents | $4,850

• •

Commuters | $3,000

Due May 30

Tuition for two studio courses, including 4 units of college credit, Friday Workshops, and Art In Context: $3,000 (includes $100 nonrefundable deposit) Residential Program: $1,850 (includes $100 nonrefundable deposit)

Art Supplies

Students receive a supply list for each course prior to the program’s start date. You are expected to have all supplies at the start of PreCollege. Please note that supplies for most courses are approximately $100 to $250.

Living Costs

Although every student budget is unique, all students will need some spending money for weekday dinners, weekend meals, snacks, and other miscellaneous items. On average, students spend approximately $180 per week, but could spend less if they are committed to cooking and grocery shopping.


Need-based scholarships are available to a limited number of students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Scholarships are reviewed using the Federal Methodology approved by Congress to estimate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Families with an EFC less than the cost of attendance will be considered for partial tuition scholarships. The number of students demonstrating need often outweighs our giving capacity. As a result, scholarship recipients receive partial tuition scholarships. Your acceptance to the program is not affected in any way if you apply for a scholarship. Scholarship application forms are available online or upon request and must be received with your completed application materials to be considered. Review will begin February 1, 2017.


Left: Zoe Webb with her drawing project.

How To Apply Application Checklist • Completed and signed application form • Five to eight examples of work that reflect your imagination and originality. For students pursuing time-based mediums such as video or film, please submit five to ten minutes of work. • Artist statement—a one-page essay about your primary interests in making art. • Letter of recommendation from an art teacher or teacher who is familiar with your artistic interests • $65 application fee

Deadlines Priority application deadline | April 3, 2017 Application deadline | May 1, 2017 Scholarship review begins | February 1, 2017 Due to our small program and course sizes, acceptance into the program and course selection is competitive. We recommend applying early by the priority application deadline of April 3, 2017. You will be notified of an admissions decision within five business days of receiving your completed application and materials. Deadlines reflect when materials must be received by SFAI.

Apply Online 28

Spread: Meave Cunningham’s post chalk performance.


Connect PreCollege San Francisco Art Institute 800 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94133 • 415.749.4554

Talk back SFAI PreCollege @SFAIevents, #SFAI @sfaiofficial

Images Cera Deibel Pages 2–3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, and 20 •

Claudine Gossett Cover, pages 5, 9, 14, 16, 17, 23, and 26 •

Cover (front + back) Installation by Macy Weymar and Brendan O’Shaughnessy.

Spread: Carren Zhao, installation project. Photo by Diana Li.

800 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94133







2017 PreCollege Brochure  
2017 PreCollege Brochure