Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship

Eligibility + Award Details

Eligibility: Applications are sought from early to mid-career artists who have an established body of work and exemplary exhibition record in the media of painting and drawing. Applicants must reside in the United States and outside the Bay Area. (In alternate years, the Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship is awarded to artists from the Bay Area.) The review committee will consider the applicant’s experience and appropriateness to the SFAI mission and curriculum, as well as the quality of their work and written statements.

Award: The Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellow will receive $25,000 USD in compensation to teach two courses in the Fall semester, give a public lecture in the Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series (VAS), and engage with the SFAI community through individual student critiques, academic programs, and activities.

Integral to the Fellowship is a residency at Headlands Center for the Arts. The residency includes housing, an 800-square-foot studio, five chef-prepared meals each week, and access to shared vehicles. Artists in Residence are encouraged to engage with other residents and participate in the dynamic creative community of the Center, and are asked to participate in the seasonal Open House where resident artists share their work with the visiting public. Fellows are expected to be in residence full-time at Headlands during the fellowship.

How To Apply

Only electronic submissions will be accepted at:

Applications must include a letter of interest and artist statement, ten images, CV, and contact information for three references.

Application fee:
$25 USD

Fellowship Dates:
Late August – Early December

Application Deadline:

Fellow Announced:

2019 Diebenkorn Fellow: Delia Brown

Delia Brown is a painter exploring how high-tech culture encourages and facilitates a preoccupation with our own image, and shines a light on the flattening of our relationship to the larger world we inhabit. In the early 2000s she became known for a naturalistic style of representational painting that combined sharp social critique with humor and highly personal introspection. Her work over the last two years has seen a move towards an abstracted figuration, focusing on how our relationship to technology (specifically: smartphones) amplifies our narcissistic and myopic tendencies, engendering a troubling disengagement from the world around us. 

SFAI Department Chair of Painting, Taravat Talepasand states, “Brown is well known for a refined and incisive realism, based on photographs she stages and shoots herself. Her new works’ looser, more adventurous paint handling comes out of a particular personal and cultural context. For the twenty-first anniversary of the establishment of the Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship at SFAI, we’re enthusiastically looking forward to having Delia Brown join us as the 2019 Fellow. Delia’s rigorous approach to realism and flexibility to evolve intuitively as a painter in the age of technology were essential in her selection.”

Dedicated to the memory of distinguished painter Richard Diebenkorn.

Established in 1998 by the generosity of the family of Richard Diebenkorn, the fellowship provides an opportunity for artists to both teach at the San Francisco Art Institute and have sufficient time and financial support to work in the studio. In January 1946, Diebenkorn enrolled at SFAI as a student, and in September was awarded the school’s Albert Bender Grant, which allowed him to travel and work independently for a year. Diebenkorn went to New York, and when he returned the following year was offered his first teaching appointment at SFAI. He taught through 1949, and again from 1959 to 1966. The Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship was founded to honor his contributions as a teacher and to provide a similar opportunity to contemporary artists.

The Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship is funded by the generosity of the family of Richard Diebenkorn.

Fellowship Recipients

Delia Brown, Fall 2019

Katharine Kuharic, Fall 2018

Terry Powers, Fall 2017

Brad Kahlhamer, Fall 2016

Kate Nichols, Fall 2015

Allison Miller, Fall 2014

Liam Everett, Fall 2013

Judie Bamber, Fall 2012

Taravat Talepasand, Fall 2010

Marlene McCarty, Fall 2009

Josephine Taylor, Fall 2008

Iona Rozeal Brown, Fall 2007

Shaun O'Dell, Fall 2006

Brett Cook, Fall 2005

Darren Waterston, Fall 2004

Whitfield Lovell, Fall 2003

Fred Hayes, Fall 2002

Monica Majoli, Fall 2001

Nereida Garcia-Ferraz, Spring 2001

Polly Apfelbaum, Spring 2000

Brad Brown, Spring 1999