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San Francisco Art Institute

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Dec 08 2014Art & Design Department
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
As a nontraditional aged transfer student I've really enjoyed being able to pursue my art practice at my own pace and have found most of the faculty and administration to be helpful and friendly (friendlier than I was expecting from an art school having previously attended one in NYC). I feel that the school is really what you make of it. They provide enough resources to allow you to explore and experiment with different mediums as you are not confined to just use resources from your declared major ie very interdisciplinary where one can access everything from the dark room, sculpting studio, painting studio, print making, etc after receiving proper training. I also like that it has a relatively small student body (roughly 450 students in the entire undergrad program) making it an intimate setting - allowing you to receive more attention from professors (not just a number) and also giving you access to more resources (such as money for events or clubs that you can receive from the student union after presenting a proposal) as well as financial aid (I was only able to attend school because of the great financial aid package they provided). The neighborhood of the campus is also a plus as it sits on Russian Hill with views of the Pacific Ocean and Alcatraz. The setting is very relaxed and definitely feels like an art school vs a design school which can be more stressful, more pressure, more deadlines and more competitive. With that being said, I find that the classes are not that demanding at SFAI and the teachers are more relaxed about lateness and even late work. This isn't necessarily a negative comment but an observation (the teachers are pretty understanding). However, I have found that some of the professors are not that reliable (broken promises, empty words) and another I found to be a bigot (made racial comments under her breath and showed her blatant ignorance towards minority students, showing favoritism towards white students). For the most part I've found the students to be relatively approachable and respectful. Naturally there are cliques but I don't mind being a lone wolf doing my own thing.
1st Year Female -- Class 2016
Question
Surrounding City: A+, Extracurricular Activities: C+
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Jun 22 2014Art & Design Department
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
SFAI is a well known art school. When I decided to go there, it was in the seventies, and I wanted to live in San Francisco, after studying art in So. Cal.

The environment, physically was beautiful; inspirational. In the seventies the entire school was held prisoner of the abstract expressionist movement, and it was frowned upon to make anything "representational". Also, the motto of teaching was to do or say anything too structural, as it's most important goal was to have the student learn to "see" on their own, find their own voice, etc. Some teachers were very challenging and always pushing you to move on, even if you found a great style. They didn't want anyone too young to get "stuck", but just as noticeable, was a lack of teaching the basic elements, like color theory, perspective.....nothing formal was ever taught....we were on our own. In some ways this suited me, but in the years following graduation I found it frustrating.I do not know what their teaching methods are like now. I understand where they were coming from historically. If an artist is looking for some important fundamentals, DO NOT attend this college. It is better for those who want to be exposed to more edgy (if not ridiculous) approaches to art. The CCAA is a better school for this and has a wider and diverse curriculum.

Alumna Female -- Class 2000
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Starting Job: artist Preparedness: F Reputation: C
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Feb 07 2014Art & Design Department
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
I went to SFAI as a 35 year old nontraditional adult, with much professional career and life experience. Prior to SFAI I was studying classical technical skills in an Atelier. I was accepted to SFAI with a presidential scholarship. Goals of obtaining a BFA in painting and a minor in design technology. Straight up, dorm rooms are small if you share. They teach what they call the canon in their history studies. Much of it based around the western perspective with Roman catholic over tones of Christianity in contemporary overtones of neoclassical liberalism. They do not like Socratic questioning.

They do not like you choosing your own path like the old days of SFAI, such as what Barry Mcgee did. I went to SFAI to do what ever the F*uck I wanted because its an art school; and in art its all about questioning theory, transforming, etc - not hash-tagging along to a format driven in place and considering it as standard.

Much of the student body is young and entitled. The instructors for the most part are under paid, lowly motivated fan boys of the art world, filled with pretentious dialog. I actually failed painting, when an argument took place with my instructor L.B. - I protested his class, by not attending but painted my ass off, which meant doing a portrait of him. I fought the failure,claiming discrimination of age and experience and religion. Art is my religion. I did not win. I also failed history because I did not attend SFAI to learn mans faith, the bloodshed of wars, and how art reflects that. I came to SFAI to be next level and expected a mentoring ad free environment with out the social suffering and compression. In all I was kicked out of the school a week prior to the end. I was not willing to abide by the community standards and sanctions taken out on me; when I was targeted by feminists; as well a sculpture instructor felt threatened by an email I sent her, when she thought it was necessary to remind me of tardiness; when in reality I was speaking truth and explaining a project. I was targeted by a feminist group due to an off campus relationship that took place with a female student that made a false report of sexual contact without consent.

This school is an ugly place. I told the president that the spirit of SFAI was leaving with me. That school is a dark void of violent and untalented people hiding in the shadow that ART truly creates. Never send your youth to SFAI. As well, if your straight male, who doesn't want to deal with the bullshit - most likely you will be liberalized as being homophobic, "bro cultured" and all that other liberal labeling that socially destroys the world. This is just the tip of my story. If I had the money for the best lawyer, or family money; I would own that ugly cement monastery with a good view.

1st Year Female -- Class 2016
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Surrounding City: B+, Education Quality: F
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