MFA applications open

MFA applications open

San Francisco Art Institute

SFAI 2017 and 2019 MFA final exhibition. Courtesy and © Hewitt Photography and Samantha Hensel.

September 23, 2021
MFA applications open
Harbinger: 12 Graduates: August 26–September 24
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, California 94133
United States
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Cultivating an independent vision.

San Francisco Art Institute’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program is a dynamic interdisciplinary graduate degree program that cultivates the independent vision and robust conceptual thinking that enable artists to build a lifelong art practice. The program offers an inquisitive approach to contemporary art that incorporates dialogue, constructive critique, technique, collaboration, history, theory, and experimentation into every student’s academic experience. Students learn in a city brimming with emergent culture, art, and technology in San Francisco.

Students from varied disciplinary backgrounds engage in rigorous research and practice in studio art, receiving encouragement to remain inventive and expansive in their approach. MFA candidates may choose an emphasis or may instead choose to define their own interdisciplinary course of study, engaging widely across media. Disciplines and practices may include Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Photography, Film, New Genres, Art + Technology, or any combination. They are supported in their research and practice by a team of internationally esteemed faculty and guest lecturers.   

MFA students participate in a focused, exploratory studio and technique-building practice, one-on-one graduate tutorials with faculty, and small faculty-led peer critique seminars throughout the program. They engage deeply with critical theory and art history and dialogue with world-renowned working artists in the Graduate Lecture Series. In addition, varied collaborative opportunities on- and off-campus provide a rich relational network that allows SFAI artists to locate their place in the greater local, national, and international arts community. The culmination of the MFA degree is the MFA Exhibition—a prestigious show that is well-attended by artists, curators, collectors, museum professionals, and the public at large. The MFA Exhibition is the premier showcase for emerging talent in the Bay Area.

Through active engagement with this inquiry-based curriculum and community, artists develop exemplary research practices, nuanced conceptual frameworks for their work, masterful use of their materials and techniques, and confident, well-articulated presentation capabilities. As a result, SFAI graduates leave with a robust framework to foster a profound and successful career in the arts.

SFAI is accepting MFA applications for spring 2022 and fall 2022.

Harbinger: 12 Graduates is curated by Catherine Opie, BFA ‘85.

About San Francisco Art Institute 
Founded in 1871, SFAI is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education committed to the practice and study of contemporary art. SFAI fosters creativity and original thinking in an open, experimental, and interdisciplinary context and has played a central role in many contemporary art movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Bay Area Figuration, Color Field, California Funk, and the Mission School. Celebrated artists and thinkers who have studied or taught at SFAI include Angela Davis, Bruce Conner, Carlos Villa, Ansel Adams, Mark Rothko, David Park, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Mildred Howard, George Kuchar, Richard Diebenkorn, Jay DeFeo, Catherine Opie, Joan Brown, Cristobal Martinez, Toba Khedoori, Mike Henderson, Barry McGee, Alicia McCarthy, and Kehinde Wiley. Other notable alumni include the photographer Annie Liebovitz and Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow.

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San Francisco Art Institute
September 23, 2021

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