SFAI's premier gala and annual fundraiser at The Old Mint offers an exclusive opportunity to preview this year's Master of Fine Arts Exhibition: PRINCIPAL.

Public Special Events


Gala Vernissage
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TICKETS » Online ticket sales for ART FOR DESSERT close at NOON. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door beginning at 8 pm.

ATTIRE » Creative cocktail attire encouraged. Gold, silver, and bronze smiled upon.
The Old Mint
88 5th Street at Mission
San Francisco,

San Francisco Art Institute invites you to the exclusive Gala Vernissage honoring Mary L. Robinson and C. David Robinson, FAIA (posthumously) at the Old Mint, a National Historic Landmark.

SFAI artists transform the venue with installations in the historic bank vaults, ballrooms, brick-lined hallways, courtyards, and every crevice between. Engage with artists shaping the future of contemporary art, mingle with leading curators, and enjoy an evening of food and libations—all while supporting SFAI student scholarships.


INCLUSIVE EVENING | 5:30–10:30 pm

Cocktails, art, and mingling followed by seated dinner by McCalls at 7 pm,
and sweetened with Art for Dessert at 8 pm

ART FOR DESSERT | 8–10:30 pm

Join the exhibiting artists for a late-night celebration with desserts, open bar,
and Sightglass Coffee with Art for Dessert Giltterati

Eventbrite - SFAI Gala Vernissage

Gold Sponsors – $10,000
  • Seated dinner for ten
  • Prominent guest curator at table
  • Exclusive Gold Sponsor gift
  • Art for Dessert
  • Recognition in Gala publicity and at event
  • Exhibition catalogue for each guest
Silver Sponsors – $7,500
  • Seated dinner for ten
  • Prominent guest curator at table
  • Art for Dessert
  • Recognition in Gala publicity and at event
  • Exhibition catalogue for each guest
Bronze Sponsors – $5,000
  • Seated dinner for ten
  • Art for Dessert
  • Recognition in Gala publicity and at event
  • Exhibition catalogue for each guest
Individual – $500
  • Seated dinner
  • Art for Dessert
  • Exhibition catalogue

Art for Dessert – $200

  • Desserts, open bar, and Sightglass Coffee


Mary L. Robinson and C. David Robinson, FAIA (posthumously) 


D.A. Brooke
Pamela Rorke Levy and Matthew Brooks



Candace and Vincent Gaudiani
Roselyne C. Swig


American Industrial Center
Terje Arnesen / New Deal
Christopher Coppola
Charles Desmarais and Kitty Morgan
Jennifer Emerson
Jeffrey Fraenkel and Frish Brandt
Diane and Charles Frankel
G2 Insurance Services
John and Marcia Goldman Philanthropic Fund
Charles and Sandra Hobson
Bonnie Levinson and Donald Kay
Christina Noren
Joy Ou / Group I
Cynthia Plevin and Nicholas Heldt
Elizabeth and Karl Ronn
John Sanger
Jeremy Stone / Business Matters in the Visual Arts
USA Hostels
Diane B. Wilsey
Annie Robinson Woods and Montgomery Woods



Gerhard Michler Fine European Desserts

Jasmine Rae Cakes

McCalls Catering & Events

Studio Cake

The Whole Cake


Terje Arnesen
Marna Clark
Candace Gaudiani
Lee Gregory
Bonnie Levinson
Pamela Rorke Levy
Jamie Lunder
Lara Ritch
Jeremy Stone



Natasha Boas
Erica Gangsei

Heather Holt
Michelle Mansour
Andrew McClintock
Sarah Shepard
Ben Venom



Jaime Austin
Curator and Director of Programs, ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network

Lucinda Barnes
Chief Curator and Director of
Programs and Collections,
 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Courtney Fink
Executive Director,
Southern Exposure

Joanne Northrup
Director of Contemporary
Art Initiatives,
Nevada Museum of Art

Sandra Phillips
Senior Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art  


Sandra de Saint Phalle
Jennifer Emerson
Hank Feir
Penelope Finnie
Diane Frankel
Candace Gaudiani
Charles Hobson
Michael Jackson
Teresa Johnson
Bonnie Levinson
Pamela Rorke Levy
Jamie Lunder
Jeff Magnin
Dusan Mills
Joy Ou
Cynthia Plevin
Lara Ritch
Elizabeth Ronn
John Sanger
Jeremy Stone
Chris Tellis
c b Watts

Charles Desmarais, President


Please direct questions and sponsorship inquiries to
Lindsey Lyons, Manager of Alumni Relations and Special Events: 415.749.4512 or gala@sfai.edu.

For press inquiries, please contact Kimberly Keyes at kimberlyk@charleszukow.com.  


SFAI is parterning with Uber to give attendees a free first ride up to $25 off* for the week of Commencement and Gala. Use the code SFAIGrad when you sign-up to have a car at your location in minutes. 

Existing members can enter the code SFAIGrad10 to get 10% off* (up to $5) up to 2 rides to or from Gala.

*SF only, excludes TAXI, and expires May 20, 2014

Mary L. Robinson and C. David Robinson, FAIA 

Mary L. Robinson and the late C. David Robinson served as devoted advocates for the arts and committed supporters of the San Francisco Art Institute for more than 40 years. As a trustee and then chair of the board (1976–1979), David ably steered the Institute with his thoughtful attention and hard work. As a council member, trustee, and vice president of development, Mary contributed significantly to raising SFAI’s profile in the community.

David also served on the boards of the Berkeley Art Museum, UC Berkeley (as chair); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); California College of the Arts; and SPUR. He received SPUR's Silver Spur Award for public service, and the International Interior Design Association’s Leadership Award of Excellence.

David’s accomplished work as an architect can be seen at Fraenkel Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, the landmark Cliff House, and Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco, among others. He passed away in 2008, having left an indelible mark on the Bay Area’s urban and cultural landscape.

Mary continues her commitment to art and education as a member of the Board of KIPP Bay Area Schools, the Education Committee of SFMOMA, the Advisory Board of Headlands Center for the Arts, the International Council of MoMA, the Guggenheim Conservation Committee, and the National Gallery of Art 25th Anniversary Photography Committee.

Mary and David have three children—Annie Robinson Woods, Ward Robinson, and Steven Robinson—and four grandchildren.

San Francisco Art Institute is honored to recognize Mary and her late husband David for their lasting impact on SFAI and the Bay Area arts community.