San Francisco Studio School of Drawing, Painting, Photography & Mixed Media

Director's Statement

A Return to the Visual

The school was founded in response to the widespread failure of current art education to provide an understanding of the visual in art.

Today many art schools encourage following the latest fashion, pure concept or the empty pursuit of technical proficiency. In contrast, we offer a deep searching involvement with the artist’s medium, joined with an understanding of originality, tradition and art of the past.

The mission of the San Francisco Studio School is to provide a unique, in-depth approach to the study of fine art. The disciplines studied are approached through the common visual principles underlying them.



A return to the visual, when combined with empathy for one’s chosen medium, can bring about an indefinable and enduring quality in the work in a way that moves beyond either the purely conceptual or the self-indulgent.

It is the relevant and contemporary pursuit of the visual that extends the tradition in art and at the same time confronts it; and it is the freestanding quality of the visual that transcends time and touches our deepest senses.

Students at the San Francisco Studio School tend to be emerging artists or individuals earlier in their studies who are passionately devoted to advancing their knowledge of the disciplines taught.

There is no bias toward either representational or nonobjective art in the program. As a result the students are able to develop an individual approach to their work, unified by understanding and practice related to both the visual and the individual vision in art.


Laura Harden
Director