City Studio

Youth. Art. Activate.

SFAI’s award-winning City Studio program offers underserved youth a high-quality arts education in their own neighborhood, enlists youth in a long-term program to gain passion for and skills in the fine arts, and assists them in developing a portfolio for a professional career in the arts and/or to apply for higher education.

Classes, taught by SFAI alumni, are located at community centers and schools year-round. Current SFAI students serve as TAs (and lead instructors) for many of the classes. 

Current community partners include SOMArts, Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club, BGCSF Tenderloin Clubhouse, Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club at Hunters Point, African American Arts and Culture Center, and Root Division. City Studio is happy to introduce new summer collaborations with Cleveland Elementary and George Washington Carver Elementary School. Collaborators include A Better Chance and Julio Martinez, Creative Director of Studio 1500 and Lecturer at San Jose State, for an annual Graphic Arts Workshop.

City Studio works closely with SFAI’s Young Artist Program and PreCollege program, offering scholarships to deserving City Studio students to these intensive and enriching environments.

For more information, visit:

Summer 2019 Classes

(Classes start the second week of June)

Collaborative Printmaking

Thursdays, 3–5pm | 115 Jones Street
Teaching Artist: Kate Laster

The class will have two modes of making: collaborative and individual. Collaborative exercises comprise of group drawing and printing and will involve building a collective piece among a cohort of students, who will ask one another for permission to add content to the collaborative work. Individually, students will create their own body of work and catalog print blocks to use for solo work or larger projects. Students will monoprint, carve linoleum blocks, handprint their blocks, stitch books and make drawings. Both modes of making allow for an active space where students feel comfortable making and creating together and individually.

Each class will start with a collaborative drawing exercise to help build focus and stretch drawing muscles. Afterward, students will work on individual projects, usually working on a larger scale piece as a collective at the end of each session. Starting with simple monoprints as an introduction to printmaking, students will build their relief printing and carving skills.


Concrete/Abstract Techniques in Drawing and Painting

Wednesdays, 3–5pm | 450 Guerrero Street
Teaching Artist: Kathy Sirico

The aim of this course is to use the media of drawing and painting to connect young artists with their self-identity using various strategies in drawing, painting, and writing. Processes used will relate to improvisation, still life, memory, music, poetry, movement, and self-reflection. We also will focus on a different art movements in order to gain a richer understanding of both the history and potential of image creation.


City Studio at Root Division


Creating Immersive Sculptural Installations

June 17–28 M/W/F, 2–5pm | Root Division, 1131 Mission Street
Teaching Artist: Sherwin Rio

The class was the intro to collaborative screen printing. In class we focused on creating screen prints through traditional hand cut stencils as well as modern laser cut shapes, letters and colors. Through layering we were able to explore color mixing to create abstracted fields of color.


From A to Zines: A DIY Zine Making Workshop

August 5–9, 2-5pm | Root Division, 1131 Mission Street
Teaching Artist: Rebecca Kaufman

What’s a zine?! Short for magazine or fanzine, a zine is a homemade publication that is all about self-expression and creativity. In this one week class, you'll learn the ABC's of zine production. In addition to learning techniques for binding and folding paper into small books, we will complete two projects, one as a group and one individually. The first is a collaborative zine based on a theme you will choose as a group. The second project will be an individual zine we will reproduce so you can trade with all your new friends. By the end of the course, you will get to take home a zine from everyone in the class starting your very own zine collection. No previous experience required!


Imagining Exhibitions: What’s Curation?

August 5–9, 1-5pm | Root Division, 1131 Mission Street
Teaching Artist: Sherwin Rio

Artwork curation—what does that even mean?! In this one-week class we will learn about choosing and grouping art works for exhibition or for portfolios, we will learn how to think about art works as “neighbors” that talk to one another, and we will organize and curate the City Studio exhibition in the famous Diego Rivera Gallery at the end of the class. No previous experience required!


For more information and to sign up for the Root Division/City Studio collaboration, please visit:

City as Studio Practicum

In City as Studio Practicum, students link theory and practice by examining and participating in one of a number of projects working with professional artists and youth (or other populations). Students select from projects in SFAI’s City Studio program or other similar programs that partner with Bay Area community centers and arts organizations using urban sites in both San Francisco and the East Bay as a laboratory for research, practice, education, and social interaction. Students will collaborate with and educate youth or other populations in a variety of media, and together they will learn to develop and implement individual and collaborative projects. Students will also participate in class discussions investigating art education theory and current pedagogical practices in primary, secondary, and university settings as well as taking an active role in teaching and mentoring the community in their chosen outside project.

Please contact City Studio Director and SFAI faculty member Amy Berk for additional details: