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Announcement
November 23, 2020

Undergraduate transfer applications open for fall 2021

San Francisco Art Institute

(1) Nikos Sueuga, Untitled, 2020. Ceramic, 12 x 24 x 8 inches. (2) Alex Dungan, China Town, 2020. Archival inkjet print, 43 x 65 inches. (3) Minjun Kim, Haptic Bodysuit, 2020. Interactive performance, Arduino, servo motors, webserver, 10 minutes.

Apply here.

Info Session: December 4, 3pm PST
Join our Zoom information session to kick off your creative future at SFAI. Learn about the programs and meet the department Chairs. Register here.

San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) empowers students to become sentient, thoughtful, discerning members of society. Our courses and disciplines challenge conventions, embrace risk, and push students to discover uncharted artistic terrain. The undergraduate degree trajectory is as individualized as each SFAI artist. Students use the disciplines of Art + Technology, Film, New Genres, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture—in combination with immersive history and critical theory courses—to forge their own pathways of study. Capitalizing on the interdisciplinary nature of SFAI’s curriculum, our undergraduate students create new ways of looking at and living in the world.

BFA program
Art + Technology:
At SFAI, students learn by hacking, modifying, mixing, re-mixing, and re-cycling electronic and non-electronic technologies. Our program is a place where students express ideas via algorithms and data as art material. By combining digital media with traditional mediums, students learn to create immersive and interactive art installations and performances that encourage generative public dialogues and discourses.

Film: Film is a unique medium in its natural inclination to communicate a vision beyond our current moment and our perceived ability for change. At SFAI, we exercise stretching the threshold of what is possible, as well as ideas with which we are aligned. Embracing recent digital technologies, while also working in 16mm and 8mm celluloid film, artists at SFAI are focused on contemporary discourse, charged with knowledge of heritage forms. SFAI offers film students an opportunity to develop an immersive artistic vision and voice, unique to our art institution.

New Genres: New Genres is a philosophical, interdisciplinary approach in which the artist’s concept and intentions determine the best means for actuating each individual work. Drawing on its legacy as the country’s first Performance/Video Department, its tradition of rigorous dialogue and radical boundary-pushing is applied across all disciplines, including time-based work, sculpture, installation, social practice, and site-specific projects.

Painting: The Painting program at SFAI has been at the forefront of many important historical developments, including Social Realism, Abstract Expressionism, Bay Area Figuration, the California Funk Movement and the street art-inspired projects of the Mission School. This pluralistic history informs the contemporary moment where all possibilities are valued, from traditional approaches on canvas to interdisciplinary painting practices.

Photography: SFAI is home to the first "fine art" photography program in the country. Our curriculum continues to prepare students to bring a critical and historical understanding of the photographic medium in the exploration of conceptual ideas with new image making capabilities. Students work in both digital and analog formats to consider issues around representation, ethics, installation, scale, site-specificity, and audience.

Printmaking: SFAI’s Printmaking curriculum provides students the opportunity to work with lithography, intaglio, screenprinting, letterpress, artists’ books, and relief. Digital methods for the production of two- and three-dimensional works are integrated throughout. Artists who use printmaking at SFAI critically examine such concepts as multiplicity, reproducibility, and the “matrix” of the print in relation to contemporary art practice, ranging from popular to “high art” forms.

Sculpture: Working in ceramics, wood, metal, plaster, textiles, and new materials, students merge the conceptual with the material not only in objects, but also in installations, site-specific works, environmental public artworks, and social practices. Students are also encouraged to integrate video, sound, and electronics into their work, and to work with found objects.

BA program
Art, Place + Public Studies (APPS):
SFAI’s newest major blends scholarship, artmaking, and activism in a hyper-relevant mix for our times. At the forefront of debates about art in the public sphere, APPS takes a broad and inclusive approach that challenges the art historical canon by addressing community and street art, urban art interventions, socially-engaged art, contested meanings of monuments, and forms of public performance and assembly.

History + Theory of Contemporary Art (HTCA): Emphasizing critical and creative study, the HTCA Program provides a strong global foundation for addressing art and culture. Ideally situated in the lively context of contemporary art production, students are supported and challenged to think historically about the most compelling images and most pressing issues of the contemporary moment.

Learn more about our undergraduate programs and apply here.

About San Francisco Art Institute
Founded in 1871 by artists and community leaders with a cultural vision for the West, the San Francisco Art Institute—first as a cultural center and then a fine arts college—has produced generations of creative leaders who have challenged convention and shaped the cultural life of the Bay Area, the United States, and the world. SFAI is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools (WASC) and the National Association of Art and Design (NASAD) and is a member of the Association of Independent Arts and Design Colleges (AICAD).

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