The Fine Arts Gallery at SF State presents three exhibitions annually and is staffed by School of Art students working in a professional gallery environment.
One of these exhibitions explores international contemporary art and historical examinations of the diversity of art in California and the West. The remaining two exhibitions feature student work. On rare occasions, solo exhibitions are featured.
The Fine Arts Gallery is staffed by students enrolled in the School of Art’s Exhibition Design class, and alternates exhibitions of student work, including the annual student show and the MFA graduate thesis exhibition, with professional exhibitions. These professional exhibitions showcase developments in California contemporary and historical art with special focus on the contributions of underrepresented communities, as well as exhibitions of international contemporary art that inform aspects of California culture. Projects have been funded by national agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Terra Foundation for American Art and the Andy Warhol Foundation; California funders including the Irvine Foundation and California Arts Council; and local foundations including the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Zellerbach Family Fund, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission and others. The SF State Instructionally Related Student Activities Fund provides basic funding for the gallery's educational mission.
Fine Arts Gallery professional staff include Mark Dean Johnson, Gallery Director, and Sharon E. Bliss, Associate Director. Johnson has organized projects for museums including San Francisco's de Young Museum, the Shanghai Museum and Sweden's Nordic Watercolor Museum. Johnson has published with UCPress and Stanford University Press. Bliss has curated exhibitions for Dominican University of California, the Palo Alto Art Center, SFCamerawork and Fototeca de Cuba.