SFAI’s Printmaking program challenges students to address both the “how” and the “why” of printmaking, using processes creatively to translate conceptual ideas into print.
Whether students use centuries-old techniques or play with concepts of multiplicity through iPhone apps, the program explores how the old and the new can interact in ways that preserve tradition while embracing and creating new paradigms.
SFAI’s Printmaking Department is equipped for lithography, intaglio, screen printing, and relief, as well as the making of artists’ books. Digital labs give students access to the latest technologies that are adding new layers to the medium’s rich history, and altering the way images are made, mediated, and printed. Graduate students are expected to use these tools of printmaking at a high level of technical achievement, while also considering the history, context, and interdisciplinary possibilities of the medium. Guided by faculty representing diverse approaches to contemporary printmaking, they work to develop an individual artistic language.
SFAI’s Printmaking Department has close relationships with many renowned, local fine art presses including Crown Point Press, Electric Works, Teaberry Press, Urban Digital Color/Gallery 16, and Magnolia Editions. Other Bay Area resources include the prestigious Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Legion of Honor, which houses 80,000 prints from the 15th century to the present.
Graduate students have access to printmaking facilities on the 800 Chestnut Street campus; additionally, students work in their studios at the Graduate Center, which are open 24 hours a day.
Chestnut Street facilities include complete equipment for plate and stone lithography, all intaglio approaches, monoprint/type, screen printing, and relief; an in-department digital studio for film development for use in all photo approaches; a fully equipped exposure unit area for photo processes; darkroom facilities available through the Photography Department; an orbital plate maker and two Vandercook letter set presses; and a large, clean loft for paper preparation, critiques, and artists’ books classes.