Past Exhibition

Moving Pictures: the Photography of Irene Poon

The Fine Arts Gallery is proud to present Moving Pictures: the Photography of Irene Poon

Exhibition Dates: July 2 through July 29, 2022

The exhibition features the photographic work and collection of Irene Poon (b. San Francisco, 1941). Poon’s career spans from the 1960s to the present, and along with her artistic production she also organized exhibitions for the Chinese Historical Society of America, celebrating the work of artists including Jade Snow Wong, Benjamen Chinn, and Martin Wong. Poon was one of the co-curators of the With New Eyes: toward an Asian American art history in the west exhibition at SF State in 1995, sparking a new dialogue about the influence of Asian American artists on contemporary art practice in the US. She is an alum of SF State and before her retirement was the longtime Slide Librarian/Digital Media Specialist for the School of Art. Along with her own work we will present highlights from Poon’s photography collection, an excellent representation of vintage photography, including work by Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Minor White, Don Worth, Wright Morris, Imogen Cunningham, Charles Wong, and Benjamen Chinn, among others.

Visitors will be required to reserve tickets in advance, and to bring proof of vaccination with them when they visit. Masks are required indoors.

Regular Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 12noon to 4pm + open Saturdays July 2nd & 16th

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 2, 1 to 3pm. 

This exhibition is supported by the University's Instructionally Related Student Activities Fund.

Photo credit: Irene Poon, Memories of the Universal Café (1965)

WARP: 2022 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition

San Francisco State University's School of Art hosts WARP, the 2022 Master of Fine Arts Thesis exhibition celebrating the work and accomplishments of Claudia Huenchuleo Paquien, Natasha Loewy, Nicole Shaffer and Haley Summerfield.

View the 2022 WARP catalog:

The exhibition dates are April 22 through May 12. 

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m.

Our opening reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22. 

A closing reception will be held from 2 to 4 .pm. on Saturday, May 7. 

This exhibition is supported by the University's Instructionally Related Student Activities Fund.

34th Annual Stillwell Student Exhibition

SF State's School of Art is proud to present the 34th Annual Stillwell Student Exhibition. This year there will be both in-person and online exhibitions, each with different artists. The in-person exhibition features 64 undergraduate artists from the School of Art. The online exhibition features 13 additional artists. This juried survey exhibition has been organized and selected by the students enrolled in the School of Art's Exhibition Design classes.

This year our presentation also features special guests Calum Craik, AR Keiner, and Nathan Kosta - the SF State School of Art's 2020 M.F.A. cohort - who we were not able to exhibit in Spring 2020 because of the pandemic closure. We will also present a selection of the work of the late Leo D. Stillwell, the exhibition's namesake.

The exhibition will be open from Tuesday November 30th through Thursday December 9th. Regular gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Advanced reservations, masks and proof of vaccination are required. Use this link to reserve your visit time.

The Stillwell Exhibition is supported by the University's Instructionally Related Student Activities Fund.

Stillwell written 4 times

Closing Reception for Power of Community: Chinatown Then and Now

San Francisco State University’s Fine Arts Gallery presents Power Of Community: Chinatown Then and Now, an exhibition welcoming back students and the greater community to the University’s main campus. The Fine Arts Gallery’s exhibition focuses on the people of Chinatowns across North America, with a special spotlight on San Francisco. It features historic work from Benjamen Chinn, and contemporary works by Lenore Chinn, Chinatown Pretty (Andria Lo and Valerie Luu), Chinatown Alleyway Tours, and MACRO WAVES.

When Light Becomes Form: Processing Photography

When light becomes form

Saturday, February 19, 2022 to Thursday, March 31, 2022

How do we consider what makes a photograph in this time of merging and diverging technologies? Every photograph, regardless of format or process, begins with and can be simplified to being a product of light, time, and materiality – the recording of the image. When Light Becomes Form: Processing Photography explores a variety of unconventionally innovative, and sometimes antiquated, photographic techniques, and celebrates the subjectivity of the definition of photography. By reframing the way photography is traditionally presented, the exhibition highlights the way these ten artists tangibly shape light using the conceptual tool of time. Featuring Lisa K. Blatt, Rachelle Bussières, Adam Chin, Binh Danh, Chris Duncan, Amy Elkins, Kija Lucas, Felix Quintana, Ron Moultrie Saunders, and Andrew Wilson. Also featured is a selection of work by students who participated in the Fall 2021 Alternative Processes photography class with Sean McFarland: Ruby Connely Schneider, Mary Evans, Madison Ivy, Eloise Kelsey, Ray Li, Diane Perez, Stephanie Kate, Mayra Muñoz and Giovanni Ricondo. The exhibition is organized by Sharon E. Bliss, Kevin B. Chen, and Sean McFarland.

This is a free exhibition. Advanced reservations are required, along with masks and proof of vaccination. Please reserve a time to visit the exhibition.

Opening reception: Saturday, February 1, 1 to 3 p.m.

Associated Events:

In-person talk with Felix Quintana and Ron Moultrie Saunders, co-sponsored with PhotoAlliance, Friday, February 18  at 7p.m., at the SF Art Institute. Use this link for information and tickets.

Zoom conversation between Binh Danh, Kija Lucas, and Andrew Wilson. Thursday, March 10 at 6 p.m.

Zoom meeting ID: 857 8858 5120  Passcode: 781313

Zoom meeting link

Beyond Binary

Saturday, September 17, 2022 to Thursday, October 27, 2022

Weekend hours added: Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23, noon to 4 p.m.

Beyond Binary focuses on the exploration of a gender spectrum, across cultures and generations, in the formation of personal and collective identities and visual narratives. Beyond Binary celebrates trans and gender-nonconforming artists who engage the body as both a form and site of social sculpture and who challenge established narratives of art history to become more inclusive, while working across media and transdisciplinarily.

Participating artists: Cassils, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Craig Calderwood, Wells Chandler, Jeffrey Cheung, Ben Cuevas, Demian DinéYazhi', Nicki Green, Juliana Huxtable, MCXT (Monica Canilao + Xara Thustra), E. "Oscar" Maynard, Vivek Shraya, Beatrice L. Thomas aka "Black Benatar," Eli Thorne, Alok Vaid-Menon, Chris E. Vargas, Leila Weefur, J Wu, and Asri Wulandari.

Organized by the Fine Arts Gallery's Sharon E. Bliss and Kevin B. Chen in collaboration with independent writer and curator Roula Seikaly.

View the Beyond Binary Catalog (PDF)

Public Programs in the Fine Arts Gallery:

  • Leila Weefur in conversation Jo-ey Tang  Wednesday, October 5, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Jo-ey Tang is a Hong Kong-born American curator, artist, writer, in non-hierarchical order. He began working alongside artists at The Notary Public in 2010 in his New York City apartment while a graduate student at New York University. He was arts editor of literary journal n+1 from 2009 to 2014, curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris in 2014 and 2015, and director of exhibitions at Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, from 2017 to 2020, and digital community manager of Denniston Hill, New York in 2021. He currently lives in San Francisco, where he serves as director of KADIST San Francisco. Read more about Jo-ey Tang.

  • Demian DinéYazhi' & Ari Banias reading, sponsored by the Poetry Center  Thursday, October 6th, 1 to 2 p.m.

Ari Banias is the Poetry Center’s Mazza Writer in Residence for Fall 2022 and the author of A Symmetry (W. W. Norton, 2021), and Anybody (W. W. Norton, 2016), a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award. His poems appear in American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Hyperallergic, Kenyon Review, Poetry, A Public Space, The Nation, The New Republic, Triple Canopy, The Yale Review, and in We Want it All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat, 2020). Read more about Ari Banias.

  • Asri Wulandari in conversation with Dr. Kathy Zarur  Friday, October 14, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Kathy Zarur is Associate Professor of Art History at Skyline College. Her curatorial work has been featured at the San Francisco Arts Commission, Museum of the African Diaspora, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco State University, Kearney Street Workshop and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center. She has produced conferences about art history and pedagogy with San Francisco State University, the de Young Museum, and the Asian Art Museum. Read more about Kathy Zarur.

  • Drag Queen Story Hour with Beatrice L. Thomas aka “Black Benatar”  Friday, October 21, 10 to 11 a.m.

DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves. Beatrice L. Thomas aka “Black Benatar” is a national multi-disciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and creative producer. Whether through creative production, consulting or equity, diversity, and inclusion workshops, Mx. Thomas' focus is on uplifting and centering queer, transgender, and POC voices, with special attention to creating queer-inclusive family programming. They are a pillar of Drag Queen Story Hour, serving as director of the SF Bay Area chapter, on the Leadership Team for the national organization, and as a featured drag queen. (source:

This exhibition is made possible by major funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and support from SF State's School of Art and Instructionally Related Student Activities Fund. The public programs are supported by an Extraordinary Ideas grant from SF State's College of Liberal & Creative Arts.

Opening Reception of School of Art Exhibition of Students Graduating in Spring 2021

The Fine Arts Gallery is hosting a juried online exhibition of work from graduating seniors. The jury was made up of the students currently enrolled in Exhibition Design (ART619). The jury proctor, artist/curator Leila Weefur, reviewed all student submissions.

This will be an online only exhibition with a live opening reception hosted on Zoom.

View the online exhibition here through August 31, 2021

Please join us for the online exhibition opening on Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 5 to 6 p.m. PST.

F E A T U R I N G: 

Cody Aguirre
Julian Bailey
Claire Burke
Sloane Cabrera
Armando Cedillos
Kate Cuaresma
Paige Forbes
Bryn Ruth Kelts-Leonard
Ashley Anne Llantada
Vanessa Lozito
Libby Martinez
Anissa Nichter
David Pierce
Corina Ramsay
Matthew Saldivar
Malaya Sithichai
Sierra Stark
Blair Thomas
Tiffani Thompson
Evie Unger
Kaelynn Vasquez
James Vega
Izik Vu