June 5, 2014

New faculty appointments: Asuka Ohsawa and Maria Elena González

San Francisco Art Institute
Left: Maria Elena González, Forest Jungle, 2011. Cast epoxy and steel, 48 x 41 x 22 inches. Photograph: Serge Hasenböhler. Courtesy of the artist. Right: Asuka Ohsawa, Safe and Sane, 2014. Letterpress, 7 x 5 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

San Francisco Art Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of two new tenure-track faculty members following competitive international searches: Asuka Ohsawa as Assistant Professor in Printmaking, and Maria Elena Gonzálezas Assistant Professor in Sculpture.


Asuka Ohsawa was born in Los Angeles, raised in Japan, and educated in Boston. She received her BFA in Printmaking from California State University, Long Beach; and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, where she has been teaching in the discipline of Print + Paper. Her practice often involves collaboration, including a recent collaborative edition with United Kingdom–based silkscreen studio Bradbury & Blanchard. Ohsawa is represented by The Flat, Milan; and Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York. Her work is held in numerous permanent collections, including The Center for Book Arts, New York.

On Ohsawa’s appointment,Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rachel Schreiber comments:

“Ohsawa brings to SFAI extensive experience as an artist, screenprinter, book maker, and DIY craftsperson. Her work exhibits a delightful sense of humor and a collaborative spirit that I am certain will enhance the student experience at SFAI. The members of the search committee were deeply impressed by her expression of how teaching is integral to her practice as an artist.”

Adds Ohsawa:

“I am delighted to be a part of SFAI. Sharing skills and knowledge through teaching, workshops, and collaborative projects is a significant part of my own creative practice, and I am excited to have the opportunity at SFAI to further pursue my interest in using visual arts as a community-building tool. I hope that I’ll be able to contribute to the school’s continuing effort to serve as the leading cultural institution in San Francisco and beyond.”

Maria Elena Gonzálezis a Cuban American artist best known for her sculptural installations informed by architecture and personal experience. In 1999, González received widespread acclaim for her site-specific sculpture Magic Carpet/Home, commissioned by the Public Art Fund. She has been a visiting critic in Sculpture at the Yale University School of Art, a resident faculty member at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and a visiting artist faculty member at The Cooper Union. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, the Prix de Rome, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. González is currently chair of the Board of Governors at Skowhegan.

Schreiber notes:

“González brings to SFAI a wealth of experience as a sculptor, public artist, and arts administrator. The list of fellowships she’s received and prizes she’s been awarded is of the highest caliber. She studied in the Bay Area and there are many people here who’ve expressed their excitement at having her return to our community.”

Comments González:

“The excitement I experienced during my interview at SFAI was quite palpable. The students, the faculty, the administrative team, and the plans for the near future are invigorating. I feel as if a renaissance has started at SFAI that I very much look forward to being a part of.”


About the San Francisco Art Institute
Founded in 1871, the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in the practice and study of contemporary art. As a diverse community of working artists and scholars, SFAI provides its students with a rigorous education in the fine arts and preparation for a life in the arts through an immersive studio environment, an integrated liberal arts and art history curriculum, and critical engagement with the world.

SFAI offers BFA and BA degrees, MFA (academic year and summer options) and MA degrees, a dual MA/MFA degree, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, and a range of continuing education and public programs. Notable past faculty and alumni include Lance Acord, Ansel Adams, Kathryn Bigelow, Enrique Chagoya, Angela Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Paul Kos, George Kuchar, Annie Leibovitz, Barry McGee, Catherine Opie, Peter Pau, and Kehinde Wiley.




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