SFAI Leadership

President's Message

I am honored to welcome you to the San Francisco Art Institute from my new position as President.


SFAI is a legacy school born out of a desire to further new and distinct artistic forms through the education of extraordinarily talented artists and scholars. For over a century and a half SFAI has remained in the vanguard of art-making and has educated scores of America's most influential artists. 

Students and faculty here are committed to cultural innovations associated with our human need to share ideas and tell stories. SFAI understands that art is a deep dialogue emanating from today and reaching forward and backwards through time, and that art’s timeless impact on human history derives from its profound relevance to those who make it, and those who experience it. This understanding has kept SFAI permanently situated at the front edge of humanity’s most powerful conversation. Amidst the many challenges of this current cultural and political moment, I am inspired by SFAI’s belief in the essential role the arts play in our changing world and its trust in the power of artists to advance critical dialogue.

At the core of SFAI’s work is a brilliant community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, partners, and supporters in constant pursuit of exploratory thinking, disruptive artistic investigation, and sublime art-making. It is exciting to join this community at this important inflection point. The coming year will bring big changes such as the opening of a new graduate center at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, which will catalyze connections between SFAI’s undergraduate and graduate programs and create a dynamic cultural corridor along the northern waterfront.

SFAl's transformative relationship with social values and its central place in the community establishes us as an empowering force for all of San Francisco — from its historic neighborhoods, to its municipal centers, to its many arts organizations, to its new, post-digital inhabitants. SFAI is ready to take a leadership role in the cohesion and identity of the city at this transformational moment, and will do so by attracting and educating the best and the brightest of creative, forward thinkers.

As I join SFAI, I see an institution that represents both historical continuity and a fearless embrace of the future. I look forward to our work together on this next chapter.

With best wishes,
Gordon Knox