sfai news

July 18, 2013

SFAI Announces Faculty Appointments of Christopher Coppola and Nicole Archer

The San Francisco Art Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of two new faculty members following nation-wide searches: Christopher Coppola as head of the Film program, and Nicole Archer as Assistant Professor in History and Theory of Contemporary Art. These are the first two of at least ten tenure-track faculty searches SFAI will conduct over five years. The appointments are effective July 1, 2013.

Christopher Coppola photographed by J. Blue Swan; Nicole Archer photographed by John Lee

Christopher Coppola earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1987, where he studied under legendary independent filmmaker George Kuchar. Over his 26-year career, Coppola has made eight feature films and produced and directed television shows for the likes of Fox, Nickelodeon, and Disney with his company Christopher R. Coppola Enterprises, along with developing content for alternative distribution and interactive platforms. Known in the film industry as a digital pioneer, Coppola is the founder of the nonprofit organization Project Accessible Hollywood, which brings digital empowerment to underserved communities and individuals worldwide through traveling new media festivals. In April 2013, he was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. to the California Arts Council, whose mission is to advance California through the arts and creativity.

Said SFAI President Charles Desmarais, “Christopher is a force of nature—a tireless advocate for the artistic, technological, and social potentials of filmmaking. I know that he will provide strong leadership to build on the legacy of SFAI’s film program as a center of experimentation and innovation.”

Added Coppola, “I’m honored that I’ve been chosen to lead the San Francisco Art Institute film program. SFAI is my alma mater and the experimental atmosphere there allowed me to discover my own artistic vision and style. I’ve been a maverick in the film business for 26 years now and look forward to sharing my knowledge with my students.”

As an educator, Coppola has been an adjunct professor since 2008 at Madonna University (Michigan) in the Department of Broadcast Cinema Art, where he consulted on the building of a new state-of-the-art soundstage and film production studio. He has also lectured at universities including the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Nicole Archer researches contemporary art and material culture, with emphases in modern textile and garment histories, critical and psychoanalytic theory, corporeal feminism, and performance studies. She earned her PhD in History of Consciousness with a declared emphasis in Visual Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation, A Looming Possibility: Towards a Theory of the Textile, considers how critical understandings and uses of textiles can challenge and extend poststructuralist theories of the text. She also earned an MA in Cultural History from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Archer’s work has appeared in Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture and Working for Justice: The L.A. Model for Organizing and Advocacy. Dr. Archer has been a Visiting Faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute since 2009, and has also served as Chair of the History and Theory of Contemporary Art program.

Said SFAI President Charles Desmarais, “Following an extensive search process, we were delighted—but not surprised—to confirm that we had an unparalleled candidate already at SFAI. Nicole truly embodies the SFAI spirit, combining sophisticated scholarship, social and political awareness, and a deep commitment to teaching. Everyone who meets Nicole is taken with her intelligence, energy, humor, and fresh approach to the study of contemporary art history. We’re thrilled that she will enter the next phase of her career here at SFAI.”

Added Archer, “I couldn't be more excited about being at the San Francisco Art Institute, a place where art history is made in the present. All at SFAI—faculty, staff, and students—are committed to promoting the importance of arts discourse and practice, which is particularly gratifying at a time when global austerity measures are telling us that this kind of knowledge is expendable.”