San Diego Art Institute

As the only contemporary cultural institution in Balboa Park, SDAI nurtures the creation of groundbreaking art by providing a dedicated exhibition space for the artistic talent that resides in Southern California and Northern Baja to collaborate, exhibit, and thrive. 

Since beginning in 1941, SDAI has grown into a premier contemporary art center delivering access to thousands of residents and visitors to the art we showcase, no matter the viewer’s experience or demographic. Through high-quality, interactive programming, educational initiatives, and exhibitions, SDAI promotes cultural equity and artistic enrichment within our community and enables diverse audiences to interact with art in meaningful ways. 

SDAI believes that there is an abundance of creative talent in the San Diego region and that regional art and artists are worthy of a showplace in Balboa Park. We understand that programming must build and sustain an appreciation for contemporary art and that making art accessible and understandable to experienced and novice audiences creates a future for contemporary artists and the production of contemporary art in the communities we serve.

Pay What You Can!

Admission is free for all thanks to a grant from the Legler Benbough Foundation.

Donations at the door are an option and greatly valued.



Images Description

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.