In Depth: Summer Residency Program

SFAI’s Summer Studio Residency Program combines the benefits of a prestigious artist’s residency with the rigor of graduate-level study in the arts.

Unique for its demanding critique structure, individualized support, and personalized engagement with internationally recognized artists and scholars, the residency is an eight-week intensive specifically designed for undergraduates or recent baccalaureate graduates who wish to advance and refine their work. The location of the program in San Francisco—a vibrant community with world-class museums, a robust emerging artist scene, dynamic food culture, and breathtaking natural resources—offers students an uncommon urban experience.

Students who pursue this residency must have significant studio experience and demonstrate a readiness for graduate-level work through their statement of intent, project proposal, and portfolio.


Residency includes:

  • 3 units of upper-division undergraduate college credit
  • Studio space at SFAI’s historic Chestnut Street campus
  • Professional and conceptual development through the residency seminar—weekly critique and discussion course
  • Access to SFAI facilities and technical support services, including painting studios, printmaking studios, sculpture studios, darkrooms, digital imaging or film processing equipment, and film/video editing suites
  • Attendance at the Graduate Lecture Series (GLS), with one-on-one studio visits from acclaimed series guests and other visiting artists
  • Excursions to San Francisco museums, galleries, and alternative art spaces
  • Culminating group exhibition at SFAI’s Diego Rivera Gallery
  • Access to SFAI’s Summer Institute Public Programs, which include exhibitions, symposia, and special events
  • Option of enrolling in additional undergraduate courses and tutorials (additional tuition cost)
  • Access to available housing in SFAI’s residence hall (additional cost)

How to Apply

All applicants must submit the following materials electronically.

  • Residency application form
  • A statement of intent or project proposal
  • Ten examples of work (digital images)
  • Two recommendation letters from faculty members of the applicant’s home institution

Program Tuition Cost
$ 5,547

Optional Housing Cost
$290-$380 per week (depending on room type and availability)

About the Seminar Leader

Terry Powers is a painter who lives and works in San Francisco. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 and his MFA from Stanford University in 2013. He teaches at numerous locations around the Bay Area, including San Francisco Art Institute, Stanford, and California College of Art.

Powers was recently announced as the recipient of the 2017 Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship. Established in 1998 by the family of renowned painter Richard Diebenkorn, who studied and taught at SFAI beginning in the 1940s, this fellowship makes it possible for a contemporary artist to both teach at SFAI and pursue independent studio work.