Departments_And_Information_About_The_Departments - San Francisco Art Institute
The School of Studio Practice offers BFA and MFA degrees, and a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Design+Technology, Film, New Genres, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. The School of Interdisciplinary Studies offers degree programs in History and Theory of Contemporary Art (BA, MA), Urban Studies (BA, MA), and Exhibition and Museum Studies (MA). San Francisco Art Instituteâ€™s programs further the relationship between the practices and theories of contemporary art. Students at SFAI choose electives and fulfill curriculum requirements from both schools.
SCHOOL OF STUDIO PRACTICE
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Master of Fine Arts
Low-residency Summer Master of Fine Arts
Design + Technology
The changes occurring in how we think about art and design are striking. Through courses like Graphic Agitation, Conceiving and Producing 3D Play, Exploring the Social Fabric of What We Wear, Artists Infiltrate Mass Production, and New Media/New Technologies/New Critique, students explore the intellectual divisions between art and design, their affiliations, and the many ways that artists and designers collaborate to construct everyday life. The department fosters a curriculum that connects digital audio, video, photography, animation, compositing, and illustration tools with the programming and computation of a networked world. SFAIâ€™s Design+Technology curriculum will challenge you to use the tools of the discipline to explore how design functions and why and how our designed world reflects the larger social transformations taking place today.
The Film Department at SFAI is one of the oldest and most influential in the United States. Built on a strong avant-garde tradition and a commitment to alternative/independent filmmaking, SFAIâ€™s Film curriculum combines the study of traditional methods and materials with new technologies and the rethinking of boundaries between different media. Working in close collaboration with the Center for Media Culture, the Film Department offers a variety of analog and digital studio production and post-production courses, specialized technical workshops, and advanced topic courses that combine hands-on film/video work with historical and theoretical discussion and debate. At SFAI, new approaches to film and video are not just studied; they are invented.
SFAI was at the forefront of recognizing the shift that occurred in contemporary art in the late 1960s and â€™70s involving conceptual art, land-art, performance, installation art, and video. This shift marked an expanded vocabulary of artmaking that was no longer based on separate mediums, but was a hybrid of many practices. Through the politics of the 1980s and the multicultural issues of the â€™90s, to the present dialogue on globalism, the New Genres Department continues with its commitment to the ever-shifting issues that affect artists and their production output. Sociopolitical and cultural shifts and technological breakthroughs bring new tools and add to the constant evolution of the program. The New Genres Department remains a key venue for experimentations in cross-media and cross-cultural practices.
With the Painting Department at SFAI, youâ€™ll work in one of the top-ranked programs in the country, one that has been at the forefront of major developments in painting throughout its history. While the department eschews orthodoxy, it demands a thorough grounding and immersion in the history of painting. The highly accomplished and diverse facultyencourage experimentation within the medium as a strategy that embraces contradiction and authenticity. Our Painting Department maintains a postmodern, pluralistic view of painting as a discipline, and will challenge you to push the boundaries of the medium.
Established in 1946 by Ansel Adams, the Photography Department at SFAI has a long history of excellence and innovation. Today the department balances its considerable legacy with a spirit of inquiry into the future of the medium. The inventive education and practices in photography at SFAI continue with a distinguished faculty who are widely recognized as leading figures in the field, practicing all facets of contemporary aesthetics in the medium. Whether itâ€™s an image from a pinhole or pixel, courses such as Editing and Sequencing, Landscape: Nevada Plus, and Topologies will push you to experiment, practice innovative risk, and develop a unique artistic vision and expression.
SFAIâ€™s Printmaking Department offers you a wide range of possibilities, from lithography, intaglio, letter press, silkscreen, and relief, to photo-processes and digital technologies. The department recognizes the constantly shifting definitions of print and embraces an interdisciplinary approach to artmaking, in courses such as Artistsâ€™ Booksâ€”Structures and Ideas, Photo-Polymer Printmaking, and Digital Printmaking. Whichever print media you focus on, you will be confronted with both the conceptual and technical implications of image generation, and be challenged to evaluate these investigations and productions through the critique process. The Printmaking Department at SFAI will encourage you not only to explore the boundaries of the medium but to innovate and redefine them yourself.
The Sculpture Department at SFAI is an interdisciplinary studio program emphasizing conceptual and material-based inquiry. You can focus on or hybridize any areas in sculpture: 3D media/practice, ceramic sculpture, kinetics, or public art, natural systems, and systems and environments. Courses and programs developed in collaboration with the Departments of Design+Technology and New Genres add further options courses are structured as studio, studio/seminar, laboratory, and collaboratives, such as TransNature, Art and Science as Investigatory Systems, and The Ecology of Materials and Processes. A series of theoretical seminars looking at philosophical, cultural, ecological, and experimental discourses related to sculpture provides an intellectual foundation and dialectic for informed studio practice.
SCHOOL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES
Bachelor of Arts
Master of Arts
History and Theory of Contemporary Art
SFAIâ€™s program in History and Theory of Contemporary Art will provide you with an in-depth and critical understandingof the history of the ideas, conditions, institutions, and discourses surrounding contemporary art and culture, and how these inform the study, interpretation, analysis, and exhibition of art today. The programâ€™s curriculum addresses complex issues such as the dismantling of the hierarchies of artistic mediums initiated by the historical avant-gardes, the globalization of culture, the intersection of Western and non-Western modernity, the role of technology in artmaking, and the question of authorship in the practice of contemporary art.
Exhibition and Museum Studies (MA only)
The Master of Arts in Exhibition and Museum Studies at SFAI is founded on the understanding that museums and exhibitions are both historical objects and subjects. Through this program you will develop a thorough understanding of the history and roles of institutions of modernity (museums, historical societies, archives, libraries, architectural commissions) in contemporary culture, the economy of the art world, and the politics that affect it. The curriculum comprises curatorial models, exhibition systems, institutional mediation, and education, and addresses such topics as historical preservation, heritage management, the ethics of trade in antiquities, and the complex issue of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary curating involving works understood
as primarily ethnographic, anthropologic, and archaeological.
The challenges posed by urbanization offer us new opportunities for artistic practice through the pursuit of creative and imaginative solutions to urban paradigms. The Urban Studies program integrates courses and resources from our School of Studio Practice and School of Interdisciplinary Studies to create a unique platform for learning and social engagement. The program offers you a studio- and research-based curriculum developed specifically to address the contributions of art, artists, and researchers to the understanding and shaping of the subjectivity of the city. The broad vision of our Urban Studies program allows you to design your own course of study.
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