Visitors enjoy the 2011 MFA Graduate Exhibition at the Winery SF on Treasure Island.

Public Special Events


The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street
New York,

The San Francisco Art Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, and James and Jane Cohan are pleased to present a performance of Tom Marioni’s The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art at the James Cohan Gallery. The event is part of SFAI's 140th Anniversary celebration, and also celebrates the appointment of Charles Desmarais, formerly of the Brooklyn Museum, as President of the San Francisco Art Institute.

Veteran San Francisco conceptual artist Tom Marioni's seminal work The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art was first presented at the Oakland Museum in 1970. Since that exhibition, the work has been presented at, among many other museums and galleries internationally, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, and, most recently, the Hammer Museum at UCLA. It is a pioneering work, which anticipated by decades the current interest in relational aesthetics and other social engagement activities and actions as art. For more information about the work, please go here.

This event is invitation-only. SFAI alumni in the New York City area will receive an email invitation; please RSVP to Anyone else interested in attending should contact Lee Scott Theisen at

Beer has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.

San Francisco Art Institute. Since 1871
From March 2011 through June 2012, SFAI will honor its distinguished history and contributions to the world of art with a 140th Anniversary celebration featuring lectures, screenings, events, and exhibitions. The celebration also offers alumni and friends worldwide an opportunity to reconnect with the institution as part of its planning for the next 140 years.