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San Francisco Art Institute


AGES 16–18

Spread: Students jump (almost) in unision. Photo: Liz Crawford.

San Francisco Art Institute PreCollege helps you get a jump on the college experience with an intensive and transformative program in the arts. This four-week, four college credit program combines in-depth 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: Annabel de Vries places a color gel over a light. Photo: Rafael Soldi. Right: SFAI Quad by Emily Shallman.


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.


SFAI has made me reconsider what it is that I believe to be art, giving me an opportunity to create things which I would have been too self-critical to produce before. The friendships I have formed throughout my time here have been extremely meaningful to me. The accepting community of SFAI makes this place feel like a second home. Grace Pozen Washington, DC






9:00–9:30am | Breakfast in the Café 9:30am–12:30pm | AM Studio Course




9:30am– 12:30pm Friday Workshop

12:30–1:30pm | Lunch in the Café

1:30–4:30pm | PM Studio Course 4:30– 6:30pm Studio Hours 10pm | Curfew

1:30– 4:30pm Art in Context

4:30– 6:30pm Studio Hours

Midnight | Curfew

10pm Curfew

Free Time / Housing Programs / Extracurricular Activities / Exploring San Francisco

Student Campus Schedule


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

Right (top to bottom): Mugdha Dourah prepares to screenprint; Narrative + Identity in Painting class working in the studio; Roxy Wills looks at negatives; Lindsey Bryant works on her final screenprinting project.

Screenprinting (M–Th) This week we embark on a self-directed project while also utilizing three-color

registration to make an edition of 5 prints. We will experiment on alternate print

surfaces, including plexiglas and fabric.

Narrative + Identity in Painting (M–Th) This week we focus on dry and wet

portraiture techniques, working with live

models and exploring color relationships and theory.

Friday Workshop: Darkroom Cyanotypes Get hands-on experience in this three-

hour workshop as you learn an alternative

photographic process. Using photo-emulsion coated paper, you will expose to sunlight to create your own silhouetted design in a rich deep-blue color.

During my time here, I have discovered not only the elasticity of art but the flexibility of the concept of art. It is important that an artist is able to address challenges and situations with their own original intent; I have learned to do this here.


Lindsey Bryant Redford, MI

Above: Lauren Navarrete discusses her piece with faculty Caitlin MitchellDayton.

With an innovative curriculum and a commitment to hands-on 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 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.



Monday–Thursday | 9:30am–12:30pm

• • • • • • •

Expressive Figure Drawing Performance + Video Art Painting + Permutations Black-and-White Photography Lighting + Portrait Photography Screenprinting Ceramics



Below: Students in Lighting + Portrait Photography class, taught by faculty Rafael Soldi.


Monday–Thursday | 1:30–4:30pm

• • • • • • •

Expanded Line Drawing Collage Experimental Cinema Narrative + Identity in Painting Contemporary Photographic Practices The Constructed Photograph Sculpture as Installation

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 22 + 29 | 9:30am–12:30pm Friday Workshops introduce new mediums and methods of creativity. These three-hour intensive allow you to 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) Darkroom Film Processing Screenprinting T-shirts Image Transfer Techniques Creating Moving Images from Digital Photography Cyanotypes

Art in Context

Friday, June 22

Friday, June 22 + 29 | 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. Visit the largest contemporary art museum in San Francisco,

SFMOMA, home to groundbreaking special exhibitions, as well as a

world-renowned collection of celebrated artists from the past century. Friday, June 29

Visit the progressive and multidisciplinary Oakland Museum of California which houses almost 2 million objects including seminal art works, historical artifacts, ethnographic objects, natural specimens,

and photographs—that have shaped California’s character and identity.

Final Exhibition

Left: PreCollege students visit SFMOMA. Below: Guests view student work in the Diego Rivera Gallery.


Friday, July 13 You will meet with your studio courses on Friday, July 13 for exhibition preparations and final critique. 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 3:30pm with a screening of projects from the Performance + Video Art and Experimental Cinema courses, followed by a campus-wide exhibition from 4:30­–6:30pm.

View the complete PreCollege calendar online with updated schedule information in Spring 2018:


Where I’m from, art is considered to be a hobby. Here, it’s a lifestyle. I have no doubt this experience will continue to inspire my work for years to come." Grace Blessington New Berlin, WI



Left: Talia Fleischman exploring Chestnut Street campus by Olivia Marwell. Right: Diego Montalvo works on a drawing.

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.

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.


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


Models in these classes are nude.


Above: Film still by Hana Lustig. Left: Experimental Cinema filming on campus.

Experimental Cinema


Enter the world of cinema as an expressive medium. 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 film, we will then move to concept-driven projects utilizing video, editing, audio, and installation. Your culminating project to be screened and/or installed at the final exhibition.

New Genres

PreCollege has taught me to expand my knowledge and perspective of art and its numerous mediums, and to create work that is representative of my identity and has real world impact. Mugdha Dourah Cupertino, CA

Right: Performance documentation by Sarah Becker.

Performance + 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. This class also 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.


Above: Mara Harbon in front of her painting. Left: Painting by Lauren Navarrete.

Painting + Permutations

Emphasize originality and craftsmanship in your painting as you bring your ideas to light. Hands-on 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 + 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.



Black-and-White Photography

Above: Faculty Alice Shaw discusses a black-and-white photo print with student Roxy Wills.

Advance technical skills in the darkroom while honing your artistic voice. Starting with camera operations and moving through black-and-white darkroom processes of printing and shooting, you will gain skill in dodging, burning, cropping, and adjusting contrast and exposure. Field trips, extensive darkroom practice, gallery visits, and discussions will support you technically and conceptually. By the end of the course, you will have completed an individualized project.

Photography requirements: Students must provide their own 35mm or digital SLR camera with manual camera operations. Additional photography equipment is available on loan.


Left: Photograph by Brad Bell.

Contemporary Photographic Practices

Dive into the world of digital photography through handson practice in the digital lab, lighting studio, and in the field. 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.

The Constructed 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, and prints to sculpture and installation.



The freedom granted to me at PreCollege was integral to my development as an artist. As a photographer, the freedom of being able to explore the city on my own during PreCollege gave me a fresh perspective on my surroundings. Roman Truethart Chicago, IL

Right: Photograph by River Casteneda.

Lighting + 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, the use of light in their work, and its relationship to portrait as subject. Technical demonstrations and hands-on collaborative projects will teach proper use of professional studio equipment and help achieve desired lighting.


Above: Screenprint by Mugdha Dourah. Left: Screenprinting Studio.



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. Lectures, group discussion, and demonstrations will give you a historical understanding of screenprinting as a printmaking art form.



PreCollege at SFAI has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life, and I owe it all to my teachers and to the friends I have made here. Truly, I have been extremely lucky to have been able to part of such a creative, thoughtful, and friendly community of rising artists. Phineas Zeigler Nashville, TN

Sculpture as Installation

Above: Sculpture by Phineas Zeigler.



Blend construction methods, design, and functionality of contemporary sculptural installation as you explore processes, techniques, and concepts. Design and build structures using a variety of materials, from plaster casts to fabric. You will review site, place, juxtaposition of objects, meaning, and content to push your work to greater spatial heights. Class time may also include documentation of sculpture through video, photo, audio, and written formats as you consider moving your sculpture(s) into installation projects. 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.


SFAI let me exist solely as an artist. I was treated as an individual, and experienced life for myself. I grew as an artist technically, but more than that I found a voice for myself which I didn't have before. I learned to be vulnerable, but also was expected to be responsible. This program is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I loved every second of it.

Alice Bundy Los Angeles, CA


San Francisco is thriving, and SFAI is your gateway to exploring it all. 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.


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.

Left: Brad Bell looks at the city. Photo: Roman Truethart.

Housing programs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays 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 17 | 10am–3pm


Saturday, July 14 | 10am


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

Residence Hall Amenities • • • • •

Community Kitchen Laundry Internet Access + Computers Cable Television Recreation Room

More housing information online: 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

Sunday, June 17 Join us for housing orientation from 3:30–5:30pm at the Residence Hall. We’ll get you settled, begin getting to know each other, and review housing policies. Following orientation, we will have a provided dinner for all students in residence from 6–8pm. Required for PreCollege students residing in student housing.

Monday, June 18 We will begin students’ welcome to campus with a continental breakfast reception at 9am at 800 Chestnut Street. Students will attend class, beginning at 9:30am. At 11:30am students will meet the faculty, tour campus, enjoy lunch in the SFAI Café, and learn more about program policies. Required for all PreCollege students.

Parent/Family Orientation (Optional)


We invite parents and families to join us and students for the continental breakfast on Monday, June 18 at 9am. Once students go to class at 9:30am, we will have a special conversation from 9:45–11am with Program Staff to go over policies and answer any parent-specific questions you may have. Attendance is optional for parents/families.

Right: PreCollege Resident Advisors take a picture at the last night dance party. Photo: Miles Roa.


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 8:30am–2pm 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


PreCollege offers numerous opportunities to relax and connect with friends at weekly events like dance parties, movie nights, community dinners, photo shoots, and more. Additional programs focus 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 have learned so much [during] my time here at SFAI PreCollege—I have grown so much in unimaginable ways. In my art, I have had my technical and creative skills pushed. Personally, I have had my world-view expanded and made incredible connections. Overall, this experience will be one I carry through my whole life. Louise de Oliveira San Jose, CA

Right: Collage by Louise de Oliveira.

PreCollege Alum Merit Awards

SFAI PreCollege students are incredibly driven and motivated—often making them top contenders for undergraduate scholarships. Upon successful completion of PreCollege at SFAI, alums applying to the BFA/BA program are considered for Presidential-category merit scholarships—reducing the cost of tuition by up to $15,000 annually. Additionally, outstanding PreCollege students (as nominated by faculty) may receive the following awards: Rising Senior / Graduated Seniors

$50,000 dispersed over four years at SFAI. This highly competitive scholarship will be dispersed to the recipient(s) upon application and admission to SFAI’s undergraduate program. This award may not be combined with other academic scholarships. Up to four top performing students may receive this award.

Rising Juniors

$1,000 award for recipient(s) to attend SFAI’s PreCollege program again the following summer. Up to four top performing students may receive this award.


Due May 30

Residents: $4,850


Commuters: $3,000

• Tuition for two studio courses, including four 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. Scholarship applications 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 scholarship awards. We encourage you to apply for a scholarship with SFAI, but to also look into alternative scholarship opportunities (such as crowdfunding campaigns, local businesses, personal art sales, etc.). 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, 2018.


SFAI has made me reconsider what it is that I believe to be art, giving me an opportunity to create things which I would have been too self-critical to produce before. The friendships I have formed throughout my time here have been extremely meaningful to me. The accepting community of SFAI makes this place feel like a second home. Grace Pozen Washington, DC


How To Apply Apply Online

Application Checklist • • • • • International Applicants

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

Non-U.S. Citizens/Non-U.S. Permanent Residents are required to obtain F1 student visa authorization to participate. Please contact the Global Programs Office for assistance at or 415.749.4530 SFAI has authorization under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.


Apply beginning January 5, 2018. Priority and international student application deadline: April 2, 2018 Application deadline: May 1, 2018 Scholarship review begins: February 1, 2018 Deadlines reflect when materials must be received by SFAI.

Left: Screenprint by Chris Krause.


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 2, 2018. You will be notified of an admissions decision within five business days of receiving your completed application and materials.


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

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SFAI PreCollege @SFAIofficial @SFAIofficial



Marco David Pages 6–9, 11, 13, 16, 21 •

Cera Deibel Pages 7, 10, 14, 17, 20

Spread: View from SFAI's roof. Photo: Claudine Gossett.


As an artist, I couldn’t have asked for more a humbling experience spending time in this artistic haven in San Francisco and studying my passion. Art is the quintessence of life and SFAI is a place for students, teachers, and artists from all walks of life to gather. [This] is an extraordinary moment in time where artists collaborate through their own voice and mediums. For me, [PreCollege] has inspired me to dream big and continue my artistic endeavors. Kevin Huo Foster City, CA


Cover Spread: Brad Bell, This is a Gatorade Ade, 2017 Digital Photo, dimensions variable Featuring students River Castaneda and Wren Standish

800 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94133








SFAI PreCollege Brochure // Summer 2018  

June 18–July 13, 2018 | Ages 16–18

SFAI PreCollege Brochure // Summer 2018  

June 18–July 13, 2018 | Ages 16–18