Year-End Celebrations

Congratulations, Class of 2018!

Celebrate the astounding contributions of SFAI’s graduating BFA, BA, Post-Bac, MFA, MA, and Dual Degree MA/MFA artists + scholars.

Kehinde Wiley to Speak at SFAI Commencement

“San Francisco Art Institute is where I honed in on my skills and identity as an artist, and I’ve carried that experience with me throughout my career,” says Wiley.

“Art schools empower young people, giving a sense of art history as well as the tools to question those histories and re-envision our culture. It is a wonderful honor to return to SFAI and speak at Commencement to a new generation of emerging artists, full of potential. I hope my story and work will inspire them to claim the full capacities of their education for powerful communication and social change.”


SFAI President Gordon Knox has announced the recipient of the 2018 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, bestowed upon the approval of the Board of Trustees:

“Kehinde Wiley’s work reflects the core values of a San Francisco Art Institute education—exquisite technique delivering a complex human story. His paintings re-shape how we see and understand power and argue for a more inclusive vision of individual and collective potential. As a school, SFAI is proud to have played a part in the emergence of such a brilliant artist. We are delighted to now welcome him back to celebrate his successes and those of our graduating students, who leave SFAI set to make their own glorious marks on the world.”


Alum Kehinde Wiley (BFA 1999), whose recent portrait of President Barack Obama for the National Portrait Gallery made international news, will address the graduates and guests on behalf of all degree recipients at this year's Commencement Ceremony to be held May 13, 2018.

 

About Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, and Ingres, among others, Wiley engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men and women found throughout the world. By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth and prestige to the subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, the subjects and stylistic references for his paintings are juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery.

Kehinde Wiley holds a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute; an MFA from Yale University; and an honorary PhD from Rhode Island School of Design. His paintings are in the collections of over forty museums including the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Brooklyn Museum. Selected museum exhibitions include The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Phoenix Art Museum; Jewish Museum, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Petit Palais, Paris; BOZAR, Brussels; the Phoenix Museum of Art; the Toledo Museum of Art; and the Modern, Fort Worth, among others. His work has been the subject of ten monographs to date. Wiley was recently the subject of the documentary, An Economy of Grace (2014, Show of Force).

Wiley was honored in 2015 by the US Department of State with the Medal of Arts award, celebrating his commitment to cultural diplomacy through the visual arts. In February 2018, his portrait of Barack Obama was added to the permanent installation of presidential portraits in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. He lives and works in New York.

 

Other recent recipients of an honorary degree from SFAI include alumnus Enrique Chagoya, Linda Nochlin, Theaster Gates, Jack Whitten, alumna Kathryn Bigelow, and Roberta Smith.


Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, May 13 | 2pm

Nourse Theater
275 Hayes Street, San Francisco

 

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Year-End Events

The invitation-only Commencement Ceremony is part of a week-long series of events and exhibitions. We invite you to take part and enjoy these not-to-be-missed year-end celebrations:


MFA Exhibition
Opening Reception: May 10 | 7pm
Free + Open to All: May 11–May 17
SFAI—Fort Mason Campus

BA + MA Symposium
Wednesday, May 9 | 1–5pm
Osher Lecture Hall | SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus

MFA Film Festival
Wednesday, May 9 | 6–9pm
Osher Lecture Hall | SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus

BFA Exhibition
Opening Reception: May 13 | 4pm
On view: May 13–18
SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus

Post-Bac Exhibition
On view: April 30–May 5
Diego Rivera Gallery | SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus

Bill Fontana: Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns
Friday, Feb 16, 2018 - Sunday, Apr 29, 2018
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After Tomorrow
Wednesday, Mar 14, 2018 - Friday, Aug 31, 2018
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Philippe Rahm: The Anthropocene Style
Thursday, Mar 29, 2018 - Saturday, May 19, 2018
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The Emergency Has Been Everyday
Sunday, Apr 15, 2018 - Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Admit on the Spot!
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
12:00PM - 4:00PM
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Dodie Bellamy: Hoarding as Écriture
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
4:30PM
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General Store
Friday, Apr 20, 2018 - Tuesday, May 1, 2018
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Opening Reception: General Store
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
6:30PM - 8:00PM
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Julia Bryan-Wilson: Minds over Matter
Friday, Apr 27, 2018
4:30PM
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Symposium: The Anthropocene Style | Architecture, Urgency, and Climate Change
Saturday, Apr 28, 2018
12:00PM - 4:00PM
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Post-Bac Exhibition
Monday, Apr 30, 2018 - Saturday, May 5, 2018
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BA + MA Symposium
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
1:00PM - 5:00PM
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MFA Film Festival
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
6:00PM - 9:00PM
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MFA Exhibition
Thursday, May 10, 2018 - Thursday, May 17, 2018
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Opening Reception: MFA Exhibition
Friday, May 11, 2018
7:00PM - 9:00PM
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BFA Exhibition
Sunday, May 13, 2018 - Friday, May 18, 2018
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Commencement
Sunday, May 13, 2018
2:00PM
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Opening Reception: BFA Exhibition
Sunday, May 13, 2018
4:00PM - 6:00PM
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Past Events