Facilities

SFAI is a place of hidden histories, tucked into corners of the campus and literally carved into the walls.

The past and present of making, living, and breathing art are one here—a mix of concrete, epic views, labyrinthine hallways, people, and art.

Take a tour of SFAI's campus

SFAI | Chestnut Street Campus

SFAI’s historic 800 Chestnut Street campus, located in Russian Hill, has:

  • Studios and classrooms with individual studios for honors students
  • Walter and McBean Galleries—a professional exhibition space featuring work by international contemporary artists
  • Diego Rivera Gallery—a student-run space that provides opportunities to curate and exhibit work
  • Prentice and Paul Sack Still Lights Galleries for photo-based work
  • Anne Bremer Memorial Library
  • State-of-the-art digital labs supporting sound, photography, film, video, design, web programming, and print
  • Rooftop amphitheater
  • Courtyard café

Prospective students are encouraged to schedule a visit.

The general public is also welcome to explore the campus: see the Diego Rivera Mural, visit our galleries, eat at the café, attend one of our many events, or rent a venue for special occasions.

SFAI | Fort Mason Campus

Opened Fall 2017, SFAI | Fort Mason Campus is the new 67,000 square foot home located along the waterfront in Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. The facility provides:

  • Over 160 art studios for students, faculty, and visiting artists
  • 4,300 square feet of exhibition galleries open to the public, including the student-run Swell Gallery, a main gallery space at the building’s entrance, and a media/performance space. 
  • 24/7 access for graduate students and visiting artists
  • Performance/video/installation spaces
  • Digital media suite and woodshop facility
  • Student lounge and meeting areas
  • Seminar room with direct views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Prospective students are encouraged to schedule a visit.

The public is welcome to explore exhibition galleries in the entrance of campus—and step outside our doors into a vibrant community of 24 resident organizations, including galleries, bookshops, restaurant, cafes, and art supply store.

Diego Rivera Gallery

Chestnut Street Campus

The Diego Rivera Gallery, home to SFAI’s historic Diego Rivera Mural, is a student-directed exhibition space for work by SFAI students.

The gallery provides an opportunity for students from all academic programs to present their work or curate in a gallery setting; to use the space for large-scale installations; or to experiment with artistic concepts and concerns in a public venue.

Students submit applications for exhibitions in November and March annually, and a jury of alumni selects the artists who will exhibit. Students may apply to have an individual show, to participate in a group show, or to curate a show. About 40 shows per year are scheduled and close to 200 students exhibit each year.

 

HOURS:
Open daily for exhibition and mural viewing,
9 AM–7 PM.

Opening receptions are on Tuesdays, with an artist talk at 5:30 PM and a reception from 5–7 PM.


Walter and McBean Galleries

Chestnut Street Campus

The Walter and McBean Galleries, established in 1969, present exhibitions at the forefront of contemporary art practice.

The gallery serves as a laboratory for innovative and adventurous projects and commissions new work from emerging and established artists. SFAI’s Public Programs develop meaningful interactions between artists, students, and audiences through lectures, education opportunities, and artist-driven experiences.

Together, the exhibitions and public programs of the San Francisco Art Institute promote an environment that catalyzes the creative processes of its student artists and thinkers, and creates intimate connections between the SFAI community and the public.

Swell Gallery

Fort Mason Campus

The Swell Gallery is a graduate student-run art space dedicated to the examination of the role of the gallery in an educational sphere.

The mission of the Swell Gallery is to provide a venue for the exploration and discussion of varying artistic perspectives from the student body, operating as a platform for exhibition, events, and dialogue.

The Swell Gallery is open to the public and located on the first floor of SFAI’s Fort Mason Campus at 2 Marina Blvd.

 

HOURS: 

Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm
Openings are scheduled biweekly on Friday nights starting at 4:30pm.

The SFAI Café

Chestnut Street Campus

The SFAI Café offers visitors and the campus community local, organic fare, and panoramic views of San Francisco Bay.

The menu features daily specials, and a selection of vegetarian and vegan options. Visitors, tourists, and the campus community are all welcome!

Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other light fare, all food at the SFAI Cafè is made from ingredients that are organic, local, and seasonal. For breakfast and throughout the morning, we offer pastries, bagels, organic fresh-squeezed juice, bacon and eggs, and hot cereal. For lunch and throughout the afternoon, we offer soups, salads, sandwiches, entrées, and desserts. We also serve organic fair-trade coffee, espresso, and organic teas.

 

Hours (Spring / Fall Semesters)

Monday–Thursday: 8:30 am–8 pm

Friday: 8:30 am–3 pm

 

Location

The SFAI Café is located next to the Zellerbach Quad, offering rooftop access and both indoor and outdoor seating. This light-filled space with large windows offers excellent views of the bay. Informal gatherings before visiting artist lectures are hosted here, as are many SFAI events and receptions.