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SFAA Spotlight is a monthly online talk series featuring an SFAI alumni on the first Monday of the month at 10am PT. The talks are also recorded and available on our youtube channel. The word community is woven as a  theme between the artists. Special thank you to all of our donors  that fund this program.



May 8, 2023


MFA Filmmaking 1971

Larry Reed is a nationally and internationally acclaimed artist, and is a trailblazer in the contemporary shadow theatre. He is one of the first Westerners to have trained in the traditional Balinese shadow theatre (wayang kulit) and is a “dalang,” or “shadow master,” who manipulates over 20 carved leather shadow puppets while simultaneously serving as the conductor of the accompanying gamelan orchestra, the director, and the stage manager. Over the years, he has performed over 250 shows in this tradition around the world.

April 3, 2023


BFA Painting 2017

Kezia Harrell (born 1994 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, illustration, and performance. A graduate of San Francisco Art Institute (Painting BFA ’17) now living in Fresno, California, Harrell paints fantastical, hyperrealistic worlds of Black femme freedom. Her work draws attention to the histories of white supremacist and misogynoir violence while making space for herself and other Black people to heal and define themselves outside of the white gaze.

March 6, 2023


BFA Painting 1978, MFA 1983

Kirk LeClair, a multi-disciplinary artist, will talk about his life in Montana & San Francisco and about his two new films So Good I can’t Take it and Every Hundred Miles (Across America with Robert Frank) plus his newly minted two albums recently released in 2022 Many Moons and Without Warning: Early Montana Punk, Postpunk, New Wave + Hardcore 1979 -1991.

February 6, 2023


MFA New Genres 2014

Francisco Pinheiro is a visual artist and his practice stems from narratives associated with a particular territory, summoned in installations, videos, texts and performances. Francisco is part of the collective Guarda Rios, from which he has been creating, coordinating and producing different projects. Guarda Rios is a relational art based collective working on riverside territories.

December 5, 2022⁠


MFA Photography 2010

Mercedes Dorame is a visual artist who calls on her Tongva ancestry to engage the problematics of visibility and ideas of cultural construction as an outcome of the need to tie one’s existence to the land. In addition to working as a visual artist, she currently is visiting faculty at California Institute of the Arts and acts as a cultural resource consultant on sites where her Tongva ancestors and items are being excavated. This work carries a heavy burden of responsibility which has fueled her artistic exploration and passion for visibility for the Tongva community.

November 7, 2022⁠


BFA Sculpture 2016

Oliver Hawk Holden is a San Francisco-based artist whose work takes a satirical, yet deeply intimate look at the world and pulls mostly figurative imagery of distinct moments into semi autobiographical figurative collage. His practice includes kinetic sculpture, video, painting and installation. His work has been featured in Juxtapoz and he has exhibited at SFMoMA, Evergold gallery, On Approval, Incline Gallery, R/SF Gallery and FaceBook AIR Mural Residency San Francisco.

October 3, 2022⁠


MFA New Genres 2013

Dimitra Skandali, born in 1969 in Greece, grew up on Paros, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. “I carry my island with me everywhere,” she states.Themes of the past and her journey since then to build a community across the oceans are central to her work and are reflected in her choice of materials and the ethereal, ephemeral forms she creates; reminders of the sea, its openness and possibilities but also its limitations; reflections of a displacement, fragility, and instability while honoring the small and insignificant.

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