SFAI Awarded $135,000 in June

SFAI Awarded $135,000 in June

San Francisco Art Institute

July 11, 2007
SFAI Awarded $135,000 in June
San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco, CA 94133

800 345 SFAI / 415 749 4500


SFAI Awarded $135,000 in Grants in June 2007

In June 2007, SFAI was awarded $135,000 in grants, bringing fiscal year 2006–2007 to an impressive end. “It’s a great way,” said SFAI President, Chris Bratton, “to cap off what has been a wonderfully successful fund-raising cycle.” Of the $135,000 June grants, $100,000 will be dedicated to SFAI’s recently reorganized Exhibitions and Public Programs–$80,000 from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and $20,000 from the Peter Norton Family Foundation. The remaining $35,000, awarded to SFAI by the Creative Work Fund,* is designated for a community art project led by artist and activist Sergio De La Torre. The June grants complement this fiscal year’s other awards–awards from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Comer Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, Adobe, the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation.

Internationally known as a dynamic and innovative curator and critic of contemporary art, Hou Hanru, SFAI’s director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and chair of the Exhibition and Museum Studies Program, has, in the year since he joined the faculty at SFAI, embarked upon a comprehensive rearticulation of SFAI’s Exhibitions and Public Programs. “In the relatively brief period he has been at SFAI,” President Bratton commented, “Hanru has wholly reconfigured Exhibitions and Public Programs: he’s created an environment in which SFAI students and faculty alike actively participate in the global discourse on contemporary art theory and practice.”

The result of this reconfiguration is five discrete but intersecting directions for investigating current constructions of contemporary global culture: (1) Global Figures, which features one-person exhibitions of major artists from different cultures who have importantly influenced the current global art scene (for example, Sarkis: Alive and After); (2) New Models of Production, which situates objects of artistic creation within the real-life economic, industrial, and technological conditions of their global manufacture and assembly (for example, SFAI’s current exhibition, Wherever We Go: Art, Identity, Cultures in Transit); (3) Acting Out in the City, which utilizes SFAI’s Walter and McBean Galleries as a point of departure for large-scale projects of urban intervention that intensify the relationship between artistic productions and public spaces (for example, Didier Faustino’s SFAI workshops in Spring 2007); (4) Pacific Perspectives, which focuses on the dynamic scene of creation occurring across the Pacific Rim (ranging from the Americas to Asia) and brings new attention to San Francisco and its unique geographic, historic, and cultural position (for example, Tetsuya Umeda’s ongoing project Waitool Sounds, installed on the SFAI campus in Spring 2007); and (5) New Voices, which encourages the self-organizational initiatives of younger curators and activists by providing them with sites and strategies through which to present their projects.

Treating the various spaces on and around the SFAI campus as dynamic sites of production rather than as static venues for mere representation, the new framework for Exhibitions and Public Programs looks beyond the traditional histories and narratives of exhibition and curatorial practice. In the process, it provides SFAI students–as well as the wider Bay Area public–with access to a broad range of contemporary global artists. Through residencies, studio visits, workshops, and off-campus community projects, these artists critically examine the inured institutionality of art by reflecting on and problematizing the relation between the public and the private.

A participant (with Vicki Funari) in the recent SFAI exhibition World Factory, Sergio De La Torre will collaborate with five young artists from SFAI and five young immigrants from the Instituto Familiar de la Raza on a project, Agit-Van, that investigates the extent to which the Bay Area remains a relative safe haven for both legal and undocumented immigrants. The project will take as its starting point De La Torre and Funari’s award-winning film Maquilapolis. As with the making of its precursor, Agit-Van will involve and empower its subjects as creative participants in the telling of their own stories. The completed short videos will be screened guerrilla-style from a traveling “cinema” truck, the agit-van, equipped with video projector and sound system provided by SFAI. The on-the-spot cinema will require only a blank wall for interventionist projections.

*The Creative Work Fund is a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, supported by grants from both the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.

San Francisco Art Institute

Dedicated to excellence and diversity since its founding in 1871, SFAI is one of the oldest and most prestigious degree-granting institutions of higher education in contemporary art in the US. By addressing students through the particularity of their own experiences and by challenging them to test the assumptions that underlie those experiences, SFAI’s academic and public programs underscore the relationship between teaching and research, practice and critique.

For more information about Exhibitions and Public Programs and other events at SFAI, please go to http://www.sfai.edu

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