Fall/Winter 2020

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FA L L / WINT E R 2020

“Portraiture always has a level of intimacy and idealization.”


An alumnus re-imagines the SVA logo SVA CLOSE UP | 4

News and events from around the College WHAT’S IN STORE | 12

Products and services by SVA artists and entrepreneurs PORTFOLIO: Kira Nam Greene | 20

The painter and SVA alumnus portrays women of “good fortune” THE MAESTRO | 34

Remembering Milton Glaser, teacher MUMBAI LOST AND FOUND | 42

SVA alumnus Apeksha Agarwal photographs a world capital in lockdown


“We are hoping the future will be better for everyone.”



SVA Archives’ COVID Collection preserves art inspired by the pandemic Q+A: Ray Billingsley | 60

The Curtis creator and SVA alumnus talks about his influences, his noted career and racism in comics ALUMNI AFFAIRS | 66

For Your Benefit A Message from the Director SVA Alumni Society Awards Donors Alumni Notes and Exhibitions In Memoriam FROM THE ARCHIVES | 80

A new audio archive of historical SVA event recordings, available online

“I wanted to relive memories I had before quarantine.”

50 FALL/WINTER 2020 |




Fall/Winter 2020 Volume 28, Number 2

EDITORIAL STAFF Joyce Rutter Kaye, editorial director Greg Herbowy, editor Tricia Tisak, copy editor Michelle Mackin, editorial assistant

VISUAL ARTS PRESS, LTD Anthony P. Rhodes, executive creative director Gail Anderson, creative director Brian E. Smith, design director Mark Maltais, art director

COVER FRONT Kira Nam Greene, Ellen’s Niche with a Gaze (detail), 2019, oil, gouache, colored pencil and acrylic ink on canvas. (See page 20.) BACK Tiffany Alfonseca, drawings from the “In Quarantine” series, 2020. (See page 50.)


CONTRIBUTORS Maeri Ferguson Lawrence Giffin James Grieshaber / P22 Type Foundry Dan Halm Richard Kegler / P22 Type Foundry Beth Kleber Diana McClure Jane Nuzzo Miranda Pierce Michael Tisserand Nichole Washington © 2020, Visual Arts Press, Ltd. Visual Arts Journal is published twice a year by SVA External Relations. School of Visual Arts 209 East 23rd Street New York, NY 10010-3994 David Rhodes PRESIDENT


facebook.com/schoolofvisualarts instagram.com/svanyc


hese are extraordinary times. In September, seven months into a devastating, once-in-acentury pandemic, the School of Visual Arts began its first semester to be taught fully online. Since spring, a widespread movement against racism and inequality has effected change in communities throughout the country, including ours. When you read this, the United States will have held an unprecedented election, with a record number of votes cast through absentee and mail-in ballots amid a scandalous effort to subvert the democratic process. Through it all, SVA has strived to meet the moment with creativity and resilience. Individually and together, we are contributing time, resources and platforms to COVID-19 relief, in support of Black lives and voices, and to other timely causes. Our students and faculty continue to approach the challenges and opportunities of distance learning with openness and ingenuity. And the vital work of our staff and Emergency Management Committee has kept the College safe and operational. Our mission continues. This June, we lost our beloved friend, colleague and mentor Milton Glaser, arguably America’s greatest designer and an essential member of SVA for 60 years. Milton’s kaleidoscopic career and decades of teaching were influential beyond measure, and his absence is keenly felt. But his greatest legacy may be his oft-stated guiding principle that “good” design is, by definition, civic-minded—an act of generosity and fellowship above all. Our institution will forever be indebted to him, and forever in pursuit of his example.

twitter.com/sva_news youtube.com/user/svanewyorkcity TO READ THE VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL ONLINE, VISIT: ISSUU.COM/SVAVISUALARTSJOURNAL

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pr e si de n t school of v isua l a rts



MYSVA Nichole Washington MPS 2016 Digital Photography nicholewashington.com @nicholawola

New York-based artist Nichole Washington incorporates elements of painting, photography and design in her mixed-media work, which celebrates “feminine strength, identity and spirituality,” she writes. For this issue’s MySVA, she commemorates the activism, grief, love and transformative potential of the current moment and the movement to support Black lives. In addition to her fine-art work, Washington has created commissions for Black Girls Code, Film Movement and HBO. FALL/WINTER 2020 |



News and events from around the College

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Working Toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


hough the widespread Black Lives Matter protests of this past spring and summer began in response to the pervasiveness of police brutality against Black Americans—in particular the killings of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, and Breonna Taylor, in Louisville—they soon catalyzed a larger and ongoing movement to combat systemic racism in every institution of American life. Higher education, the creative industries and the School of Visual Arts itself have, rightly, not been exempt from this urgent call for change. Indeed, when SVA released its latest five-year strategic plan, in late 2018, issues of diversity, equity and inclusion emerged as the prevailing challenges and opportunities facing the College, critical to the success of its educational mission. This plan set out a comprehensive list of goals to increase access to the College’s programs and resources; establish more inclusive recruiting and hiring practices; expand and enrich its curriculum; and increase its support, financial and otherwise, of underserved and underrepresented community

In coordination with SVA President David Rhodes and Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes, the College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force has committed to pursuing the following near-term initiatives. For more information, visit sva.edu/dei.

• Concluding the search

for a director of diversity, equity and inclusion at SVA. • Conducting a survey of SVA students, alumni, faculty and staff, to collect a broader understanding of their experiences relating to race and inclusion at the College. • Establishing a shared database of potential BIPOC faculty and guest

lecturers, for SVA department chairs to use as a resource to expand their hiring pool. • Modifying the process for faculty recruitment and actively recruiting prospective BIPOC faculty and faculty from underrepresented groups. • Ongoing antiracism training for all members of the SVA community. • Providing expanded mental-health resources for BIPOC students. • A $50,000 SVA community matching donation campaign in support of Black Lives Matter and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. • A firm and unambiguous policy against acts of bias, discrimination and harassment in the SVA

members. More immediately, it led to the establishment of a DEI Task Force—a group of faculty, staff and administrators charged with developing initiatives and community efforts in service of these goals—as well as the opening of a new role within the College’s administration, for a director of diversity, equity and inclusion. This summer, spurred by the efforts of current and former students and the DEI Task Force, the SVA community began the frank and necessary conversation about how the College can better engage its Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) members, and create a more equitable and welcoming living, learning and working environment. The task force engaged SVA’s Multicultural Student Union (MSU)—an intersectional coalition

community, to include third parties with whom the College has an affiliation. • The establishment of scholarships specifically in support of the College’s BIPOC students. • An investment of resources necessary to support the academic and social needs of the College’s BIPOC students. • A dedicated section of sva.edu for highlighting student groups and DEI resources, and to hold the College publicly accountable for achieving the goals it has set. • Continuing to foster awareness of the full scope of identities, experiences and needs of the SVA community, addressing them as they arise.



formed by several of SVA’s cultural clubs—and invited MSU representation to have a seat in their meetings. In late July, the task force rolled out its webpage, outlining its near-term goals, as well as the broader DEI goals of the 2019–23 Strategic Plan. As of September, several steps have been taken toward achieving these goals. In August, the SVA Alumni Society welcomed its latest affinity group, the Black Alumni Association, founded by recent graduate Ferguson Amo (MFA 2019 Fine Arts) (see page 67). Art Education Chair and DEI Task Force executive committee member Dr. Catherine Rosamond established, with SVA Library Director Caitlin Kilgallen, a faculty reading and film group, which meets biweekly for discussions on racial injustice and, Rosamond says, “building a space for faculty to learn together and challenge ourselves to become better educators for our students.” And Kilgallen and the SVA Library staff have created an online Antiracist Resource Guide, to support independent information-seeking within the community. “It’s imperative to have a place to advocate for the rich variety of communities under the SVA umbrella,” says Gail Anderson (BFA 1984 Media Arts), chair of BFA Advertising and BFA Design, creative director of the Visual Arts Press and member of the DEI Task Force executive committee. “Our task force has complex, meaningful objectives to accomplish in the new academic year and beyond. We’re ready.” The DEI Task Force welcomes the entire SVA community to join in its effort. To get involved, email diversity@sva.edu; for more information about diversity, equity and inclusion at SVA, visit sva.edu/dei.

“[My] work is fine art, and it typically lives in a gallery or a museum. … But I’m not just speaking to a fine-art crowd. … There are many people who do not feel welcome in the gallery, do not feel welcome in the museum. So it’s important for me to find different outlets to share the work.” —Jon Henry, photographer. From a talk hosted by MPS Digital Photography.

“I plan and plan and plan so that I can throw it away. … Often some of the most interesting things are, so to speak, ‘accidents,’ but I think one earns one’s accidents.” —Sally Potter, filmmaker. From a talk following a screening of Potter’s film The Roads Not Taken, hosted by SVA Filmmakers Dialogue.

Focus on Justice


his past Memorial Day— the same day that George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, touching off nationwide protests—a white woman walking her dog in Central Park encountered birder and writer Christian Cooper. Cooper, who is Black, asked the woman to leash the dog, per the law. She instead called the police, claiming that he was threatening her safety and, in an inarguable appeal to prejudice, repeatedly mentioning that he was African American. Cooper’s video of the incident, posted to Twitter by his sister, made headlines. Several months later, Cooper’s

experience inspired “It’s a Bird,” his surreal graphic short story about a birder whose binoculars enable him to see real-life victims of police brutality, published by DC Comics as the first installment in its new series, Represent! The “It’s a Bird” creative team included BFA Cartooning faculty member Alitha Martinez as penciler, and alumni Emilio Lopez (BFA 2004 Cartooning) and Mark Morales (BFA 1991 Media Arts) as colorist and inker, respectively. “Comics have always been a political voice,” Martinez says. “Even when we think it’s not, it definitely has been so.” To read “It’s a Bird,” visit readdc.com. [Greg Herbowy] ABOVE The cover and select pages of “It’s

a Bird,” the first installment of DC Comics’ new digital series, Represent! Images courtesy DC.



Art Is ... Adaptable CLOSE UP News and events from around the College

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hen the COVID-19 pandemic compelled SVA to move to remote operations this spring, not only did courses go online, so did the community’s activity. The activities that define life on campus—office hours and one-on-one consultations,

events and exhibitions—all became (and remain, for now) long-distance affairs. Here are some of the many ways SVA has carried on in the coronavirus era: ESSENTIAL STAFF in Facilities, Mail and Office Services, and Security have worked tirelessly to keep the campus

safe and operational. Facilities personnel have installed new signage, barriers, hand sanitizing stations and wayfinding in College buildings. THE OFFICE of Learning Technologies (OLT) expanded its faculty and student

BELOW “Art Is Back,” the fall 2020 SVA campaign by Gail Anderson and Zipeng Zhu, features posters in New York City subway stations as well as social-media collateral.

knowledge bases—online guides to remote learning resources—and will soon launch its Media Space, an archive of SVA department– produced video lectures and workshops, accessible to all students, faculty and staff. SVA IT created an app to verify the health status of on-campus community members, and is providing virtual private network (VPN) accounts to students in countries with limited Internet access. STUDENT HEALTH and Counseling Services began hosting meditations, Q+As and other events on its Instagram, @svastudenthealth. IN ADDITION to its regular schedule of events, Career Development has offered pandemic-themed workshops on freelancing, networking and staying inspired. For more information, visit sva.edu/career. VISUAL ARTS PRESS , the SVA in-house design studio, has produced COVID-19 safety animations for the College’s Instagram, @svanyc; face masks featuring SVA subway poster art, available at the SVA Campus Store; “SVA Hero” hats for essential staff; “SVA Votes,” a campaign to encourage participation in the 2020 election; and more. SVA ADMISSIONS is offering virtual campus tours, open houses, portfolio sessions and live student Q&As. In the spring, Admissions welcomed students from 26 countries and 32 states to its virtually held Accepted Students Day. SVA STUDENT LIFE created a virtual fall 2020 orientation, with vlogs hosted by students, faculty and staff. THE SVA LIBRARY created a Distance Learning Support Guide outlining its virtual collections, services and support, and added five new online databases, bringing its total of remotely accessible resources to more than 60. Cont., next page

ABOVE Stills from COVID-19 safety animations by

Declan Van Welie, lead web designer and developer at the Visual Arts Press, the College’s in-house design studio. The works appeared on SVA’s Instagram, @svanyc, earlier this year.



News and events from around the College Cont. from previous page MPS ART THERAPY hosted free group sessions over the video-conferencing service Zoom in the spring, while MA/MAT Art Education used Zoom to offer free art workshops for children of SVA faculty and staff. ANNUAL EVENTS , including the 2020 Commencement, SVA Theatre’s After School

The Headband

it’s not the ’80s, ya know

The Joker

we’ve already seen this movie

The Parachute

kids, don’t try this at home




Special: Alumni Film and Animation Festival, and SVA Continuing Education’s Art & Activism panel, streamed online, and are archived and viewable on YouTube. SVA GALLERIES built an online exhibition space, galleries.sva.edu, and many departments created unique websites for their thesis shows and presentations. For a full list, visit sva.edu/ svashows; for current and upcoming events, visit sva.edu/events. GAIL ANDERSON (BFA 1984 Media Arts), BFA Advertising and BFA Design chair and Visual Arts Press creative director, and designer Zipeng Zhu (BFA 2013 Design) created “Art Is Back,” the latest entry in SVA’s long-running “Art Is ...” campaign, to meet the new academic year with optimism and imagination.

“I hate all the bullshit that goes with portraits. … ‘Oh, you really captured his soul.’ Bullshit!” —Duane Michals, photographer. From a talk with curator and writer Elisabeth Biondi, hosted by MFA Photography, Video and Related Media.

“Artists, you are the cure ... the only people that can inspire the world to notice and then alter its destructive behavior.” —John Waters, artist, author and filmmaker. From Waters’ keynote address at the virtual 2020 SVA Commencement.

The Phone Mount

not what they mean by Face Time



�� The Hero



Illustrations by Zak Tebbal (2015 BFA Design)


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FAR LEFT An SVA COVID-19 safety poster by Visual Arts Press. BELOW LEFT AND ABOVE Pigeon characters for each SVA BFA program, created for the fall 2020 orientation by Olivia Boryczewski (student, BFA Design). BELOW Zoé Bergeron (student, BFA Photography and Video), Untitled (full face), 2020. From “Making the Way,” an online exhibition at galleries.sva.edu.

The Artist as Activist


rtist and BFA Fine Arts faculty member Sophia Dawson (BFA 2010 Fine Arts) has long focused her fine-art practice on social injustices and worked with nonprofits and disinvested communities as both an arts administrator and mentor. In the wake of this year’s protests in support of Black lives, her work has arguably been more visible than ever. In July, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Black Lives Matter of Greater New York unveiled

a permanent “Black Lives Matter” street mural in Manhattan’s Foley Square. Three artists—Dawson, Patrice Payne and Tijay Mohammed—designed one word each; graffiti group Tats Cru and children studying with arts nonprofit Thrive Collective executed the work. (Also involved: BFA 1993 Fine Arts graduate and Continuing Education faculty member Kendal Henry, director of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program, which curated the project.) Dawson’s word, “Lives,” used each letter to pay different tributes: to mothers whose children died at the hands of police, to the Black Panther Party and the

movement’s political prisoners, to the African diaspora, and to the Bible. In late August, the United States Tennis Association opened its first spectator-less U.S. Open with “Black Lives to the Front,” an installation in stadium seats featuring work by 18 Black artists, including Dawson and Delano Dunn (MFA 2016 Fine Arts). Dawson’s piece, Young Eric Garner … Isaiah 54:13, depicted Eric Garner, who in 2014 was killed by police in Staten Island, as a radiant infant in his father’s arms. Also in August, New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs named Dawson one of four 2020 Public Artists in Residence. Dawson will work

with the Office of Neighborhood Safety to create a community art project involving families in Mott Haven, a long-disadvantaged Bronx neighborhood, whose lives have been directly affected by gun violence. [GH]


Artist and SVA alumnus and faculty member Sophia Dawson (center) at the Black Lives Matter mural in Manhattan’s Foley Square. Dawson designed the letters for the word “Lives.” Images courtesy Sophia Dawson. ABOVE, TOP RIGHT Dawson, along with fellow alumnus Delano Dunn, contributed a work to the USTA’s “Black Lives to the Front” installation at the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Dawson’s piece is in the bottom left, Dunn’s in the top left. Image © Jennifer Pottheiser/USTA.



LEFT Cover images courtesy New York magazine (left) and Dario Calmese/Vanity Fair. BELOW Director Lynn Shelton (center) on the set of Casual. Image courtesy Hulu.

March 30–April 12, 2020



“My entire life has been a protest.”


News and events from around the College




Life Apart A handbook for surviving quarantine.


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n late March, when New York City was recently locked down and pandemic life still felt strange and new, New York ran as its cover a photograph by Jeremy Cohen (BFA 2014 Photography). Cohen’s image, featuring a cellist playing alone on a Brooklyn rooftop, kicked off an issue dedicated to life during quarantine—the first in the magazine’s history to be remotely

Remembering filmmaker and alumnus Lynn Shelton



Photographs by DARIO CALMESE

SVA alumni are responsible for two of the most striking and timely magazine covers of 2020

An Effortless Auteur

Church of


Covering History





produced. (In later months, New York would publish two photo essays on protests for racial justice—one fraught, one joyful—by BFA Photography and Video student Chris Facey.) Over the summer, Dario Calmese (MPS 2012 Fashion Photography; see page 15) became the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of Vanity Fair. His portrait of actor Viola Davis, whose pose deliberately references The Scourged Back, a searing 1863 photograph of a formerly enslaved man showing his whipping scars, appeared on the cover of the July/August issue, to great acclaim. (Also, the magazine’s

he entertainment world—and the SVA community—lost one of its most admired talents in May, when filmmaker Lynn Shelton (MFA 1995 Photography and Related Media) died at the age of 54, due to a previously unidentified illness (see page 79).


June cover, featuring actor and musician Janelle Monae, was photographed long-distance, via a Zoom call, by Collier Schorr, BFA 1985 Communication Arts, and the special September issue, guest-edited by author Ta-Nehisi Coates, featured art by Shawn Martinbrough, BFA 1993 Illustration. Tara Johnson, BFA 2012 Photography and Vanity Fair’s visuals director, helped produce all three projects.) “It’s about replacing the images that have been washing over all of us for centuries,” Calmese told The New York Times of his photograph. In an Instagram post of both the Vanity Fair cover and its Civil War–era antecedent, he wrote, “Welcome to my protest.” [GH]

“Lynn was an exemplary student, with an infectious energy, who no one ever doubted would go on to great success,” says MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Chair Charles Traub. And she did. Beginning with We Go Way Back (2006), Shelton directed nine films and over 40 episodes of various TV series, becoming known for what The Seattle Times called her “collaborative style and joyous camaraderie” on set. Most recently, she executive produced and directed four episodes of Little Fires Everywhere, Hulu’s 2020 adaptation of the novel by Celeste Ng. Shelton’s legacy will endure. In June, YouTube live-streamed Her Effortless Brilliance, an ode to her love of film and music, during which actors she’d worked


The ex–Green Beret who broke Carlos Ghosn out of Japan

with shared their memories and musicians performed songs from her movies. In July, Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum and Duplass Brothers Productions launched the Lynn Shelton “Of a Certain Age” Grant, to be annually awarded to a U.S.-based woman or non-binary filmmaker, age 39 or older, who has yet to direct a narrative feature, and Shelton was posthumously nominated for her first Emmy, for her directing on the finale episode of Little Fires Everywhere. As an alumnus, Shelton was generous with her time, participating in several College events and interviews. In April, she emailed with the Visual Arts Journal about SVA’s surprise Little Fires Everywhere cameo, as the college that one of the main

“If you can actually find collaborators to trust, actually trust them and make it ‘our’ project instead of just ‘your’ project. I find that that kind of collaboration is gonna bring the best out of you and everybody else, and you’re gonna have something that’s greater than the sum of its parts at the end of it. … It’s just the most exhilarating, most liberating, fantastic way to make work.” —From a Q&A following a screening of Your Sister’s Sister (2011), 2014 SVA After School Special. “It’s all about creating a completely emotionally safe, performance-oriented set. So I very carefully choose each of the crew members, just like I choose the cast.” —From a Q&A following a screening of Outside In (2017), SVA Filmmakers Dialogue. “Just start making. You don’t even have an excuse, because equipment is so cheap right now. Find your tribe—a partner or two—and start making things.” —From a 2018 interview with sva.edu.



characters, Mia, attends in her youth. (Though the school is not named in Ng’s book, and Shelton made her SVA attendance part of her pitch to work on the show—“it was part of why I felt a personal connection” to Mia, she wrote—she called the coincidence “a happy accident.”) She also shared selections from her “happy making” playlist—including songs by Prince and the Breeders—for a quarantine mixtape that was posted on sva.edu. In honor of Shelton’s life and work, here are some excerpts from her interviews and talks at SVA. To watch her After School Special and Filmmakers Dialogue appearances, visit SVA’s YouTube channel. [Michelle Mackin]

“The point [of Baroque art] is not to say something softly. … You need to say it over and over again, and as loudly as possible. … It’s not an elitist form of thinking at all.” —Gaby CollinsFernandez, artist. From a talk hosted by MFA Fine Arts. “This idea that there’s ‘Black’ art, I’m not sure what that means. There are Black artists creating work about themselves, and it’s just artwork. … Somehow, when a Black person makes work, it’s not seen as something that transmits. … It’s segregated to a different conversation.” —Darryl Atwell, art collector. From a talk hosted by the SVA Black Student Union (BSU) and SVA Galleries, held in conjunction with the BSU’s 2020 exhibition, “Here We Are.”

Banner Efforts


ast spring, in an effort to celebrate New York City amid the despair caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockefeller Center called on artists from all over the country to design and submit flags for consideration to be displayed in its iconic plaza. In August, the winning flags—including designs by Minju An (BFA 2017 Illustration), MFA Illustration as Visual Essay student Flora Bai, Joseph Cavalieri (BFA 1983 Media Arts), Ed Heck (BFA 1987 Media Arts; see page 16) and Peter Papulis (BFA 1977 Fine Arts)—flew aside featured flags by renowned artists like KAWS (BFA 1996 Illustration), Sarah Sze (MFA 1997 Fine Arts), Faith Ringgold, Jeff Koons and more. [MM] FROM TOP Installation view of the

Rockefeller Center Flag Project, image courtesy Rockefeller Center; Peter Papulis, Sunset—42nd Street; Minju An, New York in the Sauce; Flora Bai, Halo; Sarah Sze, Untitled; KAWS, Untitled; Ed Heck, Fall in Love; Joseph Cavalieri, Biking in New York. All works 2020; all flag images courtesy the artists.



Bandanas and pouches from Fuzzy Pals, the pet accessories company founded by SVA alumnus Keiko Nabila Yamakazi.

New York City, Yamazaki started Fuzzy Pals, a line of pet accessories like bandanas and bows, as well as pouches and notebooks for their humans, all decorated with cute, colorful patterns. A portion of every sale goes toward helping Jakarta’s Shelter Melati rescue and re-home dogs in need. [Michelle Mackin]

The latest from SVA entrepreneurs: books, movies, products and more

Avoid the Day



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99-04 A Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Park, New York avoidtheday.org | @atdbookbar

Fuzzy Pals


$10 – $20 knyamazaki.com/fuzzy-pals In Jakarta, the home city of Keiko Nabila Yamazaki (BFA 2017 Illustration), “pet adoption is rare,” she says. “People [there] prefer having a designer or specific breed of dog.” During her childhood, her own family took in abandoned and neglected cats and dogs as pets, which fueled her passion for pet adoption. Wanting to help the cause from her current home of

When SVA Pre-College Program faculty member Jason Heuer (BFA 2005 Graphic Design) and his wife, Jianna, opened their Rockaway bookstore, Avoid the Day, in February, they wanted to create a neighborhood gathering place. Heuer’s background in design—for book jackets, a restaurant, even a boutique hotel—lent itself well to his vision for a haven where folks could escape their responsibilities for a while, have a coffee and browse a great selection of new and used books. But within weeks the pandemic had arrived. The shop’s carefully curated shelves had to move online, where readers can now buy treasures from Heuer’s own personal library, a slew of typography and design books and local favorites like Jill Eisenstadt’s From Rockaway. As Avoid the Day begins its soft reopening, Heuer and his wife are focused on staying positive and remaining a critical piece of their community’s social fabric. “We are hoping the future will be better for small bookstores, businesses, everyone,” Heuer says. “That’s the chapter that I look forward to reading.” [Maeri Ferguson]

OPPOSITE Avoid the Day bookstore and

café, in Rockaway Park, Queens, is run by designer, SVA alumnus and faculty member Jason Heuer (bottom left) and his wife, Jianna (top right). Images courtesy Jason Heuer/Avoid the Day.







Little Mountain Press

(MFA 2016 Fine Arts; BFA 2011 Visual & Critical Studies) $14 – $16 broderpress.com Broderpress’ twolayer masks are 100% heavyweight quilting cotton and feature filter pockets.


$5 – $10 littlemountainpress.com @little_mountain_press Despite thousands of miles between them, Xiao Mei and Mountain Dog (both BFA 2018 Illustration) are bringing people together with Little Mountain Press, the independent design and narrative press they formed just before graduating. Though they now live in New York City and Shenzhen, China, respectively, the eye-popping colors and imagery of their Risograph zines and prints continues to bond them. Exploring Chinese culture and identity, and sexuality, Little Mountain Press’ 30-plus prints and 25-plus zines have grown a passionate multigenerational following. While the coronavirus is keeping them from art-book fairs for now, thanks to their online shop and Instagram, business is steady. A new zine will be on sale by year’s end, as well as their first-ever calendar, for 2021. The pair also hope to create their own affordable Riso-printing service for artists in the coming months. [MF] 14 |



(MFA 2012 Fine Arts) $12 – $20 shopcjw.com CJW’s masks feature the accessories company’s signature playful prints.


SOLAR WINDOW AND CUSTOM SOLAR PANELS Starting at $150 grouphugtech.com

MFA Interaction Design faculty member Krystal Persaud is on a mission to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels with her company, Grouphug Solar, which makes window solar chargers that are easy to install and use. Grouphug’s compact, USB-equipped solar panels absorb sunlight and store energy so they work day or night, and can charge phones, tablets, speakers and other electronic devices. Persaud also designs solar charging spaces for public spaces like schools, museums and parks, with custom shapes to fit the client’s brand or preference. She has made panels shaped like a cat, for the New York Hall of Science in Queens, and a turtle, for the Hartman Nature Reserve in Iowa.

Grouphug has even piqued Mark Cuban’s interest— Persaud landed a deal with the famous entrepreneur when she pitched to the investor–hosts of ABC’s Shark Tank last spring (Season 11, Episode 16), which has helped the company with product development and inventory. Just a few months later, Grouphug was selected for the Entrepreneurial Dream Project, a grant fund and mentorship program to assist new businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, Persaud plans to offer even more portable solar panels, as well as larger ones. But she won’t stop there, she says. “Solar curtains, solar clothing. … Anything is possible!” [MM] BELOW, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT A GroupHug solar-panel

installation at the New York Hall of Science; GroupHug founder and SVA faculty member Krystal Persaud on Shark Tank; portable GroupHug solar panel, for device charging. Images courtesy Krystal Persaud/GroupHug.

Wear A Mask!



Society 6


Designer and illustrator Michelle Nahmad (MFA 2017 Visual Narrative) is creating one-of-a-kind, 500-piece puzzles that celebrate the pancultural tradition of a shared meal. A portion of all proceeds goes to the Artist Relief fund, which supports creative professionals who are facing pandemic-related financial hardship.

(chair, MPS Branding) $16.99 society6.com/ debbiemillman A portion of all proceeds goes to COVID-19 relief.

Michelle Nahmad, Cafecito (top) and Gathering, 2020, hand-drawn and painted 500-piece puzzles.

Carol Cao New York CAROL CAO

(BFA 2020 Fine Arts) $4.79 – $29.99 etsy.com/carolcaonewyork Cao offers tie-dyed, patterned, holidaythemed and monochrome masks for kids and adults on her Etsy store.

Good Listening PODCASTS

Podcasts by SVA alumni and faculty

Capital A: Unauthorized Opinions on Money, Art & Culture philrabovsky.com Painter, installation artist and “post-postmodernist” Phil Rabovsky (MFA 2018 Art Practice) explores “the possibility of there being a future” in his art as well as in his podcast, which considers the role of money and theory in the art world of today and the art world yet to come.

The Cartoon Brew Podcast cartoonbrew.com/ podcast Animation writer, producer, educator and historian Jen Hurler (MFA 2014 Computer Art) hosts this podcast on the animation world’s inner workings. The open-ended format allows Hurler to take different approaches for each episode, be it by interviewing a fellow professional or investigating industry trends.

Design Future Now aiga.org/designfuture-now In this podcast, presented by AIGA, MFA Design for Social Innovation faculty member Lee-Sean Huang talks with creative practitioners and leaders about the ever-changing field and opportunities of design.

Dream Up burdockmedia.com Siblings Peter Ash Lee (MPS 2012 Fashion Photography; BFA 2009 Photography), a fashion photographer, and Hannah

Chloe Lee, a brand strategist, graphic designer and illustrator, celebrate Asian American experiences on their arts and culture platform, Burdock Media. Their weekly podcast, Dream Up, features interviews with other Asian American artists and designers.

The Institute of Black Imagination dariocalmese.com/ blackimagination Artist, writer and brand consultant Dario Calmese (MPS 2012 Fashion Photography), who over the summer became the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of Vanity Fair, launched this pod-

cast to connect with mentors from what he calls “the Pool of Black Genius: a collection of iconoclasts at the leading edge of cultural thought and innoTOP LAYER vation.” Listeners can get inspired by Calmese’s conversations with leading Black fashion BOTTOM LAYER designers, doctors, architects, writers, To make new logo variations, just change gradient in bottom layer photographers—in(or place photo into bottom layer) cluding Renee Cox (MFA 1992 Photography and Related Media)—and more.

Vesperisms: The Art of Thinking for Yourself vesperillustration. com The “Vesperisms” that author and illustrator Vesper Stamper (MFA 2016 Illustration as Vi-

sual Essay) shares on her podcast aim to help artists get back in touch with their creative selves and consider what it means to think like an artist.

Yah, No yahnopodcast.com MFA Design for Social Innovation Chair Miya Osaki and Tina Park, co-founders of health-care design firm Diagram, began this monthly podcast as a place where creative entrepreneurs like themselves can gain insights about starting and managing a business. As their slogan goes: “Yah, having a business is hard. No, it’s not impossible.”




Excerpts from Class Act, the latest graphic novel by Newbery Medal-winning author and SVA alumnus Jerry Craft. Images courtesy HarperCollins.



Longlat, Inc. ED HECK

Class Act

GRAPHIC NOVEL Various formats, $10.99 – $26.99 Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins Author and cartoonist Jerry Craft (BFA 1984 Media Arts) made history twice this past January. His best-selling book New Kid—the story of Jordan Banks, an artistic Black 12-year-old newly enrolled at a predominantly white private school—became the first graphic novel to win the American Library Association’s John Newbery Medal, one of the highest honors in children’s literature. The ALA also chose New Kid for one of its two 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards, making Craft only the second person to hold both prestigious distinctions in the same year. 16 |


Earlier this fall, HarperCollins published Craft’s latest book, Class Act. Class Act revisits the world of New Kid—the fictional Riverdale Academy Day School in the Bronx, and the students, teachers and families who make up its community—as well as its narrative style, incorporating “sketchbook” asides, flights of fantasy and pop-culture references into a story about bias, expectations, inequality, family and friendship. This time, the focus is on one of Jordan’s friends and classmates, Drew Ellis. Drew lives in an apartment with his hardworking grandmother, taking two buses to school each day—a far cry from the seemingly frictionless existence of his wealthy white friend Liam. After a visit to Liam’s house makes clear the gulf between their Cont., last column

(BFA 1987 Media Arts) $15 and up longlatinc.com Ed Heck’s cartoony Pop art graces a series of adjustable masks—with matching travel pouches—by Longlat, a travel goods company.

DNA Merch


(BFA 1981 Fine Arts) $15 – $25 shop.kennyscharf. com Kenny Scharf’s kids’ and adults’ masks feature his signature spray-painted faces.

circumstances, Drew begins to doubt whether a meaningful friendship between the two of them is possible. “With Class Act, I explored a lot more of Drew’s life,” Craft says. “You’ll get to meet his grandmother as well as witness the semi-volatile relationship that he has with his friends from around his neighborhood. It was also important for me to explore, and expand on, the differences between Drew and his best friend, Jordan. I wanted to show many of the intricacies and nuances that I don’t often see with Black kids in books and movies.” Craft has already begun work on a third book in the series, tentatively scheduled for early 2023. In the meantime, New Kid fans may soon see their favorite characters on the screen. In August, SpringHill Entertainment— the production company co-founded by basketball star LeBron James—announced a deal with Universal Pictures to adapt New Kid into a feature film, with Craft set to executive produce. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented a traditional publicity tour for Class Act, Craft is keeping a schedule of virtual events, readings and workshops. For more information, visit jerrycraft.com. [Greg Herbowy]

Screen time with SVA alumni and faculty

Watch List

Cashed Hayley Hogan (BFA 2014 Photography) produced and Jorge Arzac (BFA 2012 Film and Video) was cinematographer for this comedy–drama short, about an unemployed and adrift young New Yorker. Cashed’s team reunited for another short, High Score, a drama about the indoctrination of a white supremacist. Both are on Amazon Prime.


Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over


Filmmakers Max Basch and Malia Scharf document the career and creative vision of artist Kenny Scharf (BFA 1981 Fine Arts). Featuring Keith Haring (1979 Fine Arts), KAWS (BFA 1996 Illustration) and MFA Fine Arts faculty member Marilyn Minter.

This documentary about groundbreaking musician and performance artist Lydia Lunch was directed by MFA Art Practice and BFA Fine Arts faculty member Beth B (BFA 1976 Fine Arts), and has screened at various international festivals.


Zero (Seishin 0)


The crew of Lindsay Lindenbaum’s (MFA 2012 Social Documentary Film) femaledrummers doc includes grads Caroline Berler and Sandra Itäinen (2017); Megan Blackburn, Justin Ervin, Lucas Groth and Craig Lowy (2012); and Sarah Wainio (2016).

This documentary by Kazuhiro Soda (BFA 1997 Film and Video), which won the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 2020 Berlinale, follows a psychiatrist who retires after a long and renowned career to care for his beloved wife.

Director David Osit (MFA 2011 Social Documentary Film) directed this documentary about Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, as he navigates both the unique and quotidian challenges of his office.


Ayiti: The Awakening

Desperate Losers

Angela De Vito (BFA 2014 Animation) was animation director for this Comedy Central digital cartoon about a manatee—voiced by series creator and comedian Bobby Moynihan—who is also “the number one weed dealer in New York City.”

Sage Love (BFA 2019 Film) weaves personal, historical and contemporary views of Haiti in this doc on the aftermath of its 2010 earthquake and the corruption of subsequent international relief efforts; rent or buy the film at ayititheawakening.com.

Tynan Humphrey (MFA 2018 Computer Arts) co-hosts and is technical director of this Adult Swim digital series—streaming live on Mondays at 6:00pm ET—in which he and two coworkers try out ill-advised money-making schemes.

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman escapes her arranged marriage in Brooklyn for a new life in Berlin in this Netflix series, produced by Alexa Karolinski (MFA 2011 Social Documentary Film), who also served as a writer and plays the role of the main character’s cousin, Chava.





Carlos Motta: History’s Back Rooms Carlos Motta (BFA 2001 Photography) Skira Hardcover, €54.00

Eating Alone

Anna Eveslage (faculty, MFA Visual Narrative; MFA 2015 Visual Narrative) annaeveslage.com Paperback, $40

Everyone’s Photos, Any License (1,190,505 Full Moons on Flickr, 2004 – 2019)

Penelope Umbrico (faculty, BFA Photography and Video and MFA Photography, Video and Related Media; MFA 1989 Fine Arts) RVB Books Paperback, €180

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Don’t Postpone Joy

Hugo Yu (BFA 2019 Photography and Video) Paperback, $20

Girl Pictures

Justine Kurland (BFA 1996 Photography) Aperture Hardcover, $50

KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness

KAWS, a.k.a. Brian Donnelly (BFA 1996 Illustration) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Hardcover, AUD $69.95

Oar Or Ore

Lucas Blalock (faculty, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) Museum Kurhaus Kleve Hardcover, $55


Shelf Liners Books by SVA alumni and faculty

The Cajun Document: Acadiania, 1973–74

Douglas Baz and Charles H. Traub (chair, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) University of Virginia Press/ Historic New Orleans Collection Hardcover, $45

Vantage: Ryan Koopmans

Ryan Koopmans (MFA 2012 Photography, Video and Related Media); foreword by Marvin Heiferman (faculty, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) Black Dog Press Hardcover, £34.95


A Day at the Park: My 1st Seek and Find Book Laura Bullock; illustrated by Amber Sung (BFA 2019 Illustration) Paperback, $9.99

All the Birds in the World

David Opie (MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay) Peter Pauper Press Hardcover, $16.99

Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring

Matthew Burgess; illustrated by Josh Cochran (faculty, BFA Illustration) Enchanted Lion Books Hardcover, $18.95


Eugenia Mello (MFA 2017 Illustration as Visual Essay) Victionary Hardcover, $19.95

My Pencil and Me

Sara Varon (faculty, BFA Illustration and Continuing Education; MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay) First Second Hardcover, $18.99

The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth

Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; illustrated in part by Shadra Strickland (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay) Crown Books for Young Readers Hardcover/e-book/audio, $16.99/$9.99/$14

Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights Deborah Hopkinson; illustrated by Kristy Caldwell (MFA 2010 Illustration as Visual Essay) Peachtree Publishing Hardcover, $18.99

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us

Lauren Castillo (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay) Knopf Books for Young Readers Hardcover/e-book, $16.99/$9.99

A Very Big Problem

Amy-Jill Levine and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; illustrated by Annie Bowler (MFA 2016 Illustration as Visual Essay) Flyaway Books Hardcover, $18

We Disagree

Bethanie Deeney Murguia (MFA 1998 Illustration as Visual Essay) Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster Hardcover, $17.99




A for Anonymous: How a Mysterious Hacker Collective Transformed the World

Uchronia: Designing Time

Art Therapy Practices for Resilient Youth

David Kushner and Koren Shadmi (faculty, BFA Illustration; BFA 2006 Illustration) Bold Type Books Hardcover/paperback/e-book, $26/$15.99/$10.99

Helga Schmid (MFA 2010 Design) Birkhäuser Hardcover/PDF, $45.99

Vintage Graphic Design

Vesper Stamper (MFA 2017 Illustration as Visual Essay) Knopf Books for Young Readers Hardcover/e-book/audio, $19.99/$10.99/$20

Type, Typography, Monograms & Decorative Design from the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries Steven Heller (co-chair, MFA Design; faculty, MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism) and Louise Fili (faculty, BFA Design and MFA Design) Allworth Press Paperback, $19.99

The Scent of May Rain


A Cloud of Outrageous Blue

Story by Mark O. Stack and Rae Epstein; illustrated by Kaylee Rowena (BFA 2020 Cartooning); letters by Cardinal Rae Weekend Warrior Comics E-book, $15

True Story

Kate Reed Perry (faculty, MFA Design for Social Innovation) Viking Hardcover/paperback/ e-book/audio, $26/$28/$13.99/$17.50

A Strengths-Based Approach to At-Promise Children and Adolescents Edited by Marygrace Berberian and Benjamin Davis, with a chapter by Eileen McGann (faculty, MPS Art Therapy) Routledge Hardcover/paperback/e-book, $140/$54.95/$49.46

Co-Illusion: Dispatches from the End of Communication David Levi Strauss (chair, MFA Art Writing) The MIT Press Hardcover, $39.95

The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

Jennifer Steinhauer (BFA 1990 Communication Arts) Algonquin Books Hardcover/e-book, $27.95/$21.95

Hello, Fears: Crush Your Comfort Zone and Become Who You’re Meant to Be Michelle Poler (MPS 2015 Branding) Sourcebooks Hardcover, $25.99

Pencil Workshop: Develop Your Sketching Skills in 50 Experiments Sasha Prood (MFA 2015 Design) Abrams Noterie Paperback, $19.99

Photography and Belief David Levi Strauss (chair, MFA Art Writing) David Zwirner Books Paperback, $12.95


Raft of Flame

Desirée Alvarez (MFA 1992 Fine Arts) Omnidawn Paperback, $17.95



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Kira Nam Greene, Doria’s Golden Years, 2019, oil, gouache, markers and acrylic ink on canvas. FOLLOWING

Kira Nam Greene, Renee's Room (with Three Chairs and a Painting), 2018, oil, Flashe, colored pencils and acrylic ink on canvas.




Kira Nam Greene By Dan Halm

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines whimpering and complaining.



22 |




Some of the most powerful art is born out of upheaval. For the paintings of “Women in Possession of Good Fortune,” an ongoing series by artist Kira Nam Greene (MFA 2004 Fine Arts), the catalyst was the 2017 Women’s March, which occurred the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration and saw record numbers of protesters take to the streets. “I was thinking about the collective action and the power of women getting together,” Greene says, “and about how I can represent that power and the positive aspects of women’s representation, visually. It occurred to me that I’m surrounded by so many beautiful, strong women who are doing so many great things.” Greene set out to make portraits evoking historical views on traditional portraiture and feminist art, taking as her subjects successful and creative women whom she personally or professionally knows, a circle that includes painters, photographers, a ballet dancer and an architect. “Portraiture always has a level of intimacy and idealization,” she says. “But things are much more complex when you are dealing with a really close friend.” To begin each painting, Greene reviews historical figurative paintings with her subjects to find inspiration for possible poses. She also talks with them about their lives and upbringings, mining their backgrounds for objects and visual motifs she can use to signify their achievements, heritage and personhood—paintbrushes, Russian art deco motifs, a mother’s dress from her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, even their cats. “I’m interested in representing women,” she says. “Not as in marriage portraits, but with professional portraits similar to The Ambassadors, by Hans Holbein the Younger.” In that famous 16th-century painting, two men look at the viewer from a scene that is rich with textiles, patterns and symbolic objects, all of which attest to the subjects’ high intellectual, social and financial status. “I want to give [my models] agency in how they want to be seen,” she says.

Rather than have her subjects pose for the paintings— an arduous, time-consuming process—Greene photographs them in her studio and then works off of the photograph in creating the final piece. The women often wear colorful, multipatterned clothes, in homage to the feminist Pattern and Decoration movement from the mid-1970s. Pattern and Decoration art prized aesthetic elements that were commonly found in craft and design, and its compositions often did not distinguish between background and foreground. Many of the patterns on the models’ clothes reflect their biographies— their parents’ ethnicities, for example, or where they grew up. Kyung’s Gift in Pojagi, the portrait of painter and mother Kyung Jeon Miranda, highlights the Korean fabric collage tradition called bojagi (other details include the Chinese Zodiac symbol of the rabbit, for Miranda’s birth year, and a replica of Miranda’s own work). To move beyond just faithfully reproducing the photographs, Greene incorporates various painting and drawing methods and mediums in each work. Some are complementary, others contradictory. “The biggest difference between the photography and the painting is the textural differences and the sensuality of the materials,” she says. “I like to see the maximum diversity in the materiality of the painting.” She fluctuates between rich and supple paints, watery ink washes, exposed under-drawings and hard-edged graphite elements, all of which serve to highlight her thinking process and expose how the painting is made. Aside from the decision to portray her subjects at life size or slightly larger, Greene makes most of her compositional choices as she works. Her realistically rendered figures are confronted with patterns and design details that bleed out and threaten to overtake them, creating a cacophony of color and pulsating rhythm. As Greene explains in an artist statement, “This defamiliarized space invites extended, sensual encounters with the paintings, where diverse representational modes coexist, and where the body appears as if seen for the first time.” The title of Greene’s series plays on the opening line of one of her favorite novels, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Greene’s reformulation rebukes the persistence of sexism, while celebrating her subjects’ collective accomplishments and experiences. “Now men are no longer the only ones in possession of good fortune—and not just the financial aspect,” she says. Greene’s work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions domestically and internationally, and she is represented by the Lyons Wier Gallery, New York. She has work included in the permanent collections of the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska; and the Progressive Insurance Art Collection, Mayfield Village, Ohio; among others. She was a semifinalist for the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, and a finalist for the 2019 Bennett Prize. For more information, visit kiranamgreene.com. ◆ Dan Halm (MFA 2001 Illustration as Visual Essay; BFA 1994 Illustration) is an artist, independent curator and project manager for SVA External Relations.

“I like to see the maximum diversity in the materiality of the painting.”


Kira Nam Greene, Kyung’s Gift in Pojagi, 2019, oil, gouache, colored pencil and acrylic ink on canvas.

24 |




26 |



ABOVE Kira Nam Greene, Saudade da Margarida, 2019, oil, gouache, colored pencil and acrylic ink on canvas.

FOLLOWING, LEFT Kira Nam Greene, Ellen, 2020, colored pencil, gouache and watercolor on paper mounted on panel.

OPPOSITE Kira Nam Greene, Chloe and Tommy, 2018, oil, Flashe, colored pencil, Xerox transfer and acrylic ink on canvas.

FOLLOWING, RIGHT Kira Nam Greene, Roxanne’s

Garden with a Bunny, 2019, oil, Flashe, colored pencil and acrylic ink on canvas.



28 |




✽✽ 30 |

ABOVE Kira Nam Greene, Self-Portrait with

an Ermine as a Pillow, 2018, oil, Flashe, colored pencil and acrylic ink on canvas.

OPPOSITE Kira Nam Greene, Ellen’s Niche

with a Gaze, 2019, oil, gouache, colored pencil and acrylic ink on canvas.


ABOVE Kira Nam Greene, La Chambre de Roya, 2019, oil, gouache, colored pencil and acrylic ink on canvas. OPPOSITE Kira Nam Greene, Kit, 2020, colored pencil, gouache and watercolor on paper mounted on panel.





of this year­—

When Milton Glaser

his 91st birthday—

died on June 26th

1929 - 2020


MILTON GLASER 1929 - 2020

THE DESIGN DISCIPLINE LOST not only one of its most influential and versatile practitioners, but one of its greatest teachers. Glaser joined the SVA faculty in 1960, just six years after co-founding Push Pin Studios, the revolutionary design and illustration group. In the following years, he would co-found New York magazine, create the endlessly imitated “I ♥ NY” tourism campaign, re-envision the Grand Union supermarket, and design and illustrate for countless publications, products and institutions—the sum of which earned him, among many other honors, the distinction of being the first designer to receive a National Medal of the Arts. All the while, Glaser served as a pillar of the SVA community. He mentored hundreds of artists in the College’s undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs. He became a member of the College’s board in 1982 and served as its acting chairman from 2007 until his passing. He established the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives, dedicated to preserving the work of significant designers, illustrators and art directors. And he created a record number of posters and other designs for the College—including, in 2009, the exterior and interior of the SVA Theatre—often using these assignments to communicate themes of civic responsibility, social justice and the inexhaustible, magical power of creativity and imagination. In a 2016 talk at the Center for Italian Modern Art, Glaser credited his teaching philosophy to artist Giorgio Morandi, with whom he had studied in Bologna, Italy, as a young Fulbright scholar. Morandi, he said, showed him that “you teach what you are, not what you say. … You teach by providing a model for students that they want to emulate, about the nature of life, about the nature of art, about the nature of being in the world. That is the most powerful instrument you have as a teacher.” o celebrate Glaser's legacy as a role model and mentor to generations of talents, SVA has begun collecting former students’ and colleagues’ tributes. Several are presented in this feature, which also incorporates the designer’s own Stencil, Babyfat, Babyteeth and Kitchen typefaces. (The latter three, along with several other Glaser originals, are now being digitized by the P22 Type Foundry, which specializes in historic lettering styles. P22 began working with Glaser’s studio to preserve his fonts for digital use in 2019; they are due to be commercially available in 2021.) Any alumni who studied or worked with Glaser are encouraged to contribute. To participate, visit sva.edu/miltonmemories.

36 |


Miton Glaser (center) and Walter Bernard (right) in the offices of New York. Glaser recruited Bernard, a former student, to join him at New York; the two went on to form WBMG, their publication design firm. “He had a calmness about him,” Bernard says of Glaser’s methods. “He’d say, ‘You have to take an easy swing at the ball.’” Photograph by Cosmos Sarchiapone, courtesy Walter Bernard.

or over a decade, Milton Glaser’s Design and Intentions course was the first class to greet the incoming students in the MFA Design program. Milton set the philosophical groundwork for what lay ahead in their lives as professionals. He stressed that their designs had consequences and as designers they must be responsible citizens. This meant designers not only serve the client, they must serve the community—indeed, the society they live in. They must be fully aware of the impact their designs would have on their neighbors and the world. —Lita Talarico, co-chair, MFA Design n the late ’80s I had an internship at Milton’s studio. I worked at a drafting table 10 or 15 feet from where he sat. Everyone knows the “Art Is Work” sign that was above his building’s doorway, but it really felt that way with him. He would sit there and work and sometimes struggle with things, just like everyone else. It helped to demystify the process. And his evenness of demeanor set a very strong example. He didn’t have different hierarchies in the way he’d speak to people, whoever they were. I also took his Design and Personality class, which I believe you had to apply for, but because I was interning for him, he let me enroll. The

conversation was always about ideas and little life lessons, and he would critique work in a way that highlighted its strengths, as opposed to making a show of demeaning students. He would say that the two most important things to ask yourself before starting a project are, “Who is my audience, and what do I want to tell them?” —Ellen Weinstein, illustrator and BFA Illustration faculty member s Milton’s age advanced, so did the impatience he had for meaninglessness, manipulation and triviality, which had grown into a cause to educate other artists and designers to recant commerce as an end in itself. While maintaining his sense of joy and pleasure in using “good” design, he wanted all designers—students and professionals—to make consequential contributions. —Steven Heller, co-chair, MFA Design came to New York from Italy in 1984 to take Milton’s summer workshop at SVA. We seemed to hit it off, and at the end of the course he asked me what my plans were. I told him my dream was to stay and work in New York. A few days later, he called me about a job with AdWeek, and that eventually led to a job with [Glaser and Walter Bernard’s publication design firm] WBMG.

I learned so much from him. His belief that design should “inform and delight” became central to my way of working—the idea that really good design is situated on an imaginary scale between expression and objectivity, familiarity and surprise. I loved the way that Milton spoke, which to me sounded very formal, almost British. (I later learned that it was the old Bronx accent.) He was charismatic to the point of being intimidating, but he was a true gentleman and a very ethical person, and I’ve tried to model myself after him. —Giona Maiarelli, designer and art director efore joining Milton’s studio, I was really bad at color. I had always been a drawing person, not a painter. That changed radically after three years of working side by side with Milton. Sometimes, just for fun, he would take one of his old drawings and start adding layers of colored dots, one on top of the other. It felt like we were replicating the Impressionist method, but backward, going from a well-defined drawing to an image that barely suggests the content. Sometimes I would change the hue or the value of a layer by accident, completely changing the final outcome. And although I felt like I’d made a mistake, Milton would be delighted. He always had

the capacity to be surprised by something as simple (but incredible) as how colors work together. He’d say, “Is it not amazing? What a riot!” —Ignacio Serrano (MFA 2017 Illustration as Visual Essay), illustrator and graphic designer eing in Milton’s orbit changed me in so many ways. He had a way of nourishing your mind and changing something inside you. I have never heard someone speak about affection so openly and earnestly. I cherish his ideas about the primacy of intuition over logic. He believed that we tend to use logic to cover up what we don’t know. Ultimately, his life was a meditation on the nature of love. Earning an audience’s favor was the electricity that coursed through his work. “The key to designing magazines and supermarkets is affection,” he told me. “You have to make people feel that they like it, in a personal way. The emotional dimension of communication is very powerful.” —Anne Quito (MFA 2014 Design Criticism), design journalist and writer, with Glaser and Walter Bernard, of Mag Men: Fifty Years of Making Magazines. Adapted with permission from “Milton Glaser’s brilliant last year,” Quito’s remembrance for Quartz, and an interview with Quito for Scratching the Surface.



1965 Glaser’s first SVA poster pays homage to both classicism and iconoclasm.

1966 This considerably more abstracted head is an exercise in 3D illusion.

1967 Another visual “trick,” to illustrate the possibilities of education.

1967 Glaser juxtaposes a 3D palette with a flat rainbow, celebrating art's variety.

1971 The thin black line and flat color here represent high Push Pin style.



Milton Glaser (left) with art director Henry Wolf in an SVA classroom, year unknown. Glaser and Wolf taught a number of classes together at the College in the 1960s and ’70s. Image courtesy the SVA Archives.

was working at an ad agency in the late ’80s when I took Milton’s Design and Personality class. You had to present your portfolio to him to get admitted. It was intimidating— he had such an impressive reputation, and he looked at you with laser focus—but he turned out to be a very kind and thoughtful man. I was in my 20s and still green around the edges, and taking that class gave me a certain confidence about my choices and my strengths as a designer. It was a great group. Everyone respected Milton immensely and had no ego. One project was to design a magazine, and even though this was unpaid work and we all had jobs, we put in an all-nighter to meet the deadline. Being able to defend your

1973 Glaser’s performer juggles an array of abstract and colorful objects.

38 |


work was deeply important to Milton. You had to think of graphic design as communication and have a reason for why you did what you did, down to your color choices. Nothing was gratuitous. Everything had to have meaning. —Adrienne Matlosz, designer and creative director ight school was my first connection to Milton Glaser. I was instantly enamored with his mind, words and ability to deeply connect with students. Years later, I spotted him sitting alone at a conference. I got up the courage to join him and ordered a cappuccino, which led to the first piece of advice he gave me: Never drink a cappuccino past noon. He won my heart and taught me invaluable lessons ever since.

1977 This surreal poster takes its cue from one of SVA’s most enduring taglines.

I worked with him for five inspiring years. Mondays were my favorite. He’d walk in, larger than life, with a fresh batch of drawings and ideas to work on. His creative output was prolific. He never missed an opportunity to change the world in some magical way. Milton’s mentorship formed the backbone of my career. One day in a taxi he said to me, “I want to see your [ClearRx packaging] project happen in my lifetime.” From that moment, nothing could stop me from getting those pill bottles into the world. Milton taught me to embrace ambiguity. Valuable moments are found when the problem isn’t solved. It’s when the pieces aren’t fitting that we’re most fertile. I keep a picture of Milton above my desk to look up to if I ever need advice, if things are ambiguous or I just want to say, “Hi.” —Deborah Adler (MFA 2002 Design), principal, Adler Design. Adler’s ClearRx system, developed for her MFA thesis, was used by Target pharmacies from 2005 through 2015. fter graduating from SVA I worked for a while as [illustrator and faculty member] James McMullan’s studio assistant. Milton sometimes stopped by to visit, which is how I first met him, and of course I knew his work. But I didn’t learn directly from him until later, when I

1979 Glaser’s opera diva here stands in for artistic talents of all types.

1985 This convincing faux-collage allegedly fooled many passersby.

took his continuing education course in the mid-1990s. One assignment was to create a poster that addresses and attempts to solve some kind of societal ill. I was excited about my approach, which was irreverent and snarky and crude, but Milton’s response to it was visceral. He said, “This poster was meant to solve a social problem, but this itself becomes a social problem! I’d never want to sit on the subway and look at this—it would make me so angry.” I was crushed, but it was the beginning of a significant change in my outlook. Milton encouraged me to strive for vulnerability, authenticity and joy, to use my work to make my community a better, more beautiful place. He taught me to listen, explore and ask questions. Because if you’re not trying to understand, with thoughtfulness and empathy, what the design challenge is, you’re not going to arrive at a meaningful solution that brings delight to the people who encounter it. —Kevin Dooney (BFA 1989 Illustration), experience design director had Milton in my first semester at SVA. In my experience, he preferred talking about the work that he found lacking more than the work that he thought was successful. Once I put a ton of time into a poster I knew he wouldn’t like—it had this ’90s,

1987 Glaser's SVA anniversary logo suggests a window— and an odometer.


MILTON GLASER 1929 - 2020

1990 A riff on Glaser’s “art is work” theme: an imagined rabbit becomes real.

1994 This typographical work doubles as an examination into the creative process.

1995 Glaser liked to “quote” the work of favorite artists; here, it’s Henri Matisse.

1996 Another tribute to an artistic hero; this time, it’s René Magritte.

2001 Red and green make blue in this dreamlike watercolor sketch.



MILTON GLASER 1929 - 2020 grunge, deconstruction sort of aesthetic—just to spark a conversation. He pointed at it and, in his sonorous voice, boomed, “This … is the ugliest poster I have seen in all my years of teaching.” I was like a stenographer in his class, and I turn to that notebook time and time again. You could tell he cared about his students, and felt he had to disabuse us of our bad habits, like looking for overly complicated solutions. He’d say, “You need to think straight about these things.” Years later, I was working at New York and I ran into him at an MFA Design event. When I told him what I was up to he said, “I hope you’re making me proud, young man.” —Andy Outis (MFA 2006 Design), graphic designer and creative director hen I worked with Milton, he had regular appointments with his doctor uptown. During the car rides, he always looked outside. From time to time, he would comment on various skyscrapers and new buildings under construction. There was astonishment in his tone, but he usually fell silent afterwards. I asked him what New York was like when he was growing up. He said when he was a child in the ’30s, he could still see the occasional horse on the streets. “Everything’s changing so fast,” he said.

At that moment, I realized that not only was Milton Glaser a world-famous designer, he was a citizen who witnessed the unimaginable transformation of his city. —Xiaohua Yang (MFA 2018 Illustration as Visual Essay), illustrator n September of 1962, I enrolled in a class that Milton taught with [art director] Henry Wolf, called Designing for the Written Word. I wanted to be an art director and Henry Wolf was my idol. I knew about Milton, because of his fine reputation as an illustrator. This was, I believe, near the beginning of his teaching career. My recollection is that Henry was much less verbal, while Milton was very articulate. He could critique something and make you understand where to go from there. He also had a calmness about him. He’d say, “You have to take an easy swing at the ball.” Several years later, Milton asked me to work with him at New York magazine. He was still running Push Pin on the second floor of his building, and New York was on the third floor. And though he was very busy, you never had to arrange a meeting or write him a note. Even if he was on the phone, he was always available to be interrupted. He used to say he operated by interruption. If I wanted his advice, I could run downstairs, or we would meet

in the stairwell, we would talk for two minutes and be done. Nothing bothered him. Not the worst deadline, the most difficult cover problem, or whether a story got killed and we had to do something else. He was amazingly energetic, but not frenetic. —Walter Bernard (1961 Graphic Design), designer, art director and co-author, with Glaser, of Mag Men: Fifty Years of Making Magazines on’t get too professional.” Milton told me this when I was leaving his studio for my current role at SYPartners. He was not interested in many corporate tangents of design. Even terms like “process,” “inspiration” and “brainstorming” were corporatized, one-dimensional and void of meaning. Milton didn’t work with an intentional process. Inspiration came from anywhere. Ideas were always available. It was like the act of being alive was enough to create great work. Working with him was always about learning, for both of us. I will never forget sitting with him, designing a rug or a pattern or something, and he said he still felt like he was at the beginning. He was 84 at the time. The joy of discovery was always there. Our country is in such a difficult moment, New York City especially so. We need Milton— and all that he represents—

now more than ever, and it’s up to the hundreds who have worked with him, the thousands whom he taught and the millions who were affected by his work to help our city and country recover. —Sue Walsh (MFA 2006 Design), creative director, SYPartners, and MFA Design and SVA Continuing Education faculty member ilton’s 2005 summer intensive changed my life. At the time, I was writing for Print, and I got a copy of the magazine, which had an ad for Milton’s class, before it went to subscribers and the newsstand, so I was able to get a spot. As part of the program he had us each make a five-year plan, assuming we could do anything we wanted to do, and do it successfully. For the first time, I could imagine what I could be without fear of failure or self-editing or holding back. Later, with his blessing, I made that assignment part of the MPS Branding program— though we changed it to a 10year plan, to give our younger students a bit more runway to imagine their future selves. Milton was very much of the mindset that you can design your own life and make it the life you want. His desire for more—his ability to never peak and just keep making great work and growing—was joyful and empowering and, most of all, inspiring. He changed the

Creative direCtor: SilaS h. rhodeS

d e S i g n e r : m i lt o n g l a S e r

PhotograPher: matthew Klein

© 2 0 0 8 , v i S u a l a r t S P r e S S , lt d .

The Secret of Art

2001 Glaser updated his most famous logo for this also-iconic post-9/11 work.

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2003 The “Big Apple” stands in for both a heart and an O in this poster.


2005 This poster on our shared humanity also supported the ONE campaign.

2006 Glaser reused his “hand” image to protest the genocide in Darfur.

2008 A return to the “art is work” theme— keep trying, until it’s right.

2011 The first in a series of three, this poster celebrates creative deliberation.

way I view myself in the world and for that (and so much more) I am truly grateful. —Debbie Millman, chair, MPS Branding had the honor of working for Milton for a year. When I decided to start my own studio, I nervously sat down with him to explain my decision. He told me, “All I’ve ever wanted to do is work for myself, so of course I want that for everyone else.” Milton asked if I had a studio to work from, as I would need that to be taken seriously. I told him I did not. He led me to the first floor of his building, where he showed me a beautiful small space. “Would something like this work for you?” he asked. I said that I was sure it was beyond what I could afford, as I was just starting out. “Just pay me what you can afford,” he said. My studio, The Collected Works, owes so much to that gift that Milton gave us. He never raised our rent, even when we asked him if he should. We worked in that space for seven years, only recently moving out. Anyone who interacted with Milton has similar stories of his kindness—I’ve heard many. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and generosity, Milton. —Justin Colt (MFA 2013 Design), co-founder, The Collected Works ◆

2011 Next, Glaser urges thinkers to take the first steps toward realizing their goal.

2011 The series’ final message: Work hard, but with compassion.

“Some Things Milton Glaser Said to My SVA Class, Which I Still Think Are Good”

“It should be impossible to be in the arts and not be generous.”

“One of art’s highest functions is to prevent people from killing each other.”

“Drawing shows your brain.”

2012 A third and final “I ♥ NY” iteration, this one postHurricane Sandy.

“Fame and money are corrosive, and you need to recognize this early.”

“Art is a survival mechanism.”

“Make people feel like they have something in common, that they aren’t alone.”

2017 Fittingly, Glaser’s last series of SVA posters centered on empathy in art.

“Every artist should view themselves as citizens—not illustrators, designers, etc.”

“You get nothing but problems when you do work that conflicts with your integrity.”

“You attract what you do.”

“Whether you like it or not, your work is about social responsibility.”

“Don’t overprotect. Share your vision at all times.”

—John Lee (MFA 2016 Illustration as Visual Essay), illustrator. Adapted with permission from a Twitter thread posted to @johnleedraws.

2017 Creativity, Glaser says, is in our nature, and it is how we commune.

2017 “Give” and “Help” here can be read either separately or together.





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Apeksha Agarwal (MPS 2020 Digital Photography) photographs a city in lockdown by DIANA McCLURE



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“It felt like I was seeing the city for the first time.”

In early March, amid the brewing chaos of the

fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic, Apeksha Agarwal (MPS 2020 Digital Photography) decided to return to her hometown of Mumbai. She flew out of New York City the day after SVA began remote operations, landing just before Mumbai’s official lockdown began on March 22. Her thesis—originally to be an investigation of a century’s worth of beauty standards, an undertaking that required access to libraries, models, makeup artists and so on—was due in two months. Quickly switching tracks, she instead embarked upon a project to document Mumbai under quarantine through black-andwhite street photography, despite having little experience with the form. Agarwal’s nimbleness and capacity for change at a time when despair could have easily set in proved to be well suited for capturing what may be a singular moment in history: a time in which the streets of one of the world’s most densely populated cities were devoid of what she describes as their usual “ocean of people.” “For me, it was gold,” she says. The resulting work, “Mumbai Lost and Found,” has been excerpted in Vogue Italia and featured in three exhibitions to date, including MPS Digital Photography’s virtual thesis show, “Parallel Adaptations.” Though bookended by two photographs shot in Agarwal’s parents’ apartment, which convey confinement within the walls of a private space, the series’ main narrative concerns Mumbai’s built environment. Emptied streets and passageways are framed by a mix of colonial and Indian architecture and modern urbanity, dotted with lone cats and dogs and rare sightings of humanity. The privileging of structures, paired with the near-total absence of the flow of daily life, call to mind a curious investigation of the larger cultural and historical forces at play in the space of both the city, Mumbai, and the nation, India. Two images offer distinctly different views of Mumbai’s architecturally magnificent train station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly known as Victoria Terminus); each tells a story of access and class, exclusion and inclusion, and the omnipresence of history. Designed by British

architect Frederick William Stevens in the late 19th century, the station—a blend of Victorian Gothic Revival and traditional Indian architecture—is imbued with nearly 150 years’ worth of social dynamics. One photograph captures its vast, ornate interior; the other takes as its subject a solitary homeless woman, ensconced in the shadows of the building’s exterior archways and balustrades. Another two photographs, one of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and yet another of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, juxtapose the codified symbolism and monumental scale of grand architecture with the unique complexity and fleeting presence of individual human lives. The former building, also designed by Stevens, combines Venetian Gothic and Indo-Saracenic styles; in Agarwal’s photograph, a street view of the intricately detailed structure is framed across the bottom by a swath of empty roadway. A striped crosswalk and striped curbsides and, on either side, the edges of a tree and the neighboring Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus offer texture in opposition to a signatureless sky; in the distance, two isolated, small figures can be seen. In the second photograph, the striped crosswalks and curbsides reappear, this time with the expansive grandeur of the train station in the background. Closer to the camera, three nuns cross the street, each dressed in a sari and wearing a face mask. Much of “Mumbai Lost and Found” offers a vast, contemplative view, articulating the beauty that can be found in the act of simply looking. However, Agarwal organizes each composition around an intentional point of interest, a technique carried over from her beauty and fashion photography. For Agarwal, a moment of profound uncertainty and displacement—experienced by so many around the world during the pandemic— resulted in an opportunity for her to “replace regret with gratitude,” she says. A new vista has emerged, one that she plans to continue to explore on the streets of New York City, to which she returned in late June. For more information, visit apekshaphotography.com. ◆

All photographs from Apeksha Agarwal’s series “Mumbai Lost and Found,” 2020. Images courtesy the artist. PREVIOUS Nuns Crossing the Street, Fort. OPPOSITE, FROM TOP Victoria Terminus Station and Homeless Woman, Victoria Terminus Station. BELOW My Front Door, Bandra West.

Diana McClure

is a photographer and writer based in New York City. Her essays, reviews and profiles have appeared in Art Basel magazine, Art21, Cultured, catalogs, monographs and other publications.



ON THESE PAGES Carter Road, Bandra West. FOLLOWING, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Market in Khala Ghoda, Fort; Ballard Estate, Fort; Linking Road, Bandra West; My Living Room, Bandra West. All photographs from Apeksha Agarwal’s series “Mumbai Lost and Found,” 2020. Images courtesy the artist.



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SOLITUDE AND SILVER LININGS SVA ARCHIVES’ COVID COLLECTION BY MAERI FERGUSON FROM LEFT Chris Cortez (student, BFA Fine Arts), Glove Reprise, 2020, digital photograph; Min Sung Chung (student, BFA Design), Corona Virus, 2020. From the SVA COVID Collection.

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A woman sits alone in front of the art hanging on her walls, partly obscured by the leaves of a houseplant. A couple share a tender kiss, their mouths covered by medical masks. The pastels of an early evening summer sky are seen from the barred confines of a fire escape. Each of these scenes, plus more than 300 others, are now a permanent piece of history in the SVA COVID Collection, a digital archive of multidisciplinary works created by SVA students, alumni and faculty while in self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. “As soon as academic institutions began shutting down, there was a lot of conversation in the archives community about documenting this period in time,” says Beth Kleber, head of archives at SVA. “The fact that our students make art offers a less invasive way to get at the community’s experience. I was hoping that art was providing a therapeutic filter for our students, faculty and staff.” Kleber started soliciting work for the COVID Collection shortly after the College shifted to remote operations in mid-March. The submission process is simple, via a Google Form, and SVAaffiliated artists can still contribute, though anything 3D has to be photographed for inclusion. The works, along with artist statements, are hosted on Artstor, an online image library used by academic institutions and museums all over the world. Over the past few months, paintings, sculptures, digital illustrations, videos and photographs from more than 175 contributors (and counting) have been added. The works are painful, uplifting, lived-in, politically

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charged, frightening and hopeful; they show the dark and the light, the solitude and the silver linings. They show people young and old, abled and disabled, alone and together. There are at-home still lifes of meals cooked, candles burned, belongings arranged and rearranged, unmade beds and grocery orders. There are mock magazine covers and advertisements, pieces of propaganda and news media, imagined public service announcements. The titles tell a story of paranoia and fear, instability and restlessness: Uncertainty, Letting Go, A Mad World, How to kill time…, Fire Escape, Isolation, Stay Safe, Drive-by Funeral, Wash Your Hands, I Want to Touch You, Behind Closed Doors. “I think one thing that stood out to me was the mundanity and boredom of being in self-isolation,” Kleber says. “This experience has been traumatic for a lot of people, and you can see that in the work, but also there was this permeating sense of isolation and tedium from being stuck inside, without the ability to connect in person with friends and extended family.” One standout artist in the collection is Tiffany Alfonseca (BFA 2020 Fine Arts), whose soft black-and-white drawings for her “In Quarantine Series” show peaceful portraits of people isolating at home. Of the work, Alfonseca writes, “Due to the pandemic, I have no studio space for big works so I’ve created a space for myself in my living room. This inspired me … because I felt very restricted in a tight space. I found myself wondering how other individuals could relate to this feeling. These drawings are [based on] photos set up by my family, close friends and Instagram followers. I wanted … to capture how




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Works from the SVA COVID Collection: 1. Timothy Stypulkowski (student, BFA Photography and Video); 2. Zoe Stengel (student, BFA Illustration); 3. Stephanie Glass (student, BFA Fine Arts); 4. Isabelle Brawley (student, BFA Design); 5. Christian Youngha Kwon (student, BFA Fine Arts); 6. Shuyu Li (student, BFA Design); 7. Das Fuerst (BFA 2020 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects); 8. Sung Youn Park (student, BFA Design); 9. Zoe Stengel; 10. Friedrich Mueller (student, BFA Design); 11. Chenwei Xu (MFA 2020 Design); 12. Min Sung Chung (student, BFA Design); 13. Kasey Lim (student, BFA Design); 14. Stephany Brown (student, BFA Fine Arts); 15. Anna Raff (MFA 2009 Illustration as Visual Essay); 16. Tobi Kahn (faculty, BFA Fine Arts); 17. Ming Wang (student, BFA Illustration); 18. Congfei Zou (student, BFA Design); 19. Mona Monahan (student, BFA Design); 20. Victoria Carolina Perez (student, BFA Photography and Video); 21. Michael Barletta (student, BFA Cartooning); 22. Farwah Rizvi (student, BFA Fine Arts); 23. Bryan Fernandez (student, BFA Fine Arts); 24. Varvara Gridina (student, BFA Fine Arts); 25. Kun-I Chang (MFA 2007 Computer Art); 26. Lingfei Ren (student, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media).



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1. – 6. Tiffany Alfonseca (BFA

2020 Fine Arts), drawings from the “In Quarantine” series, 2020. From the SVA COVID Collection. For “In Quarantine,” Alfonseca made works based on photos taken by “family, close friends and Instagram followers,” she writes. “I wanted these drawings to capture how each individual spends their time during this unique time of quarantine.”





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Works from the SVA Covid Collection: 1. Edgar Barrios (student, BFA Design); 2. Sunny Wu (student, BFA Illustration); 3. Carles Garcia O’Dowd (student, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay); 4. Tristan Elwell (BFA 1990 Media Arts); 5. Olivia Lo Sardo (student, BFA Illustration); 6. Tianai Zhang (student, BFA Animation).

each individual spends their time during this unique time of quarantine.” Though many of the works in the archive show the dark side of isolation, there are also bright spots. One is a collection of sweet, playful food-preparation stop-motion videos of dishes like matcha cheesecake and chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg custard), created by Chenwei Xu (MFA 2020 Design). “During quarantine, I was seeking every possible creative way to make our daily life interesting,” Xu says. “My roommate and I tried so hard to improve our cooking skills. Making stop-motion videos started to 56 |


feel like a mission. We would design, record and celebrate every dish we made.” Another is the work from Srishti Dass (BFA Fine Arts), whose series of spare but vividly human illustrations show joyful scenes of pre-pandemic life, such as friends sharing drinks, hugging and riding the subway. “I wanted to relive the memories I had before the quarantine,” Dass says. “The easiest way for me to do that was to illustrate photos I took of my friends.” The exercise was more melancholic than Dass expected it to be—the images were a painful reminder of how things had once been. But it

was also a welcome creative challenge: “I still got a lot from the series, as it inspired me to do more illustrative and digital works. I’m an abstract painter, so doing semi-realistic illustrations was refreshing.” As the SVA community continues to adjust to this strange new way of being— and with the threat of future lockdowns looming—the COVID Collection has already begun to serve its purpose of bringing people together. Artists from all over the world are sharing their pandemic experiences, and with no real end in sight, they will likely keep contributing

to this impressionistic record of our singular era. “We’re in a rare moment of common experience,” Kleber says. “I say that with the understanding that there are vast differences—racially, geographically, socioeconomically, generationally—that determine people’s experi­ence with COVID-19. I think there’s something valuable in seeing how artists respond to crisis. Hopefully it helps us process our own emotions.” To view or submit work to the SVA Archives’ COVID Collection, visit archives. sva.edu. ◆ Maeri Ferguson is the manager of media relations at SVA.








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5 THIS PAGE, 1. – 7. Menghan Ma (student, BFA Design), drawings from COVID-19 Journal,

2020. From the SVA COVID Collection.

OPPOSITE, 1. – 7. Srishti Dass (student, BFA Fine Arts), untitled drawings, 2020. From the SVA

COVID Collection. “It’s an ongoing journal project where I illustrate images of places/ people I took before the quarantine,” Dass writes. “These are moments I miss right now, being isolated from the world.”

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Q+A RAY BILLINGSLEY With his comic strip Curtis going into its fourth decade, the cartoonist and SVA alumnus brings both gentle humor and sharp social commentary to newspapers across the country. By Michael Tisserand

RAISED IN HARLEM , Ray Billingsley (BFA

OPPOSITE Two early and two recent Curtis strips by Ray Billingsley. Curtis debuted in 1988 and today appears in more than 250 newspapers. ABOVE Ray Billingsley,

photographed by Tim Coffey. All images courtesy Ray Billingsley.

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1979 Cartooning) was still a kid himself when he started drawing for the magazine Kids. He attended SVA on a full four-year scholarship and, following an internship at Walt Disney Studios, began drawing the short-lived strip Lookin’ Fine, a shrewd and funny comic centering on young Black adults. He debuted Curtis in 1988. Distributed by King Features, Curtis—a multilayered tale of an urban Black family of four and their wider community—has been a remarkable success, appearing in more than 250 newspapers in an age when print journalism is increasingly threatened, with an estimated daily readership of 43 million. In it, Billingsley blends charming domestic humor with sometimes startling commentary on topics such as racism, guns in schools and tobacco use. Curtis’ efforts to get his father to stop smoking earned Billingsley recognition from the American Lung Association; this year, Billingsley also became one of the first cartoonists to create a storyline addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, when Curtis learned that his teacher was in the hospital with the illness.



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These days, Billingsley is living and working out of his home in Stamford, Connecticut, with his basset hound, Biscuit. He’s avoiding crowds, but the weekend before we talked, he had gone into New York City to join Black Lives Matter protests. This past week, you personally went into New York to join Black Lives Matter protests in the streets. Did you also find yourself thinking about what you might do in Curtis to respond to this moment?

It’s actually always on my mind. Things like this, they affect me personally. So it always translates down into my work. When you started with Curtis, was it your intention to have a strip that would allow you to comment on topical events?

When I was first thinking of Curtis back in the 1980s, it wasn’t that sort of platform. But I sort of started drifting into those sort of stories, and the audience accepted. I knew just doing gags wouldn’t be enough for me. I cannot do a Beetle Bailey, where Beetle gets smashed by Sarge and is back the next day. I can’t have talking cats and dogs and ducks and things like that. Instead, you have a strip with Curtis’ teacher, Mrs. Nelson, coming down with COVID-19. It was heartbreaking. That storyline really revealed her relationship with Curtis.

It is personal to me because she’s a real person. Mrs. Nelson was actually my third-grade teacher. One time she called my mother, and I thought I was in big trouble for something, and she just wanted to tell her about this artistic talent that she saw budding, and she encouraged my mother to push me along. So in the Mrs. Nelson–Curtis relationship, you’re Curtis?

In many ways I was just like Curtis. If something bad happened, everyone in the room would just turn and look at me, because they’d know I did it. I think that actually helped me get through the early days of freelancing. I was a bold young person who didn’t really see boundaries, and that includes all the way up to the School of Visual Arts. Did you have any “Mrs. Nelsons” when you were at SVA?

There was Howard Beckerman, Harvey Kurtzman and of course my number one instructor was Will Eisner. And Will Eisner pushed me hard. He knew that I had been published, and when I showed him samples of work, he basically shrugged his shoulders and said, “So what else is there to you?” Then he started teaching me the value of learning different styles and being able to really carry a storyline. Now, Will Eisner always came late. Students were always there before him. So we’d be sitting around, and we’re talking and chatting, and all of a sudden he’d enter the room and there’d be a great hush. If somebody stepped on a marshmallow, you’d have heard it. Will was so strict on us that by the time half of the semester was over, half of the students had transferred out. They just couldn’t take it. Just imagine, you work all night on a project, and the teacher goes, “Eh. Do better.” A lot of people, their egos were a little too big, so they couldn’t take it. But I found it helpful. All experimentation I credit to Will Eisner. He challenged me to step up my game, stretch beyond what he saw as limitations. What did you learn from Harvey Kurtzman?

Harvey Kurtzman, he was just crazy. He was eternally

making jokes and doing these really funny drawings and he just encouraged humor all the time. His class was really a joy to go to. From the time he came in, he was smiling and laughing. The journalist Richard Prince once wrote that one reason why Black comic strips are usually about children is that strips with Black adults are seen to be threatening.

I found that out the hard way, when I was drawing Lookin’ Fine. I had a chat with Morrie Turner of Wee Pals—he

OPPOSITE Sunday Curtis strips featuring the character of Mrs. Nelson, who was inspired by Curtis creator Ray Billingsley’s real-life third-grade teacher. ABOVE Before Curtis,

Billingsley drew and wrote Lookin’ Fine, centered on young Black adults. All images courtesy Ray Billingsley.



warned me right away, he said, “You’re going to be in trouble.” I spoke about drug use and inequalities in schools and stuff like that. And when you have adults talking about it on a comics page, if you’re next to Ziggy or Nancy or Marmaduke, it’s discomforting. But if a child says the same thing, he can get away with it. All of us were basically learning on our own. We had to learn what worked and what didn’t, and take chances. Morrie Turner doing

the other one went through. When I first met Morrie Turner, we went and hugged each other, and he started crying. I said, “What’s the matter?” and he just said, “Congratulations.” And then we just sat and talked. Another older cartoonist was Samuel Joyner. He told me a lot of the stories about cartooning during the time of blackface cartoons. Joyner told me he had to have a white friend bring his work to the editor to try to sell it. There were a lot of startling

Charles Schulz was like a father figure to me. I was sort of

messing with him at one point, I said, “Lucy is the loudmouth, Schroeder plays the piano, what does Franklin do?” the first integrated strip, he took a lot of chances. But you can’t please everyone, so you don’t even try. I’m at the point where I’m basically drawing the strip for me, first. This is my world, if you want to come into it, fine. If you don’t, that’s fine, too. In one story line in Curtis, we meet an older Black cartoonist named Quincy Shearer, who tells Curtis about the old days. He’s clearly modeled after Ted Shearer, who created the comic strip Quincy. Did you ever meet Shearer?

I never met Ted Shearer and that was unfortunate. I loved the guy’s artwork, his framing, and he was just a master of line. He had a strip where the composition, the panel construction, just drew your eye to it. Usually when a Black artist met another one, we were immediate friends because on some level we know what 64 |


revelations to this man’s experiences. What was the main lesson that Joyner taught you?

Creativity at any cost. It’s not the money. It’s the need to express yourself and hope that people will like it. He did not seem to be bitter about anything. Do you ever hear from readers who are unhappy about something in Curtis?

Sometimes it’s the smallest thing you can think of. If I mention a lot of rap music, somebody will complain. I had Curtis eating Rapper Puffs, a cereal, and some people didn’t like that. If someone gets upset at a box called Rapper Puffs, there’s a low threshold out there. Did you feel a pressure, from yourself or others, to represent a certain kind of Black life in Curtis?

Yes, there is definitely a pressure but moreover a pressure to maintain a good standard. I have to have more hits than misses. One of the things that was important was a strong Black family unit. In my strip, Curtis is the only one who enjoys a two-parent house. One of the characters lives with his grandmother; he doesn’t even know where his parents are. A couple times I’ve even had Curtis’ father say, “Curtis, this isn’t one of those strips where the kid outthinks the parent.” How did you decide Curtis’ personality, what kind of kid he would be?

Charles Schulz was a friend. He was like a father figure to me. I was sort of messing with him at one point, I said, “Lucy is the loudmouth, Schroeder plays the piano, what does Franklin do? He doesn’t even get angry at anyone. He’s just a good guy.” And Schulz didn’t really have an answer. I knew what Schulz was trying to do. We had the marches, we had the assassination of Malcolm X, and he decided to bring along a very nice character. But that’s what I tried to get away from. Curtis can be mischievous. It even goes to the way he’s dressed. Curtis made his debut in ’88, and in ’88 you were considered to be a little troublesome if you wore your hat backwards, if you let your shirt come out under your sweater. Curtis did all that way back then when it meant something. And unlike other characters, he had no problems when talking to girls. What are the challenges for Black cartoonists starting out today?

A lot about the industry isn’t really that inspiring. I don’t have a book deal. I have one company that actually told me that Blacks really don’t read, and they insinuated

Sunday Curtis strips by Ray Billingsley. Curtis reaches an estimated daily readership of 43 million. Images courtesy Ray Billingsley.

that whites wouldn’t buy it. So this is 2020, we’re still at that. No merchandise nor animation deals—nothing. Despite my decades-old success I still feel overlooked, like I have to continually prove myself. It really bothers me. One thing I hear from Black cartoonists is they are trying to sell something and the paper will say, “We already have Curtis.” It’s not fair. I’m not the voice. Every voice is different and welcome. When Baby Blues was coming out, nobody said, “We already have Hi and Lois.” It doesn’t work that way. But it’s the hardest thing to break. I’m really nobody’s role model. Robb Armstrong [Jump Start] has a very good strip, as do Keith Knight [The Knight Life] and Barbara Brandon-Croft [Where I’m Coming From]. Darrin Bell won a Pulitzer last year for editorial cartoons. We need people like that. Throughout the web, we see a lot of Black voices, women and men, they can’t sell it. But with the Internet they can at least express it. They can have their stories told, their own voices and creative experiences. What do you see as the future for Curtis?

As long as there is some sort of craziness going on in society, I can bring that into the strip. Which is why the strip has survived for so long. ◆ Michael Tisserand is the author of Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White (HarperCollins).





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or alumni@sva.edu


ALUMNI AFFAIRS Strengthening Our Support A message from Jane Nuzzo, director of alumni affairs and development at SVA

As the SVA alumni community continues to expand and diversify, we at SVA Alumni Affairs work to advocate for and provide contemporary, relevant and meaningful ways for its members to interact. If those words seem familiar, it’s because they are from my last letter to you, in the spring/summer 2020 Visual Arts Journal. They were written at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and just months before the watershed Black Lives Matter movement, which has brought about an ongoing and overdue reckoning with systemic racism. As this extraordinary year draws to a close, I am pleased to announce two developments in the SVA alumni community. First is the creation of the Black Alumni Association of the School of Visual Arts, formally established this summer by alumnus Ferguson Amo (MFA 2019 Fine Arts). Amo, who began working with Alumni Affairs in early 2020 to create the group, is also its first president, providing ongoing leadership, guidance and strategic direction. “We are motivated and inspired to start an alumni association for the African diaspora,” he says, “to build a community and share knowledge to develop

relations among all students and alumni.” The association’s goals include promoting the cause of higher education for Black students at SVA, providing a forum for information exchange and networking, organizing events that promote a spirit of diversity and celebration of cultures, fostering the development and maintenance of scholarships and other means for assisting Black students in their pursuit of education at SVA, and encouraging Black alumni to serve as mentors for SVA students and in the community at large. Other founding members and leadership include LaTonia Allen (MFA 2020 Fine Arts), vice president, and Lauren Chanel Patrick (BFA 2018 Visual & Critical Studies), secretary. Dana Robinson (MFA 2019 Fine Arts), Marvin Touré (MFA 2016 Fine Arts) and Matt Williams (MFA 2019 Illustration as Visual Essay) are sharing the role of treasurer, with marketing and outreach efforts overseen by ​ Dominick Bedasse (MFA 2019 Computer Arts), Sharimar Cruz (MPS 2019 Fashion Photography) and ​Lewis Derogene (BFA 2019 Fine Arts). To get involved, email baasvany@gmail.com. The second piece of news is our SVA Student Emergency Relief Fund, started this spring

New at SVA Alumni Affairs: the SVA Black Alumni Association, whose leadership includes founder and President Ferguson Amo (right) and Vice President LaTonia Allen (above), and the Student Emergency Relief fund.

by the SVA Alumni Society and the Visual Arts Foundation. This fund provides emergency financial assistance to currently enrolled, full-time graduate or undergraduate students experiencing acute economic distress. Together, the Society and Foundation allocated an initial $50,000, while alumni, staff, faculty, parents and friends of the College all

generously provided additional donations. The Alumni Society distributed $68,000 to 142 students within weeks and continues to steward the fund to address the ongoing need. Contributions, of course, are greatly appreciated. For more information, visit sva.edu/alumni or sva.edu/ alumnisociety. Questions? Email alumni@sva.edu. ◆ FALL/WINTER 2020 |


SPRING 2020 SVA ALUMNI SOCIETY AWARDS The SVA Alumni Society celebrates its latest group of award winners— 11 students and recent graduates, representing a range of the College’s undergraduate programs. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of the College, each spring the SVA Alumni Society distributes several awards honoring current and graduating students. The accolades include the Alumni Society Merit Award, for a BFA candidate who demonstrated community building and leadership excellence while at SVA; the Brian Weil Memorial Award, for graduating BFA Photography and Video students; the James Jean Award, for class of 2020 BFA Cartooning and BFA Illustration students; the Lila Eva Lewental Memorial Award and Rodman Family Scholarship, merit-based awards for second- or third-year students; the Richard Wilde Award, given to third-year BFA Advertising and BFA Design students; the Russell J. Efros Memorial Award, for graduating BFA Film students; the Silas H. Rhodes Memorial Award, established in memory of SVA’s founder, given to third-year BFA Visual & Critical Studies students who demonstrate excellence in writing; and the Will Eisner Sequential Art Scholarship, for BFA Cartooning students entering their third or fourth year.

Alumni Society Merit Award Kayleen Acosta, BFA 2020 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects Brian Weil Memorial Award Razan Oussama Elbaba, BFA 2020 Photography and Video James Jean Award Joules Garcia, BFA 2020 Illustration Stephanie Wood, BFA 2020 Illustration Luyao Yan, BFA 2020 Cartooning Lila Eva Lewental Memorial Award Idrissa Sidibe, BFA Photography and Video


Rodman Family Scholarship William Nordlund, BFA Illustration Richard Wilde Award Shantanu Sharma, BFA Design Russell J. Efros Memorial Award Julia Ward, BFA Film Silas H. Rhodes Memorial Award Juliet Nelson, BFA Visual & Critical Studies Will Eisner Sequential Art Scholarship Nakata Whittle, BFA Cartooning




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1. Juliet Nelson, Havana Ferns, 2019, linoleum print; 2. Nakata Whittle, Golden Slumbers, 2019, digital illustration; 3. William Nordlund, Saddle Club, 2020, digital illustration; 4. Juliet Nelson, Man’s Ocean, 2019, softground etching; 5. Stephanie Wood, Tiger Boat, 2019, digital illustration; 6. Shantanu Sharma, Medley catalog, 2020, print; 7. Juliet Nelson, Duality, 2019, hard-ground etching, aquatint and pressed flowers; 8. Joules Garcia, Graduate, 2020, digital illustration; 9. Kayleen Acosta, El Diablo Cojuelo (still), 2020, digital animation; 10. Kayleen Acosta, Still Life (still), 2019, digital animation; 11. Stephanie Wood, Ramen Poster, 2020, digital illustration; 12. Razan Oussama Elbaba, Iman go to Hollywood, I go to Dar Al-Hijrah, 2020, pigmented inkjet print.

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13. Nakata Whittle, Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd (excerpt), 2020, digital comic; 14. Joules Garcia, Fairies, 2020, digital illustration; 15. Luyao Yan, You Are Sweet, 2020, digital illustration; 16. Julia Ward, Panic Never Pays (still), 2020, documentary film; 17. Razan Oussama Elbaba, Three Angels, 2019, pigmented inkjet print. 18. Shantanu Sharma, Cariño restaurant logotype, 2019, digital design; 19. Idrissa Sidibe, Miles, Body Wire, Harrisonburg, VA ’84, 2020, digital photograph; 20. William Nordlund, Royals, 2019, digital illustration.


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DONORS The Alumni Society gratefully acknowledges these SVA alumni who gave to the society January 1 – June 30, 2020. Andrea Alban BFA 2013 Illustration Vidya N. AlexanderMartinez BFA 2003 Fine Arts Tom Alonzo BFA 1984 Illustration Gail Anderson BFA 1984 Graphic Design Anonymous (15) Charlotte Apacible BFA 2007 Photography George Arthur 1967 Khaleelah Bond BFA 2006 Film and Video Jane Brill-Kellner 1981 Gary Brinson BFA 1985 Media Arts Nina Brown BFA 2002 Graphic Design John Bruce BFA 1987 Fine Arts Abigail Buhr BFA 2004 Photography Sharon Burris-Brown BFA 1984 Illustration James Calhoun BFA 2003 Animation Sheila Cannon MPS 2016 Branding Kevin J. Casey BFA 1976 Photography Jeff Chabot MFA 1997 Photography and Related Media Andrew Chang MFA 1987 Illustration as Visual Essay Anthony Chibbaro 1979 Yangsook Choi MFA 1995 Illustration as Visual Essay SJ Costello BFA 2013 Cartooning Susan Cutter BFA 1976 Fine Arts Michael Daly BFA 1985 Media Arts Peter S. Deak BFA 1990 Film and Video Brooks P. DeRyder BFA 1999 Illustration Tom Engelhardt 1957 Cartooning Madeline Fan MFA 1993 Fine Arts Kevin J. Farley BFA 1977 Photography Matthew Farina MFA 2014 Art Criticism and Writing

Erin Franke BFA 2011 Visual & Critical Studies David Fried BFA 1987 Photography Peter Fritsch BFA 1979 Fine Arts Dominick Giustino BFA 1984 Graphic Design Julia Gregor MFA 2008 Photography, Video and Related Media Everetta Harper BFA 1997 Graphic Design Jason Heuer / Avoid the Day Bookstore & Cafe BFA 2005 Graphic Design Christina Hobson BFA 1979 Media Arts Joanne Honigman 1981 Graphic Design Alex Hovet MFA 2017 Photography, Video and Related Media Lynda M. Hughes BFA 1981 Photography Chris Hung BFA 2001 Computer Art Su Yeon Ihm BFA 2012 Fine Arts Maria D. Jaramillo BFA 2010 Graphic Design James Jean BFA 2001 Illustration Sarah Jones BFA 2017 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects Yvette Kaplan BFA 1976 Animation Tom Kenny 1968 Yasmeen Khaja MA 2019 Design Research, Writing and Criticism Robert M. Kitson BFA 1989 Film and Video John T. Klammer 1979 Illustration Sardi Klein 1970 Photography Patricia Koch MFA 1986 Fine Arts Robert Kohr BFA 2003 Animation Patricia Langer BFA 1995 Illustration Angela Lau BFA 2011 Illustration Adrienne Leban 1968 Media Arts J.P. Lee MFA 1991 Computer Art Samantha Lee BFA 2015 Animation

Ingrid Andresen Lindfors BFA 1987 Photography Missy Longo-Lewis BFA 1984 Illustration Patrick F. Loughran BFA 1980 Fine Arts Leith McCarrollMcLoughlin 1974 Graphic Design Patrick McDonnell (alumnus) and Karen O’Connell BFA 1978 Media Arts Louis Mercurio / Mercurio Design 1970 Mark Minnig MFA 2020 Computer Arts Hsiang Chin Moe MFA 2008 Computer Art Keren Moscovitch MFA 2005 Photography, Video and Related Media Brittany Neff BFA 2012 Film and Video Joanne Nestor BFA 1985 Photography Minos Papas BFA 2004 Film and Video Peter Papulis BFA 1977 Fine Arts Gary Petrini 1979 Media Arts Salvatore M. Petrosino BFA 1983 Film and Video Lynn A. Pieroni BFA 1986 Graphic Design Steve Pullara BFA 1979 Fine Arts Rita Quintas-Valente BFA 1980 Photography Alfred Ragin 1969 Advertising Anupma Rajani MFA 2016 Interaction Design Neil T. Raphan BFA 1981 Advertising Floyd M. Rappy BFA 1985 Illustration Bob Ratynski BFA 1984 Photography Joan Reese BFA 1976 Media Arts Barbara Rietschel BFA 1976 Media Arts Dora Riomayor BFA 1985 Fine Arts Miguel Rivera BFA 1989 Graphic Design Meryl Rosner 1976 Illustration Rosalind Ross BFA 1991 Communication Arts

Esteban Salgado BFA 2004 Graphic Design Laura Scarola 1973 Heewon Seo MFA 2012 Fine Arts Donald Shanley BFA 1981 Fine Arts Yuko Shimizu MFA 2003 Illustration as Visual Essay Kelsey Short MFA 2020 Illustration as Visual Essay Linda Siris 1969 Len Small MFA 2008 Design Brian Smith MFA 2006 Design David Snider BFA 1992 Photography Kirsten Sorton MFA 2005 Design Vesper Stamper MFA 2016 Illustration as Visual Essay Maria Stehle BFA 1991 Fine Arts Eva Tom BFA 1987 Media Arts Thomas Trengove 1968 Lenny Vigden BFA 2015 Design Kevin “Gig” Wailgum MFA 1991 Illustration as Visual Essay Dennis Wierl BFA 1996 Photography Judith Wilde MFA 1994 Illustration as Visual Essay; BFA 1979 Fine Arts Mark Willis BFA 1998 Illustration Jordan Winick-Powers BFA 2006 Graphic Design Robert Winter 1975 Media Arts Anna Zaderman BFA 1999 Fine Arts Zenae Zukowski BFA 2006 Film and Video

We also thank these parents and friends of SVA who supported the SVA Alumni Society. Ace Atlas Corp. Frank Agosta Anonymous (12) Janet Beddoe Joni Blackburn and David Sandlin BMS Michelle Bonime BRD Foundation

Elaine Brown Michael Campbell Seth Chang Frank Clyatt Community Foundation of West Georgia Eric Corriel Christopher J. Cyphers Charles Davis Justin Donahue Christine Donnelly Alex Driscoll Maria Dubon Rurik Ekstrom James Farek Allen B. Frame Ganer + Ganer, PLLC Joseph Giffin Susan Ginsburg Michael Goldberg Grant Thornton, LLP Mary Lee Grisanti Ms. Maryhelen Hendricks and Mr. Robert Lewis Brenda Hundley Dorinda King-Adekunle, DPM, PLLC Ilsa Loves Rick Meghan Johnson Caitlin Kilgallen Manfred Kirchheimer Stan Konwiser Jason Koth Lakeland Bank Brooke Larsen Laurence G. Jones Architects, PLLC Lawrence P. Moody Memorial Fund Julia Lester Lipinski Real Estate Advisors, LLC India Lombardi-Bello Michelle Mackin Magnum Real Estate Group Micaela Martegani Joyce McLaughlin Lori Minasi S.A. Modenstein Adam Natale Jeff Nesin Joseph Newton Novartis Elizabeth and Coleman O’Donoghue Marilyn Palmeri Proskauer Daniel Riccuito Maria Rovira-McCune James Rudnick Salomon Sassoon Maureen and Gary Shillet Gary Smith, SCS Agency Judith Studebaker Deirdre Suter Raykha Tajeshwar Hiroko Tanaka Scott Tatman TD Bank, N.A. Cosmin Tomescu Charles H. Traub Mark Tribe Urban Maid Green Isabel Veguilla Miodrag Velickovic Angelica Vergel Juan Victoriano Visual Arts Foundation Kayla Vogel Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking Andrea Wolf FALL/WINTER 2020 |



To submit items for consideration for Alumni Notes & Exhibitions, email alumni@sva.edu.

ISHAN KHOSLA (MFA 2005 Design) and Andreu Balius, partners, The Typecraft Initiative, designed the Barmer Katab typeface in collaboration with 15 craftswomen in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India, 12 of whom are pictured here. From left, top: Chunni, Bhoomi, Kamala, Shanti, Pawani, Tibu and Bhaami; bottom: Mangi, Khetu, Anita, Nirmala and Jasoda. Khosla’s work was featured in “Ishan Khosla Merges Graphic Design with Indian Crafts to Make Unusual Fonts,” Elle India, 2/4/20.


David Bleich (BFA 1992 Illustration), David Han (BFA 2008 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), Chris Hung (BFA 2001 Computer Art), Gyuhyun Kim (MFA 2012 Computer Art), Tatchapon Lertwirojkul (MFA 2007 Computer Art) worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was awarded Best Animated Feature, and Michael Giacchino (BFA 1990 Film and Video) was awarded Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production for Incredibles 2, Annie Awards, 12/3/19. SVA was well represented during Miami Art Week, with a number of alumni presenting work and participating at fairs and local galleries, Miami, FL, 12/4-12/8/19: Daniel Almeida (MFA 2020 Fine Arts), Leora Armstrong (MFA 2019 Art Practice), AnnaLiisa Benston (MFA 2016 Fine Arts), Juan Bravo (MFA 2019 Fine Arts), Carla Carvalho (MFA 2019 Photography, Video and Related Media), Quinn Dukes (MFA 2015 Art Practice), Ashley Epps (BFA 2007 Fine Arts), Jon Gomez (MFA 2017 Fine Arts), Ezra Hubbard (MFA 2019 Art Practice), Annie Kim (BFA 2018 Illustration), Jason Mena (MFA 2019 Art Practice) and Alyssa Shuey (MFA 2018 Art Practice) had work in Satellite Art Fair SoMAD, for which Benston was creative producer and partnership liaison, Dukes was performance curator and Brian Whiteley (MFA 2013 Fine Arts) was fair director. BFA Photography alumni Gavin Benjamin (1994) and Roberta Ruocco (2007) had work in Aqua Art Miami. George Boorujy (MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay), BFA Photography alumni Nona Faustine (1994) and Lina Jang (1999), and Robert Melee (BFA 1990 Fine Arts) had work in Art Basel Miami Beach. Ruth Freeman (MFA 2016 Fine Arts), Shai Kremer (MFA 2006 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Mu Wen Pan (MFA 2007 Illustration as Visual Essay; BFA 2001 Illustration) had work in Pulse Art Fair Miami Beach, where BFA Photography and Video also hosted a booth featuring work by program

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alumni Mars Hobrecker (2015), Logan Jackson (2015), Jinsil Lee (2019), Francena Ottley (2019), Sarah Teller (2017), Victoria Helena Queiros de Assis e Silva (2019) and Yuan Zhang (2019); Ottley’s contribution was included in the 2019 PAMM PICKS by Pérez Art Museum. Asya Geisberg (MFA 1999 Fine Arts) of Asya Geisberg Gallery featured Gu∂mundur Thoroddsen (MFA 2011 Fine Arts); Dan Halm (MFA 2001 Illustration as Visual Essay; BFA 1994 Illustration) curated an SVA Galleries booth featuring Timothy Bair (BFA 2019 Fine Arts), Haijing Chen (BFA 2019 Illustration), Hannah Fitzgerald (BFA 2019 Fine Arts), Hailey Heaton (BFA 2019 Photography and Video), Kyle Henderson (MFA 2019 Photography, Video and Related Media), Dylan Prince (BFA 2019 Visual & Critical Studies), Dana Robinson (MFA 2019 Fine Arts), Arantxa X. Rodriguez (MFA 2019 Fine Arts) and Paul Simon (MFA 2019 Photography, Video and Related Media); and Ryan Brown (BFA 2006 Fine Arts), Adebunmi Gbadebo (BFA 2017 Fine Arts), Jonathan Meyer (1981) and Kenny Scharf (BFA 1981 Fine Arts) had work in Untitled, Miami. Michael Halsband (BFA 1980 Photography) had work in the group exhibition “Facing Ourselves: Past and Present,” at The Betsy Hotel. Lissa Rivera (MFA 2009 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Francis Ruyter (BFA 1992 Fine Arts) had work in Art Miami. Artem Mirolevich (BFA 1999 Illustration) had work in the Artemiro Gallery Scope International Contemporary Art Show. Reuben Negron (MFA 2004 Illustration as Visual Essay) had work in Context Art Miami. MFA Photography, Video and Related Media alumni Sarah Palmer (2008) and Pacifico Silano (2012), and Marianne Vitale (BFA 1996 Film and Video), had work in NADA Art Fair Miami Beach. Elizabeth Peyton (BFA 1987 Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Presenting Unparalleled Journey through Contemporary Art of Past 50 Years,” Rubell Museum. Jeff Sonhouse (BFA 1998 Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Untitled,” Art Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Miami, 12/4-12/8/19. Panel partic-

ipation included TM Davey (BFA 2002 Illustration) and Carlos Motta (BFA 2001 Photography) for “BOFFO: Talking to the Sun at Fire Island”; Motta again for “Stonewall at 50, Now What?”; and Alexis Rockman (BFA 1985 Fine Arts) for “Confronting Climate Change Denial.” Justin Aversano (BFA 2014 Photography) and Travis Rix (BFA 2014 Photography) produced “SaveArtSpace: Miami Art Week 2019” for Miami bus shelters. Laurence Gartel (BFA 1977 Graphic Design) had work featured at the new Virgin MiamiCentral Rail Station, Miami, and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, FL. Mike Kuhn (BFA 2012 Graphic Design) created murals in Wynwood, Miami. Richard Anello (BFA 1978 Media Arts), Marilyn Church (1973 Illustration), Katherine Criss (BFA 1989 Photography), Laura Goetz (BFA 1999 Illustration) and Kevin Larkin (BFA 1977 Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Life on Long Island—What Does It Means to Me?”, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY, 12/612/31/19. Asher Horowitz’s (BFA 2019 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) why z? and Sarika Persaud’s (BFA 2019 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) Papito were nominated for the 40th College Television Awards, Television Academy Foundation, 12/11/19. Laura Murray (BFA 2012 Fine Arts) and Lisa Ramsay (BFA 2004 Photography) had work in the group exhibition “Artifacts 2019,” One Art Space, NYC, 12/14-12/18/19. MFA Products of Design alumni Alexia Cohen (2018), Kevin Cook (2019), William Crum (2018), Jiani Lin (2018), Antriksh Nangia (2018) and Teng Yu (2018) were featured in “Female Veterans Face Separate Struggles Than Their Male Counterparts,” PIX11, NYC, 1/17/20.

Dan Halm (MFA 2001 Illustration as Visual Essay; BFA 1994 Illustration) curated an SVA Galleries booth featuring Ryker Allen and Tyler Clarke (both BFA 2019 Photography and Video); Ferguson Amo, Hera Haesoo Kim and Jiayun Shi (all MFA 2019 Fine Arts); Michael Hannan (BFA 2019 Fine Arts); Brett Henrikson and Wanki Kim (both MFA 2019 Photography, Video and Related Media); and Mai Ta (BFA Illustration) at Untitled, San Francisco, 1/17-1/20/20. A number of alumni projects screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT, 1/23-2/20/20: Daniela Alatorre (MFA 2015 Social Documentary Film) was associate producer for Vivos; Andres Arias (MFA 2013 Social Documentary Film) was associate editor on The Trade; Ava Berkofsky (BFA 2005 Photography) was cinematographer for On the Record; Robert Bohn (BFA 2008 Animation) produced and Nate Milton (BFA 2008 Animation) wrote and directed Eli; John Brennick (BFA 2004 Computer Art) was senior compositor on Kajillionaire; Julien Desroches (BFA 2016 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) was digital compositor for Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made; Caleb Heller (MFA 2011 Social Documentary Film) was the cinematographer for and Bao Nguyen (MFA 2011 Social Documentary Film) was director of Be Water; Jenni Morello (MFA 2011 Social Documentary Film) provided additional cinematography for Rebuilding Paradise; and Samantha Quick (BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) provided post-production for the Al Jazeera Contrast installation Still Here. Nadia Bedzhanova (MPS 2012 Live Action Short Film) directed and wrote and Thomas Knight (BFA 2014 Film and Video) edited Beware of Dog, which screened at Slamdance Film Festival, 1/24-1/30/20. Chris Prynoski (BFA 1994 Animation) and Shannon Prynoski (BFA 1994 Film and Video) were featured in “Netflix Inks Overall Deal With Big Mouth Animation Studio,” The Hollywood Reporter, 1/27/20. SVA alumni worked on a number of films recognized at the 92nd Academy Awards, Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, 2/9/20: Andrew Bell (BFA 2000 Computer Art) was RenderMan software developer, Jessica Monteiro (BFA 2010 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) was rendering technical director and MontaQue Ruffin (BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) was character animator for Toy Story 4, which won Best Animated Feature Film; Jarin Blaschke (BFA 2000 Film and Video) was nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography for his work on The Lighthouse; John Brennick (BFA 2004 Computer Art) was a senior compositor and Shendy Wu (BFA 2012 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) was a pre- and post-visual artist for Avengers: Endgame, which was nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects; Michael Giacchino (BFA 1990 Film) composed music for Jojo Rabbit, which was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year; Siyan Liu (MFA 2015 Social Documentary Film) was field producer, Lulu Men (MFA 2016 Social Documentary Film; BFA 2014 Design) was camera operator and Danni Wang (MFA 2015 Social Documentary Film) was translator for American Factory, which won Best Documentary Feature; Fatema Tarzi (BFA 2000 Computer Art) was a lighting artist for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film; and Mark Ulano (1975 Film and Video) was nominated for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing twice, for his work on Ad Astra and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. Storm Ascher (BFA 2018 Visual & Critical Studies) and Christopher Bors (MFA 1998 Illustration as Visual Essay) participated in SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Los Angeles, CA, 2/14-2/16/20.

Pablo Delcan (BFA 2012 Graphic Design), Ina Jang (MPS 2012 Fashion Photography; BFA 2010 Photography), Claire Merchlinsky (MFA 2016 Illustration as Visual Essay), Mohamed Tebbal (BFA 2015 Design) and Daniel Zender (MFA 2014 Illustration as Visual Essay) were featured in “Best of Illustration,” The New York Times, 2/27/20. Tracey Baran (BFA 1997 Photography), Maria Berrio (MFA 2009 Illustration as Visual Essay), Kate Gilmore (MFA 2002 Fine Arts) and Justine Kurland (BFA 1996 Photography) had work in the group exhibition “Labor: Motherhood & Art in 2020,” New Mexico State University Art Museum, Las Cruces, NM, 2/28-5/28/20. Valerie Amend (MA 2017 Curatorial Practice), Chris Bors (MFA 1998 Illustration as Visual Essay), Chris D’Acunto (BFA 2009 Advertising), Elliott De Cesare (BFA 2011 Illustration), Dan Halm (MFA 2001 Illustration as Visual Essay; BFA 1994 Illustration), Christine Stiver (MFA 2017 Art Practice) and Efrem Zelony-Mindell (BFA 2011 Photography) curated booths; Faith Holland (MFA 2013 Photography, Video and Related Media), Ali Shrago-Spechler (MFA 2016 Fine Arts) and Emily Silver (BFA 2005 Fine Arts) had work in SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2020, NYC, 3/3-3/9/20. Bradley Castellanos (MFA 2006 Fine Arts) and Sam Tufnell (BFA 2002 Fine Arts) had work in Gallery Volta New York, 3/4-3/8/20. Andrew Brischler (MFA 2012 Fine Arts), TM Davey (BFA 2002 Illustration), Inka Essenhigh (MFA 1994 Fine Arts), Nona Faustine (BFA 1994 Photography), Robert Lazzarini (BFA 1990 Fine Arts), Elizabeth Peyton (BFA 1987 Fine Arts), Collier Schorr (BFA 1985 Communication Arts), Lorna Simpson (BFA 1982 Photography) and

Eric Weiss (1986) had work in The Armory Show, NYC, 3/5-3/8/20. Nils Karsten (BFA 1999 Fine Arts) and Shai Kremer (MFA 2006 Photography, Video and Related Media) had work in Art on Paper, NYC, 3/5-3/8/20. MFA 2017 Photography, Video and Related Media alumni Melvin Harper and Anders Jones had work in the group exhibition “How Did You Get This? The Spaces We Inhabit,” Welancora Gallery, NYC, 3/14-4/18/20. Se Habla Español (SHE), founded by MA Curatorial Practice alumni Noelia Lecue (2018), Maria Alejandra Sáenz García (2019), Andrea Valencia (2019) and Natalia Viera (2018), created “Solidarity Has No Borders,” an online curatorial project promoting unity, which featured a contribution from Carolina Dalfó (MA 2016 Critical Theory and the Arts), @colectivosehablaespanol, 4/6/20. MFA 2017 Social Documentary Film alumni Rebecca Benson, Caroline Berler, Melanie McLean Brooks and Chelsi Bullard, and Collier Schorr (BFA 1985 Communication Arts) worked on “The Butches and Studs Who’ve Defied the Male Gaze and Redefined Culture,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, 4/13/20. Michael Bailey-Gates (BFA 2015 Photography), Bon Duke (MPS 2012 Fashion Photography; BFA 2009 Photography), Justine Kurland (BFA 1996 Photography) and Matin Zad (MPS 2013 Fashion Photography) were featured in “Pictures for Elmhurst: Buy a Photo to Help New York’s Busiest Hospital,” AnOther, 4/15/20. Patrick Edell (BFA 2019 Illustration), Shellyne Rodriguez (BFA 2011 Visual & Critical Studies) Yuko Shimizu (MFA 2003 Illustration as Visual Essay) and Normandie Syken (BFA 2017

Illustration) were featured in “17 Artists Capture a Surreal New York From Their Windows,” The New York Times, 4/16/20. Nir Arieli (BFA 2012 Photography), Katherine Bernhardt (MFA 2000 Fine Arts) and TM Davey (BFA 2002 Illustration) had work in “Food Bank For New York City: Emergency Benefit Auction 2020,” Artsy.net, 4/24-5/8/20. David Brandon Geeting (BFA 2011 Photography), Dina Litovsky (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Caroline Tompkins (BFA 2014 Photography) had photography featured in “April 15, 2020: A Coronavirus Chronicle,” The New Yorker, 4/27/20. Pablo Delcan (BFA 2012 Graphic Design) conceived and Bobby Doherty (BFA 2011 Photography) photographed the cover for The New York Times Magazine, 5/10/20. Igor Jovicic (MFA Computer Art) animated and Kristen Terrana (BFA 2005 Illustration) illustrated five UNICEF China videos about COVID-19 safety, for Big Yellow Taxi, Inc.


Michael Esbin (Fine Arts) was featured in “The Sculptures of Michael Esbin Become Icons of Global Transformation and Connection to Eternity,” The Monumentous.


Kathleen McSherry (BFA Graphic Design) had work in the group exhibition “Inner Visions,” The Conservatory, Doylestown, PA, 3/7-3/21/20.


Larry Chernoff (Film and Video) was featured in “Hollywood Production Turns to Cloud and

ALEATHIA BROWN (BFA 1987 Media Arts), Art-Wedding Bride, 2020, acrylic on canvas dress and hat with veil, painted at various venues by the audience (black paint by Aleathia Brown). From Brown’s solo exhibition “Uninterrupted,” The Grady Alexis Gallery, NYC, 1/18-3/1/20. Photo: Stephen Paul.



Remote Services Amid Coronavirus Crisis,” The Hollywood Reporter, 3/23/20. Marilyn Church (Illustration) had a solo exhibition, “Reconfigured,” Carter Burden Gallery, NYC, 1/9-2/5/20.


Joyce Korotkin (BFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “The Blues,” The Painting Center, NYC, 1/28-2/22/20.


Margaret McCarthy’s (BFA Fine Arts) photography and writing were featured in “Mothers | Margaret McCarthy: From the Divine Feminine: Women in Celtic Myth,” South x Southeast Photomagazine, May/June 2020.


Steven Petruccio (BFA Illustration) illustrated The Boy Who Touched the Stars, which received the Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection Award, Junior Library Guild, fall 2019.



Calvin Seibert (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “For One Tide Only: Modernist Sandcastles—In Pictures,” The Guardian, 3/28/20.

Mark Power (MFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “EXTRAordinary,” frosch & portmann, NYC, 1/16-2/23/2020.


Carolyn Watson-Dubisch (BFA Illustration) participated in the Virtual Earth Day Chalk Festival, 4/22/20.

Frank Holliday (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Artist Frank Holliday Wants to Trigger You,” Document Journal, 3/11/20. Robin Antar (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Brooklyn Artist Named Among ‘The Most Exciting Talents in Sculpting Today’,” Queens Ledger, 1/10/20. Lowell Handler (BFA Photography) sold the documentary Terefu and Her Children: An Ethiopian-Israeli Odyssey to WGBH, Boston.


Suzanne Heilmann (BFA Media Arts) was featured in “Many Shades of White: Suzanne Heilmann,” Street Light, 1/10/16.

Jerry Craft (BFA Cartooning) won the Newbery Medal and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for his graphic novel New Kid, American Library Association Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, 1/27/20. Joe Quesada (BFA Media Arts) was featured in “Joe Quesada Creates Captain America Art Celebrating Healthcare Workers,” Bleeding Cool, 4/15/20.


Steven Block (BFA Cartooning) illustrated Pink Monkey Magazine #5, 12/13/19. Collier Schorr (BFA Communication Arts) was featured in “3 Female Photographers on Defining Masculinity in 2020,” Vogue Australia, 3/17/20. Marina Zurkow (BFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Wet Logic,” Bit Forms, NYC, 2/6-3/15/20.


Amy Bellezza (BFA Photography) had work in the group exhibition “Cleansing and Random Thoughts of Dissonance,” Union of Maine Visual Arts Gallery, Portland, ME, 2/3-2/4/20.


Gary Petersen (MFA Fine Arts) received a 2020 Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Grant Award, The Barnett Newman Foundation, NYC.


Devon Dikeou (MFA Fine Arts) has a solo exhibition, “A Retrospective: Devon Dikeou; Mid-Career Smear,” The Dikeou Collection, Denver, CO, 2/20/20-2/18/21. Catya Plate (Fine Arts) was featured in “Interview with Catya Plate, Writer and Director of Meeting MacGuffin,” Agnès Films, 1/14/20. Gary Simmons (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Gary Simmons: History as Residue,” Ocula, 5/22/20.

ANAGH BANERJEE (MFA 2018 Illustration as Visual Essay),

The Last Inhabitant, 2019, monoprint. Banerjee’s work was featured in “Anagh Banerjee: Craft and Storytelling Intersect in the Work of this Brooklyn, New York Based Illustrator,” Communication Arts.

James Walsh had a solo exhibition, “The Elemental,” Berry Campbell, NYC, 1/9-2/8/20.


Susan Leopold (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Domestic Anxiety,” Elizabeth Harris Gallery, NYC, 1/4-2/15/20.

Thomas Cahill (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Studio in a School,” The Brooklyn Rail, NYC, 5/1/20.

Lorna Simpson (BFA Photography) was featured in “Books Briefing: The Uncut History of Black Life,” The Atlantic, 2/28/20.


Joey Skaggs (BFA Advertising) had work in the group exhibition “Closed: SOS Mother Earth,” Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center, Miami, FL, 4/12/20.

Dawoud Bey (Photography) had a solo exhibition, “Dawoud Bey: An American Project,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2/15-8/2020.


Peter Fritsch (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Night Walks: Nocturnal Paintings of Copake,” Burke Hall Gallery, Copake, NY, 10/1-12/1/19.


Deborah Steins Garry (BFA Illustration) received an Enterprising Women of the Year Award, Enterprising Women, 1/6/20. Dane LaChiusa (BFA Advertising) had work in the group exhibition “DADA,” The Artist Co-Op, NYC, 12/13/19. Paul Leibow (BFA Media Arts) had work featured in Art Maze Mag, Winter Issue 16.

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Lisa Zilker (BFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Migrations and Meaning(s) in Art,” Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, 1/30-3/15/20.


Al Nickerson (BFA Cartooning) was featured in “Artist Al Nickerson Discusses Christian Comic Books and The Sword of Eden,” Religion Unplugged, 5/4/20. Brian Rutenberg (MFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “The Pond,” Forum Gallery, NYC, 2/27-4/25/20. T.J. Wilcox (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Spectrum,” Gladstone Gallery, NYC, 1/18-2/22/20.


Luca Buvoli (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Luca Buvoli’s Astrodoubt and The Quarantine Chronicles,” Art & Object, 4/15/20.


Renee Cox (MFA Photography and Related Media) was featured in “An Artist Shares Her Most Striking Images of the Decade,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, 12/23/19.

Vanessa Pineda Fox (BFA Graphic Design) had a solo exhibition, “Color Makes Me Happy,” Warner Library, Tarrytown, NY, 3/1-3/30/20.


Randall Emmett (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “Producer Randall Emmett Making Directorial Debut on Midnight in the Switchgrass; Emile Hirsch to Star,” Deadline, 1/22/20. Nona Faustine (BFA Photography) was featured in “The Class of 2019? Meet 6 Fast-Rising Artists Having Star Turns at This Year’s Art Basel Miami Beach,” Artnet, 12/3/19. John Ferry (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was the recipient of a Silver Medal, Institutional Category, Society of Illustrators’ “Illustrators 62: Part One,” 1/8-2/1/20. Leemour Pelli (BFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Woman in Nature,” Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 3/26-4/4/20. Chris Prynoski (BFA Animation) was featured in “Titmouse to Livestream Its 5 Second Day Animation Showcase on Twitch for First Time,” Forbes, 3/25/20. Phillip Szostak (BFA Animation) was featured in “Climbing a Mountain: The Making of the Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” StarWars. com, 3/31/20.


Lori Earley (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Personalized Physical Therapy Helps Artist Reclaim Her Career,” MayoClinic.org, 3/9/20. Giovanni Garcia-Fenech (MFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “A Mala Hora,” Postmasters, NYC, 2/1-3/7/20. Jalal Pleasant a.k.a. PLEASANT (Fine Arts) was featured in Moped Magazine #3. Amy Wilson (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Art World Rallies to Gather Medical Supplies for COVID-19 Healthcare Workers,” Hyperallergic, 3/25/20.


Brian Donnelly a.k.a. KAWS (BFA Illustration) was featured in “KAWS Looks to the Fringes for Inspiration,” The New York Times, 2/20/20. Justine Kurland (BFA Photography) participated in the virtual lecture “Reimagining the Image: Justine Kurland,” International Center of Photography, 5/21/20.


Silvana Agostoni (MFA Photography and Related Media) received a 2020 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in Photography, Minnesota State Arts Board. S.J. Langer’s (BFA Film and Video) book Theorizing Transgender Identity for Clinical Practice: A New Model for Understanding Gender was announced as a finalist for a 2020 Lambda Literary Award, in the Transgender Nonfiction category. Christian Miglio (BFA Film and Video) finished an eight-year run as an editor on Modern Family, ABC, 1/29/20. Manu Saluja (BFA Illustration) won the BP Travel Award 2019 and had work included in the virtual group exhibition “BP Portrait Award 2020,” National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. Sarah Sze (MFA Fine Arts) was commissioned to create a site-specific installation, Shorter than the Day, at LaGuardia Airport, Public Art Fund, NYC, 3/5/20.



Brian Finke (BFA Photography) was featured in “Snapshot Documentary Photographer,” I Love World of Art, 4/24/20.

Brian Floca (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Award-Winning Author Brian Floca to Kick Off Lecture Series at Bell County Museum,” Temple Daily Telegram, 2/2/20.

Malin Abrahamsson-Alves (BFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “The Longest Distance,” Amos Eno Gallery, NYC, 2/6-3/1/20.

Mark Milligan (BFA Fine Arts) participated in the POW! WOW! Hawaii 2020 arts festival, Honolulu, HI, 2/16/20. Dice Tsutsumi (BFA Illustration) participated in the panel “Singular Stories, Multiple Viewpoints,” New York International Children’s Festival, NYC, 2/28-2/29/20. Jonathan Twingley (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Ink and Earth,” Print, 2/25/20.


Janelle Lynch (MFA Photography and Related Media) had a solo exhibition, “Janelle Lynch: Another Way of Looking at Love,” Hudson River Museum, NYC, 9/13/19-2/16/20. Gerard Way (BFA Cartooning) was featured in “My Chemical Romance—Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” Pitchfork, 12/8/19. Anna Zaderman (BFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Bayside Historical Society 19th Annual Winter Art Show,” Bayside Historical Society, NYC, 1/12-1/26/20.


Katherine Bernhardt (MFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Done With Xanax,” Canada, NYC, 1/10-2/15/20. Derek Curl (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “A Farmhouse Fantasy Tucked in the Woods of Upstate New York,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, 2/27/20. Tomer Hanuka (BFA Illustration) illustrated the covers for The New Yorker’s March 16, 2020, and April 27, 2020, issues. David Lobser (BFA Computer Art) was featured in “Inside Brooklyn’s New Oddly Satisfying ‘ASMR Spa’,” Gothamist, 12/4/19.

David Allee’s (MFA Photography and Related Media) photography was featured in “Showtime, Suspended,” The New York Times, 4/20/20.

Daina Higgins (BFA Fine Arts) was the recipient of a first grant, Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, Quebec, Canada, 12/23/19. Noah Landfield (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Noah Landfield,” Findlay Galleries, Palm Beach, FL, 5/4-7/4/20. Carlos Motta (BFA Photography) had work in the group exhibition “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration,” Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN, 2/23-5/24/20. Mika Rottenberg (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Contemporary Artists on Art and Society,” Penta Barron’s, 3/23/20. Gerald Soto (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “Brand New School Welcomes Gerald Mark Soto as Animation Director,” Little Black Book, 1/28/20. Danwen Xing (MFA Photography and Related Media) had a solo exhibition, “The Gaze of History—Contemporary Chinese Art Re-visited,” Jupiter Museum of Art, Shenzhen, China, 12/13/194/15/20.


Michael Alan (BFA Fine Arts) presented their installation Messyme Street, The Living Installation, NYC, 1/18-2/1/20. TM Davey (BFA Illustration) had work in the group exhibition “The Moon Seemed Lost,” Hales Gallery, NYC, 2/14-4/4/20. Joe Fig (MFA Fine Arts; BFA 1991 Fine Arts) was featured in “From Bean-Sized Art to Thumbnail Books, Tiny Worlds Hold Us Spellbound,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 1/24/20. Graig Kreindler (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Exploring the Glorious Baseball Art of Graig Kreindler,” Sports Illustrated, 4/18/20.

Thomas Lendvai (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Exclusive: Cuomo Taps 8 NY Artists Whose Works Will Grace New Bridge,” Lohud, White Plains, NY, 1/31/20. Reka Nyari (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Ink Stories,” BlackBook Presents, NYC, 1/16/20-2/16/20. Marlena Buczek Smith (BFA Graphic Design) had work in the group exhibition “ArtRage: Past & Present: A Virtual Exhibition,” ArtRage, 5/26-6/19/20.


Yuko Shimizu (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated A Tear in the Ocean (Putnam), which was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award in the Middle Grade Literature category, 1/25/20.


Mickey Duzyj’s (BFA Illustration) Netflix show Losers was nominated for Outstanding Edited Sports Series and for Outstanding Post Produced Graphic Design, The 41st Annual Sports Emmy Awards, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, 4/28/20. Christopher Leo a.k.a. Crobin (BFA Graphic Design) directed “HowImmus,” a Super Bowl commercial for Sabra, 2/2/20. Samuel Lewitt (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Dreamboat Dirtblock,” Miguel Abreu, NYC, 1/16-2/23/20. Anne Peabody (MFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Sunspike,” Moremen Gallery, Louisville, KY, 3/20-5/5/20.


Ali Banisadr (BFA Illustration) was featured in “New York-Based Artist Ali Banisadr Presents the Beauty in Chaos,” Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, 1/14/20. Karen Gibbons (MPS Art Therapy) had work in the group exhibition “Assembly Required,” 440 Gallery, NYC, 1/18/20-2/8/20. Buhm Hong (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media; MFA 2003 Computer Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Picture Time,” Tiger Strikes Asteroid, NYC, 2/14-3/22/20. Carol McLennan (BFA Fine Arts) co-curated “Eleanor Lambert: Empress of Seventh Avenue,” Gallery FIT, NYC, 3/3-3/28/20.

Cecilia Abeid

MFA 2020 Illustration as Visual Essay • @cicaabeid

I am beyond thankful for the donors to this program— their help has been essential, not only for the evolution of the project, but also for the motivation that came from their support.” Give a donation to help students realize their dreams For more information or to make a donation visit: sva.edu/give


212.592.2300 or alumnisociety@sva.edu

Lynn Herring (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Share the Love®,” CX Silver Gallery, Brattleboro, VT, 3/20-4/25/20. Sarah Palmer (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) had a solo exhibition, “Outs & Ins,” Mrs. Gallery, NYC, 11/16/19-1/18/20. Arturo Soto (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) photographed and wrote “Border Documents,” Granta, 4/30/20.


Jen Bartel (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Jen Bartel and Puma Join Forces for Birds of Prey Sneakers,” News Break, 1/24/20. Hai-Hsin Huang (MFA Fine Arts) was selected to participate in the Taipei Biennial 2020. Lissa Rivera (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “School of Architecture & Design Announces Spring 2020 Hallmark Symposium Lectures,” University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2/3/20. Rebecca Sugar (BFA Animation) was featured in “Steven Universe Creator Says Farewell, Knowing Her Show Made Young LGBTQ Viewers Feel Seen,” The Washington Post, 3/27/20. Trish Tillman (MFA Fine Arts) was the recipient of the Hopper Prize, 2/12/20.


Sara Berks (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “10 Female Designers Shaping the Future of Design,” Design Milk, 3/3/20. Joshua Cohen (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “A Witty Guide on How Not to Touch Your Face,” Little Black Book, 3/31/20. Natan Dvir (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “How a Sacred Flame Spreads Across the World Despite the Pandemic,” National Geographic, 4/19/20. Florencia Escudero (BFA Fine Arts) had work on view in the solo exhibition “Florencia Escudero,” Kristen Lorello, NYC, 11/14/19-1/18/20. Debbie Grossman (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “How Today’s Queer Artists Are Revising History,” The New York Times, 12/4/19. Dina Litovsky’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) photography was featured in “What We’re Buying for Quarantine,” The New Yorker, 3/18/20. Kenneth Rivero (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “Perez Art Museum Announces NADA Acquisition Gift,” Artforum, 12/6/19. KATE SHEPHERD (MFA 1992 Fine Arts), clockwise from top: installation view, “Kate Shepherd:

Surveillance,” Galerie Lelong & Co., NYC; YellOw, 2020, and Earth, 2019, enamel on panel (photographed with reflections). From Shepherd’s solo exhibition “Surveillance,” Galerie Lelong & Co., 3/12-4/18/20. Images © Kate Shepherd. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.


Chris Brimacombe (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) published Nap-Boy, Pronto Comics, 2/19/20. David Brandon Geeting’s (BFA Photography) photography was featured in “John Mulaney Is Not So Square,” The New Yorker, 1/7/20.

Yamini Nayar (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) had a solo exhibition, “THREE SPACES for TIME,” Thomas Erben Gallery, NYC, 2/13-3/28/20.

Dylan Mortimer (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “He Had Two Double-Lung Transplants in Two Years. He Made Art to Tell His Story,” The Washington Post, 12/8/19.

Sophia Shalmiyev (MPS Art Therapy) was featured in “Sophia Shalmiyev’s Searing Memoir Mother Winter,” Montana Public Radio, 12/5/19.

Ted Riederer (MFA Fine Arts) created the installation Never Records, The Rudin Family Gallery, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC, 1/15/20-3/13/20.

Kristen Terrana (BFA Illustration) illustrated the July/August 2020 cover of Ridgefield Magazine, honoring essential workers of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yuli Ziv (MFA Computer Art) was featured in “The Ultima Dress: Garrison Designer Creates an Ultra-Minimalist 21-in-1 Garment,” Chronogram, 2/20/20.


Lisa LaBracio (BFA Animation) directed and helped animate an episode for the series There’s a Poem for That, TED-Ed.

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Sarah Schorr (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was the recipient of a Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, 3/1/20. Koren Shadmi (BFA Illustration) wrote and illustrated “Quarantine Dad in Queens,” Forward, 4/20/20. Anna Golda Yu (BFA Advertising) was the recipient of the April 2020 Amber Grant, WomensNet.


Elizabeth Castaldo (BFA Fine Arts) was selected for an Artist-in-Residence International Program, Proyecto Ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1/14/20. Amy Elkins (BFA Photography) had work in the group exhibition “Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana,” Ford Foundation Gallery, NYC, 2/21-5/9/20. Ryan Pfluger’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) photography was featured in “The Rise of Schitt’s Creek,” The New York Times, 1/7/20.


Cat Del Buono (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) received a Brooklyn Arts Fund grant, Brooklyn Arts Council, NYC.

David Osit’s (MFA Social Documentary Film) Mayor received the Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 4/22/20.


Joana Avillez (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated “24 Hours in a Pandemic Nation,” The New York Times, 4/4/20. Justin Ervin (MFA Social Documentary Film) was featured in “Ashley Graham and Her Husband Justin Ervin Share Details of Their Son’s Home Birth,” O, The Oprah Magazine, 2/4/20. Ina Jang (MPS Fashion Photography; BFA 2010 Photography) illustrated “For Abused Women, a Pandemic Lockdown Holds Dangers of Its Own,” The New York Times, 3/24/20. Elektra KB (BFA Visual & Critical Studies) had work included in the group exhibition “Nobody

Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” Brooklyn Museum, NYC, 1/14/203/31/21. May Lin Le Goff (BFA Photography) wrote “Mind Matters—Let’s Talk About the Little Voice in Your Head,” Noisin, 5/11/20. Laura Murray (BFA Fine Arts) participated in “Art in Res Virtual Studio Visit,” Art in Res, NYC, 5/14/2020. Oluwakayode Ojo (BFA Photography) had a solo exhibition, “Never Been Kissed,” PrazDelavallade, Los Angeles, CA, 2/14-3/29/20. Cecilia Ruiz (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “How the Mexican Game Lotería Is Providing Comfort During a Pandemic,” O, The Oprah Magazine, 4/15/20. Pacifico Silano (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Censored Queer Photographs Get Second Chance at Miami’s NADA Fair,” The Art Newspaper, 12/6/19.


Justin Aversano (BFA Photography) was featured in “Justin Aversano: Spirituality in Twindom,” Metal Magazine. Faina Brodsky (MFA Art Practice, BFA 2010 Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Privately Owned Public Space,” Essex 17, NYC, 2/73/29/20. Graciela Cassel (MFA Fine Arts) co-hosted the panel “The State Of Things,” Transborder Art: Conversation with Artists, 4/23/20. Jesse Chun (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) had work in the group exhibition “In Practice: Total Disbelief,” SculptureCenter, NYC, 1/16-3/23/20. Ja’Tovia Gary (MFA Social Documentary Film) had a solo exhibition, “Hammer Projects:

Charles Purdom (BFA Photography) was featured in “Videos Celebrate Marin Art & Garden Center’s History and Beauty,” Marin Independent Journal, 5/1/20.

Seth Williams (BFA Illustration) had work in the group exhibition “Illustrators 62: Part One Opening Reception,” Society of Illustrators, NYC, 1/8-2/1/20.

Anne Quito (MFA Design Criticism) wrote “Ford Is Using Stock Car Parts to Upgrade the Design of Ventilators and Respirators,” Quartz, 3/24/20.


Maximiliano Siñani (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “La Palabra de Dios,” KIOSKO Galeria, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2/13-3/6/20. Caroline Tompkins (BFA Photography) was featured in “Caroline Tompkins Captures the Wild Heat of Rural America,” Elephant, 3/4/20.


Michael Bailey-Gates (BFA Photography) was featured in “Look Until You See: Michael

Chioma Ebinama (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) had a solo exhibition, “Now I only believe in … love,” Fortnight Institute, NYC, 3/2-4/30/20. Francesca Facciola (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Evil Microwave (A New Era in Cooking),” Hesse Flatow, NYC, 2/20-3/21/20. Samantha Friend (BFA Photography and Video) was selected as the January 2020 Artist in Residence, Latitude Chicago, 1/1/20. Dozie Kanu (BFA Film) was featured in “Art in America: Dozie Kanu Challenges Distinctions

An Rong Xu’s (BFA Photography) photography was featured in “Hong Kong’s Protest Movement and the Fight for the City’s Soul,” The New Yorker, 12/9/19. Catherine Young’s (MFA Interaction Design) short story “The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store” was included in Our Entangled Future: Stories to Empower Quantum Social Change, published by the University of Oslo Department of Sociology and Human Geography.


Austin Chang (BFA Film and Video) released the documentary The Riverside Bench. Faith Holland (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) co-curated “Well Now WTF?”, wellnow.wtf, 5/2/20. Lauren Hom (BFA Advertising) was featured in “Lauren Hom: Personality and Practicality,” The One Club, 2/12/20. Dana Kalmey (MFA Social Documentary Film) received a 2020 Tribeca All Access Grant, Tribeca Film Institute, 3/18/20. Star Montana (BFA Photography) participated in “A+P At Home: In Conversation: Star Montana and Alicia Piller with Erin Christovale,” Art and Practice, Los Angeles, CA, 5/7/20. Antonio Pulgarin (BFA Photography) was featured in “Con respecto a fragmentos de lx masculinx | Antonio Pulgarin,” Spot, Spring 2020. Kelly Shami (BFA Design) was featured in “The Jewelry Brand Celebrities Are Flocking to for Custom Pieces,” Coveteur, 1/12/20. Will Sheldon (BFA Illustration) had a solo exhibition, “Trouble After Dark,” Team Gallery, NYC, 3/5-4/11/20. Brian Whiteley (MFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Hashimoto Contemporary, NYC, 1/11/20-2/1/20. Yao Xiao (BFA Illustration) published her comic “Baopu #71: Unwinding,” Autostraddle, 3/27/20. Lynne Yun (BFA Design) was featured in “10 Brilliant Female Creatives Creating Letters Today,” Print, 3/11/20. Zipeng Zhu (BFA Design) was featured in “Zipeng Zhu Talks of a Quiet Childhood in China and How It Inspired Him to ‘Dazzle’,” Creative Boom, 3/29/20.

ZACKARY DRUCKER (BFA 2005 Photography), Lady Gaze (Portrait of Rosalyne Blumenstein), 2019, C-print. From Drucker’s solo exhibition “Zackary Drucker: Icons,” the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, 3/1-6/28/20. Image courtesy the artist and Luis de Jesus, Los Angeles.

Ja’Tovia Gary,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2/2-5/17/20.

Bailey-Gates and Friends,” Cultured Magazine, 5/4/20.

Between Black Vernacular Making and Fine Art,” Art News, 2/14/20.

Molly Matalon (BFA Photography) was featured in “Molly Matalon’s Photographs Maintain Intimacy in Isolation,” Interview, 4/1/20.

Claire Christerson (BFA Photography) had a solo exhibition, “Through the Window Up the Stairs,” AA|LA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1/25-3/21/20.

Katelyn Kopenhaver (BFA Photography and Video) had work in the group exhibition “This Is Who We Are,” Maggi Peyton Gallery, NYC, 3/5-4/24/20.

Nicasio Fernandez (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Something’s Off,” Over the Influence, Los Angeles, CA, 4/11-5/24/20.

Georgia Lale (MFA Fine Arts) performed Fragile Monuments, Venice International Performance Art Week, Venice, Italy, 1/15/20.

Emily Larsen (BFA Photography) wrote “The Female Gaze,” Foto Femme United, 3/30/20.

Thomas McCarty (BFA Photography and Video) was featured in “Farming with the Senses,” Mold Magazine, Issue 4.

Andrea McGinty (MFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Might Delete Later,” Essex Flowers, NYC, 3/13-4/19/20. Hector Membreno-Canales (BFA Photography) was featured in “Military Veterans Call for MoMA to Divest From ‘Toxic Philanthropy’,” Artforum, 2/4/20. Corey Olsen’s (BFA Photography) photography was featured in “On Supermarket Shelves, a Small-Scale Reminder of Crisis,” Vanity Fair, 4/16/20.

To submit items for consideration for Alumni Notes & Exhibitions, email: alumni@sva.edu

Tali Margolin (BFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Preserving Memories,” The Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick, MD, 1/4-3/1/20. Michelle Poler (MPS Branding) was featured in “After Pivoting to Virtual Public Speaking, Michelle Poler Shares How Facing Fears Can Help Your Career,” Forbes, 4/29/20. Tatiane Santa Rosa (MFA Art Criticism and Writing) curated “Against, Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil,” Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, NYC, 2/14-4/3/20. Chase Tarca (BFA Design) produced the film One of the Good Ones (2019).

Mischelle Moy (BFA Photography and Video) photographed a campaign for BonChon Chicken. Jessica Pettway (BFA Photography and Video) was featured in “The African-American Art Shaping the 21st Century,” The New York Times, 3/19/20. Ali Shrago-Spechler (MFA Fine Arts) was the recipient of a 2020-2021 award, Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Travis Simon (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “This Brooklyn Artist Is Bringing Back



Ancient Sign-Painting Techniques,” Popular Mechanics, 12/9/19. Dareece Walker (MFA Fine Arts) illustrated “Never Forget Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till,” The Nation, 3/10/20. Vicky Zambrano (BFA Photography and Video) had work in the group exhibition “Migrations and Meanings(s) in Art,” Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore, MD, 1/30-3/15/20.


Shreya Gupta (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) wrote “Little Women, Big Tips: The Art of Giving a Literary Classic a Befitting New Look,” Digital Arts Online, 3/12/20. Kyung Tae Kim (MFA Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition “Semantic Net,” First Street Gallery, NYC, 1/28-2/22/20. Ninaad Kulkarni (MFA Computer Art) was featured in “Nice Shoes Hires Creative Director Ninaad Kulkarni,” Little Black Book, 3/11/20.

Tiantian Wang’s (MFA Social Documentary Film) Keeper of Earth and Time received the Audience Award, Gotham Independent Film Awards, 12/2/19.


Hanna Washburn (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Beyond the Page: Hanna Washburn,” Brooklyn Art Library, 4/23/20.


Rachel Balma (MFA Interaction Design) was featured in “Rising Artist Episode,” All Arts, 3/19/20. Sophie Cheung (MPS Digital Photography) was featured in “‘I Loved Art But I Had Absolutely No Idea That Art Can Turn into a Career’,” Creative Digest, 3/3/20. Sage Love’s (BFA Film) documentary Ayiti: The Awakening (2019) received the Best Diaspora Documentary Short award, Silicon Valley African Film Festival, 12/19/19.

PETE HAMILL (1954 Illustration) in an uncredited photograph from The SVA Alumni Journal 1980, to which Hamill contributed an essay about his time as a student at SVA, when it was the Cartoonists and Illustrators School. Image courtesy the SVA Archives.

KATY STUBBS (BFA 2015 Illustration), Rumours, 2020,

earthenware and glaze. Stubbs was featured in “Artist Katy Stubbs Is Making Miniatures While Raising Two Chickens,” W, 5/25/20.

Sinjun Bergen Strom (BFA Photography and Video) published Exotic (2019), Superposition Gallery.

John Rivas (BFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Double Trouble,” Ross + Kramer Gallery, NYC, 11/14/19-1/10/20.

Agusta Yr (BFA Photography and Video) published “What It’s Like to Be the Only Person on Earth,” Vice, 5/9/20.

Dana Robinson (MFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “Leak,” Beverly’s, NYC, 1/23-3/15/20.


Arantxa X. Rodriguez (MFA Fine Arts) had work in the group exhibition “EXPO 39 Winners Exhibition,” B.J. Spoke Gallery, Huntington, NY, 3/4/20-3/29/20.

Storm Ascher (BFA Visual & Critical Studies) was featured in “Who Owns Black Art? A Question Resounds at Art Basel Miami,” The New York Times, 12/3/19. Kaitlyn Danielson (BFA Photography and Video) was featured in “Online Group Exhibition—Sculptural Photography,” Analog Forever Magazine, 2/8/20. Xiao Mei (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Little Mountain Press Is an Illustrative Celebration of Asian Identity and Sexuality,” It’s Nice That, 3/16/20. Natalia Viera (MA Curatorial Practice) was selected as the 2020-2021 Curatorial Resident, Abrons Arts Center, NYC, 5/13/20.

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Charmie Shah (MPS Branding) produced @knockknock_newyork, an interactive community building tool on Instagram. Liz Xiong (MFA Design; BFA 2001 Design) was featured in “Melt Into the Light and Airy Illustrations of Liz Xiong,” It’s Nice That, 2/4/20. Hugo Yu’s (BFA Photography and Video) photography was featured in “Still Life with Fly Swatter, or Hourglass, or Lemons,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine, 5/12/20.

Pete Hamill (1954 Illustration) died on August 5. Hamill was a legendary print journalist and columnist known for his literary style, personal charisma and deep identification with New York City and its working class. He reported on everything from politics and sports to music and war for such publications as the Daily News, Esquire, The New York Post, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and The Village Voice. Born to Irish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, Hamill briefly attended Regis High School in Manhattan before leaving to apprentice as a sheet metal worker. A love of art led him to enroll at Pratt University and SVA, then known as the Cartoonists and Illustrators School. He began his career in earnest in 1960 at The New York Post and his work soon took him all over the world; he reported from Ireland, Lebanon, Spain and Vietnam, among other countries. In addition to his journalism, Hamill authored many books, fiction and nonfiction, most notably his memoir A Drinking Life (1994). In 1976, his liner notes for Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks album won a Grammy Award. In 2018, Hamill and fellow columnist Jimmy Breslin were memorialized in the documentary Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists. The SVA Alumni Society honored him with the Outstanding Achievement Award in 1972; he gave the College’s commencement address in 1988. “The principles I learned in that school have never left me,” he once wrote. “Seeing was everything.” Hamill is survived by his wife, Fukiko Aoki; brothers Brian, Denis and John; sister, Kathleen Fischetti; daughters Adriene and Dierdre; and a grandson. Robert Herman (MPS 2009 Digital Photography) died on March 20. Born in Brooklyn, Herman was a quintessential New York street photographer, beginning with his days as a New York University film student in the late ’70s. His photos of New York City, shot between 1978 and 2005 on Kodachrome, are collected in his first monograph, The New Yorkers (Proof Positive, 2013). The Phone Book, a collection of Herman’s iPhone photos, was published by Schiffer Books in 2015. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of the City of New York; George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York; Fondazione Morra, Naples, Italy; and the Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia.

Ron Louie (BFA 1989 Media Arts) died on March 29 due to complications from COVID-19. The second of three sons, he grew up on Long Island and discovered a passion for rock music as a teenager. He taught himself guitar, piano and drums, and, at 16, worked at the local music chain Record World. After graduating from SVA, Louie joined the renowned design firm Pentagram. In the mid-’90s, he joined The New York Times, helping to launch the paper’s first website. An avid concert-goer, his death sparked an immediate response from the country–roots music community, with numerous performers posting tributes to the man known on the scene as “Ronny Vegas”; Rolling Stone memorialized him as the ideal superfan. Louie is survived by his wife, Janine. Carolyn Martins-Reitz (BFA 1986 Media Arts) died on March 28 due to complications from COVID-19. Nine days later, on his 30th birthday, her son, Thomas Martins, died of the same disease. Martins-Reitz is survived by her husband, Rudolf Herman Reitz II, and their daughter, Sharon (BFA 2020 Fine Arts). “Our connection was always through art,” Sharon says. “We used to joke that our house was like a mini art-supply store. We would critique each other’s work and bounce ideas off of each other.” In addition to her work as an advocate for people with Down syndrome, MartinsReitz served as president of the Rosary Society at St. Casimir’s Roman Catholic Church, Newark, New Jersey, and worked for many years as a graphic designer for the Archdiocese of Newark. Eric Rogers Matheson (1967 Fine Arts) died on February 17. Born in Marshfield, Wisconsin, Matheson grew up in Bingham, Maine, and attended Lake Forest College before enrolling at SVA, where he studied sculpture and painting. Matheson designed and built sets on more than 80 feature films, including Blown Away (1994), The Cider House Rules (1999) and The Man Without a Face (1993). An avid proponent of labor unions, he was instrumental in forming the New England chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)–Local 481. His son, Cameron, followed in his footsteps to become a set decoration leadman. In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Eliza Matheson; grandchildren Isabele, Emelyn, Livvie and Charlie; and brother, Stuart.

ROBERT HERMAN (MPS 2009 Digital Photography), photograph from The Phone Book (Schiffer Books, 2015), a collection of Herman’s iPhone photos.


(1952 Cartooning), original inks for the cover of Marvel’s Captain America #122, 1968 (pencils by Gene Colan). From Joe Sinnott: Embellishing Life (Hermes Press, 2018). Courtesy Hermes Press.

Lynn Shelton (MFA 1995 Photography and Related Media) died on May 16. Born in Oberlin, Ohio, and raised in Seattle, Shelton attended Oberlin College and the University of Washington before enrolling at SVA. Shelton’s film career began at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2006 with We Go Way Back, which won the Grand Jury Prize. Her film Humpday, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, went on to play the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and earn an Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award. Her last film, Sword of Trust, premiered in 2019. Shelton also worked extensively in television, executive producing and helming four episodes of the Hulu miniseries Little Fires Everywhere and directing for series including Fresh Off the Boat, The Good Place, Mad Men, The Morning Show and New Girl. Shelton is survived by her son, Milo; husband, Kevin Seal; parents, Wendy and Alan Roedell and David “Mac” Shelton and Frauke Rynd; brothers, David Shelton and Robert Rynd; sister, Tanya Rynd; and creative and romantic partner, Marc Maron. Joe Sinnott (1952 Cartooning) died on June 25, at the age of 93. Born in Saugerties, New York, Sinnott served with the U.S. Navy Seabees during World War II in Okinawa, Japan, and was awarded the Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal and WWII Victory Medal. From 1950 to 1992 he worked largely as an artist for Marvel Comics, where he gained renown for his influential work on such titles as The Fantastic Four and for inking the early or first appearances of such iconic characters as Black Panther, Dr. Doom, Galactus, Silver Surfer and Thor. He also illustrated a number of books for Archie, Charlton, Dell and Treasure Chest Comics. From 1992 to 2019, he inked King Features’ Amazing Spider-Man Sunday strip. Sinnott’s recognitions include 1967 and 1968 Alley Awards, the 1995 Inkpot Award, the Inkwell Awards’ Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award (named in his honor) and the 2013 Will Eisner Award. He was predeceased by his wife, Betty, and daughter Linda, and is survived by children Joe, Kathy and Mark, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. FALL/WINTER 2020 |




his fall, SVA Archives introduced its online collection of historical event recordings, comprising audio of notable lectures and discussions hosted by the College. Currently, the archive consists of 42 recordings from the 1960s to the early 1980s; more recent talks will be added as they are digitized. Many of these events were hosted by specific departments. Guest speakers included filmmakers such as Hal Ashby, Mel Brooks and Albert Maysles; art critics such as Barbara Reise and David Shapiro; and art directors and copywriters such as Ed Buxton, Gene Case, Tony Isidore and Helmut Krone. The earliest recording, from one of the College’s more illustrious guests, is a 1963 lecture by Salvador Dalí called “Rembrandt: Was He Blind?”, in which the artist makes the admittedly sensational claim that, instead of eyes, the Dutch painter possessed a spiritual television powered by God. Speakers invited and introduced by SVA’s founder, Silas H. Rhodes, speak to the social concerns of the time: Vine Deloria, Jr., a scholar, activist and creator of the country’s first American Indian studies program; Dr. Lucius Pitts, a civil rights activist and president of Miles College and later Paine College; and social critics Norman O. Brown and David G. Cooper, among others. Other highlights include talks by two forebears of New York’s downtown art scene, Morton Feldman and Agnes Martin, and a 1981 symposium of notable artists, critics and curators working in New York: Diego Cortez, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Alan Rio, Tim Rollins (BFA 1977 Fine Arts), Julian Schnabel, Ingrid Sischy and Carol Squiers. The SVA Historical Event Recordings are available at archives.sva.edu. ◆ Lawrence Giffin is the assistant archivist at the School of Visual Arts.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Salvador Dalí lecturing at SVA in 1963; the poster for Dalí’s talk; painter Agnes Martin addresses SVA students in 1979; filmmaker Hal Ashby at a 1976 Filmmakers Dialogue event, hosted by Ralph Applebaum. Images courtesy SVA Archives.

“In every picture that you feel defeated, and you think, ‘Why did I think I could ever paint?’ … That is the painting. That is the good one.” —Agnes Martin, artist. From a talk hosted by BFA Fine Arts, October 1979. 80 |


To learn more, visit archives.sva.edu.

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