Public & Youth Education

Artist-driven experiences for all ages.

Public & Youth Education at SFAI offers a progressive model for evening, weekend, and summer courses, as well as adventurous artist-driven experiences, for all ages.


Phone: 415.749.4554

Fax: 415.351.3516

Email: publiceducation@sfai.edu

Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm

Public Education

Public Education’s noncredit evening and weekend courses span the breadth of contemporary art—from traditional techniques in drawing, painting, photography, film, printmaking, and sculpture to radical excursions in food, art, meditation, and mapping.

No matter your experience level, there’s a unique course to suit your interests.

Register Now

Public Education Brochure

Fall 2014 Highlights

  • Beginning Drawing: Drawing a Blank
  • Portrait Painting with Oils
  • Painting as Mindfulness Practice
  • Daily Explorers: An Introduction to Digital Video Art
  • Photography Critique Seminar
  • Mold-Making and Casting in Ceramics
  • Food and Art

Open Drawing Studio

SFAI’s Open Drawing Studio has been a free art resource in the Bay Area since the 1950s, and provides students the opportunity to draw from a live model in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Bring your drawing materials and drop in for one session, or participate each week.

Fall 2014

11 Sessions » Fridays, September 12–December 5
(no session November 14 or November 28)
5:30–8:30 pm | Studio 14 | Free
No advanced registration necessary


  • Be courteous and respectful towards your peers, the model, and the studio monitor
  • Request help or assistance from the monitor if you have questions
  • Maintain a clean work area 
  • Please do not talk on your cell phone during the drawing session
  • Photos of the model are not permitted 
  • Spray Fixative is not permitted in the drawing studio
  • Oil paints and solvents are not permitted in the drawing studio

Open Drawing Studio is sponsored by SFAI alumna Judith Krebs Snyderman (BFA Painting, 1994).


Get a jump on college life.

PreCollege gives young artists a jump on college life with a five-week, six-college-credit course of study in the arts. The program uniquely prepares students who intend to pursue art in college through intensive study with renowned professional artists. Participants build skills, develop portfolios, collaborate with peers, and make lasting connections in the Bay Area art community.

Open to candidates who have completed the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grades, but who have yet to begin college.

“People at our high school don’t cry at graduation, but we all cried on the last day of PreCollege. It’s because PreCollege is like a slice of a dream. It was like an island or an oasis that you never wanted to leave.”

–Daisy Faragher, PreCollege 2013

“I definitely have a better grasp on my own artistic process and the way that I work. I figured out how to work through a concept and a piece from start to finish by being in that environment. After being constantly surrounded by art, I am driven to keep working.”

–Emma Rudman, PreCollege 2013



2013 PreCollege brochure (PDF)

Young Artist Program (YAP)

YAP offers growing artists ages 13–15 an immersive summer program filled with creative exploration, skill building, and fun in an energetic studio environment.

YAP Brochure (PDF)

City Studio

City Studio brings art education to underserved youth in our community. By providing interdisciplinary courses and mentorship from SFAI artists, students are empowered to conceive of a life in the arts and are equipped to pursue further creative study.

The program fills a deficit of arts education in the public school system, and introduces students to the SFAI philosophy, which prioritizes curiosity and questioning as central to learning.

City Studio is currently hosted at seven locations in San Francisco and Oakland.

Public Education Policies


Refund requests must be made in writing to publiceducation@sfai.edu.

For classes that meet for ten or more sessions, a 100% refund minus a $20 processing fee is given if written notice is received at least five business days before the first class meeting. After five business days before the first class, an 80% refund minus a $20 processing fee is given when written notice is received prior to the third class. No refund is given after the class has met three times. Please allow two to three weeks to receive your refund.

For courses that meet for six sessions or fewer, a 100% refund minus a $20 processing fee is given when written notice is received at least five business days before the first class meeting. After five business days before the first class, an 80% refund minus a $20 processing fee is given when written notice is received prior to the second class session. No refund is given after the class has met two times. Please allow two to three weeks to receive your refund.



All payments are due at the time of registration.

VISA, MasterCard, and Discover cards are accepted for payment through the online registration system
Tuition payments may be made by cash, check, credit card, or bank draft payable to “San Francisco Art Institute”
A $50 fee will be charged for returned checks


Obligation for Payment

Enrollment constitutes a financial contract between the student and San Francisco Art Institute. The student’s rights to services and benefits are contingent upon them making all payments as agreed upon. If payments of amounts owed to SFAI are not made when they become due, SFAI has the right to cancel the student’s registration and/or administratively withdraw them from the current term. In addition, balances due to SFAI are reported by our collection agencies, which may impact the student’s credit ratings. Prior to registering for a new term, the student must pay any outstanding balances from any preceding terms. If the student does not pay their outstanding balances or make payment arrangements satisfactory to SFAI, they will not be permitted to register. This policy applies to any outstanding balances with SFAI.


Teacher Discount

We are pleased to provide Public Education units for teachers and a 10% discount on all courses for art teachers. Please contact us at 415.749.4554 prior to registering. Verification of current employment will be required.



Please note that most materials are not included in the cost of the tuition for each course. Students should expect to bring all materials to the first day of class, unless otherwise instructed. Materials can range in cost from $0–$250 depending on the course. If you have concerns over the cost of materials, please contact Public Education staff prior to registering.


Cancelled Courses

San Francisco Art Institute reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any course or to change the instructor. In the case of a course cancellation, students are entitled to a full refund of tuition and lab fees.

Cancellations due to under-enrollment are made up to 24 hours before the first class session. Students are notified of cancellations by email or phone as soon as possible and given the option of enrolling in a different course or receiving a full refund.

Classes may be rescheduled due to force majeure.