City Studio

Youth. Art. Activate.

SFAI’s award-winning City Studio program offers underserved youth a high-quality arts education in their own neighborhood, enlists youth in a long-term program to gain passion for and skills in the fine arts, and assists them in developing a portfolio for a professional career in the arts and/or to apply for higher education.

Classes, taught by SFAI alumni, are located at community centers and schools year-round. Current SFAI students serve as TAs for many of the classes. 

Current community partners include SOMArts, Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club, Tenderloin Boys and Girls Club and Root Division. City Studio also works with A Better Chance and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) for an annual Graphic Arts Workshop.

City Studio works closely with SFAI’s Young Artist Program and PreCollege program, offering scholarships to deserving City Studio students to these intensive and enriching environments.

For more information, visit:

Spring 2019 Classes

(Classes start the week of January 21)

Collaborative Printmaking

Wednesdays, 5-7pm | 115 Jones Street
Teaching Artist: Kate Laster

The class will have two modes of making: collaborative and individual. Collaborative exercises comprise of group drawing and printing and will involve building a collective piece among a cohort of students, who will ask one another for permission to add content to the collaborative work. Individually, students will create their own body of work and catalog print blocks to use for solo work or larger projects. Students will monoprint, carve linoleum blocks, handprint their blocks, stitch books and make drawings. Both modes of making allow for an active space where students feel comfortable making and creating together and individually.

Each class will start with a collaborative drawing exercise to help build focus and stretch drawing muscles. Afterward, students will work on individual projects, usually working on a larger scale piece as a collective at the end of each session. Starting with simple monoprints as an introduction to printmaking, students will build their relief printing and carving skills.


Concrete/Abstract Techniques in Drawing and Painting with Tom Colcord

Wednesdays, 4:30-6:30pm | 450 Guerrero Street
Teaching Artist: Tom Colcord

The aim of this course is to use the media of drawing and painting to connect young artists with their self-identity using various strategies in drawing, painting, and writing. Processes used will relate to improvisation, still life, memory, music, poetry, movement, and self-reflection. We also will focus on a different art movements in order to gain a richer understanding of both the history and potential of image creation.


Concrete/Abstract Techniques in Printmaking

Wednesdays, 4–6pm | 450 Guerrero Street
Teaching Artist: David Tim

The class was the intro to collaborative screen printing. In class we focused on creating screen prints through traditional hand cut stencils as well as modern laser cut shapes, letters and colors. Through layering we were able to explore color mixing to create abstracted fields of color.


Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture–Creating with Clay

Fridays, 4:30-6:30pm | 934 Brannan Street
Teaching Artist: Matthew Goldberg

This class will focus on different hand building techniques such as pinch, coil and slab construction, as well as some wheel throwing to create sculptures. Students will also learn how to treat the surface of their ceramics with stains, glazes, and various texture techniques. Beware-working with clay can be addicting!

City as Studio Practicum

In City as Studio Practicum, students link theory and practice by examining and participating in one of a number of projects working with professional artists and youth (or other populations). Students select from projects in SFAI’s City Studio program or other similar programs that partner with Bay Area community centers and arts organizations using urban sites in both San Francisco and the East Bay as a laboratory for research, practice, education, and social interaction. Students will collaborate with and educate youth or other populations in a variety of media, and together they will learn to develop and implement individual and collaborative projects. Students will also participate in class discussions investigating art education theory and current pedagogical practices in primary, secondary, and university settings as well as taking an active role in teaching and mentoring the community in their chosen outside project.

Please contact City Studio Director and SFAI faculty member Amy Berk for additional details: