School of Fine Art

At Academy of Art University, you’ll master the classical tradition and be encouraged to let your imaginations take flight. Career artists help perfect techniques in painting, sculpture, jewelry making, and printmaking, while imparting the business savvy necessary to make a living.

Graduates leave the Academy’s fine art school with a portfolio that has collectors and galleries clamoring for their work. You will learn how to find apprenticeships, representatives, and gain exposure in the art world through our expert instructors and the opportunity to showcase your work at exhibits.

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What We Teach

Education at the School of Fine Art begins with the fundamentals. Our curricula focus on the foundations necessary to compose, design, draw, paint, and sculpt. Throughout your academic journey with us, you will develop your artistic point of view as you learn about the artistic and commercial aspects of fine art and create lasting pieces for your student portfolio.

In the Painting track, you will learn in-depth about composition and color, style, and technique, all in order to understand and achieve beauty as a still life, watercolor, portrait, landscape, or figure painter.
In the Sculpture program you will learn traditional skills for the figure and non-figurative work combined with new technology that can be applied to the forms that express your personal artistic vision.
Calligraphy & Letterform
Explore the time-honored skill of hand lettering with both brush and various types of writing instruments. Students learn how these skills are applied to all areas of design, including print, identity and typography. Diverse styles from classic to contemporary letterforms are taught.
In the Printmaking track, you will be introduced to etching, silkscreen, monotype, book arts, lithography, and relief printing. You will gain a good basic knowledge of all print media, produce a portfolio, and a book of prints. Traditional printmaking processes will be taught.
Book Arts
This class offers students a comprehensive introduction to all the artistic disciplines of hand bookbinding and box making. Students are instructed in the proper use of tools and equipment as well as various creative low-tech replicative techniques suited for the inclusion of text and image in bookworks.

Learning The Basics

By first learning the basics, you’ll master the classical tradition and let your imaginations take flight. Watch our faculty and student discuss the Fine Art program in our overview video.

Fine Art Sculpture Overview

At the Academy’s School of Fine Art, you will be able to learn and acquire the skills necessary to create different types of sculptures. From ceramics to bronze casting to figure sculpture to welding, you can mix traditional fine art skills with the latest technology to create 3D art that fits modern style and tastes. Create art that transcends space, form, and imagination.

Start Your Career Now

Your dream is within reach. Follow your heart and get started on the career of your dreams.


We believe that the best teachers are actual working creatives. That is why our faculty is comprised of nationally recognized art and design experts who excel at their professions. They will challenge you to reach your personal creative potential.

Where Energies Meet

Fine art painter Michelle Jung always kept the dream of pursuing her MFA in Fine Art on her bucket list. When the time was right, she began to take workshops and discovered that artists from Academy of Art University had the level of skill that she hoped to achieve. Jung is inspired by the coast in Santa Cruz, California, where she lives and creates her award-winning paintings. Jung’s ocean and floral-themed works can be seen in exhibitions all over the country. Check out her video!

Vibrant Roots

Fine art painter Abigail Gomez explores her vibrant past and her family’s Cuban roots in the journey towards her first gallery showing in San Francisco. Watch her story!

Fine Art Sculpture Slideshow

Browse through our compilation of student sculpture work throughout the years. You will be able to experience the dedication, attention to detail, and artistry needed to carefully craft and fashion this type of artwork.

Alumni Success

Pursuing a Passion for Painting

After earning her bachelor’s degree in a parent-approved subject, Nina Fabunmi promised herself she would one day earn an MFA in painting on her own terms. She worked only briefly in real estate before taking a job in the financial industry, but never stopped drawing and painting. Check out her video!

Featured Alumni

Industry Partnership

Waterhouse Gallery

Diane Waterhouse from the Waterhouse Gallery has been an enthusiastic guest of the annual Academy of Art University's Spring Show. In addition, the Waterhouse Gallery represents some of the finest painters and will continue to feature the art of Academy alumni.

Careers in Fine Art

As one of the top fine art schools in the country, Academy of Art University fine art graduates have a range of opportunities to choose from. Our facilities, faculty, and hands-on learning approach are designed to provide you with the tools you need to succeed as a professional artist.


Your career starts here.
Take the first step.
Or call 415-274-2222 to request more information about this program.
Gallery Artist
Express yourself and contribute to the discourse of culture as a gallery artist. You'll create, show, and sell your work in commercial galleries, museums and express a unique point of view.
Show your talent off on a large scale as professional muralist. You'll work with clients to interpret their direction, budget supplies and materials, and execute a work a art that satisfies everyone's goals.
Inspire the next generation of artists as a university art professor. You'll teach students historical, aesthetic, and technical details of developing their unique voice, and help them inspire and engage with the art community.
Company logo of Christian Daniels Gallery
Company logo of 111 Minna Gallery
Company logo of SFMoMA


Learn Online

Our revolutionary online courses provide the same rigorous education that we offer on campus with greater flexibility. Our online programs are purpose-built to deliver art and design courses. Study on your own time, at your own pace. Combine online and on-site classes.

Find Out More

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