Established in 2003, the FOR-SITE Foundation is dedicated to the creation, understanding, and presentation of art about place. Our exhibitions and commissions, artist residencies, and education programs are based in the belief that art can inspire fresh thinking and important dialogue about our natural and cultural environment.
FOR-SITE has broken new ground and provided a model for engaging audiences through artistic collaborations on national park land. Presented in a former military chapel, the 2017 – 18 exhibition Sanctuary offered visitors a multiplicity of perspectives on the basic human need for refuge, protection, and sacred ground through hand-made rugs designed by 36 artists from 21 different countries. Examining notions of safety and security, the 2016 exhibition Home Land Security activated military structures in the Presidio’s Fort Winfield Scott with the work of 18 international artists and collectives. In the unprecedented project @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist created a series of new works for Alcatraz Island, the notorious prison turned national park. Raising urgent questions about freedom of expression and human rights, the exhibition revealed new perspectives on the island for nearly 900,000 visitors during its run in 2014–15. The 2012 exhibition International Orange, enjoyed by more than 145,000 visitors, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge with site-specific installations at historic Fort Point. FOR-SITE projects in the Presidio of San Francisco include Andy Goldsworthy’s installations Spire, Wood Line, and Tree Fall and the acclaimed Presidio Habitats exhibition, for which artists, designers, and architects created animal habitats in the park.
The foundation’s residency program offers artists space and funding for reflection, production, and exhibition. Residencies take place at a 50-acre site on the edge of the South Yuba River gorge, just outside the historic gold-mining town of Nevada City, California. FOR-SITE partners with museums and other institutions to show the work created in these residencies. Past artists in residence include Mark Dion, Chris Drury, Richard Long, Cornelia Parker, and Shi Guorui; museum partners include the de Young Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Nevada Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
FOR-SITE’s education program enriches the learning experience of graduate-level art students by offering educators the space and resources to create courses focused on their interests. The foundation provides access to the Nevada City residency site and funding that covers project expenses. Participants have included such distinguished faculty as landscape architect Walter Hood (University of California, Berkeley), artist Donald Fortescue (California College of the Arts), and designer Amy Franceschini (San Francisco Art Institute).
The FOR-SITE Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. It is governed by a five-person board of directors and supported by contributions from individuals and foundations.