San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious colleges of contemporary art, announces Gala Vernissage—the nonprofit institution’s premier annual fundraiser in support of student scholarships for excellence and diversity in the arts. Gala Vernissage features an evening of art, fare, and libations, and is the official preview of Principal, SFAI’s 2014 Master of Fine Arts exhibition. Featuring new work by over 80 contemporary artists, Principal transforms the Old Mint, a National Historic Landmark, with installations in the bank vaults, ballrooms, brick-lined hallways, courtyards and every crevice between. The exhibition annually garners critical attention for its energetic presentation of multidisciplinary work and its relevance to the future of contemporary art.
Art for Dessert, a special evening preview from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., will immediately follow the Gala dinner, offering guests an opportunity to socialize with the artists and peers in the cultural community over artful desserts, craft cocktails, and Sightglass coffee. McCalls, caterer of the seated Gala dinner, has created a specialty cocktail, “The Gold Rush,” which features Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, bourbon, ginger, lime and sparkling water.
"Gala Vernissage is a spectacular evening for which SFAI's community of artists, innovators, educators and supporters come together to raise vital scholarship funds for our students,” says Charles Desmarais, President of the San Francisco Art Institute. “Not only does the event showcase the extraordinary spirit and accomplishments of SFAI artists—it's also a fabulous party!"
Guests will have the opportunity to engage with SFAI artists shaping the future of contemporary art and to mingle with leading curators. Visiting curators include Jaime Austin, Curator and Director of Programs for ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network; Lucinda Barnes, Chief Curator and Director of Programs and Collections at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Courtney Fink, Executive Director at Southern Exposure; Joanne Northrup, Director of Contemporary Art Initiatives at Nevada Museum of Art; and Sandra Phillips, Senior Curator of Photography at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This year’s honorees are C. David Robinson, FAIA (posthumously), and Mary L. Robinson, devoted advocates for the arts and committed supporters of SFAI for more than 40 years.