Page 1





GRADUATE DEGREES MASTER OF FINE ARTS (MFA) IN STUDIO ART Optional Emphasis— Design and Technology Film New Genres Painting Photography Printmaking Sculpture LOW-RESIDENCY MASTER OF FINE ARTS (MFA) IN STUDIO ART MASTER OF ARTS (MA) Exhibition and Museum Studies History and Theory of Contemporary Art Urban Studies DUAL DEGREE MA /MFA MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art/MFA in Studio Art



SFAI Graduate Center Photographed by Joshua Band

Studio of Alex Ziv (MFA, 2014) Photographed by Joshua Band

SFAI Courtyard

AN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR ARTISTS AND SCHOLARS READY TO ENGAGE AND TRANSFORM SOCIETY THROUGH CREATIVE PRACTICE. The individuals who come to study at SFAI are nonconformists and risktakers, inquisitive and poetic thinkers who accept the energizing premise that, through art, one might really inhabit a realm of limitless possibility. When Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award–winning director of The Hurt Locker, and SFAI alumna, addressed SFAI’s graduating class at the 2013 Commencement, she reminded students: “ART SCHOOL QUESTIONS BECOME LIFE QUESTIONS. Things that your faculty ask you, things you are asking yourself, you’re going to carry with you forever. That’s why an art education is really vital and unique. Above all, never underestimate the power of art, your power as artists to illuminate and transform the world.” SFAI’s graduate programs ask students to embrace the immensity and responsibility of pursuing a life in art and thought—to ask the tough questions and to choose a path that will engender meaning for oneself and in relation to a broader global context. Varied in focus, all of SFAI's graduate programs promote intellectual curiosity, critical dialogue, crosscultural discourse, social engagement, and creative experimentation. Regardless of the adjectives that you use to describe your practice— willful, irreverent, heroic, intrepid, iconoclastic, unnerving, visceral, playful, or any combination of these and more—SFAI provides the rigorous and generative learning environment necessary to define a path toward a creative future. LET’S BEGIN ►

SFAI has been a magnet and incubator for adventurous artists and thinkers for over 140 years, and the institution seeks individuals of the highest caliber to carry this legacy forward. SFAI's alumni and former faculty have spearheaded several of the most significant art movements of the last century, including the Beat movement, avantgarde filmmaking, Abstract Expressionism, Bay Area Figuration, Funk art, and Conceptualism. MARK ROTHKO ► RICHARD DIEBENKORN ► KEHINDE WILEY ► ANSEL ADAMS ► ANNIE LEIBOVITZ ► CATHERINE OPIE ► SHARON LOCKHART ► KATHRYN BIGELOW ► GEORGE KUCHAR ► BRUCE NAUMAN ► PAUL McCARTHY ► NAO BUSTAMANTE ► AZIZ + CUCHER ► BARRY McGEE ► STAN BRAKHAGE ► HOWARD FRIED ► KAREN FINLEY ► DEVENDRA BANHART ► JERRY GARCIA ► DEBORA IYALL ► LANCE ACORD ► KOTA EZAWA ► LAURA POITRAS ► HARRELL FLETCHER ► ENRIQUE CHAGOYA ► RIGO 23 ► CARLOS VILLA ► LOUISE DAHL-WOLFE ► DAVID IRELAND ► JAY DeFEO

RECENT FACULTY AND ALUMNI EXHIBITION VENUES Centre Pompidou Documenta Gallery Paule Anglim Gwangju Biennale Havana Biennial MoMA PS1 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles National Gallery of Art San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SF Camerawork Stedelijk Museum Sundance Film Festival The New Museum The Phillips Collection UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Venice Biennale Venice Film Festival Whitney Biennial Yerba Buena Center for the Arts ZERO1 New Media Biennial


Annie Leibovitz, Café Flore, Paris, 1997 Photographed by Martin Schoeller

SFAI Courtyard Photographed by Richard Laughlin (MFA, 1973)

Cheng Jiang (MFA, 2013) Take It Easy, 2012 Performance still Dimensions variable

Jet Martinez Bosque de los Alebrijes, 2012 Site-specific mural

San Francisco is a thriving center of art, design, and technology that has attracted artists, entrepreneurs, and creative activists for decades. Culturally and socially progressive and diverse, with a DIY ethos and a strong entrepreneurial bent, this is the perfect city in which to connect your individual creative practice to the world at large. The Bay Area is a paradoxical combination of world-class cultural center and accessible, grassroots art world. With an outstanding roster of alternative art spaces—in galleries, back rooms, basements, bathrooms, bookstores, parks, and more—this vibrant urban center is uncommonly receptive to emerging artists and scholars. The region is also host to major museums drawing thousands of visitors from around the globe daily—San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, Contemporary Jewish Museum, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and the Asian Art Museum, to name a few.

MORE REASONS TO LOVE SAN FRANCISCO ►► an eclectic food scene ►► miles of coastline, hiking, and bike trails

►► famous dive bars: Hemlock Tavern, Vesuvio, Elixir, Dogpatch Saloon, Verdi Club

►► more music festivals than you can count: Hardly Strictly, Stern Grove, Outside Lands ►► movie nights in public parks ►► taquerías and food trucks everywhere you turn ►► more green space than any other city in the U.S.

►► an escaped (now-native) fleet of green parrots circling Russian Hill

►► boutique ice cream parlors: Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, BiRite, Humphry Slocombe ►► fog that rolls dramatically across the skyline ►► tattooed hipsters on every corner ►► campfires at Ocean Beach

ALUMNI COLLABORATIONS AND ART SPACES SFAI provides emerging artists and scholars with an interdisciplinary, multicultural environment that is energized by the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and interests of students and faculty. In this context, the graduate cohort forges a tight bond—the rigor and intensity of the graduate experience creates a near-instant community of collaborators, creative instigators, and friends. The relationships that students build at SFAI become creative networks for years to come. Collaborations forged in the classroom and studio carry over into the local and international art scenes via curatorial projects, exhibitions, publications, and small business ventures. These endeavors are a testament to the type of community that is fostered here—a community that is at once rigorous and supportive, challenging yet accepting.

SPOTLIGHT: DIMITRA SKANDALI MFA New Genres, 2013 “The faculty and staff at SFAI provided me with the right environment at the right time—TO BE ENCOURAGED, EXPERIMENTAL, INNOVATIVE, AND TO TRUST MY WORK. I am always describing my experience here as a feeling of being hugged—by the community of SFAI, the artists here, and by extension, the San Francisco and Bay Area art communities. The many wonderful artists/teachers at SFAI inspired me with their work and with their generous support and advice. They encouraged me with new ideas, pushed me to take risks, and then more risks—they showed me how to believe in and trust what I was doing with my work.”

THE GRADUATE STUDENT BODY 202 graduate students 29% international 61% female 39% male 33% California residents 87% full-time students 29 = average age


Everywhere you look in the Bay Area, you’ll see how SFAI graduate students and alumni have shaped the art community and the region. When you pursue graduate study at SFAI, you become a part of this community—it’s like walking into a vast professional network from the moment you step through the doors. ART SPACES FOUNDED BY ALUMNI Aggregate Space Artists’ Television Access Edicola (a COLPA Press newsstand) Ever Gold Gallery Gallery 16 OFF Space (a nomadic exhibition platform) Queen’s Nails Projects Romer Young Gallery Root Division Royal NoneSuch Gallery Savernack Street (an art gallery that can only be viewed through a peephole) PUBLICATIONS/ONLINE JOURNALS FOUNDED BY ALUMNI Art Practical SFAQ Stretcher Workspace

Graduate students at SFAI have open access to SFAI’s historic Chestnut Street campus and the Third Street Graduate Center, home to the graduate studios.

THIRD STREET GRADUATE CENTER Located in an industrial warehouse in the Dogpatch (a neighborhood that Bon Appétit recently called San Francisco’s “up-and-comingest”), and infused with the smell of chocolate from an artisanal chocolatier that shares the building, the Third Street Graduate Center provides more than 60,000 square feet of space to support students’ academic and studio needs. Each MFA and Post-Baccalaureate student has 24/7 studio access to the building’s shared and individual studio spaces, and each MA student has 24/7 access to a shared MA Studio for conducting research and meeting with their cohort. The center also houses classrooms, installation rooms, a computer lab, a library annex, film and video editing rooms, a black-and-white darkroom, a digital media lab, an equipment-checkout facility, a communal lounge with kitchen, and the experimental exhibition space known to students as the Swell.

800 CHESTNUT STREET The historic 800 Chestnut Street campus in Russian Hill serves both undergraduates and graduates. A striking combination of Mediterranean-style courtyard and Corbusian concrete, the building overlooks Coit Tower and the San Francisco Bay. The facilities include spacious studios and classrooms; the student-run Diego Rivera Gallery and Still Lights Galleries; the Walter and McBean Galleries featuring work from national and international contemporary artists; the Anne Bremer Memorial Library housing rare artists’ books and periodicals; a lecture hall and rooftop amphitheater; state-of-the-art digital labs; and a café with seasonal, organic food prepared fresh daily.

SWELL GALLERY The Graduate Center’s Swell Gallery is a laboratory exhibition space that provides students with opportunities to conceptualize and curate shows. Graduate students use the Swell as a space to experiment with presentation strategies and to forge new collaborations. A highly accessible venue—run by and for MFA and MA students—most graduate students will exhibit work at the Swell at some point during their tenure at SFAI. Students also exhibit at numerous sites on the Chestnut Street campus, including in the historic Diego Rivera Gallery.

Artwork from the exhibition Nothing in the Diego Rivera Gallery; curated by Ling Meng Artists: Shay Arick, Gabriel Edwards, Li Ma, Ouater Sand Photographed by Joshua Band

The exhibition flashlight, blanket, box of matches, journal, rope, bucket, magnifying glass, whistle in the Swell Gallery Artists: Francesca Du Brock, Francisco Pinheiro, Dimitra Skandali, David Janesko, Nathan Rosquist

The Chestnut Street campus is where DIEGO RIVERA SPENT A MONTH ON A SCAFFOLD PAINTING A MURAL; where MARK ROTHKO AND CLAY SPOHN ORGANIZED A “COSTUME AFFAIR” called The Unknown; where nascent Punk bands THE MUTANTS, THE AVENGERS, AND ROMEO VOID PLAYED EARLY SHOWS. Now, it’s where current students make work, hold public exhibitions, play live music, throw parties, and otherwise intertwine their academic and social lives.

SFAI’s two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio Art program provides a dynamic interdisciplinary context in which emerging artists develop and refine their work while engaging the historical, theoretical, sociopolitical, and creative concerns of the contemporary moment. Founded on the principle that critical inquiry and experimentation are at the forefront of art-making, the program fosters students’ use of their own questioning to generate a sustaining and vital creative practice. The MFA in Studio Art program combines studio and academic offerings with individualized tutorials, exhibition opportunities, studio visits from internationally acclaimed artists and scholars, provocative lecture series, and independent studio time for the development of new work. The program strikes a balance between academy and atelier that is remarkably generative for creative production: course requirements in history and theory of contemporary art and critical studies provide a historical and theoretical framework through which students contextualize and situate their practices, while group critiques and one-on-one tutorials provide ample time for the analysis of artwork. The culmination of the MFA degree is the MFA Exhibition (see page 12), which is annually celebrated for its intellectual rigor and diverse, cutting-edge creative output.

SPOTLIGHT: BEN VENOM MFA Printmaking, 2007 “Describe SFAI? That’s like asking what someone’s Top 10 list is—a simple and yet very complicated and hard question to answer. SFAI is a freethinking environment where new ideas are strongly encouraged, and I always go back to the idea of concept. SFAI HAS A STRONG HISTORY OF BEING A CONCEPTUALLY GROUNDED SCHOOL. Ideas of traditional printmaking or traditional painting are shattered when you come to grad school at SFAI. Like, what can painting be? What can sculpture be? What can performance art be? That for me was the strong pull to come out here, that level of experimentation and interest in having a strong concept.”


Ben Venom (MFA, 2007) The Long Con, 2013 Handmade quilt made from heavy metal T-shirts, fabric, batting, and thread 28 x 38 inches

Alexis Arnold (MFA, 2010) Catcher in the Rye, 2011 Book and borax crystals 7 x 5 x 3 inches

Studio of Sarah Ammons (MFA, 2014) Photographed by Joshua Band

Students at SFAI earn an MFA in Studio Art and may optionally choose an emphasis in one of the Institute’s major disciplines:

Design and Technology Film New Genres Painting Photography Printmaking Sculpture Declaring an emphasis allows student artists to focus their disciplinary interests, while still engaging with peers and faculty across the broad array of approaches at SFAI. All MFA students—those who declare an area of emphasis and those who do not—are encouraged to be fluent in the discourses surrounding all approaches to contemporary practice. Find out more about each emphasis by visiting

GRADUATE CRITIQUE SEMINARS Critiques are a central component of the MFA curriculum. In each Graduate Critique Seminar, students have the opportunity to present their work for discussion between two and three times per semester. Though every seminar is different—depending on the interests of both faculty and students—most critiques include analysis of formal and conceptual qualities, the relationship of the work to critical discourse and contemporary strategies, and connections between process, media, and ideas. The give-and-take of critiques demands thoughtfulness and openness from each participant: THE GOAL IS TO MOVE BEYOND SUBJECTIVE ASSESSMENTS OF WORK INTO SUBSTANTIVE, IDEA-BASED DISCUSSIONS THAT PUSH EACH ARTIST TO NEW HEIGHTS.

MFA students at SFAI are required to take three Art History and two Critical Studies seminars during the course of the two-year program. These discussion-based seminars give student artists a breadth of insight into the subject matter driving their art practices, and help them hone critical thinking and research skills vital to creative production.

Graduate Electives at SFAI are topic-based studio/seminar courses that engage current concepts and praxes in contemporary art. These seminars enable student artists to collaborate with their peers in graduatelevel courses that expand academic horizons, open up professional opportunities, and catalyze new frameworks for thinking and making.

RECENT COURSES ►► Creating Eccentric Archives RECENT COURSES ►► The Sensual Life of Objects ►► Figuring Fiction: Contemporary Art and Literary Narratives ►► Food Matters: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Agriculture ►► Imagining Social Practice ►► Hitchcock ►► “Endless Conundrum”: Black Women Artists and Late 20th Century Visual Culture


►► The Black Sea/San Francisco Bay Parallax ►► Body Mapping: Gender, Identity, and Desire in the Post-Biological Spectacle ►► This Is a Mirror; You Are a Written Sentence ►► Out of the Frame: Revisiting Traditional Meaning in Printmaking ►► Sculpture in Context: FabLab ►► Bodies as Sonic Messengers and Mediators

►► Chromophilia: Parsing the Visible

►► Photography and the “Real” World

►► City of Ritual Body

►► Sculpture in Context: The Return to Craft

►► The Time of the Image: Photography to Digital Media

►► Monuments: Contemporary Approaches in Art

►► The Museum and the Object: Collecting, the Archive, and the Social Relations of the Fragment

►► Favela Chic, or Spatial Crossings and Creative Entanglements: The Artist Capturing/Witnessing Urban Poverty

SFAI’s Low-Residency MFA in Studio Art program offers the rigor and artistic community of the full-time program in a flexible format ideally suited for artists, teachers, and others who wish to develop and refine their work while maintaining a professional career or personal commitment. Completed over three years, the program allows students to work with SFAI faculty during intensive eight-week summer sessions in San Francisco’s vibrant art community, and independently through mentored, off-site, one-on-one study during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, students in the program have studio space in the graduate facility and access to all of SFAI’s facilities. The summer sessions combine critiques, art history and critical studies seminars, visiting artist lectures, and individualized tutorials to create a comprehensive studioand research-based curriculum. Students participate in Summer and Winter Reviews in San Francisco each year, and the program culminates with the MFA Exhibition, which assembles the work of all graduating MFA students. A robust summer Graduate Lecture Series provides opportunities for exposure to top contemporary artists. In Summer 2014, the collaborative team AZIZ + CUCHER will lead the Low-Residency MFA program as Artists in Residence and Guest Faculty. Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher are esteemed alumni of the MFA program at SFAI and pioneers in the realms of digital media, installation, photography/post-photography, and new genres.

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: AZIZ + CUCHER (Aziz, MFA Photography, 1990; Cucher, MFA New Genres, 1992) “SFAI was a very welcoming community for people from all over the world to come together to discover and forge new paradigms of art-making. It was essentially a graduate laboratory that fostered a sense of real possibility, and at the time, there was not a lot of collaborative work being created in the art world; however, we were fortunate to discover synergies between our disciplines and disparate cultural backgrounds, and we were able to merge our practices into a single body of work. Because of the way the Institute was designed—and still is structured—that kind of unexpected synergy was able to occur.”

Group exhibition for Claire Daigle’s Chromophilia course in the Diego Rivera Gallery

Claire Daigle Recent Reading, Spring 2013 Graduate Lecture Series (GLS) poster Photographed by Martin Meyer

Studio of Dara Rosenwasser (MFA, 2014) Photographed by the artist

Aziz + Cucher Chris, 1994–95 C-print 50 x 40 inches Courtesy of the artists

MFA EXHIBITION The culmination of the MFA degree is the highly anticipated MFA Exhibition held annually at an off-site venue—recent spaces include The Winery SF on Treasure Island, the retro Phoenix Hotel, and the National Historic Landmark the Old Mint (where students created installations in old bank vaults, among other sites throughout the building). Showcasing the work of NEARLY 100 ARTISTS, the exhibition is nationally recognized for its intellectual rigor and groundbreaking creative output. Gallery and museum curators, art collectors and critics, as well as family, friends, and the general public are invited to attend this celebration recognizing THE CURRENT GENERATION OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS emerging from SFAI’s program.

SCREENING OF TIME-BASED WORK In conjunction with the annual MFA Exhibition, works in time-based media—including experimental and narrative films, short videos, animations, and other experiments in the moving image—are screened in a high-caliber public venue each year. The screening is open to submissions by all graduating MFA students. Recent venues include SFMOMA and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, both in downtown San Francisco.

EXHIBITION PRESS “Among all the art schools in the Bay Area, SFAI’s graduating class tends to be the largest, the most diverse and—often—the most unruly. … [I] have always felt the place was haunted by a dark, edgy and somewhat dangerous mystique.” –Mark Taylor, KQED Arts “The MFA Graduate Exhibition is one of the most exciting times for SFAI’s Graduate Program, when we see in one place the manifestation of two years of labor, sacrifice, and commitment by a new generation of artists ready to contribute to the landscape of contemporary art and culture.” –Tony Labat, Chair, MFA Department, quoted in SF Art Enthusiast


“[SFAI’s 2013 MFA Exhibition] offered diverse and inspired expressions of postmodernity. Which is to say: hope for the future.” –David M. Roth, Squarecylinder

MFA Exhibition 2013: Currency Artists (clockwise from top): Elisabeth Ajtay, Lynn Colingham, Andréanne Michon, John Steck Jr., Tamra Seal, Mie Hørlyck Mogensen

SFAI’s Master of Arts (MA) programs provide a generative context for advanced scholarly inquiry into the major ideas, institutions, and discourses of contemporary art and the sociocultural conditions of its production. Working with artists, historians, theorists, curators, and thinkers from diverse disciplines, MA students participate in academic seminars, research and writing colloquia, and have opportunities for curating, internships, and travel. These interdisciplinary offerings prepare students to identify and pursue an individualized course of study that will culminate in the final research thesis. Essential to SFAI’s MA programs is their location within a studio art school. MA students pursue their research and study in a laboratory of contemporary art, taking classes alongside, and often working directly with, MFA students. Exhibitions, public programs, and SFAI’s unique dual capstone requirement—an individual written thesis, as well as a multifaceted collaborative project—allow MA scholars to further intertwine academic research and professionally oriented experiences.

A LIST FOR GRADUATING MA STUDENTS –Claire Daigle, Chair, Master of Arts Department The exchange between students and faculty at SFAI often engenders eclectic, personalized, and thought-provoking dialogue. Here is a snippet of what Claire Daigle, MA Chair, had to offer the graduating class of 2013 as a (somewhat humorous) recounting of ideas shared throughout the year. 1. “You can’t use a bulldozer to study orchids.” –The Magnetic Fields 2. “I have nothing to say and I am saying it.” –John Cage 3. “All great works of [art] either dissolve a genre or invent one.” –Walter Benjamin on Proust 4. “I will not make any more boring art.” –John Baldessari 5. “Stop whining and get to work.” –Tony Labat, Chair, MFA Department 6. “Every object, well contemplated, creates an organ for its perception.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 7. “We comprehend by awe.” –Charles Simic, Dime-Store Alchemy 8. “Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments’ sake.” –David Markson, Vanishing Point 9. “Most artists need to develop a capacity for sustained frustration.” –Frances McCormack 10. “There is no solution because there is no problem.” –Marcel Duchamp 11. “‘What is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures and conversations?’” –Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 12. “Reading is always a creative act.” –Matthew Goulish, 39 Microlectures: In Proximity of Performance


Toni Gentilli (MFA, 2013) Untitled from the series Cabinet of Curiosities, 2011 Silver gelatin print 11 x 17 inches Originally printed in the MA publication COLLOQUY

RIGO23 EXTINCT, 1995 (BFA, 1991) Acrylic paint on wood 90 x 40 feet

Stephanie Rohlfs (MFA, 2014) Wreath, 2013 Collage on paper 10 x 7 inches Originally printed in the MA publication COLLOQUY

The shifting and expanding role of visual culture poses increasing challenges for artists, theorists, curators, and institutions. Museums, exhibitions, and other forms of display are not only sites for collecting and placing objects on view, they now encompass alternative experiences and environments and serve as sites for artistic experimentation and intervention in the public sphere. More expansive than a curatorial program and both local and international in scope, Exhibition and Museum Studies considers how socioeconomic, political, and cultural contexts affect the production and presentation of visual phenomena and how exhibitions become—in and of themselves—contemporary art.

Emphasizing critical thinking and writing, as well as the close examination of visual phenomena and artifacts, this program provides students with a historically situated, in-depth understanding of the discourses surrounding global contemporary art and culture. To theorize and historicize contemporary art is to acknowledge the role of art within the broader spheres of its production and exhibition. Students are exposed to a variety of models for analysis, and the curriculum addresses complex issues such as the influence of media and notions of reproducibility; the role of the artist as social researcher, interventionist, or activist; the influence of globalization; questions of authorship and appropriation; the legacy and currency of feminism and gender studies; and the lineage of modernism and postmodernism. Students may also pursue the MA degree in HTCA through the Dual Degree MA/MFA program (see page 16 for details).

SFAI’s Urban Studies program addresses the contributions of art, artists, and researchers in the urban domain, broadly defined. The program emerged in recognition of the fact that artists and scholars of the visual can contribute to discussion around pressing issues of contemporary urban life: increasing urban populations, inequality, migration, new cultural geographies, the politics of space and the built environment, questions of sustainability, and the effects of a global economy—all of which are radically transforming cities worldwide. Approaching these issues from a fine arts perspective, Urban Studies at SFAI encourages students to develop an interchange between academic and applied practice, creating work that directly engages the spatial environment.

The Dual Degree MA/MFA is designed for individuals whose practices cross the disciplines of fine art production and scholarship. This interdisciplinary program equips students to engage theoretical, historical, social, and creative spheres at their points of intersection. A three-year program, the Dual Degree MA/MFA consists of: ►► An MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art ►► An MFA in Studio Art The culmination of the program is participation in the MFA Exhibition after the second year, and completion of a written thesis, as well as participation in the MA Collaborative Project, by the end of the third year.

SELECTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF MA AND DUAL DEGREE GRADUATES ►► Associate Curator / AMOA-Arthouse / Austin, Texas ►► PhD Student / Modern Thought and Literature / Stanford University ►► Curator and Assistant Director / Meridian Gallery / San Francisco ►► Curator of Education / Canadian Centre for Architecture / Montreal ►► Department Assistant, Photography / SFMOMA /San Francisco ►► Director of Meridian Interns Program / Meridian Gallery / San Francisco

►► Founder and Director / Post-Studio (a mobile residency platform) / San Francisco

►► Co-Founder and Co-Director / NODE (Network of Daily Experience) / San Francisco ►► PhD Student / Film and Digital Media / UC Santa Cruz

►► PhD Student and Adjunct Professor in Aesthetics and Theory of Art / Co-Founder of MA in Political Philosophy / Ural Federal University / Yekaterinburg, Russia ►► Creator of Visual Assets / PUBLIC Bikes / San Francisco ►► Associate Curator / Museum of Contemporary Craft / Portland, Oregon ►► Founder and Director / Art Practical / San Francisco ►► Director / Daily Serving / San Francisco ►► Programs + Collections Manager / Kadist Art Foundation / San Francisco


Tom Loughlin (MFA, 2013) Untitled (Balloons), 2013 Mixed media 60 x 60 x 90 inches

Ulrike Palmbach Exodus (Detail), 1997 Re-installed in the Diego Rivera Gallery for the MA Collaborative Project Everything Out There: Bay Area’s First Triennial Now Photographed by Joshua Band

Javier Arbizu (MFA, 2014) National Archive of South Sudan, 2011 Originally printed in the MA publication COLLOQUY

The MA Thesis is the culmination of an intensive two-year process of research, critical inquiry, and writing. Engaging a diverse and interdisciplinary range of topics across global contemporary art discourses, the MA Thesis projects reflect the varied and highly individualized modes of inquiry put into motion by SFAI’s emerging scholars. MA students work with a thesis committee to develop the thesis over the course of the second year of the program; independent meetings with the thesis chair, the Research and Writing Colloquium and Thesis courses (seminars devoted to research, writing, and documentation methodologies), and reviews with the thesis committee guide students throughout the process.

MA THESIS SYMPOSIUM In a two-day public event at the Chestnut Street campus, graduating scholars in the MA programs present selections of their completed theses to the public for review and dialogue. The MA Thesis Symposium represents the culmination of two years of analysis and writing, and is a pivotal (albeit celebratory) step in introducing SFAI’s emerging scholars to the broader academic community.

RECENT MA THESIS TOPICS Chorr Dau Jidhwal Permeating the Boundaries of Pakistan through the Neo-Miniature Performative Pictures Experience in Still Life Painting as a Product of Bedeviled Temporality Divine Abjection Queer Bodily Tactics in Experimental Film My Body Knows Unheard-of Songs The Sexed Body in New Music Performance Practice The Uninhabited Stages/Los Escenarios Inhabitados Stepping into Feliza Bursztyn’s House

MA COLLABORATIVE PROJECT With the capstone MA Collaborative Project, students take their research into the community through multifaceted public works, including publications, websites, panel discussions, commissioned site-specific projects, exhibitions, and other hybridized modes of presentation.

RECENT PROJECTS ►► Everything Out There: Bay Area’s First Triennial Now ►► Cultures of the Maker: San Francisco Art Institute and Creative Growth ►► TRANSIT/STASIS: Negotiating Movement in the City ►► City Studio Press: Artists as Journalists ►► Mid-Market Art Project

Where? There. Ana Mendieta. Citing Performance/Performing Citation Across Three Generations of Contemporary Cuban Art Re-illumiNATIONS Political Imagination in Contemporary Visual Art at the 54th Venice Biennale Raiders, Erasures, and Crusaders The Collection, Re-Collection, and Constitution of Iraq’s Cultural Heritage Planetary Visions An Ecofeminist Atlas of Contemporary Site-Specific Art Uprooted Institutionalizing Grassroots and Ephemeral Art Practice in MOCA’s WACK! and Out of Actions

Post-Baccalaureate study at SFAI gives artists the opportunity to strengthen creative work through studio practice, critical engagement, community, and dialogue. The program serves as a bridge between undergraduate and graduate programs, and as an immersive, twosemester commitment for midcareer artists looking to reinvest in a studio practice. By providing a rigorous yet supportive context that combines independent work, critical classes, and technical study, the program positions artists for future success in creative fields. Immersed in a tight-knit community of artists who are challenging the boundaries of contemporary art, Post-Baccalaureate students have the opportunity to experiment within a flexible framework and personalize the program based on individual artistic and career goals. Artists in this program have gone on to study in the nation’s most competitive MFA programs, to receive fellowships and residencies from institutions around the world, and to produce some of the strongest work in SFAI’s MFA program.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE SFAI? A mini-lexicon by graduate students and alumni Supportive / Inspiring / Self-directed / Small / Punk / Humoristic / Humanistic / Sincere / Beautiful / Open-minded / Frustrating / Dynamic / Renegade / Unceremonious / Fun / Challenging / Exhilarating / Encouraging / Individualized / Competitive / Compelling / Familial / Engaging / Interdisciplinary / Process-oriented / Authentic / Idiosyncratic / Daring


Raquel Torres-Arzola (MFA, 2014) Raquel es mi nombre (Raquel is my name) from the series Raquel/Rajel, 2012 Lambda print 20 x 30 inches

Sandra Osborne (MFA, 2012) Archive (Detail), 2011 Unglazed porcelain, string, and found items Dimensions variable

The No Reservations Art exhibition Art by Telephone… Recalled in the Swell Gallery Photographed by Elisabeth Ajtay

NO RESERVATIONS ART RECENT PROJECTS COLLOQUY: AN EXCHANGE PROJECT COLLOQUY is a collaborative publication spearheaded by MA students that explores the generative potential of creative exchange through “colloquial” essays, interviews, and conversations. Read COLLOQUY ► Scan this QR code with your phone

ART BY TELEPHONE… RECALLED Art by Telephone was an international collaboration that reimagined the seminal 1969 exhibition of the same name, featuring student artists from SFAI, École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts d’Angers, École d’Enseignement Supérieur d’Art de Bordeaux, Barnard College, and Centre National De Danse Contemporaine–Angers, and culminating in public exhibitions in San Francisco and Bordeaux. MARGINALIA Marginalia was a site-specific exhibition at a used bookstore exploring visual and conceptual relationships to the book as a cultural object.

NO RESERVATIONS ART No Reservations Art is a multifaceted art program designed to facilitate the professional development of graduate students. The program fosters creative collaborations from within the community that will flourish in the world at large—expanding SFAI's network and forging new partnerships. No Reservations Art is part of a broader series of professionalization initiatives for the graduate community, which have also included the course Art Worlds: History, Theory, and Practice—a graduate-level practicum that equips students for the professional life of the artist. From group exhibitions and international collaborations to student-led publications, No Reservations Art brings the creative work of SFAI’s graduate students into the public arena. No Reservations Art was founded by Zeina Barakeh, Director of Graduate Administration. The program is funded in part by a generous grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.

TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS Graduate students in their second, third, and fourth semesters may apply for paid or voluntary TA positions in any undergraduate program or discipline. These opportunities help graduate students interested in college-level teaching gain valuable professional experience and build their teaching portfolios. TAships also bridge the graduate and undergraduate communities, often leading to unexpected collaborations and friendships. All TAships, whether paid or voluntary, are recorded on the graduate student’s transcript. Paid assistants receive a stipend paid out over the course of the semester.

Contact Sara Wanie, Career and Professional Practices Coordinator, for information about career services offered to graduate students. / 415.749.4536

SFAI’s faculty members play varied and integral roles—teacher, mentor, curator, colleague, collaborator—in the artistic, personal, and professional development of students. The faculty are accomplished artists and scholars who bring their real-world experiences into the classroom where generative dialogue with students forms another facet of their practice. SFAI faculty have won MacArthur Genius Grants, Rome Prizes, Guggenheim Fellowships, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships; have been nominated for Academy Awards; have exhibited at Venice Biennales, Documentas, and in lauded museums around the world. They also run nonprofits, cultural agencies, and design studios, curate major exhibitions, launch publications, and have been awarded prizes for excellence in teaching. But for all their own pursuits and successes, SFAI’s faculty are here BECAUSE OF YOUR WORK. Meet the faculty »


Mildred Howard (Sculpture faculty) What Came First, 2007 Mixed media Courtesy of Moeller Fine Art

Christopher Coppola (Director of Film) on location in New Mexico Courtesy of PlasterCITY Productions Inc.

Christopher Coppola Film still from Evil Geezers Courtesy of PlasterCITY Productions Inc.

Tony Labat (Chair, MFA Department) Hair Ball (Pendejo), 2013 Digital wallpaper print 96 x 96 inches Courtesy of the artist

Taravat Talepasand (Painting faculty) Self Portrait: Sanctioned, 2011 Egg tempera and gold leaf on linen 32 x 26 inches Courtesy of the artist

Liam Everett (2013 Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellow) If I could sleep I might make love. I’d go into the woods. My eyes would see... the sky, the earth. I’d run, run, they wouldn’t catch me (Exhibition view), 2012 Mixed media on various fabrics Courtesy of the artist and Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco

SFAI’s lecture series and public programs provide graduate students with direct access to contemporary artists and ideas that advance our culture. A catalyst for critical discourse, the lecture series create an open forum through which students are challenged to connect their work to art practices and ideas at the leading edge of their disciplines. Graduate students have the opportunity to meet with visiting artists and scholars for individual critiques, small group colloquia, and informal gatherings after the lectures. Begin the dialogue »


RECENT GUESTS Wilfredo Prieto J. John Priola* Mark Pauline Thomas Zummer John Roloff* Simon O’Sullivan Liz Cohen Cornelia Butler Paul Kos Dan Cameron Sergio De La Torre*

Claudia Joskowicz Anna Chave Frances McCormack* Johanna Drucker Lucas Ospina Jorge Fernández Torres Ranu Mukherjee* Hans Winkler Carol Mavor Linda Connor* Michelle Handelman

*SFAI faculty


Faculty emeritus Paul Kos delivering a lecture at SFAI as part of the Spring 2013 Graduate Lecture Series (GLS)

John Roloff (Sculpture faculty) Étude Atlantis, 2012–13 Part of ARTLANTIC: wonder by Fung Collaboratives Mixed media, 117 x 45 feet Photographed by Layman Lee

Allan Sekula Andrea Zittel Carolee Schneemann Lisa Yuskavage Lucy Orta Mierle Laderman Ukeles Nina Katchadourian Thomas Demand Shirin Neshat Isaac Julien Richard Misrach Annie Leibovitz Alexis Courtney (MFA, 2013) Contact 2 (Installation view), 2012 Performance installation Dimensions variable

Trenton Doyle Hancock Takeshi Murata Paul Sietsema Rashaad Newsome Kori Newkirk Jaimie Warren + Whoop Dee Doo Paul Laffoley Michelle Grabner Nato Thompson Thomas Eggerer Ruby Neri

For complete application instructions, specific MFA portfolio requirements, and information about MA writing samples, visit

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL APPLICANTS Completed and signed application for admission (Visit ►► Non-refundable application fee of $85

►► Official sealed transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work, both completed and in-progress ►► Two letters of recommendation

MFA, LOW-RESIDENCY MFA, AND POST-BACCALAUREATE APPLICANTS ►► Artist statement ►► A highly accomplished portfolio of artwork ►► Portfolio inventory sheet MA APPLICANTS ►► Statement of purpose ►► Writing samples (a body of critical writing, 10–20 pages) DUAL DEGREE APPLICANTS Applicants to the Dual Degree MA/MFA program must fulfill all application requirements of both the MA and MFA programs. INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS Please visit for additional requirements for international students.

FINANCIAL AID An education at SFAI is a significant investment in your future. SFAI is committed to helping talented and motivated students finance their educations by offering over $6 million in financial resources each year to students in the form of fellowships and institutional aid. Partial-tuition MFA and MA Fellowships may be awarded to applicants with exceptional application materials. In order to be considered for any institutional aid, all domestic students must file their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA form can be filled out online at, and SFAI’s FAFSA code is 003948. A separate application is not required to be considered for applicable fellowships. For more information, visit

WE INVITE YOU TO DISCOVER SFAI IN PERSON—TAKE A TOUR AND MEET WITH ADMISSIONS COUNSELORS, FACULTY, AND STUDENTS Please call the Admissions Office at 800.345.SFAI / 415.749.4500 or email to schedule a tour or portfolio review with an Admissions Counselor.

SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE (Main Campus) 800 Chestnut Street (between Jones and Leavenworth) San Francisco, CA 94133 SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE (Graduate Center) 2565 Third Street (between 22nd and 23rd Streets) San Francisco, CA 94107

ARE YOU SOCIAL? San Francisco Art Institute


COVER Marshall Elliott (MFA, 2014) Grand Canyon Repair Project (Deer Creek Overlook), 2012 Site-specific installation

@SFAIevents, #SFAI

The exhibition The Sand Reckoner in the Diego Rivera Gallery Artists: Francisco Pinheiro, Marshall Elliott, Javier Arbizu, Thomas Maury

SFAI, a nonprofit institution, is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). SFAI is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).


800 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94133

San Francisco Art Institute @SFAIevents, #SFAI

SFAI Graduate Admissions Viewbook  

Welcome to the San Francisco Art Institute - an educational experience for artists and scholars ready to engage and transform society throug...

SFAI Graduate Admissions Viewbook  

Welcome to the San Francisco Art Institute - an educational experience for artists and scholars ready to engage and transform society throug...