San Diego Art Institute

Since 1941, the San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) has served as a nonprofit with the mission of advancing southern California/northern Baja art and artists. We are an experimental, bi-national contemporary art center catalyzing new experiences and connecting artist with audience. Our work is dedicated to advancing creative endeavors of artists today and tomorrow. We present new, engaging, and unexpected experiences that expand our cultural perspective and understanding, revealing the culture of this specific place and time through experimental manifestations of art.  We expand the boundaries of expression and engage the public with art, ultimately removing limitations of borders — both physical and conceptual — to embolden production of leading regional contemporary art.

The focus of all of our programs is artist-driven, and our core value is respect for contemporary artists. We largely focus on commissions of new work by artists living between Los Angeles and Tijuana, with a focus on San Diego artists. SDAI rotates exhibitions every 8 weeks, either curated or themed. Some of our most notable recurring public programs include the MIXTAPE music and performance series, the Cat Fashion Show, and Monster Drawing Rally.  SDAI hosts frequent programs that include lectures, screenings, performances, or hands-on artmaking experiences.  SDAI’s programs are often experimental, interactive, multisensory, and fun.

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San Diego Art Institute is an 8,000 square foot gallery space. Through rotating exhibitions every 8 weeks, SDAI presents curated exhibitions that feature work by contemporary artists living between Los Angeles and Tijuana, with a focus on San Diego. The work ranges from painting and photography to contemporary craft, social practice, site-specific installation and experimental new media works. Through frequent public programming, SDAI showcases new experimental music, performance art, lectures, film screenings, fashion shows, and unique art experiences.