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

Arnold Joseph Kemp is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Artadia Fund for Art & Dialogue, Art Matters, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Printed Matter, and the American Academy of Poets.  His artworks are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Berkeley Art Museum. Kemp is also a writer and he has read on street corners, in living rooms in Oakland, and in bars and bookstores in San Francisco, Berkeley and New York. His writing has appeared in Callaloo, Three Rivers Poetry Journal, Agni Review, MIRAGE #4 Period(ical), River Styx, Nocturnes, Art Journal, and Tripwire. Kemp has presented his writing and performances at the Bowery Poetry Club, Banff Centre, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Portland Art Museum, California College of the Arts, PDX Contemporary, San Francisco State University, Portland State University and New Langton Arts.