The San Francisco Art Institute Presents 2012 Public Graduate Exhibition, Film Screening, and Symposium

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MFA Graduate Exhibition opens May 11 at the Phoenix Hotel, with a special Preview Party on May 10 benefitting SFAI’s scholarship fund. Additional capstone events include MFA Film Screening at SFMOMA and MA Symposium.

SFAI

The San Francisco Art Institute, a nonprofit art college, is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art.

The MFA Graduate Exhibition is one of the most exciting times for SFAI, when we see the manifestation of two years of labor, sacrifice, and commitment by a new generation of artists ready to contribute to the landscape of contemporary art and culture.

The San Francisco Art Institute, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious contemporary art colleges, is proud to showcase an impressive body of student work during the 2012 Graduate Events. Continuing the school’s legacy of innovative thinking and experimentation, this year’s events offer an exciting opportunity for nearly 100 emerging fine artists to unveil publicly their work in painting, photography, printmaking, film, sculpture, installation, digital media, and performance. SFAI will stage its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Graduate Exhibition and Vernissage Preview Party at the historic Phoenix Hotel in the Tenderloin from May 10–13; the MFA Film Screening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) on the afternoon of May 11; and its Master of Arts (MA) Thesis Symposium at SFAI’s historic Russian Hill campus on May 7. These unique events give the public a chance to engage with new talents in the Bay Area art scene at some of the most prominent art venues in the city.

MFA GRADUATE EXHIBITION
SFAI’s graduating MFA students will transform the iconic Phoenix Hotel for four days, displaying their art—including many site-specific pieces and collaborative installations—in guest rooms, poolside, and throughout the hotel. Their diverse, ambitious work will highlight distinct points of view as well as new, cutting-edge directions in art today.

“The MFA Graduate Exhibition is one of the most exciting times for SFAI’s Graduate Program, when we see in one place the manifestation of two years of labor, sacrifice, and commitment by a new generation of artists ready to contribute to the landscape of contemporary art and culture,” says Tony Labat, Director of MFA Programs. “The Bay Area has always been at the forefront of artists and curators seeking alternative spaces for exhibition and production, and this exhibition continues that important tradition.”

The public is invited to purchase tickets to SFAI’s exclusive Vernissage Preview Party, the premier annual fundraiser for the nonprofit institution, held in support of student scholarships. Guests will be the first to mingle with and view the work of the graduating artists, while also enjoying food, drinks, and live performance art.

Preview Party ticket-holders at the patron level will receive early entrance and a guided tour of the exhibition by a curatorial guest from one of the region’s top museums, including Lucinda Barnes, Chief Curator and Director of Programs and Collections at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Chief Curator at the de Young Museum; Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Betti-Sue Hertz, Director of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and others.

Location:                
The Phoenix Hotel
601 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Preview Party:             
Thursday, May 10, 6–10 pm
Tickets start at $200. Call 415.749.4512 or visit http://www.sfai.edu/previewparty

Vernissage Opening Reception:            
Friday, May 11, 6–8 pm
Free and open to the public

Exhibition Dates:             
Friday, May 11 to Sunday, May 13
Open daily noon–10 pm
Free and open to the public

MFA FILM SCREENING
SFAI partners with the SFMOMA to showcase works by graduating MFA Film students. From an experimental documentary about the Occupy movement to an animated short starring an otter and lemur living in a submarine, the films highlight the artists’ engaged and idiosyncratic approaches.

“In the 21st century, it is our mandate to create groundbreaking, original, and hybrid storytelling,” says Lynn Hershman Leeson, Chair of the Film Department. “We are proud to screen works by students who incorporate the spirit of experimental cinema, which artists at the San Francisco Art Institute pioneered, into unique and compelling cinematic visions.”

Location:                 
SFMOMA
Phyllis Wattis Theater
151 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Date:                     
Friday, May 11, 1–3 pm
Free and open to the public

MA THESIS SYMPOSIUM
Graduating students in SFAI’s Master of Art Programs in Exhibition and Museum Studies, History and Theory of Contemporary Art, Urban Studies, and the MA/MFA Dual Degree will present selections of their completed theses in a day-long public event. Engaging a diverse range of topics across global contemporary art practices, the Thesis Symposium represents the capstone of a two-year process of research, critical inquiry, and writing. This year’s cohort has taken up such subjects as the place of the Iraqi National Museum in the public imaginary, the resituating of Ana Mendieta for contemporary Cuban artists, and the “crude politics” of aesthetic radicalism in the post-Soviet context.

Location:                
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

Date:                    
Monday, May 7, 10 am–5 pm
Free and open to the public

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About San Francisco Art Institute
Founded in 1871, the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), a nonprofit art college, is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art. A small school with global impact—notable faculty and alumni include Richard Diebenkorn, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Enrique Chagoya, Kathryn Bigelow, Peter Pau, Ruby Yang, Paul Kos, George Kuchar, Lance Acord, and Kehinde Wiley—SFAI enrolls approximately 650 students in undergraduate and graduate programs, and offers a wide range of continuing education courses and public programs. The historic Chestnut Street campus is located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood, and the Graduate Center is located in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood.

For more information about SFAI, please visit http://www.sfai.edu.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/sfaievents
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoArtInstitute

Contact:             
Lauren Dresnick
415.749.4508
ldresnick(at)sfai(dot)edu
Digital images are available upon request.

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Lauren Dresnick
ldresnick@sfai.edu
415-740-4508
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