The San Francisco Art Institute Hosts GALA VERNISSAGE Tonight

The San Francisco Art Institute Hosts GALA VERNISSAGE Tonight

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.

Tickets for the seated dinner are sold out. Individual tickets for Art for Dessert are $200, and still available for purchase atEventbrite. For more information about Gala Vernissage, visit

"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.

Art for Dessert Glitterati:

Natasha Boas
Erica Gangsei
Heather Holt
Michelle Mansour
Andrew McClintock
Sarah Shepard
Ben Venom

The 2014 Honorees: Mary L. Robinson and C. David Robinson, FAIA

Mary L. Robinson and the late C. David Robinson served as devoted advocates for the arts and committed supporters of the San Francisco Art Institute for more than 40 years. As a trustee and then chair of the board (1976-1979), David steered the Institute with his thoughtful attention and hard work. As a council member, trustee, and vice president of development, Mary contributed significantly to raising SFAI's profile in the community.

David also served on the boards of the Berkeley Art Museum, UC Berkeley (as chair); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); California College of the Arts; and SPUR. He received SPUR's Silver Spur Award for public service, and the International Interior Design Association's Leadership Award of Excellence.

David's accomplished work as an architect can be seen at Fraenkel Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, the landmark Cliff House, and Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco, among others. He passed away in 2008, having left an indelible mark on the Bay Area's urban and cultural landscape.

Mary continues her commitment to art and education as a member of the Board of KIPP Bay Area Schools, the Education Committee of SFMOMA, the Advisory Board of Headlands Center for the Arts, the International Council of MoMA, the Guggenheim Conservation Committee, and the National Gallery of Art 25th Anniversary Photography Committee.

The 2014 Sponsors:


D.A. Brooke
Pamela Rorke Levy and Matthew Brooks


Candace and Vincent Gaudiani
Roselyne C. Swig


American Industrial Center
Terje Arnesen / New Deal
Christopher Coppola
Charles Desmarais and Kitty Morgan
Jennifer Emerson
Jeffrey Fraenkel and Frish Brandt
Diane and Charles Frankel
G2 Insurance Services
John and Marcia Goldman Philanthropic Fund
Charles and Sandra Hobson
Bonnie Levinson and Donald Kay
Christina Noren
Joy Ou / Group I
Cynthia Plevin and Nicholas Heldt
Elizabeth and Karl Ronn
John Sanger
Jeremy Stone / Business Matters in the Visual Arts
USA Hostels
Diane B. Wilsey
Annie Robinson Woods and Montgomery Woods

Wine Sponsor:

Thomas J. Fogarty, MD

Donations In-Kind

Martinelli's Sparkling Cider, Sightglass Coffee, Bittersweet, Gerhard Michler Fine European Desserts, Jasmine Rae Bakery, Studio Cake, SusieCakes and The Whole Cake.

For more information about SFAI, visit

#SFAIgala | #ArtforDessert

Founded in 1871, the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) is one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art.

SFAI is dedicated to the intrinsic value of art and its vital role in shaping and enriching society and the individual. As a diverse community of working artists and scholars, the Institute provides its students with a rigorous education in the fine arts and preparation for a life in the arts through an immersive studio environment, an integrated liberal arts curriculum, and critical engagement with the world.