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San Francisco Art Institute

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Quite Bright
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Date: Apr 09 2008
Major: Art & Design Department (This Major's Salary over time)
The San Francisco Art Institute is great if you are at least moderately self-motivated and looking to grow as an individual and an artist. Your goals should aim more towards working the gallery scene than landing some 9 to 5 with a professional title. It is a wonderful place to learn if you are interested in exploring multiple-mediums or working in cross-disciplinary areas. It's for those

If you're the kind who will just coast along if allowed to, you can probably get through most of your time at SFAI without doing much work. However, if you are interested in doing more, whether with-in a studio class (pushing an assignment, bringing in ideas from other classes), extra-curricularly (starting clubs, getting involved with the direction of the school/department), etc, you can do that here, and find support for it. Some of the other art school's I've had experience with are looking for students to follow the assignment to the letter, and are more concerned with generating aesthetically correct pieces than creating conceptually challenging works.

There are alot of interesting things happening and unique people at SFAI for a student to soak up knowledge from and create experiences with. But if you just want to hang out and do the minimum there is little that will get in your way (you'd be wasting a lot of time and money!) It is a great school for a bright and/or interested student who doesn't just want to learn how to get a job.

That said, if all you want to do is learn how to get a job (become a professional photographer, animator, videographer, etc.) there may be other school's that can provide more technical information. The education you get from this school is more far-reaching than industry knowledge. The growth a student can experience in critical thinking, the ability to articulate those insights, and then express them in new and unique ways is incredibly valuable, if not entirely marketable.

SFAI has a wonderful campus with good, if not great, facilities. The people in each department willing to help our more than make-up for any of the equipments' short-comings. San Francisco is an amazing city with so much happening culturally (art shows, theater, food, lgbt community, political groups, etc), geographically (beaches, hills, redwoods, mountains, etc), and nightlife (clubs, movies, music, bowling, bars, etc).

The school has an amazing history (over 135 years old - Ansel Adams founded the photo dept!) and strong reputation for being on the forefront of contemporary art. It might not be for everyone, but you should add SFAI to your list and come see it if your interest is in Fine Arts.

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