SFAI Launches New Ceramics Program

SFAI Launches New Ceramics Program

San Francisco Art Institute

February 25, 2008
SFAI Launches New Ceramics Program

San Francisco Art Institute


SFAI Launches New Ceramics Program in Fall 2008

In the Fall of 2008, the San Francisco Art Institute will launch a new program in ceramics. Though ceramics has been comprehensively taught, studied, and practiced in the Sculpture department at SFAI since the 60s (internationally known figures include Richard Shaw, Karen Breschi, Ron Nagle, and Jim Melchert), the new program will dedicate itself to emphasizing and appreciating ceramics as a unique medium of contemporary art practice and theory.

SFAI’s studio-degree ceramics program combines traditional notions of ceramics with more conceptually based experiments in the deployment of material. Students are encouraged to explore the unique character of the medium from a broad range of contemporary perspectives. The program also recognizes that ceramics has a global history extending across many cultures. Whether Chinese funerary statues, Greek pottery, Nok terracotta figures, California Mission architecture, Japanese glazed tile roofs, English Victorian brickwork, Dogon villages, or Adobe houses of the American Southwest, the art of ceramics has been a mainstay of inventiveness and versatility.

Drawing on a knowledgeable, experienced, and internationally recognized faculty, as well as on a host of visiting artists and scholars of global renown, the program merges formal methodologies of sculpture with a variety of contemporary experimental ceramics procedures: installation, claymation, architecture, design, and environmental and public interventions. Issues that emerge as central to the theory and practice of ceramics include function versus nonfunction, craft versus art, the complexities of gender, indigenous attitudes toward the land, and the relation of the discipline to the sciences (geology, physics, geography, including sedimentary and metamorphic materials, heat dynamics, and glaze chemistry).

The curriculum includes introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in the techniques and technologies of ceramics, as well as interdisciplinary connections to other departments in SFAI’s School of Studio Practice. Moreover, seminars, courses, and colloquia offered in SFAI’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies promote a more critical comprehension of the history and theory of contemporary art–in particular, the ways in which such history and theory inform the study and practice of ceramics.

Inspired by a long tradition of avant-garde and contemporary artists who have recognized and exploited the availability of ceramics in the conceptual and material evolution of their work–Marcel Duchamp, Lucio Fontana, Judy Chicago, Thomas Schütte, Richard Long, Tony Cragg, Ken Price, Huang Yong Ping, Gabriel Orozco, and Magdalena Odundo–the program in ceramics at SFAI allows for a challenging exploration of the formal and conceptual methods of an ancient yet extraordinarily contemporary discipline.

San Francisco Art Institute

Founded in 1871, SFAI is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art in the US. Focusing on the interdependence of thinking, making, and learning, SFAI’s academic and public programs are dedicated to excellence and diversity.

SFAI’s School of Studio Practice concentrates on developing the artist’s vision through studio experiments and is based on the belief that artists are an essential part of society. It offers a BFA, an MFA, and a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Design and Technology, Film, New Genres, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture/Ceramics.

SFAI’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies is motivated by the premise that critical thinking and writing, informed by an in-depth understanding of theory and practice, are essential for engaging contemporary global society. It offers degree programs in History and Theory of Contemporary Art (BA and MA), Urban Studies (BA and MA), and Exhibition and Museum Studies (MA only).

For more information about the new program in ceramics or other academic programs at SFAI, please go to http://www.sfai.edu , send an e-mail to [email protected] , or call 415 749 4500.

Image above:
Left: Ian McDonald, Mono (Black), 2007. Ceramic, powder-coated steel, plastic, aluminum vents, 36 x 36 x 40 in. Right: John DeFazio, MTV Conference Table, 1996. Cast and glazed earthenware, low-relief tiles under glass, 192 x 486 in.

For more information go to: http://www.sfai.edu

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February 25, 2008

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