I studied at the SFAI from 1966-1970; went to State from 1972 to 1982 to get a degree and am now - returning to school at age 63 to further my studies. I had been a practicing artist and showing my work in SF for years before my return to school. I attended figure drawing classes whenever I could find them and was part of two long lasting art critique groups. I still consider those groups to be the most important parts of my education as an artist. So, I've been rather shocked and, frankly, disappointed at the bare studio offerings at SFSU. An on-line interview with the current director of the gallery and Mullins, one of the highly touted instructors at SFSU does not inspire me with any confidence; it sounded too much like the same old, same old boys club. Classes are scheduled on top of each other; want to take Drawing II and Painting II together. Well, you can't because they are scheduled at the same time. Want to take Painting III - well, good luck because there's only one session, it's at night and you'll either need a car or be braver than I am to walk down Market St. at 11 PM. I love my art history classes, the humanities classes and the access to the library but I suspect that I will remain - as I have for much of my artistic life - self taught and self sustaining. But it also gives me a great deal of freedom and the older I get, the more I value that.
I read a great interview with Jim Dine somewhere - he was asked if he felt that he'd "copped out" with his return to the figure in the 70's. He said, (and I think I quote) "No. Avant gard or no avant gard. I could give a shit." (found Via Art Vent)
Some current art at various places in SF: http://www.artbusiness.com/1open/062608.htmlAnd a post by the always eloquent Eva Lake on the market for Dead Artists (plus good comments) http://evalake.blogspot.com/