Our Core Values: Inquiry, Care, Integrity, Agency, Interconnection


san francisco university high school


Welcome to the Arts at San Francisco University High School!

As an academic department, our curriculum is designed to allow students to develop both the understanding and the creation of the arts. Every graduate of UHS has a hands-on experience in the arts, as well as a historical context for the discipline. The Course Catalog explains our curriculum in greater detail. In addition to our strong curriculum, the Arts faculty is proud to present an exciting program of events. We invite you to attend our performances, exhibits, and concerts, as this is the best way for you to experience our program. The vibrancy and energy of these events are a reflection of what students and teachers experience in our classrooms everyday. Our Arts Calendar can keep you up to date on our events.

Overview of the Arts Department:

  • Over 75% of the student body is enrolled in arts classes
  • We offer over 35 arts classes
  • Over 80% of students take more than the minimum graduation requirement for the arts
  • We host three theater productions, six art openings, and four music concerts every year
  • A large percentage of the school’s Independent Studies projects are sponsored by the Arts faculty
  • We have nine Arts faculty members: seven full-time teachers and two part-time teachers; the Arts faculty are trained specifically in the disciplines that they teach

James Faerron
Arts Department Chair

Jackson Street Gallery Professional Art Opening #1: Listening Without Ears to Tongueless Voices

Opening Reception: Friday, September 13, 5:00-7:00 PM; Art Show up from September 13-October 25

ARTIST: Kate Rannells
CURATOR: Lisa Carroll
WHERE: Jackson Street Gallery and Lounge

WHY: For the first exhibition in the Jackson Street Gallery this fall, UHS Arts Instructor Lisa Carroll, is bringing Oakland Sculptor Kate Rannells, to UHS. Ms. Rannells will show several works that consider ideas of what communication can be within the more than human languages of the natural world and how the human perception of time infiltrates our understanding of nature. The work encourages us to shift our understanding, to perhaps hear with our hands, and feel with our eyes. “Gold Scroll: What Will Remain II”, an installation made of imitation and genuine gold leaf, metal foil and salt evokes the process of decay and the release of all material back to the earth. “(A)drift in (An)amnesis: We Repass, in Our Memory, Our Whole Life”, a haptic sound sculpture made of found wood, electronics and sound asks the viewer turned audience to engage with all their senses, in particular the sense of touch. And finally, an installation of discarded maps transformed into a kind of visual dictionary of mycelium. Opening Friday, September 13th from 5-7p.

Artist statement: 

Darkness is not the absence of light, but full with unseen presence. Time is not fixed, but a subjective and personal experience. What we perceive is not Truth with a capital T, but our human perspective. The need to make sense creates dualistic order which breaks up the squishy continuum of existence into self/other, good/bad, black/white. This habit of making sense through rigid and dividing classifications is hard to break.

Art participates with existence and matter in physically engaged, nonlinear, nonhierarchical ways.  It is a means beyond divisions.  Making begins with an intervention into the state of matter, an interruption in its process. Matter is not inert, but active, with a language of its own. Processes like accretion, corrosion, erosion, compression, and expansion are all part of the lexicon of matter.  Using salt, water, rust, weight, air, sound and time, I speak the lyricism of matter as a metaphor to our relationship to ecology and nature.

Kate Rannells Artist Bio:

I am a sculptor based in Oakland CA. I have a BA in Art Criticism with a minor in Sculpture from Fairhaven College, Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. I have just completed the Dual-Degree Masters program at San Francisco Art Institute, MFA in Studio Art, MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art in 2019. 

Arts Calendar






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