School of Visual Arts Magazine
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL Fall 2014
Interior page of March: Book One (Top Shelf, 2013), by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell See Q+A, page 48.
Contents 3 From the President 4 SVA Close Up News and events from around the College 10 What’s in Store New products created by SVA entrepreneurs 18 Subject Matter: Old Jokes Faculty member Simon Van Booy on humor and its history 20 Hire Ed: Good Work Funding opportunities for “social-good” projects 22 Portfolio: Marc Yankus Yankus’ photographs turn unloved buildings into objects of fascination 32 Color Commentary MFA Illustration as Visual Essay turns 30
40 Off the Charts Infographics for the digital age 48 Q+A: Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell The congressman and civil rights hero collaborates with an SVA alumnus on his memoirs 52 Sound Observations The aural art of Christine Sun Kim 58 Mind Your Own Business Four SVA alumni who started their own ad agencies
64 Alumni Affairs For Your Benefit • Exhibitions and Notes • 2014 Scholarship Recipients • In Memoriam • Donor List 80 From the SVA Archives The Tony Palladino Collection
This fall, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay celebrates its 30th year with "We Tell Stories," a retrospective exhibition at the SVA Chelsea Gallery (see "We Tell Stories," page 4). In this issue of Visual Arts Journal, we also mark the program's anniversary— with a Color Commentary feature (page 32) and a series of four front covers, each featuring a detail of a work by an alumnus. The full works appear below, as do the credits for the backcover collage, which is also made up of MFA Illustration as Visual Essay alumni works.
TOP Mu Pan, 1894, 2012 BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT Yuko Shimizu, “Twitter Tsumani,” Newsweek, April 4, 2014 Steven Tabbutt, Infest, 2012 Sam Weber, cover of The Uninvited for the Criterion Collection, 2013
A JAPANESE FISHING VILLAGE UNLEASHES A GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA STORM
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BACK COVER IMAGE CREDITS FIRST ROW Aya Kakeda, Bali Dream, 2012 � Anna Raff, World Rat Day (Candlewick, 2013) � Benrei Huang, He doesn’t want to be my friend, 2013 � Brian Floca, Locomotive (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2013) � Brian Pinkney, Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America (Disney, 2012) � Clay Rodery, You know what they say about slugs, 2013 � Lauren Simkin Berke, Dear Letters Office (Captain Sears Press, 2014) � Rance Jones, American Song, 2013 SECOND ROW Ned Gannon, Dragon Tapestry, 2012 � Felix Gephart, Brought Into Line (Arbeiten/Works, 2013) � George Boorujy, Initiate, 2011 � George Towne, Nando–Rooftop, 2011 THIRD ROW Jeffrey Smith, “What It Was,” Playboy, January/February 2012 � Brendan Leach, Iron Bound (Secret Acres, 2013) � Jonathan Bartlett, A Cognitive Representation of Time and Place (detail), 2014; for Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren Art Wall Project � Jonathan Bean, Building Our House (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013) FOURTH ROW Katie Yamasaki, Sueno que Puedo Respirar Bajo el Agua (I Dream I Can Breathe Underwater), 2013 � Joseph Adolphe, Toro Sagrado No. 11, 2013 � Jungyeon Roh, Miss Eggplant’s American Boys, 2010 � Keith Negley, Guilty Pleasure, 2012 FIFTH ROW Reuben Negron, Brooke, 2011 � Riccardo Vecchio, PORT OF CALL III, 2011 – 2012 � Russ Spitkovsky, In this, the horses ride the people, 2009 � Sandy Smith-Garces, Inside Out, 2013 � Sara Varon, Bake Sale (First Second, 2011) � Stephen Savage, Where’s Walrus (Scholastic Press, 2011) � Shadra Strickland, Bird (Lee and Low Books, 2008)
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SIXTH ROW Martin Wittfooth, Nocturne II, 2013 � Kelynn Z. Alder, Maya Chole, 2013 � Mark Lang, Collaborative Fiction, 2008 � Edward Hemingway, Tiny Pie (Running Press, 2013) � Lane Twitchell, The Peaceable Kingdom of the Bronx, 2011 � Maria Berrio, Tus alas cubren la tormenta sobre mi carne marchita (Your wings cover the storm upon my barren flesh), 2013 � Mark Bischel, Artist’s Book: Resurfaced, 2010 SEVENTH ROW Gustave Blache III, Cutting Squash, 2010, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. � Lauren Castillo, The Troublemaker (Clarion Books, 2014) � Lauren Redniss, Century Girl (Regan/Harper Collins, 2006) � Joana Avillez, “Eloise Has Moved to Brooklyn. Naturally.” New York magazine, April 8, 2013 � Michael Combs, Trophy Room, 2005 � Olivier Kugler, Mit Dem Elefantendoktor in Laos (Edition Modern, 2013) � Viktor Koen, Plug in The Quest for Mug (grapopress E.NE./ Attic Child Press, Inc., 2004) EIGHTH ROW Matthew Burrows, Nature Vs. Nurture (A.D.), 2013 � Patrick Fiore, Ameriwar, 1998 � Jonathan Twingley, Badlands Saloon (Scribner, 2010) � Fawad Khan, Spectacle of Pride, 2007 � Wes Bedrosian, portrait of Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, American Illustration, 2012 � Tim Okamura, Courage 3.0, 2012 � Aaron Campbell, Green Hornet: Year One (Dynamite Entertainment, 2010) � Yumi Heo, So Say the Little Monkeys (Aladdin, 2001)
The trademarks depicted in the works are owned by the various respective companies, who are unaffiliated with the Visual Arts Journal.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL School of Visual Arts Magazine Fall 2014 Volume 22, Number 2
From the President
EDITORIAL STAFF S. A. Modenstein, senior editor Greg Herbowy, editor James S. Harrison, copy editor Dan Halm, visuals coordinator VISUAL ARTS PRESS, LTD. Anthony P. Rhodes, creative director Michael J. Walsh, director of design and digital media Brian Smith, art director Sheilah Ledwidge, associate editor ADVERTISING SALES 212.592.2207
© 2014, Visual Arts Press, Ltd. Visual Arts Journal is published twice a year by External Relations, School of Visual Arts, 209 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 100103994. Milton Glaser, acting chairman; David Rhodes, president; Anthony P. Rhodes, executive vice president.
photo by Harry Zernike
CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Batchelder Christopher Bussman Christina Fitzpatrick Alexander Gelfand Michael Grant James Grimaldi Dan Halm Jamie Keesling Jane Nuzzo Miranda Pierce Angela Riechers Kate Styer Ken Switzer Simon Van Booy
At SVA’s 2014 commencement exercises on May 15, it was my privilege to present an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts to U.S. Representative John Lewis, the 14-term congressman from Georgia. In his address, Congressman Lewis described growing up on a farm in the segregated South and the inspiration he took from writers and artists when he joined the civil rights movement as a college student. “We all have a story to tell, and we must tell it, and tell it well,” he told the graduates. In the audience was SVA alumnus Nate Powell, who is illustrating the congressman’s memoir March. With the second volume scheduled for publication in January, the Visual Arts Journal recently spoke with Messrs. Lewis, Powell and co-author Andrew Aydin about the project; the conversation appears in this issue’s Q+A. If there were any doubt about what Congressman Lewis said about the power and necessity of storytelling, one need look no further than the College’s MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay. Having graduated numerous illustrators who are also authors and fine artists, the program celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall with an exhibition at the SVA Chelsea Gallery curated by the department’s chair, Marshall Arisman. The Journal asked several faculty members, students and alumni to reflect on their experiences. Their observations are published here.
Storytelling comes in many forms, and one that is often overlooked is data visualization. To help rectify the situation, this issue’s feature, “Off the Charts,” introduces readers to this growing field.
As we learn from alumni and faculty members of the BFA Design and MFA Interaction Design departments, there is much more to “data viz” than producing simple graphs and charts. At the leading edge of another trend in today’s media landscape are the SVA alumni who have opened their own advertising agencies. By choosing their partners carefully, exceeding client expectations and avoiding a singular agency voice or brand, they have succeeded where many have failed. You can read some of their stories in “Mind Your Own Business.” Sadly, advertising lost one of its master practitioners this year. In this issue we remember longtime faculty member Tony Palladino, many of whose works are held in the collections of the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives at SVA. Among the other artists profiled in the following pages is MFA Fine Arts graduate Christine Sun Kim. Born deaf, she has earned wide acclaim for a body of work exploring the world of sound. It is an oeuvre that includes paintings, drawings, performance pieces, musical compositions, collaborations with recording artists—even a film score. And, like Ms. Kim, alumnus and photographer Marc Yankus has steadily expanded his artistic practice. For this issue’s Portfolio, Mr. Yankus discusses a new series of works that he calls “portraits” of New York City buildings. David Rhodes President
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT George Boorujy, Initiate, 2011, ink on paper; Alison Moritsugu, Large Catalpa Slice II, 2001, oil on catalpa log; Maria Berrio, Your wings cover the storm upon my barren flesh, 2013, collage with Japanese paper and watercolor on canvas.
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OPPOSITE, TOP TO BOTTOM John Hendrix, Rutherford B., Who Was He?: Poems About Our Presidents (Disney-Hyperion, 2013); Nathan Fox, Dogs of War (GRAPHIX, 2013); Sara Varon, Bake Sale (First Second, 2011).
“As a writer, you’re always trying to get people in a rush to slow down.” Nicholson Baker, author. From a talk hosted by MA Critical Theory and the Arts.
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We Tell Stories “If in the past 30 years you bought a book because of its cover,” says MFA Illustration as Visual Essay chair Marshall Arisman, “thumbed through the illustrations in a magazine or newspaper, read a children’s book to your child, thought a graphic novel or comic would make a great movie, purchased an app for your iPhone or visited a gallery, you have seen the art of our alumni.” If Arisman is exaggerating, it is not by much. Graduates of MFA Illustration as Visual Essay, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, have been represented in every major U.S. publication, important museums and galleries, retail stores and the digital space. Alumni have published their work in prestigious periodicals (National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker) and top publishing houses (Abrams; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; HarperCollins; Scholastic). They have also received many awards, including the Caldecott Award, gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, and honors from the American Library Association, Art Directors Club and Library Journal. “We are fortunate to be working at a time when the demand and outlets for high quality, original storytelling is increasing,” Arisman says. “Most such opportunities did not exist 30 years ago; many not even 10 years ago. The illustrator is now stepping outside a market once dominated by editors and art directors and becoming his or her own patron.”
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Arisman had been teaching at SVA for some 20 years when, in 1984, he proposed the graduate program to the College’s president, David Rhodes. A prominent illustrator, painter, educator and storyteller, Arisman was fed up with the prevailing—and fussy—distinction between “illustrators” and “artists.” He envisioned a radical approach to teaching illustration, one that empowers the artist to develop a personal voice. Thus a new department was born. For the 30th anniversary, Arisman has curated an exhibition, “We Tell Stories,” that showcases the vitality and versatility of the program’s 250-plus alumni. The show comprises hundreds of works—editorial art, comics, graphic novels, animations, products, paintings, and more—and participating alumni include George Boorujy, Viktor Deak, Brian Floca, Nathan Fox, John Hendrix, Olivier Kugler, Alison Moritsugu, Brian Pinkney, Stephen Savage, Yuko Shimizu, Sam Weber and Martin Wittfooth. There will also be a specially furnished children’s reading room, housing more than 200 books illustrated by MFA Illustration as Visual Essay alumni; the space was designed by Aya Kakeda and Sara Varon, both from the class of 2002. “We Tell Stories” is on view November 4 through December 17 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery. [Lisa Batchelder]
SVA Close Up
A New Chapter
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The new Writing Resource Center features 30 computer workstations and private tutoring rooms. Photo by William Fuentes.
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Formerly housed in the lower level of 133/141 West 21st Street, SVA’s Writing Resource Center recently moved to the ninth floor of the College’s building at 132 West 21st Street, directly across the street from its former location. The new facility is housed in a large, light-filled, loft-like space with three exposures. Once checked in at reception, students have at their disposal 30 computer workstations and three private tutoring rooms, where instructors offer one-onone tutoring sessions by appointment. Additionally, the number of tutors available to students for consultation has increased, since the College’s graduate students have begun tutoring along with faculty members. There is also a stateof-the-art classroom, available for use by various departments. In keeping with its commitment to providing a well-rounded education, SVA requires that all undergraduates take two writing-intensive courses (unless they have already taken such courses) and pass a Writing Proficiency Exam. The Writing Resource Center coordinates the administration of this exam six times each year, which has always helped keep the place busy. Students also use the center to work on artist statements, grant applications, résumés and cover letters. In recent years, says Neil Friedland, the center’s longtime director, SVA’s growing English-as-a-second-language student population has contributed to demand for the facility’s services. In 2013 – 2014 alone, the center logged more than 12,000 visits and hosted 1,125 tutoring sessions. Friedland expects the center’s resources to become even more popular as students become familiar with the new space. “When people begin to see this, it’s going to really fill up,” he says. For more information, visit writingresourcecenter.com. [Michael Grant]
“I was going to be an immigration lawyer, and for two years in college I obsessed over my GPA . . . and I obsessed over the LSATs. And one morning, I walked out of the LSATs to get waffles, and it changed my life. Because I realized: ‘I want waffles more than I want to be a lawyer. I probably should not be a lawyer.’” Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.com and start-up investor. From a talk hosted by MFA Design for Social Innovation.
Stops on the “Underground Images: School of Visual Arts Subway Posters, 1947 to Present” exhibition tour: the National Museum of Contemporary History, Ljublijana, Slovenia (left), and the National Museum of Montenegro, Cetinje, Montenegro.
Step aside, Bob Dylan, there’s a new “Never Ending Tour”—an exhibition called “Underground Images: School of Visual Arts Subway Posters, 1947 to Present.” Curated by SVA Executive Vice President Anthony Rhodes, “Underground Images” comprises more than 50 advertisements for the College that were originally displayed in New York City’s subway system. (Rhodes has served as the campaign’s creative director since 2007.) The exhibition made its debut in the summer of 2013 at the National Museum of Contemporary History in Slovenia, and it has been traveling ever since—largely to European design museums and festivals, but also to the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and the 2014 HOW Design Live Conference in Boston. By the time you read this, it will have just finished a run in Moscow, for the Golden Bee Global Biennale, and be on its way to Seoul, for a joint presentation with the SVA Korean Alumni Association and Sang Myung University. Begun by the late Silas H. Rhodes shortly after he founded the College, SVA’s long-running poster campaign
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Notes from “Underground”
engages faculty members to create works that promote SVA’s offerings while celebrating creativity and self-expression. Since the list of contributors includes such prominent creative professionals as Ivan Chermayeff, Louise Fili, Milton Glaser, Mirko Ilić, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, George Tscherny and Sal De Vito, the series also serves as a survey of the last several decades of design and illustration history. One particularly noteworthy stop on the exhibition’s tour so far was Zagreb, Croatia. Last spring, “Underground Images” was shown at that city’s School of Applied Arts and Design, the alma mater of Mirko Ilić, an MFA Illustration as Visual Essay faculty member. Ilić has been one of the driving forces behind the current tour, tirelessly promoting it through his many contacts in the international design community. In conjunction with the Zagreb exhibition, two School of Applied Arts and Design students—Hana Reberski and Ivan Stanišić—received scholarships to attend SVA’s Pre-College Program this past summer. [Greg Herbowy]
“I was curious what the physical vocabulary would look like when a photographer approached strangers randomly on the street . . . and asked them to touch one another for an image.” Richard Renaldi, photographer, discussing his book Touching Strangers. From a talk hosted by MPS Digital Photography.
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SVA Close Up
Rite of Spring
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photo by Tom Huhn
While SVA has long offered short-term study-abroad opportunities as well as the opportunity for its students to spend a semester abroad through approved programs at other schools, this past spring it inaugurated a semester-long international program of its own: SVA in Rome. Open to all academically qualified undergraduates at the College, SVA in Rome offers “total immersion” in the history, art and architecture of the Italian capital, says Tom Huhn, chair of BFA Visual and Critical Studies. The curriculum consists of two studio courses, which take place in professional workspaces, and three humanities courses, which are taught on location at monuments, churches, museums, galleries and ruins. While not attending class or exploring Rome on their own, students stay in fully furnished apartments, which the College rents in advance. Huhn—who has directed SVA Arts Abroad programs in France, Turkey and Mexico—co-created the Rome program with faculty member Peter Hristoff. The two accompanied the first year’s group—14 students from four different majors—and jointly taught one of the humanities courses; the other two were taught by local art historians. The experience, Huhn says, was “Incredible. When you live in a place like Rome for an extended period of time—not just as a tourist but as a real resident and as a student—you come away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of Western art and art history and civilization.” SVA Admissions is currently evaluating applications for next spring’s program. [GH]
Special Treatment As MPS Art Therapy’s Special Projects coordinator, Val Sereno’s core objective is to provide SVA students in the program with the opportunity to hone their discipline in real-world clinical contexts. Often, though, Special Projects also serves as an art therapy advocate, promoting the practice to organizations that might not have considered using it. “Sometimes as a result of our collaborations, sites add an art therapist to the staff or make room for art therapy in their regular work with clients,” Sereno says. For instance, last spring, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House—which has worked with Special Projects for several years—invited MPS Art Therapy students to work for the first time in its Center for Alzheimer’s Respite Care for the Elderly (CARE). Lynne Mold, Lenox Hill’s director of visual and performing arts, initiated the new collaboration, and says that visual art and music are two of the best ways of working with CARE’s patients, most of whom have advanced dementia. Similarly, Francis Palazzolo (BFA 1985
Fine Arts), co-founder and creative director of Healing Arts Initiative’s Art Studio—which offers working space and materials for artists with mental illness— has been so impressed with the quality of MPS Art Therapy students’ work that he regularly recommends the College’s graduate program to his interns. Among those who enrolled in MPS Art Therapy on his recommendation: Suzanne Deisher (2014) and current student Daniel Cortorreal. “I myself have learned a lot from watching SVA students interact with our artists,” Palazzolo says. Since 2001, when SVA MPS Art Therapy began, more than 50 New York City institutions have worked with the department. Recent participating organizations include Life Is Precious, which offers suicide prevention services to Latina teens, and Friends in Deed, which offers counseling and support services to individuals suffering from terminal or chronic illnesses. For more information, visit arttherapyblog.sva.edu. [Jamie Keesling]
photos by Dora Riomayor
This past spring, 10 SVA students took part in a weeklong lithography and relief-printing workshop at the Taller Experimental de Gráfica, Cuba’s premier printmaking studio, located in the capital city of Havana. The course was offered through the College’s Arts Abroad program, which organizes art- and design-related trips to locations around the world, including Bali, China, France and Spain. It was the College’s first program to be held in Cuba and, if all goes according to plan, it won’t be the last. In 2003, a group of SVA administrators led by Executive Vice President Anthony Rhodes began exploring partnerships with Cuban arts institutes at the suggestion of Walter Rivera, a member of the College’s Board of Directors and an attorney and town justice of Greenburgh, New York. “Cuba is a country that values art and is home to a great deal of talent,” Rivera said recently. “I suspected that a program there would provide a unique venue at which students could
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Creating in Cuba
learn and connect with a wonderful artistic community.” Ultimately, the U.S. government’s embargo against the country—begun in 1960 in response to Cuba’s revolution—proved too great a hurdle. So instead the College partnered with the Taller on a long-distance project, the studio’s artists collaborating with Gunars Prande, director of SVA’s printmaking facilities, to create a series of 9/11-themed lithographs, which resulted in the exhibition Cita Con Los Angeles (Date With the Angels), shown in Cuba in 2004 and at SVA in 2009. When the restrictions on travel to Cuba eased after President Barack Obama’s election, SVA was ready. So was the Taller. “It was the ultimate classroom,” says MFA Interaction Design student Meghan Lazier, who enrolled in the Arts Abroad workshop. “The artists who practice there are also professors at the local universities, and they were more than happy to talk and share and let you peek over their shoulder while they worked.”
Encouraged by the trip’s success, Dora Riomayor, SVA’s director of international programs (and BFA Fine Arts academic advisor) says the College “absolutely” plans on offering it again. And Javier Vega, SVA’s executive director of Admissions and Student Affairs, has been laying the groundwork for additional programs with such regarded Cuban institutions as the Instituto Superior de Artes and the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión. These would include workshops in filmmaking, computer animation and photography, as well as a possible full semester abroad for interested BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects students. Pending the resolution of a few bureaucratic details—among other issues, Cuba is looking for a new U.S. bank to manage the country’s visa application fees—some programs could be offered as early as next spring. For more information, visit artsabroad.sva.edu. [GH]
“Data is not ‘dead’—it’s a living, very viable material. . . . It’s the new palette of our era.” DJ Spooky, a.k.a. Paul Miller, artist, musician and environmentalist. From Visualized: Climate, a panel discussion hosted by MFA Visual Narrative for the 2014 Visualized conference.
What’s in Store
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email@example.com Timber and Cloth Colleen Ford White timberandcloth.com Furniture upholstering, contact for an estimate When it comes to furniture, whether you want to carefully preserve a beloved heirloom or refurbish a piece to complement a home renovation, it’s always helpful to work with someone who understands the subtle intricacies and structural forms presented to them. Colleen Ford White (MFA 2010 Fine Arts), owner and operator of Timber and Cloth, a Brooklynbased upholstery and furniture refurbishing business, is just that someone. White founded Timber and Cloth in 2011, and she brings to each project her background in fine art, sculpture in particular, and the knowledge and skills acquired over an invaluable year spent working alongside master upholsterers—some with as many as 40 years of experience—at August Studios in Long Island City. “I learned a lot in that year,” she says. “Most of the work that studio does is built from scratch, so I spent a lot of days building out frames with springs and all stuff you wouldn’t be exposed to if you were ‘DIY-ing.’ If you’re serious about being an upholsterer you have to apprentice.” Besides upholstery, her full-service shop has helped produce upholstered sculptures for artists, and White is designing and producing simple furniture pieces for Patina Vintage Furniture Rentals, also based in Brooklyn. “It’s a company that loves to try new things and use interesting fabrics and materials,” she says, “so I feel like our goals are very much aligned and creative.” For White, creating a piece of furniture can be as rewarding as making a good piece of art. “Upholstery, like art, can be seen as either very simple or it can be seen as much more complex,” she says. “My future plan is to not only maintain upholstery’s practical application, but hopefully offer up new ways of thinking about it as art.” [Dan Halm]
Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age Alex Wright (faculty, MFA Interaction Design) Oxford University Press Hardcover, 360 pages, $27.95
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Of All the Gin Joints Mark Bailey (author) and Edward Hemingway (MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay) (illustrator) Algonquin Books Hardcover, 336 pages, $21.95
Sticky Jots Pam Jue and Rae Milne stickyjots.com Kits, $20 – $50; pad refills, $8 – $24
100 Classic Graphic Design Journals Steven Heller (co-chair, MFA Design) and Jason Godfrey Laurence King Publishing Hardcover, 224 pages, $50
A new, low-tech product line by two recent alumni is bringing the art of storytelling back to basics. Pam Jue and Rae Milne (both MFA 2014 Design for Social Innovation) created their own brand of notepads, called Sticky Jots, as a way for today’s creative professionals—coders, filmmakers, comics artists and app designers—to step away from the screen and develop ideas the old-fashioned way: hands on, with pen and paper. Each Sticky Jot pad is scaled to the dimensions of a smart phone or tablet computer screen, so when you’re sketching out an idea, you’ll automatically be working within—and thinking about—the particular device’s parameters. And every sheet in a pad has a strip of adhesive backing (a lá Post-it Notes), so you can easily lay out, arrange and rearrange sketches as you think through a story arc, or an app’s sequential screens. Sticky Jots began as many other MFA Design for Social Innovation start-ups have: as an Entrepreneurial Design course assignment. Course instructor Gary Chou—not to mention advisors and friends—were supportive of Jue and Milne’s idea, but the two really knew they were onto something when their Kickstarter campaign (promoted on SVA’s curated page) met its funding goal in less than two days. Sales have been brisk since the Sticky Jots online store opened in August of 2013, and customers include digital designers, developers and design students, as well as artists and illustrators. Sticky Jots have even made their way into very young hands: At a UNICEF Innovation Lab workshop this past spring, children used them to create their own designs for a storytelling website. [Lisa Batchelder]
What’s in Store Baron Fig sketchbooks Joey Cofone and Adam Kornfield baronfig.com $16 During his time at SVA, Joey Cofone (BFA 2013 Design) noticed that his fellow students were carrying around different sketchbooks, yet all using the same laptop computers. “While we had all found the right computer to work with, it seemed that everyone was looking for the perfect sketchbook,” Cofone recalls. “Nothing fancy, just something well designed and functional.” So Cofone, along with his friend and business partner Adam Kornfield, formed a company, Baron Fig, and developed a sketchbook of their own. Called the Confidant, it’s about the size and shape of an iPad Mini, with 192 pages (blank, ruled or dot-grid styles) between its attractive, gray fabric covers. The acid-free, fine-grain paper is just right for drawing, line work or note taking, and a specially stitched binding ensures that the pages lie flat when the book is opened. To perfect their product, Cofone and Kornfield conducted hours of research and testing. “We’re a small outfit—just two people—and we intend to bring an intimate feel to everything we put out,” Cofone says. “This includes one-on-one conversations via email and phone that help us get detailed feedback.” After a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign (it raised more than $150,000 for manufacturing costs), the first Confidants went on sale last March at baronfig.com. [Jamie Keesling]
Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980’s Charles H. Traub (chair, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) Damiani Hardcover, 112 pages, $50
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Obvious Child Gillian Robespierre A24 Films DVD/Blu-ray, $19.98/$24; SD/HD download, $12.99/$14.99 Obvious Child, the first feature film by Gillian Robespierre (BFA 2005 Film and Video), is about an aspiring comedian named Donna Stern (played by Jenny Slate), who gets dumped, loses her job and finds herself pregnant—just in time for Valentine’s Day. As she grapples with the unexpected pregnancy, and an unexpected new suitor, Donna learns to be as brave in life as she is on stage. Comedic and poignant, the film scored big with audiences at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it picked up its distributor, A24. Released in theaters to rave reviews last June, it is now available on DVD and online. But Robespierre’s journey from SVA to a Hollywood ending was long and not always easy. In 2009, she and two friends wrote a short-film version of Obvious Child. “We wrote it in response to a bunch of romantic comedies that were about unplanned pregnancies that ended in childbirth,” she says. “They never let the woman make the other choice, or even say the word ‘abortion.’” Frustrated by this lopsided presentation, and feeling a need for more honesty—something closer to their own experiences and those of their friends—they decided to create, Robespierre says, a more modern rom-com. She directed the short and fellow alumnus Chris Pressler (BFA 2005 Film and Video) edited it. It then screened at the 2010 Rooftop in Brooklyn indie film festival and received an overwhelmingly positive reception, inspiring Robespierre to devise a feature-length version. “It was hard to expand a short with a beginning, middle and end,” she says. “A lot has evolved since the short, but the heart of it is the same.” She submitted the feature script to the Independent Filmmaker Project, a nonprofit that supports emerging film professionals, and through that organization met her producing partner, Elisabeth Holm. Together, they redeveloped the story, while both held down full-time jobs. After several rewrites, they found an executive producer—David Kaplan, who has a history of bringing together filmmakers and financiers. He raised the money to pay for the feature’s production. Once again, there were rewrites—Robespierre says she lost track of how many. But, she says, “I’m pretty open to feedback from others, while still being able to keep the script true to my voice.” Once everyone was happy with the script, the film was shot in Brooklyn and Manhattan, in friends’ apartments and on the streets, over 18 days in the spring of 2013. During postproduction, Robespierre ran out of money. Undeterred, she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise the last round of funding, which completed her project’s five-year journey. After Obvious Child’s Sundance success, Robespierre found representation with Hollywood mega-agency UTA. She’s since been hired by producer Gigi Pritzker to write and direct a new film, a divorce comedy, for OddLot Entertainment. [James Grimaldi]
125th: Time in Harlem Isaac Diggs (faculty, BFA Photography) and Edward Hillel IDEH Hardcover, 116 pages, $75
If You’re Reading This, There’s Still Time Joseph Morley Patrick (BFA 2004 Film and Video) Cameron & Company Hardcover, 224 pages, $28
What’s in Store
This One Summer Jillian and Mariko Tamaki First Second Hardcover, 320 pages, $17.99 This One Summer—written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by her cousin Jillian, who is also a BFA Illustration faculty member—is a coming-of-age graphic novel with a strong narrative style and vibrant artistic eye. The main protagonists are Rose and Windy, friends who meet every summer at an isolated resort town where they play on the beach, swim and explore. But the summer during which the novel takes place turns out to be different, due to a growing silence between Rose’s parents and a secret involving a local teenage boy that threatens a rift between the two friends. What might have been a typical tale of adolescent awakening is made more complex by an examination of human frailty and the authors’ empathy for the vagaries
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
of youthful confusion. The dense and powerful narrative is sensitive and compassionate; it fully engages its characters, while keeping the two friends front-and-center. Drawn entirely in melancholy dark-blue ink, the effect is somber, reflective, and aching with nostalgia as well as a suggestion of the onrushing future. A nice balance is struck between delicate, realistic line work, dense backgrounds, and the occasional cartoony exaggeration. This One Summer captures the complicated joy, love, loss, confusion and pain of adolescents emerging into the world of adulthood—a time that turns out to be no less fraught and complex than the one that preceded it. [Christopher Bussmann]
Developer Trays John Cyr; introduction by Lyle Rexer powerHouse Books Hardcover, 144 pages, $35 Sometimes beauty and wonder can be found in the most unlikely places. For master silver gelatin photographic printer John Cyr (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media) one tool of his trade that speaks volumes, in and out of the darkroom, is the developer tray. Each of these objects takes on its own distinctive characteristics thanks to the various chemicals and processes used during the process of creating photographic images. “Every accumulated tong mark, silver deposit and chemical stain is present because of the continual repetition of my print processing habits,” Cyr says. “My developer tray, once sterile and generic, has become one that is uniquely mine.” It was that uniqueness that led Cyr on a three-year quest across the U.S. to document the trays of other photographers. In all, images of 82 developer trays, including those of such giants in the field as Ansel Adams, Larry Fink, Adam Fuss, Sally Mann, Mark Seliger and Joel-Peter Witkin, are included
here. The rich history presented in Cyr’s large-format color photographs highlights the creative process of each of his subjects as well as the sad fact that these trays are becoming a thing of the past, as photography moves toward a completely digital age. In fact, much of the darkroom equipment associated with the photographers, estates and archives Cyr contacted as part of this project has either been discarded or misplaced. “At this time, there is no object from a photographer’s digital process that has the functional longevity of a well-used developer tray,” he says. “Digital cameras, printers, scanners and computers continually need to be upgraded and often become obsolete after just a few years. A developer tray does not face this predicament and is never replaced for a newer model.” Like the work of the wide range of photographers found in this book, each developer tray presented is a distinct work of art unto itself. [DH]
What’s in Store Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow David Levi Strauss Aperture Paperback, 191 pages, $29.95 David Levi Strauss’ latest book, Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow: Essays on the Present and Future of Photography, borrows its title from a poem by artist, writer and master photographer Frederick Sommer. The volume’s 25 essays—all by Strauss, who is chair of MFA Art Criticism and Writing at SVA—explore the social, cultural and political roles of photography today; examine artists who work with photographic images, such as Jenny Holzer, Carolee Schneemann and Larry Clark; and address the way photography affects the transmission, reception and interpretation of sociopolitical phenomena like Abu Ghraib, 9/11 and the Occupy movement. A starred Publishers Weekly review praised Words Not Spent Today as “humane and insightful” and “unforgettable.” [JK]
Argent Adrien Dacquel argentnyc.com Shirts, $35–$45; totes, $25 After gaining experience designing T-shirts for chains such as Urban Outfitters, Target, and Walmart, Adrien Dacquel (BFA 2011 Illustration) saw an opportunity to start his own line of illustrative and tattoo-inspired shirts and bags. Using savings from his day job and the proceeds from a successful Kickstarter campaign (featured on SVA’s curated page), Dacquel launched his apparel brand, Argent, in early 2014. Each item is designed, silkscreened and packaged by Dacquel himself with new products released seasonally. To view the products and purchase Dacquel’s latest designs, visit argentnyc.com. [Greg Herbowy]
TO SUBMIT A PRODUC T FOR WHAT ’ S IN S TORE , SEND INFORM ATION TO
Li’l Stories Anke Stohlmann and Richard Baker lilstories.com $14.50–$54 Story time is great for children, but it can sometimes be a challenge for parents’ narrative skills, particularly when no books are handy. Anke Stohlmann—an MFA Interaction Design student and principal of Li’l Robin, a design studio specializing in print and digital written works—and her husband, Richard Baker, discovered this firsthand when their daughter’s unceasing love of stories eventually exhausted both parents’ memories and imaginations. In response, the couple devised Li’l Stories: themed sets of 5x7-inch cards, each bearing five to 10 facts that serve as starting points for entertaining, informative tales (for example, “Before becoming president, Lincoln worked as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and general store owner”). The cards can also be combined, to inspire more fanciful plot lines. The sets include Awesome People (featuring such historical figures as Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King and Albert Einstein), Cool Places (the Egyptian pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, etc.), Great Animals and Mysterious Objects (the steam engine, gramophone and other pre-modern-age inventions). Cards may be bought at store.lilstories.com; bulk discounts are available. [GH]
Memu: 100 Postcards James Jean (BFA 2001 Illustration) Chronicle Books 100 postcards, $22.95
Nana in the City Lauren Castillo (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay) Clarion Books Hardcover, 40 pages, $16.99
Color Management & Quality Output: Working with Color from Camera to Display to Print Tom Ashe (associate chair, MPS Digital Photography) Focal Press Softcover, 456 pages, $49.95 FALL 2014
Old Jokes Simon Van Booy on Humor and Its History Simon Van Booy is the author of the novels The Illusion of Separateness (2013), Everything Beautiful Began After (2011) and the forthcoming Father’s Day, as well as the short story collections The Secret Lives of People in Love (2010) and Love Begins in Winter (2009). He is also the editor of three books on philosophy and the founder of the nonprofit organization Writers for Children. He teaches several courses at SVA, including Antiheroes and Villains in Literature, From Aristophanes to Woody Allen: An Introduction to the Arts and Forms of Comedy, and Portraits of the Self in Early Modern Narrative. In my course on the arts and forms of comedy, we start by reading Lysistrata, by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes, which is about women going on a sexual strike to stop the men in their society from fighting the Peloponnesian War. The old Greeks were pretty raucous and, by our standards, fairly bizarre in how they viewed sexuality. If you were to make the play into a film today in the U.S., there would most likely be a plethora of legal issues to cope with. We also study Italy’s commedia dell’arte, an early form of situation comedy. A commedia dell’arte performance would have a basic plot and a set of stock characters and be semi-improvised. The actors would spend their lives perfecting certain jokes (often keeping successful skits written down in a log) and exploring the very limits of the characters. It would be like how everybody knows the characters of Seinfeld well enough that if you were presented with a plot suggestion—say, “Seinfeld in space”—you could easily imagine the possibilities, and you know you’re going to be amused, no matter who is playing the characters.
When we move on to Freud, and his Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious, there are many interesting (as well as odd) ideas. One of his theories concerns clowns. Freud believed that the clowns’ act shows adults trying to accomplish things that are often difficult, perhaps impossible, and always humiliating. For children, the humor comes from a sense of identification and from schadenfreude: The clowns’ tasks often correlate to things that children struggle to do because the world is designed for adults and their adult-sized bodies. So, clowns run around in shoes that are too big, or drive cars that are too small for them, or try and do things children in the audience might have recently mastered. A clown gives children a chance to laugh at an adult who appears to have suddenly entered a child-ruled world—one where adults are now inept. If you think about comedy and what’s funny, you will notice that it’s nearly always rooted in something unpleasant. Even an innocent children’s joke like “Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven ‘ate’ nine.” There’s the unexpected wordplay, the idea that language is deceiving us, and even overtones of predation and numeric cannibalism—something is eaten, and it was something that didn’t expect to be eaten. In this way, the joke may also address children’s dawning awareness that the animals they find so cute in their storybooks are also the animals they’re having for dinner. Freud believed that jokes had the same purpose as dreams—as a way for us to cope with conflict that perhaps cannot be faced “on the surface,” so to speak. Like dreams, jokes relieve tension by allowing an expression that in another form might bring about too much anxiety. ∞
Hire Ed By Angela Riechers
Good Work The Waterfront on Wheels project engaged residents of Manhattan's Lower East Side in the city's re-envisioning of the neighborhood's waterfront area. Photo courtesy of the Hester Street Collaborative.
THE WISH TO DESIGN FOR SOCIAL GOOD—WHETHER BY
creating informational campaigns like the one for WindMade, a consumer label identifying companies that use eco-friendly wind energy in the production of their goods, or developing products like LifeStraw, a water-purifying and -filtering drinking straw for use in developing nations—has never been greater. From the days of the Bauhaus, with its emphasis on design’s close link to social and political advancement, through the various iterations of the First Things First manifestos, which demand that designers use their skills to better humanity and not just sell products, designers have long realized their power to bring about real and lasting social change, and discovered that this responsibility is difficult to ignore. But students or young designers just beginning their careers often find themselves stymied by the logistics of getting a socially minded project off the ground. Mark Randall, principal of design firm Worldstudio and coordinator of SVA’s summer residency program Impact!, which focuses on developing and funding projects meant to contribute to the greater good, says, “For students with an entrepreneurial spirit who are interested in social impact, more and more resources are becoming available, such as incubator workshops and meet-up groups. All of these live online and can be easily investigated with a search.” Nevertheless, the complex processes of obtaining funding, lining up community support and participation, and raising awareness can be daunting. Most grants are awarded through organizations, not directly to individuals, meaning that designers must team up with a larger nonprofit. Some good places to start are organizations such as ArtPlace America, a collaboration among 14 foundations, eight federal agencies and six financial institutions; A Blade of Grass, which provides resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change; and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town, which provides grants for creative “place-making” projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core. New York City’s Hester Street Collaborative works in partnership with several organizations and groups that address design and urban planning issues focused in and around Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Their biggest project to date is a coalition called
O.U.R. Waterfront, started in 2007 and meant to increase community involvement in the city’s plans to revitalize an underutilized stretch of the East River waterfront. Their Waterfront on Wheels workshops used a mobile, interactive model of the area—towed around the neighborhood by bicycle—to engage residents who might not necessarily attend a community board meeting or have time to go to an urban-planning workshop. Dylan House, interim executive director of Hester Street, says efforts like this “help facilitate conversation and are a fun way of working with young people, because they can participate in a handson model making workshop or build their dream waterfront park.” House suggests that designers hoping to pursue a social-good project recognize that it’s a community-driven process and address some basic but often overlooked issues: First, clearly define who you are serving with the project and what you hope to accomplish. Next, establish who’s already working on these issues that you could reach out to and collaborate with or learn from. “This kind of work takes a lot of face-time with people in communities, building trust in relationships,” House says. “To initiate a brand-new project, that relationship really needs to come first. I would never [recommend that a designer] go out and attempt to start the whole process alone.” Finding out where the local funding is in place is often a route to obtaining the first grant; designers who research and explore public-art programs and how they are funded can tap into the money already approved for these larger projects. For instance, in 2013 the Trust for Governors Island received a $200,000 grant from ArtPlace America to commission site-specific artwork for Governors Island’s new park and public spaces. Hester Street Collaborative has five artists and design teams currently working to create installations on the island; part of their project was to create stipends in the materials budgets for the artists to get paid for their work. The Governors Island revitalization is also funded by an NEA Our Town grant, demonstrating that much of the available funding flows to the same well-defined and highly visible projects. Identifying one of these projects supported by multiple organizations and then intelligently joining forces with them can be an excellent way for a young designer hoping to launch a social-change project and make the jump from a good idea to a great reality. ∞
Portfolio By Angela Riechers
Marc Yankus Marc Yankus (BFA 1981 Illustration) uses a combination of photography and digital manipulation (including an effect he refers to as “a cloud sandwich”—more on that later) to create dramatic portraits of city buildings rich with a sense of history and the dreamlike quality of memory. Yankus’ compositions present his structures as massive, brooding entities even as he directs a viewer’s attention to cracks, crevices and such details as the ghostly remnants of long-demolished staircases. His fourth solo show, “The Space Between,” was on view from April 3 through May 17 at the ClampArt Gallery in New York. His work can also be seen on the covers of books by Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, and others; on posters for Broadway shows such as August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt; and in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. Yankus strips his building portraits of any real sense of place. Transformed into urban monoliths largely devoid of locational cues and pulled from time’s relentless flow, they do not feel linked to any specific era—not quite modern, but not quite frozen in the past either. His muted palette, which spans rust, sepia, ochre, cream and sand, with hints of sky blue (but not in the sky), recalls old photos or vintage postcards even as it evokes a contemporary narrative of urban isolation and anonymity. A single bird, so tiny it could be mistaken for a smudge on the background, flies by in an image of Goldman Sachs’ Jersey City building, as seen from the Hudson River; in another photo there might be a person visible at a window, but otherwise the viewer sees nothing alive. As he strolls the streets of New York City, where he lives, Yankus says he frequently has an almost synesthetic visual experience, where everything around a building seems to disappear, presenting it as a potential subject that appears to him as flat as an image projected onto a screen. “I’m not drawn to all architecture,” he says; in fact, the buildings he is attracted to are “ones that you might walk by and not even notice. I don’t pick them because they’re unknown, I just like the way they VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
All photos courtesy of the artist and ClampArt, NewYork. © Marc Yankus
look. More ornate, decorative buildings are less interesting to me.” He doesn’t go on preplanned scouting trips, either, preferring to wait until a building reaches out and grabs his attention. Yankus will document its location on his iPhone and jot a few notes until he can come back to shoot it later. Yankus photographs with a Canon 5D Mark 11, then imports the images onto his computer, using software to straighten out the image. Reluctant to reveal much about the specifics of how he works his magic, he says, “Basically, I try to bring the focus to the building. The only Photoshop filters I use are Sharpen and a painting technique combining some texture with clouds. I make a ‘cloud sandwich.’ Sometimes I reshape the buildings; other times I’ll do nothing and just leave the image as a straight photograph.” Asked to elaborate further, especially on what exactly a “cloud sandwich” is—he would only say, “There’s a fine line between documentation and fiction.” In recent years, Yankus has undergone a natural transition to his current style, contrasting vast edifices of bricks in tack-sharp focus—delicate lines of mortar visible between every single one—with soft hazy areas of open sky. His previous work was more impressionistic in feel, blurry and softly focused overall. “My first experimental piece in a new direction was Goldman Sachs,” he says. “I took out some of the buildings alongside it that, for me, were distracting and ugly. It just happened; it wasn’t a conscious decision. I had never done that before—I always kept the integrity of the landscape—until I realized, why do I have this rule? Who says I can’t change my composition? I’m not only a photographer, I’m an artist, and I can experiment. I felt liberated and free when I took those buildings out.” Looking to the future, Yankus says he would love to shoot the devastated buildings of Detroit. “From what I’ve seen in other photographs, it would be a really fascinating place to capture—before it’s completely gone.” The idea seems a perfect pairing of artist and subject matter. ∞
Marc Yankus, The Space Between, 2013, archival pigment print.
Marc Yankus, Somewhere in the West Thirties, 2013, archival pigment print.
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Marc Yankus, Three Blue Windows, 2013, archival pigment print.
Marc Yankus, Goldman Sachs, 2013, archival pigment print.
Marc Yankus, Holland Tunnel Tower, 2013, archival pigment print.
Marc Yankus, Building Under Construction, 2013, archival pigment print.
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Marc Yankus, Yellow Ochre Building, 2013, archival pigment print.
Marc Yankus, Building Split, 2013, archival pigment print.
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Marc Yankus, Side of Building, 2013, archival pigment print.
Color Commentary by Dan Halm and Greg Herbowy
MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Turns 30 Thirty years ago, SVA introduced its MFA program in illustration, now known as Illustration as Visual Essay. It was the College’s second graduate-level offering, after MFA Fine Arts, and it has proved enduringly influential, with its graduates going on to noteworthy success in a range of creative pursuits (see “We Tell Stories,” page 4). Despite the wide variety in its alumni’s careers, the program has, from the start, maintained a steady focus on the artist’s role as a storyteller. In that spirit, Visual Arts Journal got in touch with MFA Illustration as Visual Essay faculty, staff, alumni and students, and asked them to share some memories of their time at SVA.
ORIGINS MARSHALL ARISMAN, FOUNDER AND CHAIR I started teaching
illustration at SVA in 1965, and was chair of the undergraduate program from 1970 to 1984. I realized that while three years (it was a three-year program back then) was enough time for students to develop the basic skills, a graduate program would give them the time to develop a personal vision. There were very few MFAs in illustration at the time. But David Rhodes supported it, and the program was approved. KIM ABLONDI, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS I’ve just started my
22nd year with the department. It’s gone by so quickly. I’m always amazed by what our students do, because I see them as kids. But they come here and commit and they graduate and make lives for themselves.
through my art, and in 2010 I decided I really wanted to make children’s books. I would go to the library and take out 30 books at a time and read the authors’ bios. And I saw SVA listed so many times. MARSHALL ARISMAN Our best recruiters are our alumni. DANIEL ZENDER, CLASS OF 2014 I studied graphic design as an
undergrad. I was interested in illustration, but hadn’t quite figured out what I wanted to be doing. . . . I had been aware of the program for a long time, because illustrators I like—like Sam Weber  and Yuko Shimizu —were graduates. I talked with Keith Negley  at length before I decided to enroll. ADA PRICE, CLASS OF 2014 I was teaching in the Memphis
MARSHALL ARISMAN Our students come from all over. This year,
we have students from Iran, Kuwait, Israel, Uruguay, Colombia. . . . We once had [film director] Spike Jonze’s mother in the program. She was 65 at the time. But usually the ages run from 21 to 40. Every year, we tend to get a couple of people who have no art background—English lit majors, biology majors. We’ve had a women’s studies major. AMANDA MOECKEL, CLASS OF 2015 Before starting the program,
I did a lot of work in animal advocacy—investigating farms, civil disobedience, grassroots organizing. But I decided at some point that the best way I could make a contribution would be VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
College of Art’s sequential narrative department, which was run by Joel Priddy . He told me about the program. He said it was perfect for cartoonists, since it had such a narrative and storytelling focus. NATHAN FOX, CLASS OF 2002 One of my painting instructors at
the Kansas City Art Institute was John Ferry . John always spoke highly of the program, and I really respected the way he saw the world. Also, when I was a junior, Marshall came to speak at the school. And there’s that “aura of Marshall”—it’s all about “Who are you?” and “What’s your voice?” and “How do you solve problems?”
Aya Kakeda, Class of 2002, Bali Dream, 2012
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Tim Okamura, Courage 3.0, 2012; Lane Twitchell, The Peaceable Kingdom of the Bronx, 2011, commission by the New York City Percent for Art Program; Jungyeon Roh, Miss Eggplantâ€™s American Boys, 2010; Joseph Adolphe, Toro Sagrado No. 11, 2013; Aya Kakeda, Bali Dream, 2012.
MEANS AND ENDS MARSHALL ARISMAN The founding principles of the department
SHADRA STRICKLAND, CLASS OF 2005 Carl Titolo was a huge
are to teach illustrators to tell their own stories and to break down the distinction between “illustration” and “fine art.” If art directors or editors happen to give you assignments, that’s fine. But you have to have an artistic life that is rooted in something.
inspiration to me. He helped me open up and play by mixing media. Since then, I have added many more tools to my artistic repertoire. Each project is a possibility for me to play with a new medium or brand of paper or combination of things.
VIKTOR KOEN, CLASS OF 1992, FACULTY MEMBER The illustration
CAROL FABRICATORE, CLASS OF 1992, FACULTY MEMBER
MFA is not really a program, but a two-year-long transformational experience. I wouldn’t know how to compare it with anything else out there.
I absolutely loved Robert Weaver’s [Drawing on Location] class. He brought “the location” into the classroom. . . . Window washers, Guardian Angels, street evangelists, sword swallowers, firefighters and nuns were just a few of the “models” he brought in. Robert always encouraged us to talk to them and ask questions, and the conversations we had helped us discover more about their character and personality, and ultimately affected the drawing.
JOSEPH ADOLPHE, CLASS OF 1994 My recollection of the program
was of it as an opportunity for young artists to find their way. The vast majority of the work was about doing your own thing. Just be productive, that was the goal. If you needed a structured environment, then maybe it wasn’t the right program for you.
ADA PRICE [Faculty member] Michele Zackheim was a big influDANIEL ZENDER It was a lot different from my design education,
where I was used to really strict rules. It was more self-directed, and that made me uncomfortable at first. I wanted people kicking my ass. MARSHALL ARISMAN My first assignment is to have the students
stand up in front of the class one by one and tell a personal story and show an illustration that goes with it, only to prove the point that the stories are almost always more interesting than the illustrations, and to encourage them to start tapping into their own subject matter for inspiration. NINA FRENKEL, CLASS OF 2012 In my first semester, in Viktor
Koen’s class, I was trying to figure out what to make and I was spinning my wheels. Viktor told me very flatly, with a subtle hint of nurturing, “Get dirty.” In other words: Stop thinking too much and just make work. A lot of it. And then we’ll look at it. It’s a great, short mantra to remember. We all learn by doing. How can we expect to have it all figured out in our heads before we start? AMANDA MOECKEL There’s a piece of advice I wrote down, from
Marshall and Carl [Titolo’s] class: “How committed are you to what’s ‘right’ versus how committed you are to how something feels?” ALLENE LA SPINA, CLASS OF 2015 A few pieces of advice come to
mind. Mirko Ilić said, “Chase your idols.” Milton Glaser told us, “Let the work lead you.” Viktor Koen told us, “Edit!”
ence. We, as a class, definitely loved her writing courses. She would give us a list of smells that we’d have to describe, or a list of sounds. She would start a sentence and ask us to finish it, or give us a piece of art and ask us to write a story based on it. I think people in the program can be confused about why they’re being asked to write. But as illustrators, we have to be able to understand language—to be able to read and form ideas and opinions about the work, and then reshape those ideas into a visual language. WES BEDROSIAN, CLASS OF 1996 My first year, I was shown how
to bind a hardcover book from scratch. This made such an impact on me that I immediately made my own sketchbooks—I made them to fit my coat pocket, so I could take them with me wherever I went. After graduating, I decided to make a promotional mailer in the form of a hardbound book. Art directors loved it—I started getting calls for work from a variety of places. A year later, I made a second book. . . . People really seemed to react to a traditional book in the age of the Internet. I showed my books to Marshall, and he asked me to do a binding demo for his class— the person I’d learned from had left New York. My first demo was in 1998 and I’ve been doing them for Marshall’s class ever since. There have been several occasions now when I’ve been at an illustration function and I’ll see a former student who will tell me how they’ve been binding books ever since my demo. I can’t tell you how great that feels.
Ada Price, Wandering Retreats, 2014.
ON LOCATION CAROL FABRICATORE In 1994, Robert Weaver asked me to take
over his Drawing on Location class. I ask students to be willing to go out and draw from life. . . . I think going back to a location, to get past the initial things you see, is so important. One of my students made drawings of Union Square Park and the subway station below, depicted on split panels: the farmers’ market and skateboarders aboveground and the construction workers and people waiting for trains below. Another student lived at an abbey in New Jersey during spring break. He interviewed the monks and made drawings documenting their lifestyle. JOSEPH ADOLPHE The impact of living in New York City—espe-
cially for those who grew up in a smaller town, as I did—cannot be overstated. New York offers artists the world. DANIEL ZENDER I’d basically spent my whole life in Springfield,
Missouri, and moving to New York was always something I wanted to do. Part of the reason I came to SVA was to get here and restart my professional life, and the program made that transition easier. My nightmare would be coming here for a job I didn’t want, and having to spend my time working that job instead of working on my art.
GARY SAWYER, DIRECTOR OF THE LABORATORY OF FOSSIL HOMININ FORENSIC RECONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, NEW YORK Viktor came to the museum
to sketch some of the exhibits in the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution. The wife of our chief of prehistoric archeology happened to be walking through the hall and she noted that the work he was doing was quite extraordinary, and she came up to my laboratory and insisted I go down and meet him. I did, and I was very impressed. He started as a volunteer with me, learning the anatomical method of soft-tissue facial reconstruction over prehistoric-human skull casts. . . . I even allowed him to take some casts of skulls to his studio at SVA, which apparently created a stir, and we arranged for a professor of anatomy at SUNY Downstate Medical to get Viktor his own cadavers to dissect. I had signed a contract with Yale University Press to do The Last Human [a 2007 book on human evolution] and eventually, we signed Viktor on to do it with me. The book is still hailed as a monumental undertaking and accomplishment, but it is just left in the dust compared to the stuff he’s turning out now. What he is doing is something that’s really contributing to our understanding of our origins, the real origins of humanity.
JOSEPH ADOLPHE I took a job as a room service waiter in a
Manhattan hotel. The people that worked at that hotel, many of whom have become some of my closest friends, came from all over. Getting to know them and their stories was the capstone educational experience for me.
As of press time, Viktor Deak was in South Africa as part of an anthropological expedition sponsored by National Geographic and unavailable for comment.
SHADRA STRICKLAND I interned at Penguin Putnam and
taught at an after-school program in Chinatown while I was in school. Though I wouldn’t trade either experience, there were times when I would get frustrated at the amount of time I missed being in the studio alongside my peers. . . . The value of the program wasn’t just the program itself, but being able to indulge in focused studio life for two years. I didn’t want to blow the opportunity. NATHAN FOX I started to get freelance work in my last year,
which I never should’ve taken. I got way too ambitious too early and it totally ruined my thesis. I almost didn’t graduate. KIM ABLONDI One of our more memorable students was Viktor
Deak . He lived in Connecticut and worked in construction and was built like a bodybuilder. To save money on commuting, he would sleep in the studio during the week. He was always talking about evolution. Nobody had any idea what he was talking about. Viktor spent all his free time at the Museum of Natural History. He met an anthropologist there, Gary J. Sawyer, who became his thesis advisor.
FIRST ROW Andres Vera Martinez, Little White Duck (Graphic Universe, 2012) � Andy Rash, Agent A To Agent Z (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2004) � Lauren Castillo, The Troublemaker (Clarion Books, 2014) � Shadra Strickland, Bird (Lee and Low Books, 2008) SECOND ROW Jonathan Twingley, Badlands Saloon (Scribner, 2010) � Adam Gustavson, Lost and Found (Peachtree Publishers, 2012) � Tao Nyeu, Wonder Bear (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008) �Brian Floca, Locomotive (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2013) THIRD ROW Brendan Leach, Iron Bound (Secret Acres, 2013) � Anna Raff, World Rat Day (Candlewick, 2013) � Jonathan Bean, Building Our House (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; 2013) FOURTH ROW Edward Hemingway, Tiny Pie (Running Press, 2013) � James Sturm, Satchel Paige (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2007) � Lauren Redniss, Century Girl (Regan/ Harper Collins, 2006)� Ansel Pitcarin, Portraits of African-Americans Heroes (Puffin, 2005)
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LOOKING BACK MICHELE ZACKHEIM, FACULTY MEMBER The MFA Illustration as
KIM ABLONDI Every class creates its own personality. One class
Visual Essay students are forced to form a community. They are almost constantly together for two years. It’s a bit like a marriage. I’ve observed more than 320 students struggle to find their artistic place while at the same time learning how to get along with each other. Not only are they wildly talented, they have the curiosity and facility to form lifelong friendships and professional liaisons.
was loud—you could always hear them coming. One year, we had a romance class—everyone was getting engaged or into relationships. There was an H 20 class—they drank water all the time. We’ve had a few “girl power” classes, with more women than men. Another year, we had a group we called “the sleepers and eaters.” They always slept on the couch and they ate so much.
VIKTOR KOEN The bonds formed in the studio are unique. Our
openings often turn into reunions, as older students turn out to see the new work and share news in person. It’s a lonely job, the illustration racket, and it helps to find partners in crime.
RETSU TAKAHASHI, CLASS OF 2002 (A.K.A. “THE SLEEPERS AND EATERS”) School studios are not designed to be lived in, of
course, but when work requires spending more hours than there are in a day in the studio, life demands to be lived. NATHAN FOX I was one of “the sleepers and eaters.” We got
along way too well.
LOOKING FORWARD KIM ABLONDI When I joined the department, nobody was inter-
ested in making comics or graphic novels. The focus was either on children’s books and editorial illustration or figurative fine art. It was almost like there were two tracks. Now, the students are open to virtually everything. VIKTOR KOEN There has been a shift toward the artist as
project initiator, author and entrepreneur, toward thinking in systems rather than single images, and there has been a surge of hybrid careers. MARSHALL ARISMAN The curriculum for the program, essentially,
has remained the same, but we’ve added the Digital Portfolio and Digital Book classes, the Business Boot Camp class and a History of Storytelling class. MATTHEW RICHMOND, FACULTY MEMBER I began teaching the
Digital Portfolio course in 2001, a time in which a required class on working digitally was met with some reluctance. One student spent her working time in the classroom cleaning her brushes. Today, the dialogue is completely different. We're starting to see incoming students who sketch with tablets and
are exploring entirely digital processes. That's not us—it's the newer generation of illustrators, who no longer categorize the computer as different, or as a hurdle. It's just another way to mash up your drawings and make stuff. In my time with the program, I have come to appreciate the illustrator as the ultimate process junkie. You can hand illustrators pretty much anything and they will figure out a way to create with it. What we have accomplished is over a decade's worth of fearless graduates who have the ability to quickly evaluate digital tools and assimilate them into their workflow. Most importantly, they understand that "digital" is not a threat to their personal style or sense of hand. MARSHALL ARISMAN It used to be that illustrators never supplied
content. The content was always supplied by a writer. That has changed. Thirty years ago, it was very difficult, financially, to self-publish. Now it’s not that expensive. Thirty years ago, it was very difficult to make a movie based on your own story. Now, with programs like iMovie, that’s possible. Advances in technology have allowed for greater exposure of personal content. The definition of what an illustrator does has changed. Maybe it’s time to call illustrators “image-makers.” ∞
Matthew Burrows, Nature Vs. Nurture (A.D.), 2013.
BY ALEX ANDER GELFAND
What are the most active stations?
A look back on New York City’s first-ever bicycle share program
8 Ave. & W 33 St. 8 Ave. & W 31 St. W 21 St. & 6 Ave.
W 41 St. & 8 Ave.
Pershing Square N.
Broadway & E 14 St.
How far did members ride? TRIPS ACROSS AMERIC A
TRIPS AROUND THE WORLD
TRIPS TO THE MOON
E 17 St. & Broadway Lafayette St. & E 8 St.
West St. & Chambers St. Cleveland Pl. & Spring St.
Central Park, New York City to Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Some see data visualizations, those graphic representations of quantitative information that seem to be appearing all over the web these days, as traditional infographics on steroids—graphs and charts with clever animations or layouts that are designed to grab the reader’s attention in a media-saturated environment. Others see them as revolutionary tools for sorting and interpreting “big data”: those forbiddingly large and complex piles of information—like the billions of data points collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, or the massive quantities of user data compiled by Google and Facebook—that defy easy understanding or classification. Still others see them as contemporary works of art. But talk to the people who actually work in data visualization, including SVA faculty and alumni, and one thing becomes clear: When you get right down to it, “data-viz” is all about storytelling. The idea of structuring data as a narrative is what originally drew designer Michael Yap (MFA 2013 Interaction Design) to SVA: He and his wife relocated to New York from the San Francisco Bay area in large part so he could study with the pioneering information designer Nicholas Felton, who has taught for the College. (Among other things, Felton is famous for his “annual reports,” which represent the minutiae of his personal life—number of travel miles logged, number of emails sent—in visual form.) “Every second I spent in his classroom was just a joy for me,” Yap says. A class project that involved mapping oil spills using GPS data led Yap to co-found Etch, a company that allows people to generate visual histories of their whereabouts by creating high-quality city maps overlaid with their personal tracking data, mined from the location-based social networking service Foursquare. Yap also used the methods he learned from Felton to co-create the web project “The First 100 Days of Citi Bike,” a visual analysis of New York City’s first bicycle sharing program, which was introduced in 2013. Drawing on publicly available information, the site laid out everything from usage statistics to finances in a lucid visual style inspired by the work of graphic VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
designer and MFA Interaction Design faculty member Jason Santa Maria. Last summer, Yap and his collaborators (a team called Made By Friends) unveiled “Drones,” which aggregates and visualizes information from multiple sources, including recently declassified data from the Department of Homeland Security, to analyze the history and usage of drone aircraft—and to imagine how they might change the way our airspace will look in the not-too-distant future. The growing availability of large data sets is one of the principal factors driving the explosive growth of data visualization. According to John Grimwade—a veteran information designer who produced infographics for newspapers in his native England and now shares his expertise with SVA’s BFA Design students—just getting one’s hands on meaningful data in the early days of his career was “a nightmare.” Now, he points out, it’s everywhere. Yet visualizations don’t necessarily have to draw on massive spreadsheets. Grimwade typically has his students start small: Jonas Sandstedt, a Swedish student, created an animation that compared the average amount of personal space enjoyed by people in the various cities in which he has lived,
Made by Friends, a data-visualization team that includes Michael Yap, has created projects presenting details on New York Cityâ€™s nascent Citi Bike program (opposite page) and the use of drones by U.S. governmental and private agencies (above).
Giorgia Lupi helped create this infographic, comparing famous writersâ€™ sleep habits with their professional output, for the popular website Brain Pickings.
Watty, an app prototype created by BFA Design students Daseul An and Ji Yun Kim, would track and display users’ energy use, to make them more mindful consumers.
while his fellow classmates Daseul An and Ji Yun Kim developed a prototype for a mobile app that uses animated gremlins called Watties to analyze personal energy use. Nor must data visualizations be dynamic or interactive; Yap’s Citi Bike images, for example, are static representations of fixed data sets. Data visualizations can, however, be all of those things. As members of the visual data team at Bloomberg, Chris Cannon (MFA 2012 Interaction Design) and Jeremy Diamond (BFA 2004 Graphic Design) produce infographics that draw on fixed data sets to help explain breaking news stories, along with interactive data products that allow users to explore broader topics by playing with much larger batches of aggregated data that change over time. For example, after retail giant Target revealed it had suffered a major data breach in 2013, the visual data team put the story in context by producing a bar chart that illustrated the relative sizes of such breaches since 2009. But they have also developed rich interactive visualizations like Industry Leaderboard, which lets users dive deep into regularly updated data on 600 top-performing companies across 55 VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
industries; and a 2014 World Cup tool that let users enter their personal match predictions and create their own brackets while drawing on the latest game stats. Data visualization can help users make sense of what would otherwise be an incomprehensible jumble of numbers. But striking the right balance between functionality and aesthetics can be tricky: The principal goal might be to convey information clearly and effectively, yet the resulting images must also be visually compelling if they are to attract and engage viewers. “This is not science. It’s communication,” says Eric Rodenbeck, founder of the prominent San Francisco mapping and data visualization studio Stamen. And, he adds, it is as full of “opportunities for delight” as photography or writing.
Screenshots of Bloomberg’s Industry Leaderboard, created by the company’s visual data team, which employs SVA alumni Chris Cannon and Jeremy Diamond.
Such opportunities abound in the work of Giorgia Lupi, co-founder of the information design agency Accurat. Lupi, who gave a talk titled “The New Aesthetic of Data Narrative” for MFA Interaction Design’s lecture series last January, does not lack analytical rigor. She takes functionality as a given, presupposes that any visualization ought to help viewers understand the underlying data, and believes that everything in the image—from the position of all the elements to their shapes and colors—should be directly connected to some value or parameter. But Lupi also believes that visualizations created for the culture and entertainment industries, like the awardwinning portfolio of images she and her colleagues produced for La Lettura, the Sunday cultural supplement to Corriere della Sera, one of Italy’s leading newspapers, should be experimental and exploratory in nature, and that there ought to be room for purely aesthetic choices, as well. “As a visual designer, it is your duty to try to push forward the boundaries of the field, and to educate people’s eyes,” she says.
Toward that end, Lupi has created multilayered images that employ visual metaphors and styles borrowed from multiple sources. A series of works that traces the lives of wellknown painters (Klee, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock) draws on elements of each artist’s distinctive visual style; a piece for Popular Science uses musical notation to show how long it took the most heavily referenced scientific papers to reach their peak number of citations. By creating attractive images that are packed with information and leavened with novelty and wit, Lupi aims to draw viewers in and help them understand the underlying data, while at the same time prodding them to ask questions—and to construct their own stories in response. It’s the kind of rightbrain/left-brain home run that represents the epitome of good data visualization. “What if it’s fantastic looking and it tells a fantastic story?” Grimwade asks. “Then you’ve moved into the stratosphere of information graphics.” ∞
BY GREG HERBOWY
Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell In August 2013, comics publisher Top Shelf Productions released March: Book One, the first installment of a three-volume graphic-novel memoir by civil rights hero and 14-term U.S. Congressman John Lewis. Co-written with Andrew Aydin, who works in Lewis’ congressional office, and drawn by Nate Powell (BFA 2000 Cartooning), a best-selling graphic novelist and illustrator, March is both a work of history and an inspirational text, dedicated to “the past and future children of the movement.” The idea for the project, Lewis says, came from his memories of Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, a 1957 comic book about the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott; the publication became a tool for teaching nonviolent activism to Lewis’ generation. A New York Times No. 1 bestseller, March has received universal acclaim and numerous honors. To date, it has been added to public school curriculums in 29 states. The release of the second volume is planned for January 2015 and the third for the summer of 2016.
Only 23 when he became chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and helped to
organize the 1963 March on Washington (where he also spoke), John Lewis was one of the youngest and most esteemed civil rights leaders. For his unyielding commitment to acts of peaceful, nonviolent disobedience—including lunchcounter sit-ins to protest whites-only service, “Freedom Rides” on buses to desegregate seating, and voter registration drives to combat the systematic disfranchisement of black citizens—he was harassed, arrested, jailed and assaulted. In 1965, during a march in support of equal voting rights, he and some 600 fellow activists were beaten and gassed by state troopers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, a horror that was widely credited with spurring passage of the federal Voting Rights Act later that year. Lewis, though badly injured, survived and went on to continue a life devoted to public service. In 2011, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
This past May, Lewis delivered the keynote address at SVA’s commencement exercises, urging the graduates to
use their talents to fight injustice. “You have a mandate,” he said, “to get out and disturb the order of things.” Shortly after that speech, Visual Arts Journal spoke with Aydin and Powell by phone, and Congressman Lewis graciously agreed to answer some questions over email.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
49 Cover of March: Book Two (Top Shelf, 2015).
FROM LEFTâ€‚ Nate Powell, Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama. Photo by Sandi Villarreal.
Nate Powell HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH MARCH?
I’ve worked with Top Shelf since 2005, but our relationship started several years before that. In my junior and senior years at SVA, I would send them a copy of every book I made. [Top Shelf founders] Chris [Staros] and Brett [Warnock] were really good about giving feedback, and we developed a wonderful relationship. They went on to publish my graphic novels Swallow Me Whole  and Any Empire . A few years ago, I read that Top Shelf would be publishing March, which Andrew and Mr. Lewis had already written, and that they were looking for an illustrator for it. I didn’t think about myself for the job—I had other projects lined up. Then, a couple of weeks later, Chris gave me a call and strongly suggested I try out for the assignment. So I got the script and whipped up some demo pages and sent them to Andrew and Mr. Lewis. They gave me their comments and I redid the drawings and sent them in again, and we realized pretty quickly that something was clicking between us. SINCE THE STORY IS AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL AND THE SCRIPT HAD BEEN WRITTEN, DID YOU APPROACH THE PROJECT STRICTLY AS AN ILLUSTRATOR?
It’s very much been a collaboration. Originally, March was a single, 150-page graphic novel. But within a day or two of my breaking that down according to my storytelling sensibilities, I realized we were dealing with a 500- or 600-page story. So within a few months, we all decided to break it up into its natural divisions and take our time with it. And through the process of working out Book One, I think our sense of teamwork has grown and evolved, so it’s even more collaborative now. As a visual storyteller, I think I have a different kind of attention. With Book One, the major thing I brought to the narrative was changing the flow of time on the page, and extending the sections of silent narration. One example of that is the first “present-day” scene, with Congressman Lewis waking up on the morning of President Obama’s first inauguration, and just taking the time to show him getting ready for the day. That was expanded from two pages to five. Another example was John Lewis, as a child, hiding underneath his house, trying to ditch his farm work in order to go to school. Or the trip he took from Alabama to Buffalo with his uncle, driving through the segregated South—that went from two pages to five or six. Whenever there’s a moment of anxiety or dread or excitement, I like to extend it as long as possible.
Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin with copies of March: Book One at the 2013 Comic Con in San Diego.
Drawing Dr. King, whose face is so recognizable, made me realize that one stray line makes you lose the likeness. Now, every time a new person comes along in the script, I sit down and tackle them a couple of times instead of blindly charging ahead. Once I’ve figured out my visual shorthand, I try not to look at photos as much, and instead use my master drawing as reference, to keep things from looking too stale or photo-derived. For the most part, it’s just getting down the person’s skull structure. I was really lazy for a long time, particularly about cheekbones and noses. Another thing that I’d been lazy about was accuracy with era-appropriate fashion, cars, technology. . . . For March, I’ve used a couple of lifestyle and illustration books from the ’50s and ’60s, I spend a lot of time doing Google searches, and I have a bunch of photography books of the civil rights movement, as well as every single mug shot of a Freedom Rider. ARE YOU INCLUDING DEPICTIONS OF LESSER-KNOWN ACTIVISTS IN THE STORY?
Yes. It’s very important to me and the congressman also that this not only be a story of his life, but a story of his role within a much larger movement. So the fact that this is a highly visible book that covers the Freedom Rides, and there were over 300 Freedom Riders who ended up getting arrested—there’s a responsibility to honor everyone involved. I draw the actual people whenever I’m given the chance.
BEFORE MARCH, HAD YOU EVER DRAWN LIVING OR HISTORICAL FIGURES?
Well, Silence of Our Friends [a 2012 graphic novel that Powell illustrated] is more or less a true-to-life tale. But I don’t think I’d actually depicted any historical figures until March, so this has been a real trial by fire. I think by the time the trilogy is done, I’ll have drawn 300 real, historical characters. The first page I ever drew for March was the scene where John Lewis meets Dr. King for the first time, which was nerve-wracking, but sort of helped me get over that speed bump pretty quickly.
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Andrew Aydin HOW DID THE IDEA TO TURN CONGRESSMAN LEWIS’ STORY INTO A GRAPHIC NOVEL COME ABOUT?
When I was working on Congressman Lewis’ 2008 reelection campaign he told me about the Martin Luther King comic and how incredibly influential it was at the time. Being 24 and not knowing any better, I asked, “Why don’t you write a comic book?” Eventually, after asking him many more times, he said, “Let’s do it—but only if
WHAT WAS IT LIKE SEEING AN ARTIST’S RECREATION OF, FOR EXAMPLE, MEMORIES FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD?
It was very moving. I shared with Nate and with Andrew my early growing up with my brothers and sisters, my mother and father, in rural Alabama. It was simple, and at times bleak, and at times very hopeful that we would be able to improve our lot. Especially when my father bought 110 acres of land in 1944 and we moved. But it was very difficult, still, for many, many years. EARLY ON IN MARCH, THERE’S A BRIEF BUT POWERFUL SECTION ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR UNCLE OTIS, WHO YOU WRITE “SAW SOMETHING IN ME THAT I HADN’T YET SEEN.” CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT HIS ROLE IN YOUR LIFE?
Congressman Lewis, Aydin and Powell sign copies of March at SVA’s pre-commencement reception, May 2014. Photo by Jacqueline Iannacone.
you write it with me.” That moment changed my life. Suddenly I was co-authoring a book with John Lewis—while also writing my master’s thesis on The Montgomery Story and how it helped inspire protest movements all around the world. This medium I’d treasured for so long was now a major part of my professional life.
I believe my Uncle Otis did see something very special about me and in me. He encouraged me to stay in school and get an education and he did everything to support me, including taking me on a trip to Buffalo with another uncle and my aunt and cousins. When I first went off to college, he gave me a footlocker and also a $100 bill—more money than I ever had. And he stayed in touch. His encouragement and support meant a great deal. He was very proud when I got involved in the civil rights movement but he worried, like my mother and father and other relatives, that something could happen to me. IN YOUR SVA COMMENCEMENT SPEECH YOU URGED THE GRADUATES TO GET INTO “NECESSARY TROUBLE,” AS YOU
WHAT WAS THE WRITING PROCESS LIKE?
Most of it was just listening to the congressman and getting his storytelling voice down on the page. I’d heard him tell these stories to kids and parents, people visiting his office. We talked on the phone after work and got together on the weekends and recorded hours and hours worth of tapes. For me, one of the highest compliments we’ve gotten for March was when one of Mr. Lewis’ oldest friends told me his favorite part was where Mr. Lewis apologizes to visitors for his desk looking “junky.” He said that was exactly something that he could imagine John Lewis saying.
DID AT THEIR AGE. WHAT CAUSE OR CAUSES WOULD YOU DEDICATE YOURSELF TO IF YOU WERE A COLLEGE STUDENT OR YOUNG GRADUATE TODAY?
I would get involved with helping to do something about comprehensive immigration reform, helping to dramatize the need to fix the Voting Rights Act, and doing something about climate change, protecting the environment—urging people to come together and plan and work together to leave this little piece of real estate we call Earth a little greener and a little cleaner and a little more peaceful. IN MARCH, YOU MENTION DRAWING STRENGTH FROM
ARE YOU A COMICS FAN?
Oh, I’ve been a fan-boy since I was a little kid. I got my first comic when I was 8 years old: Uncanny X-Men #317. My grandmother bought it off the spinner rack at Piggly Wiggly. My favorite series right now is Scott Snyder’s The Wake. I could go toe to toe with a lot of comics nerds. . . . After we sent out review copies of March, one reporter called and said he’d given the book to his 9-year-old son to see how he’d react to it, and after his son read it, he put on his suit and started marching around the house demanding equality for everyone. That’s something I always knew comics could do, and it’s wonderful seeing it happen again now. Like any art form, comics can move people in profound ways.
Congressman John Lewis YOU’VE WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR LIFE BEFORE, BUT THIS IS THE
THE BIBLE. WHAT OTHER WORKS HAVE INSPIRED OR INFLUENCED YOU?
In addition to the Bible, I was moved by reading about what Gandhi attempted to do, and what he accomplished. He was going up against the British Empire, and he succeeded. He never gave up or gave in. He never used violence. He helped change India and inspired men and women all around the world. And his life and work still inspire people today. I also remember, as a young student, being in school at Fisk University, and seeing the work of Aaron Douglas. He was one of my teachers—he taught me art appreciation. But it was his work that inspired me, and many, many other young people. His art described life as it was during those days, and when you look at those paintings, those drawings, they are itching. They said, in effect, that it doesn’t have to be this way. They gave us hope to dream for a better day and for a better world. ∞
FIRST TIME IT’S BEEN GIVEN A GRAPHIC-NOVEL TREATMENT.
Christine Sun Kim, Feedback Aftermath, 2012, marker and charcoal on paper. Photo by Erica Leone.
Sound Observations BY KEN SWITZER
Christine Sun Kim, All. Night., 2012, pastel, pencil and charcoal on paper. Photo by Erica Leone.
It’s not unusual for kids to be told to keep their voices down, or to chew with their mouths closed, or not to slam doors. But requests like that had a different meaning for artist Christine Sun Kim (MFA 2006 Fine Arts), who was born deaf. “While growing up, I constantly questioned the ownership of sound,” she signs in a short 2011 documentary about her by photographer and filmmaker Todd Selby. “People who have access to sound naturally own it and have a say in it. There were all these conventions for what was proper sound. They would tell me, ‘Be quiet, don’t burp, don’t drag your feet, [don’t] make loud noises.’ I learned to be respectful of their sound; I saw sound as their possession. Now I’m reclaiming sound as my property.” Kim is achieving this through her bold explorations as a sound artist. Since graduating from SVA, her pioneering work has earned her numerous awards and residencies (including a TED fellowship); exhibitions at such prestigious institutions as The Museum of Modern Art in New York; and requests for performances and workshops in such far-ranging places as Australia, Greece, Japan and Norway, to name just a few. Visitors to Kim’s website are greeted by the statement “Christine Sun Kim is unlearning sound etiquette.” “But that’s only a fraction of what I’m attempting to achieve,” she recently told Visual Arts Journal over email. Her artistic practice, she writes, “isn’t about discovering ‘new’ sounds, but rather about paying attention to the obvious aspects of sound”—the ways in which sound can be measured, felt and visualized. Kim’s early explorations of making sound visible involved putting paint-dipped brushes on blank wooden boards that were laid atop speakers. She would then send a variety of sounds through the speakers, and the speakers’ vibrations VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
would cause the brushes to move around the boards. Those early abstract paintings were “the perfect first step,” she says. “But I quickly lost interest, as there’s a whole wide universe of sound.” A desire to expand her work led Kim to an important, although uncomfortable, realization. “One time, I was playing with feedback sound for hours,” she says. “Since I don’t have a warning system built into my head, the sound went past my ears and into my body and it had a physical and psychological impact on me for a week.” She explains that most hearing people would have recognized that the sounds had reached damaging levels and known when to stop. Her overexposure left her feeling anxious, uneasy and unable to sleep; she compares the experience to post-traumatic stress. “Our bodies listen very well,” she says. “It’s made me much more careful and aware of what is floating around me.” Kim’s work also considers physical expression as a form of sound. Much of the nuance and grammar of American
Christine Sun Kim, Subjective Loudness, 2013, performance, Sound Live Tokyo. Photo by Hideto Maezawa.
Sign Language, for example, is communicated through the faces one makes while signing. In Kim’s “Face Opera” series, she and a choir of deaf participants take turns directing each other through a series of gestures that express various concepts. “I guess you could say that they’re ‘visual sounds,’” she says. Opera’s melodramatic nature, she explains, makes it a perfect vehicle for highlighting just how much we rely on visual cues to receive and interpret sounds—performers’ over-the-top emoting leaves audiences with little doubt about what the characters are expressing. “That’s not really the way we would ‘face’ in everyday conversations,” she says. “If I didn’t use the opera format for this idea, it would be much less effective. I’m basically hijacking musical formats in order to communicate my ideas. That’s how I can really connect with audiences everywhere.” Much of her work has audience interaction and participation at its center. For the performance of her Subjective Loudness piece in Tokyo last year, Kim assembled an
auditorium full of mostly hearing people, all of whom were given a microphone connected to a speaker in front of them. She then passed out cards on which she had written words suggesting specific noises (“washing machine,” “busy urban street,” “subway”), and directed audience members to try to replicate those noises, and then pass their card on to the person sitting next to them. “I guided the audience to become my voice,” she says. “That’s another kind of voice, in the same way that my interpreters serve as my voice.” As much as Kim is interested in the concept of sound, her work also deals with ideas surrounding notions of silence. In her “Scores and Transcripts” drawing series, which was included in MoMA’s “Soundings: A Contemporary Score” exhibition in 2013, she combines elements of musical notation, ASL, graphic notation and other forms to invent her own structure and grammar. Her drawing titled a noise without character contains three musical staffs devoid of notation, with a line of text FALL 2014
Christine Sun Kim, Face Opera II (top two) and They might well have been remnants of the boat (bottom), 2013, performances, Calder Foundation. Photos by Conrado Johns (top two) and Francisca Benitez (bottom).
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
Christine Sun Kim, Large Conversation, Southern Exposure, 2014, performance. Photo by Catherine McElhone.
reading: “A Friend Once Described Silence As A Noise Without Character. There Is a Nearness To It.” In her drawing All. Day., she illustrates the arc her hand would make to communicate the concept of “all day” in ASL. (The arc also represents the movement of the sun over the course of a day.) Beneath the arc, in the center of the piece, is a rest symbol, which represents silence in music, and above it the number 126,144,000— Kim’s approximation of how many musical measures of rest would add up to the 32 years of silence she had experienced at the time she made the drawing. Kim doesn’t just use musical notation in her visual works—she creates and performs original compositions, too. She has collaborated on records with musicians Wolfgang Müller and Sam Kulik, was guest vocalist on a song by the acclaimed avant-garde band Xiu Xiu, and scored a scene in The Tuba Thieves, a film by artist Alison O’Daniel. (Links to these projects and others can be found on her website, christinesunkim.com.)
“When I first started working with sound years ago, I was with a musician friend and he was sharing his opinions on which sounds I should work with,” she says. “Without realizing it, I found myself doing what I thought would be good for him and others, not for me. The concept of knowing all these sound rules is so deeply ingrained that I just need to let it go altogether and use and make sounds the way I think is best.” Kim sees this letting go as an inevitable part of her journey as an artist. “The process of reframing my sound notions takes time, which is why I keep on making all these new pieces—to develop a new habit of unlearning,” she says. “Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of how much support I need from hearing people in order to make my voice sonorous. When I went to SVA, I had note-takers and interpreters around me all the time so I could fully participate. Otherwise, my voice would have been lost in oblivion. I think that’s still one of my fears.” ∞
Mind Your Own Business BY CHRISTINA FITZPATRICK
Detail from VMware advertisement. Agency: Grok, creative directors: Tod Seisser and Steve Landsberg, art director: Tod Seisser, writer: Steve Landsberg, 2013.
Zoosk YouTube video. Agency: Camp + King, chief creative officer: Roger Camp, creative directors: Rikesh Lal and Adam Koppel, director: Jeff Tomsic, 2013.
In the world of advertising, opening your own agency is perhaps the ultimate means of expressing your own vision and making your mark in the industry. But as with most meaningful endeavors, there are stunning risks, arduous hours and some sleepless nights. To what do those who have taken the leap attribute their success, and how does a new agency set itself apart? “You not only have to have the creative [talent],” says Roger Camp (BFA 1992 Media Arts), “but also the strategy, the vision and a shared partnership.” Camp—co-founder of the San Francisco-based Camp + King agency and the recipient of numerous industry awards, including Best of Show at the Clios for two consecutive years—is one of several SVA graduates who have taken the step of starting their own business in the field. “So many creative people say, ‘I’m going to do my own thing,’” he says. “Yet for every start-up success there were countless other agencies that were creatively great, but something didn’t click for them.” Only three years old, with 43 employees, Camp + King has a diverse list of clients that includes Bacardi Limited, Capital One bank, the cancer research and treatment center City of Hope, the Del Taco fast-food chain, Google and YouTube. Previously, Camp and his partner, brand strategist Jamie King, had built an impressive track record at the agency Publicis and Riney, working together on campaigns for Walmart, Wrigley’s Altoids and others, yet they still dreamed of opening their own shop. After a year apart at separate agencies, the duo
developed a business plan in Camp’s kitchen while the rest of his house was being remodeled. “It was winter,” Camp recalls. “I had the stove on for heat. Jamie wrote until three [in the morning], then he’d go to sleep and I’d pick it up and finish it off.” From the start, the two knew they didn’t want to be completely alone. They wanted a big brother—but not a parent. After turning down a number of offers from large holding companies that insisted on a majority stake, they struck a deal with Havas Worldwide, one of the world’s largest integrated marketing communications firms. Camp + King’s arrangement with Havas is symbiotic. If Havas has a need for a “nimble West Coast resource,” Camp says, they can call on his agency. When Camp + King requires help with a particular campaign—a greater PR push, for example— they can pick a specific publicist, or other suitable talent, at Havas. Though it may seem counterintuitive, one of Camp’s biggest concerns in starting his own agency was that he’d lose creative control: Without the resources of a big agency, he feared that the tone of a brand might inadvertently be altered if and when they outsourced some of the work. But with Havas they have access to a larger entity they know and trust. When Bacardi wanted to know if their current U.S. advertising would translate globally, for example, Camp + King turned to Havas’ worldwide network to vet the campaign, country by country, for any snafus. An ally of some kind seems to be essential to the success of one’s own shop, if not at the onset then later, as the agency grows. FALL 2014
Citizen of Hope I’M A
Two of my best friends, knocked down by cancer. The doctor’s recommendation? Enjoy the time they had left. But they wouldn’t listen. Instead, they went to City of Hope, and because of its groundbreaking discoveries, today they’re cancer free. Now, that’s a comeback story everyone can get behind.
Kiefer Sutherland ©2013 City of Hope.
City of Hope advertisement. Agency: Camp + King, chief creative officer: Roger Camp, creative directors: Rikesh Lal and Adam Koppel, art director: Chris Nash, writer: Justin Lee, photographer: David Miezal, 2012.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
Vitaminwater “Bottle-mation” video. Agency: Ammirati, creative directo/copy writer: Todd Wender, art director: Nathan Nedorostek, 2008.
Ammirati, the agency founded and run by Matthew Ammirati (BFA 1999 Advertising), has been around for a dozen years and thrived on its own. The Ammirati team has championed such products as Vitamin Water drinks and Pirate’s Booty snacks and created the website for Jerry Seinfeld’s popular online interview series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. At the age of 17, Ammirati got a job as an art director at Ammirati Puris Lintas, his great-uncle’s agency, while simultaneously attending SVA. Ten years later, he sold his 1965 Volkswagen van for $10,000, used the proceeds as seed money for his own venture and acquired three clients in three weeks, among them beverage giant Anheuser-Busch. Since then, his office has grown from “a two-and-ahalf-person” shop, he says—comprising himself, partner Todd Wender and “a part-time bookkeeper and a cell phone”—to a 10-, then 30-, then 80-person operation. This year, the agency joined forces with Resource, the largest independent interactive agency in the country, offering a combined staff of 450. Interactive advertising differs from traditional advertising in that it focuses on new media platforms—websites, blogs, podcasts and other digital services. “We knew there was going to be a huge expansion of the agency, especially in interactive,” Ammirati says, “and that was going to be a major investment for us.”
The New York office continues to be known as Ammirati, but it now has access to Resource’s vast knowledge of social media, e-commerce and other key interactive elements. “Clients are already benefiting,” Ammirati says, and now his team can compete with the larger agencies. Competing with larger agencies has also been a central focus for the leaders of Grok, an office of 20, which Inc. magazine named one of the country’s 500 fastest growing companies in 2013. Founding partners Steve Landsberg (BFA 1980 Media Arts), Tod Seisser (BFA 1979 Media Arts) and Julie Bauer had previously worked at mega-agencies and knew that some clients were not always getting the attention or quality of service they deserved. Consequently, Grok’s mission became to over-deliver. One of their first accounts, Estroven, a line of supplements for menopausal women, had been a larger agency’s client, and was looking to revamp a lackluster print ad. Within a week, Grok had redesigned the piece many times over, presenting the client with several options. Landsberg says the same job would have taken a large agency three months and may not have included so many choices. “They were so grateful,” he says. Since then, Estroven and its parent company Amerifit have stayed with Grok, and the account has grown exponentially. FALL 2014
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee web series. Agency: Ammirati, creative director: Todd Wender, art director: Jacob Cass, 2012.
Matthew Ammirati also speaks of this need for a high level of service and enthusiasm. “When you’re starting an agency,” he says, “you do whatever it takes.” Ammirati originally worked without retainers—initial fees, paid up front—and offered what he calls his “bumper-sticker pitch,” which essentially meant promising to do whatever was right for the brand in the simplest form, rather than pushing the client to commit to pricier services. That pitch is what helped make Vitamin Water’s “Just Try It” campaign, which Ammirati conceived and executed, ubiquitous. Both Ammirati, founded in 2002, and Grok, founded in 2009, started during economic turmoil, which is not necessarily a bad thing. During more prosperous times, clients might feel proud that their companies are represented by big, prestigious agencies. During a downturn, they are more apt to ask: Where can I get a better deal? “When the economy got bad,” Seisser says, “a lot of big agencies fired people left and right, so they were not as well staffed to handle their accounts.” Consequently, smaller clients, who represented less money, were getting shorter shrift. Thanks to this development, Grok decided to start VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
targeting the bottom 10 percent of big-agency client rosters rather than looking at the top. Those nearer to the bottom, Landsberg says, were the ones who were not being served properly. “They’re getting the B- or C-team. They’re not seeing senior management—the only time they’ve seen them is when they pitched the business and if there’s a problem.” Consequently, all three Grok founders strive to be available and collaborate with their client base, which includes software company VMware, probiotic supplement brand Culturelle and heating and air conditioning supplier Luxaire. Making use of timing, connections and experience is always an aid to success. For Ammirati, he says that, in 2002, “People took a 27-year-old kid seriously if he talked about interactive.” For Camp + King, the impetus for starting the agency was a project with Old Navy, which Camp acquired through a close friend. At Grok, the team’s intimate knowledge of big agencies helped them predict what sort of campaign a large agency might create for a potential client or a client’s competitor. This helped—and helps—them pitch their business, and position their own clients, better.
Copyright © 2014 VMware, Inc.
VMw acqu are i AirW res atch:
And en mobilit terprise forever y is change d. VMware’s acquisition of AirWatch makes us the new leader in enterprise mobile management and security. From desktop to laptop to tablet to phone and secure content collaboration, no other player matches the breadth and depth of our combined enterprise-class solutions for the new mobile cloud era.
VMware advertisement. Agency: Grok, VMware and AirWatch creative directors: Tod Seisser Steve Wall Street Journal US Landsberg, art director: Tod Seisser, Full page 10.87” x writer: 21” Feb 26, Feb 27 and March 5, 2014 Steve Landsberg, 2013.
“Holy hell, look what we’ve put together.” There are some entrepreneurial conventions, however, that Camp + King, Ammirati and Grok all have ignored—namely, the need for a singular agency voice or brand. “We do what’s right for each individual client,” Ammirati says, rather than focusing on how a campaign will help build the Ammirati identity or garner awards. Roger Camp agrees, citing the pleasure of working in a multitude of voices: from the sexy world of Bacardi to the compassion and gravitas required for City of Hope. Nevertheless, other conventions do apply, especially regarding money management. Early on, the Grok team consulted an accountant to ask, “What is the biggest mistake new agencies make?” The answer: spending money they do not have, particularly on office space. Consequently, it seems no coincidence that all three of these agencies were initially funded with their founders’ own money—no weighty bank loans in the mix—and that all three first operated out of the founders’ own homes. Ammirati originally worked from an apartment on West 15th Street in New York, then moved to a cousin’s photography studio before settling into his own location in SoHo in 2002. (The agency has since moved to Union Square.) In the case of Grok, the team used Seisser’s Upper East Side apartment as “the factory,” Landsberg says, where they did the actual work, and Bauer’s Tribeca loft as “the showroom,” where they held client meetings. This arrangement went on for two years, until Bauer’s place finally became too small, even at 2,000 square feet. Seisser jokes that the agency was “one client away” from having to set up a workspace in the bathroom. This sense of things growing, even spiraling, into both a business and distinct creative culture is a phenomenon that Ammirati, Camp, Landsberg and Seisser all understand. At Grok, Landsberg marvels at how running an agency “allows you to put your influence on an incredible amount of work.” And perhaps people. Matthew Ammirati’s recent decision to expand, for example, seems motivated by a sincere desire to further the careers of his own staff. “It’s bigger than yourself,” Ammirati says; once you realize this, “that’s when your business becomes successful.” By working with Resource, he says, he and his employees can benefit from the larger company’s “huge interactive knowledge and e-commerce knowledge and social listening knowledge.” Perhaps Camp encapsulates this sense of community best when he describes the feeling he once had while riding a bus with the rest of his office, on a retreat to Napa. “To look out at all these great people on this journey with us,” he says. “It’s like, ‘Holy hell, look what we’ve put together.’” ∞
Samuel Hindman, untitled figure drawing
A Message from Jane Nuzzo, SVA’s New Director of Alumni Affairs and Development
For Your Benefit:
Free Weekly Model Drawing Sessions In the centuries-old tradition of drawing as one of the fundamental forms of artistic expression, and in the spirit of drawing’s role as a cornerstone of the SVA curriculum— historically as well as today—Alumni Affairs is pleased to partner with Residence Life in co-sponsoring free weekly model drawing sessions as a benefit for the College’s grad uates. Given the importance of drawing to artists, and its application across a breadth of creative fields, it is small wonder these evening drawing sessions have gained such an enthusiastic and loyal following over the years. Gina Bari (BFA 2004 Animation) says that figure drawing was a huge part of her education and in helping her become a traditional animator, and she regularly attended at least four classes a week. After a career change, she missed the thrill of drawing a live model and wanted to get back to perfecting her craft. Free model drawing sessions gave her that opportunity. She now asks herself, “Why didn’t I take advantage of this sooner?” “The models are almost unfailingly good,” says Joanne Honigman (1981 Graphic Design). “We start with quick one-minute sketches and work up to longer poses. Alternate weeks feature male and female models. I enjoy the company of the many artists who attend regularly, and I’ve developed both friendships and professional contacts.” Summing it up, Samuel Hindman (BFA 2013 Illustration) says, “On my best and worst days, model drawing nights are always a pleasant escape, allowing me to hone the skills required for good image making. It’s also a comforting and supportive group of fellow artists. I feel that I’m a better person because of these sessions.” The significance of drawing as a means to creative discovery cannot be understated, nor can the opportunity to connect with fellow SVA alumni and artists. So grab your tools of choice—whether graphite, charcoal, pastels, or pen and ink— and take advantage of this exclusive opportunity. The weekly model drawing sessions run throughout the fall and spring semesters; an alumni ID and photo ID are required for entry. For the session schedule or more details about other alumni benefits, visit sva.edu/alumni. Questions? Call us at 212.592.2300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. [Jane Nuzzo]
photo by Nir Arieli
SVA alumni: You are the College’s greatest asset. For over six decades you have worked in the fields of art and design, garnered countless awards and accolades, extended the tradition of educating artists by becoming teachers yourselves and endeavored to become creative entrepreneurs. Without you— without what you design, create, accomplish and discover—the College cannot be great. When I arrived at SVA over three years ago, I primarily connected with future alumni—students applying for funding through the Alumni Scholarship Awards program administered by the SVA Alumni Society. It is an incredible program, an elegant microcosm of the SVA alumni community and network as a whole. Its funding comes from alumni contributions. Alumni panels review the scholarship applications. The students receiving awards are on the verge of becoming alumni. There is nothing greater than interacting with the many panelists as they review the applications and reconnect with their SVA experience, only to award the many deserving students as they prepare to embark on their own careers. It is a culmination and celebration of what makes SVA alumni so extraordinary. In many cases, I have stayed in contact with the panelists and award recipients alike; panelists and graduating students continue to interact with each other; and those relationships develop and grow with each passing year. In my new role as director, I am charged with the tremendous responsibility to share all of your achievements, cultivate individual relationships, bring you together in fellowship, enlist your time and talent, steward your trust, foster the next generation of the College’s graduates, and provide you with resources and opportunities as your careers and lives progress. In order to accomplish this, I have a dedicated team by my side: Miranda Pierce, development manager, and Kate Styer, coordinator. Any call or email received will be addressed by one of us. Don’t be strangers. We love to know what our alumni are up to. Stay connected. Tell us about your projects, exhibitions and accomplishments. Email your updates to email@example.com and take pride in your distinctive identity as an SVA alumnus. You are SVA. You are part of an incredibly influential artistic community and international network of over 35,000 alumni and growing, and it is my great honor to serve and represent you.
SVA Alumni Society Awards Spring 2014 Thanks to generous contributions from alumni and friends of the College, each spring the SVA Alumni Society distributes several awards honoring current and graduating students. The accolades include the Merit Award, for a BFA candidate who demonstrated community building and leadership excellence while at SVA; the DaVinci Award, for BFA Cartooning and BFA Illustration students whose final projects are illustrated books or graphic novels; the Brian Weil Memorial Award, for a graduating BFA Photography student; the Richard Wilde Award, given to third-year BFA Advertising and BFA Design students; and the Silas H. Rhodes Memorial Award, established in memory of the School of Visual Arts founder, given to third-year BFA Visual and Critical Studies students who demonstrate excellence in writing. THE SPRING 2014 AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE:
Brian Weil Memorial Award Juniper Fleming, BFA 2014 Photography
DaVinci Award Molly Ostertag, BFA 2014 Cartooning Peter Schmidt, BFA 2014 Cartooning
Merit Award Rebecca Storer, BFA 2014 Photography
Richard Wilde Award Lucien Ng, BFA Advertising
Silas H. Rhodes Award Harris Bauer, BFA Visual and Critical Studies Julia Santoli, BFA Visual and Critical Studies
You can help support the next generation of artists by donating to the SVA Alumni Society at alumni.sva.edu/give. Be assured that 100 percent of your contribution will go to a future award recipient.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Juniper Fleming, Mary Magdalen, 2014, silver gelatin print and oil paint; Molly Ostertag, Subway Style, 2014, ink and digital; Julia Santoli, Vanishing Point, digital image; Harris Bauer, Marisa and Frank, 1994, screen shot; Peter Schmidt, Cyber Mall, 2013, digital; Rebecca Storer, untitled, 2014; Lucien Ng, Then & Now, 2014, animation still.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
Donor List The SVA Alumni Society gratefully acknowledges these alumni who gave to the society from January 1 through June 30, 2014.
We also thank these parents and friends of SVA who supported the SVA Alumni Society.
S. A. Modenstein
Morrison Cohen, LLP
American Express Charitable Fund
Need It Now Courier
Cindy E. Blomquist BFA 1982 Media Arts Kevin J. Casey BFA 1976 Photography Carmen V. Cruz BFA 2002 Illustration Meghan Day Healey BFA 1993 Graphic Design John DeLuca BFA 1980 Photography Vincent De Vito E 1968 Eric J. Eiser BFA 1975 Media Arts MFA 2010 Computer Art Pamela Fogg BFA 1989 Media Arts David Fried BFA 1987 Photography David Haas E 1974 Debra N. Hart BFA 1981 Media Arts Shanon R. Hayes BFA 2002 Film and Video James Hopkins BFA 1982 Media Arts
Lisa E. Rettig-Falcone BFA 1983 Media Arts Shepard Rosenthal BFA 1975 Media Arts Evan Sandler 1976 Jerold M. Siegel BFA 1975 Fine Arts Eugene J. Thompson G 1957 Illustration
Anonymous (1) Apple Maintenance & Cleaning, LLC Asquared Creative
Rosemarie Turk BFA 1980 Media Arts
Backhaul Engineering, LLC
Wendy Underwood Naratil 1986
Benefit Management Solutions
Judith Wilde BFA 1979 Fine Arts MFA 1994 Illustration as Visual Essay
Staff at Braintree Public Schools
Mark Willis BFA 1998 Illustration
Harry and Joan Clune
Elizabeth V. Witmer BFA 1997 Illustration
Robert and Susan Comegys
Klara T. Zdenkova BFA 2002 Graphic Design
Michael Campbell Century Elevator Colony Pest Management, Inc. The Di Lillo Family
(E) denotes an evening program student.
(G) denotes a graduate of the certificate program.
Mary Kay and Woody Flowers
Findly Talent / Lynn Greenbaum Ganer + Ganer, PLLC
Toshio Itoi E 1973
Nanette Jiji BFA 1981 Media Arts
Catherine A. Jones BFA 1979 Media Arts
Bonnie Sue Kaplan Valentino G 1971 Advertising
J. S. McCarthy Printers
Dionisios Kavvadias BFA 1997 Computer Art Edward N. Luiso G 1968 Media Arts Patrick McDonnell (alumnus) and Karen Oâ€™Connell BFA 1978 Media Arts Louis Mercurio E 1970
Hudson Square Delivery Jack Nadel International / Jeff Jacobs Howard Kaneff King Freeze Mechanical Corporation Manfred Kirchheimer Laurence G. Jones Architects, PLLC Levien & Company
Romaine B. Orthwein MFA 2003 Photography and Related Media
Charles and Priscilla Lindenauer
Todd L. Radom BFA 1986 Media Arts
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph LoSchiavo
Molly Renda BFA 1976 Fine Arts
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Lipinski Real Estate Advisors, LLC Magnum Real Estate Group
Gilbert Ortiz The Paper Store Proskauer Rose, LLP Ralph Lauren Corporation Random House, LLC SCS Agency, Inc. Robyn Searles Signature Financial, LLC Spacesmith, LLP Robert Sylvor TD Bank, N.A. TelCar Corporate Interiors Thomas Group Christine Tripoli WB Engineers + Consultants WB Mason Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation
ALUMNI NEWS & NETWORKS
ALUMNI ADVANTAGES & BENEFITS
Print your alumni ID, update your contact information and
• .Alumni newsletter and departmental invitations via email
access the alumni directory
• Career Development workshops and the online job board
Tell us about your projects, exhibitions and accomplishments
• Continuing Education discount
• Weekly model drawing sessions
• Access to the SVA Library
• 10% discount on SVA-branded products at the SVA Campus Store
• 10% discount at DaVinci Artist Supply (with current alumni ID; restrictions apply)
• Subscription to the Visual Arts Journal
Go to sva.edu/alumni and click on the LinkedIn icon
• Opportunities for health, auto, home, dental and renter’s insurance • Access to the SVA-curated Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages • Professional website listing on sva.edu/alumni
Showcase your work on portfolios.sva.edu
For complete details visit sva.edu/alumni Questions? Contact SVA Alumni Affairs at 212.592.2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni Notes GROUP EFFORTS Nathan Fox (MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay), Nate Powell (BFA 2000 Cartooning), Raina Telgemeier (BFA 2002 Illustration) and Sara Varon (MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay) were featured in “SLJ’s Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2013,” School Library Journal, 12/4/13. MFA 2007 Fine Arts alumni Peter Gregorio and Austin Shull launched the third issue of their journal Vector, in print and web editions, at Interstate Projects, NYC, 2/8/14. The issue featured work by Rita Sobral Campos (MFA 2006 Fine Arts), Nicholas Fraser (MFA 2008 Fine Arts), Theresa Himmer (MFA 2011 Fine Arts), Ann Oren (MFA 2007 Fine Arts) and Stacy Scibelli (MFA 2009 Fine Arts). Mark Lang (MFA 1990 Illustration as Visual Essay) and Timothy Okamura (MFA 1993 Illustration as Visual Essay) were featured in “Unbelievable Artwork for Every Room in Your Home,” SheKnows.com, 2/24/14. BFA 2010 Film and Video alumni Bennett Elliott and Robert Kolodny won a 2014 New York Emmy Award for their show Frankie Cooks, NYC, 3/30/14. Mark Kendall (MFA 2011 Social Documentary), Matthew Pillsbury (MFA 2004 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Rachel Sussman (BFA 1998 Photography) received Josh Simon Guggenheim Fellowships in the Creative Arts, 4/16/14. Gillian Robespierre (BFA 2005 Film and Video) and Lynn Shelton (MFA 1995 Photography and Related Media) were featured in “The Summer Movie Guide: 4 Female Directors You Should Know About,” Vogue, 5/7/14. MFA 2013 Fine Arts alumni Matthew Eck and Brian Whiteley co-founded SELECT Fair, which took place at the Altman Building, NYC, 5/8-5/11/14. The fair was featured in “Seven More Temporary Art Destinations During Frieze Week in New York,” T magazine, 5/8/14, and “A Fair to Remember,” Interview, 5/8/14. Zackary Drucker (BFA 2005 Photography), Carlos Motta (BFA 2001 Photography) and Kenny Scharf (BFA 1981 Fine Arts) had work included in the 2014 Naked Eye Celebrity Camera Auction at the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, NYC, 5/12-5/22/14. MFA Illustration as Visual Essay alumni Josh Bayer (2009) and Keren Katz (2013) were speakers at “Not Your Sunday Funnies: A Panel Discussion,” Graphic Artists Guild, NYC, 5/28/14.
TO SUBMIT ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION FOR ALUMNI NOTES AND EXHIBITIONS, EMAIL
1963 Ellen Pliskin (G Fine Arts) was the featured cover artist for the March 2014 issue of YEW Art Journal.
Wendy Small’s (BFA Fine Arts) work was featured in “Paris Photo LA 2014 Preview,” Lensculture, 4/23/14.
1969 Michael Esbin’s (E) sculpture was included in the 11th Annual Tibet House Auction, Christie’s, NYC, 12/16/13.
1985 Collier Schorr (BFA Communication Arts) was featured in “Where Fashion Meets Art,” The New York Times, 3/12/14.
1975 Margaret McCarthy’s (BFA Fine Arts) plays The Sacrificial King: A Play for John Lennon and Deirdre Retrograde were read live as part of Dreamcatcher Entertainment’s “Talent on Tap Reading Series,” Ryan’s Daughter, NYC, 12/9/13 and 4/14/14.
1987 Aleathia Brown (BFA Media Arts) was honored by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and the Harlem Arts Alliance at “Twelve Women of Distinction,” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYC, 3/3/14.
1977 Doug Leblang (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “Leblang Finds Inspiration in Queens,” Forest Hills/Rego Park Times, 12/24/13. 1980 Robert Pizzo (BFA Cartooning) published The Amazing Animal Alphabet Coloring Book (Pomegranate, 2014). 1981 Moira Dryer’s (BFA Fine Arts) work was featured in “Seeing Out Loud: Jerry Saltz on the Brief, Great Career of Moira Dryer,” Vulture.com, 1/30/14. Keith Goldstein’s (BFA Photography) project “Looking on, Watching the Building of the Freedom Towers” was featured in “The Faces People Make When They Visit the World Trade Center,” Fast Company, 1/23/14. 1983 Michele Carlo (BFA Advertising) performed her one-woman, autobiographical show, “Fish Out of Agua: My Life on Neither Side of the (Subway) Tracks,” The ONE Festival, 4/23/14 and 4/26/14. Her show was featured in “Just Do Art,” The Villager, 4/17/14. Steven Petruccio (BFA Illustration) completed a mural for the Pediatric Emergency Unit, Orange Regional Medical Center, Middletown, NY, 12/6/13. 1984 Lisa Argentieri (BFA Photography) was interviewed for “Honoring This Week’s Dan’s Papers Cover Artist: Lisa Argentieri,” Dan’s Papers, 2/16/14. Benita Raphan (BFA Graphic Design) received a NYFA Opportunity Grant, 5/20/14.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
Gary Petersen (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Endless Summer,” ARTNews, 12/4/13. 1988 Catya Plate’s (Fine Arts) short animated film Hanging by a Thread was an official selection of the 10th Annual Seattle True Independent Film Festival, Seattle, 5/2-5/10/14, and was screened at the 15th Annual Crossroads Film Festival, Madison, MS, 4/3-4/6/14. Lisa “LMZ” Zilker (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Astoria Characters: The Artist Who Draws in Nature,” Huffington Post, 3/25/14. 1989 Al Nickerson (BFA Cartooning) published two issues of his comic book An Act of Faith (iVerse Media, 2014), and was interviewed for Christian-Comic-Books.com, 2/27/14. Thomas Thorspecken (BFA Illustration) published Urban Sketching: A Complete Guide to Techniques (Barron’s Educational Series, 2014). 1992 Renée Cox-Chareton (MFA Photography and Related Media) was featured in “Beyond the Selfie: Renée Cox on the Power of Shooting Black Bodies,” Ebony, 3/26/14. Johan Grimonprez (MFA Fine Arts) gave a talk, “That Day It Was Twice Monday: The Double and Its Double in the Work of René Magritte,” Museum of Modern Art, NYC, 1/11/14. Viktor Koen (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated the cover of the “Crystallography Turns 100” issue of Nature, 1/30/14, and was a panelist on “Work! – The Creative Job Market Exposed?” Graphic Artists Guild, NYC, 3/26/14.
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Michael Alan, Volleyball, 2011, mixed media on canvas.
Marcia Machado (BFA Film and Video) premiered her documentary Dreaming On: The Story of the Quandamooka People, at the Chico Vive Conference, American University, Washington, DC, 4/6/14. Lynn Pauley (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was interviewed for “Lynn Pauley Live on ProjectNorman,” DART, 4/7/14. Dante Tomaselli (BFA Advertising) released his second electronic horror music album, The Doll (Elite Entertainment, 2014), and was interviewed for “Fright Exclusive Interview with Torture Chamber Director Dante Tomaselli!,” Icons of Fright, 5/20/14.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
JR Ridgeway’s (BFA Graphic Design) work was selected for the “35th Annual Juried Art Exhibition,” Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ, 1/18-3/9/14. 1994 Eileen Karakashian’s (BFA Advertising) work was included in the Pure Earth Gala Auction, Gotham Hall, NYC, 4/26/14. 1995 Yangsook Choi (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) lead the interactive workshop “Creation Station: Lunar New Year Dragons,” Asia Society, Houston, 2/1/14. 1996 Stephen Savage (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was a keynote speaker for the conference “Play and Imagination,” Bank Street College of Education, NYC, 4/12/14. He also illustrated the book review “The
View From Afar: Molly Antopol’s ‘UnAmericans,’” The New York Times, 3/21/14. 1997 Kathleen Hayes’ (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Happy Valentine’s, Photo Lovers: We Give You 27 Flower Arrangements (Sponsored by Dripbook),” Feature Shoot, 2/14/14.
Rachel Sussman (BFA Photography) was featured in “A Photographic Exploration of the Oldest Living Things in the World,” Huffington Post, 3/27/14. 1999 John Arsenault (BFA Photography) was featured in “Seeing Themselves: Photographers’ SelfPortraits,” The New Yorker, 2/20/14.
Stephen Sollins (MFA Photography and Related Media) was featured in “Memories, Stitched Together for Gallery Walls,” The New York Times, 12/26/13.
Asya Geisberg’s (MFA Fine Arts) eponymous gallery was mentioned in “Gathering of Far-Flung Friends, and Trends,” The New York Times, 5/8/14.
1998 Brian Finke (BFA Photography) was featured in “The Photography of Brian Finke,” Juxtapoz, 2/25/14.
Adam Gustavson (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) gave a talk titled “The Picture Book Process,” Graphic Artists Guild, NYC, 12/19/13.
Devin Ratray (BFA Film and Video) performed the role of Cole in the Alexander Payne film Nebraska (2013).
Janelle Lynch (MFA Photography and Related Media) hosted a book party and signing for her book Barcelona (Radius, 2013), International Center of Photography, NYC, 3/14/14. Richard Zimmer’s (BFA Computer Art) design firm, zdi, created the branding campaign for the DIY Network TV show Rev Run’s Renovation. 2000 Kevin Cooley’s (MFA Photography and Related Media) work was featured in “Slide Show: Kevin Cooley’s Ethereal Aviation Images,” The New Yorker, 4/14/14. Justin Dike (BFA Computer Art) published iOS Game Programming with Xcode and Cocos2D, Focal Press, 2013. Atsushi Funahashi (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “The Disaster Is Over, but the Effects on a Nation Are Not,” The New York Times, 12/10/13. David Needleman’s (BFA Photography) portraits of actor Adrian Grenier were featured in “Adrian Grenier,” Vogue Italia, 4/15/14. 2001 Brian Floca (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) won the 2014 Caldecott Medal for Locomotive (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2013), 1/27/14. Chie Machida’s (BFA Photography) short film Niagara was an official selection of the Cinefondation at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France, 4/16/14. Jason Prunty (MFA Photography and Related Media) wrote, “Angela Ahrendts: Fashioning Experience Design at Apple,” Forbes, 5/5/14. 2002 Michael Alan (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Michael Alan Translates Illness into Ethereal New Works,” Huffington Post, 1/23/14. 2003 Thordis Adalsteinsdottir (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “For an Excited Nude Statue, Finally a Little Bit of Privacy,” The New York Times, 12/27/13. Phil Buehler (MFA Photography and Related Media) gave a talk and signing for his book Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty (Woody Guthrie Publications, 2013), Bickford Theater, Morristown, NJ, 1/23/14. Jennifer Kinon’s (MFA Design) design firm Original Champions of Design was featured in “Marijuana Gets Rebranded For Mainstream Culture,” DesignTaxi.com, 4/21/14.
Jade Kuei’s (BFA Animation) work was included in Kawaii Design+ (Inspire Series) (Cypi Press, 2014).
Gavin Kenyon (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in Time Out New York, 2/14/14.
Adam Lister (BFA Fine Arts) launched his collaborative project “8 Bits, 3 Dimensions,” creating three-dimensional prints of his “8bit” series of paintings, Adam Lister Gallery, NYC, 1/14/14.
Melissa Untch (BFA Animation) selfpublished From Mars: Short Stories for Children, Adults, Animals, and Aliens, 2013.
Daniel Rodriguez’ (BFA Graphic Design) digital magazine Nomad won a gold medal in the Native Apps: Cover category of the Society of Publication Designers’ 49th Annual Design Competition, 5/8/14. Yuko Shimizu (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Yuko Shimizu’s Bold Illustrations,” Hi Fructose, 3/31/14. Ti West (BFA Film and Video) was interviewed for “Ti West on Mass Murder in The Sacrament,” Bloody Disgusting, 5/1/14. 2004 Nora Krug (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators for Shadow Atlas: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits (Strane: Dizioni, 2013), 2/7/14. She also won a 2014 Sendak Fellowship, 3/19/14. Matthew Pillsbury (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Coming Out As Gay Via Long-Exposure Photography,” Slate, 2/25/14. Roshani Thakore (BFA Fine Arts) was awarded an NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Greater New York Arts Development Fund for Individual Artists grant from the Queens Council on the Arts, NYC, 2/24/14. 2005 Carolyn Agis (BFA Fine Arts) conducted a workshop called “Tarot and Your Inner Architect,” The Brooklyn Cottage, NYC, 1/29/14. Lauren Castillo (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was interviewed for “Q&A with Lauren Castillo,” Publishers Weekly, 5/14/14. Zackary Drucker (BFA Photography) was featured in “In Their Own Terms,” The New York Times, 3/12/14. Emily Silver (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Made With Color Presents: Emily Silver’s Work Celebrates The Comic And Tragic In Everyday Life,” Beautiful/Decay, 5/22/14. 2006 Joseph Grazi (BFA Animation) was featured in “10 New Contemporary Aritists Challenging Everything We Knew About Art,” PolicyMic, 3/18/14.
2007 Amy Elkins (BFA Photography) won the 2014 Aperature Portfolio Prize from the Aperture Foundation, NYC, 3/27/14. Timothy Goodman (BFA Graphic Design) was interviewed for “Career: Timothy Goodman,” GaranceDore.com, 1/16/14. Vincent Peone’s (BFA Film and Video) commercial for Save the Children, “The Most Important Sexy Model Video Ever,” received over 3 million views and was selected as the No. 1 video of the week in “Adweek’s Top 5 Commercials of the Week: May 2-9,” Adweek, 5/9/14.
2008 Jade Doskow (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was interviewed for “Jade Doskow: World’s Fair,” DART, 5/28/14. Hsiang-Chin Moe (MFA Computer Art) premiered her documentary Kapital World, IndieScreen, NYC, 3/4/14. Dusty Grella (MFA Computer Art) live-animated his “Animation Hotline” videos at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT, 1/161/26/14. Jaime Permuth (MPS Digital Photography) was awarded a 2014 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Washington, DC, 4/28/14. 2010 Miho Aikawa (MPS Digital Photography) was featured in “Dinner in New York,” Medium, 3/13/14. Natan Dvir’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) photograph Coming Soon received an Honorable Mention by the Kontinent Awards 2013, 8/1/13.
In Memoriam Jill Glover (1974 Fine Arts), an artist and influential advertising executive and creative director, died on January 24, 2014. Glover, who maintained a lifelong passion for art, studied painting with Chuck Close, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden and Dorothea Rockburne while at SVA. As a fashion/ creative director for Bloomingdale’s department store in Manhattan in the 1980s and ’90s, Glover was part of the “retail-as-theater” movement. In 1996, she founded Glover Group, Inc., an agency that created awardwinning campaigns for such well-known brands as Joseph Abboud, Eileen Fisher and Anne Klein. For her work with Anne Klein she conceived the Significant Women campaign, photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Throughout, Glover’s devotion to painting never wavered. Over 40 years she created a body of work that combined naturalistic and abstract elements. In addition to her husband, William McAllister, she is survived by her father, John Lembke; her sister, Susan Dukess; and cousins Priscilla Lindenauer and Joan Arbeiter. Alumnus Mitch Shostak died on June 25, 2014, at the age of 63. After studying graphic design at SVA in the early 1970s, Shostak became an art director who designed for such companies and publications as American Express, IBM, Money, The New York Times, People, Playboy, Scholastic and Sports Illustrated. Before founding Shostak Studios, Inc., in 1993, he served as the executive art director of PC magazine, senior art director of Business Week and art director for the business sections of The New York Times. A leader in his field, he served on the board of the Society of Publication Designers and was a judge for numerous design competitions. He taught graphic design classes at SVA for several years, where he touched the lives of countless students as both a mentor and friend. He enjoyed fly fishing, cycling and the New York Yankees. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Iu, and his siblings, Ed and Mindy.
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2011 Daniel Fishel (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated “Who Do You Trust to Run the Internet,” Newsweek, 4/3/14. Amanda Lanzone (BFA Illustration) illustrated “The Trouble With Too Much T,” The New York Times, 4/10/14. 2012 Nir Arieli (BFA Photography) was featured in “Black & White & Infrared All Over,” PMc Magazine, 4/10/14. Elektra KB (BFA Visual and Critical Studies) was featured in “The Stitched, Collaged and Chillingly Violent Female Warriors of Artist Elektra KB,” ARTnews, 4/26/14. Lightning Yumeku (BFA Animation) created an animated promotional campaign for the book Become an Eco Hero (Borgerhoff and Lamberigts, 2013). 2013 Savanna Barrett’s (BFA Visual and Critical Studies) painting Mentor was added to the permanent collection of the University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 12/6/13. Renyi Hu (MFA Art Practice) was featured in “Art Stage Singapore 2014,” Caden & Charles, 1/24/14. Olga Lvoff’s (MFA Social Documentary) documentary When People Die They Sing Songs was nominated for a 2014 Student Academy Award. Nikki Sylianteng (MFA Interaction Design) was featured in “Designing a Less Confusing Parking Sign,” The Atlantic, 1/23/14.
Amanda Lanzone, The Trouble with Too Much T, 2014, New York Times Op-Ed.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
Great Reasons to visit the SVA Campus Store
We Have Your SVA Gear The SVA Campus Store is the premier retail location for all SVA-branded merchandise– sweatshirts, hats, T-shirts, mugs, notebooks, totes and more are available for sale. SVA Subway Posters Browse our poster archive and find your favorite subway poster from your tenure at SVA or pick up the latest edition. We Offer Local Repairs Repairs are quick and convenient at our in-store drop-off service and typically completed within a week.
Apple Authorized Campus Store The SVA Campus Store offers professional guidance and advice to assist you in making the right Apple choice for your needs. Alumni Discounts Upon presentation of their SVA ID card, graduates may receive a 10% discount on all SVA-branded products. The SVA Campus Store also offers great in-store pricing on select hardware and design peripherals.
Location: 207 East 23rd Street Next door to the offices of the Registrar and Continuing Education Phone: 212.592.2900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Store Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 6:00pm sva.edu/svacampusstore
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Rhandy Rodriguez, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street Bryant Park in Manhattan, 2013, inkjet pigment print.
GROUP EFFORTS “Archeo,” High Line, NYC, 4/14-3/15, includes work by Gavin Kenyon (MFA 2006 Fine Arts) and Marianne Vitale (BFA 1996 Film and Video). “Natural Selection,” Calumet Gallery, NYC, 2/20-2/28/14, included work by MPS 2013 Digital Photography alumni Bina Altera, Cana Atay, Yannick Bindert, Anna Colliton, Masha Ermak, Stephanie Guttenplan, Elizabeth Harnarine, Diana Kahrim, Clay McBride, Imara Moore, Vicente Munoz and Randhy Rodriguez. Todd Kelly (MFA 2000 Fine Arts), represented by Asya Geisberg Gallery, and Seth Michael Forman (MFA 1989 Fine Arts), represented by frosch&portmann, had work included in “VOLTA NY,” NYC, 3/6-3/9/14. “Invitational Exhibition 2014,” American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC, 3/6-4/12/14, included work by Gary Petersen (MFA 1987 Fine Arts) and Cordy Ryman (BFA 1997 Fine Arts). Binnorie Levin (BFA 2001 Fine Arts) curated “The Elusive Key,” Gristle Tattoo, NYC, 3/15-4/11/14, which featured work by Yao Xiao (BFA 2013 Illustration) and Yuri Leonov (BFA 2011 Illustration). Dan Halm (MFA 2001 Illustration as Visual Essay) curated “Bibbidi-BobbidiBoo,” Here Arts Center, NYC, 4/17-5/24/14, which included work by Brandon Davey (MFA 2009 Fine Arts), Colleen Ford (MFA 2010 Fine Arts) and Gregg Louis (MFA 2009 Fine Arts). Christopher Bors (MFA 1998 Illustration as Visual Essay) curated “Color Me Badd,” NARS Foundation, NYC, 4/19-5/16/14. The show included work by Ketta Ioannidou (MFA 1999 Illustration as Visual Essay), Gary Petersen (MFA 1987 Fine Arts) and Nicolas Touron (MFA 2003 Fine Arts). Michael Combs (MFA 1996 Illustration as Visual Essay) and Alexis Rockman (BFA 1985 Fine Arts) had a two-person exhibition, “Open Season: Michael Combs and Alexis Rockman,” AD Gallery, Pembroke, NC, 4/21-6/20/14. “Current: Gowanus,” Gowanus Loft, NYC, 5/14-5/18/14 included work by Matthew Callinan (BFA 1996 Fine Arts), Abby Goldstein (MFA 2003 Fine Arts), Denise Treizman (MFA 2013 Fine Arts) and Kit Warren (MFA 1986 Fine Arts).
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
1962 William Hogan (G Graphic Design). Solo exhibition, “Paintings and Drawings,” Hutchins Rotunda Gallery, Lawrenceville, NJ, 3/314/26/14. 1964 Bob Callahan (Advertising). Solo exhibition, “The Art of the Sketchbook,” Mayor’s Gallery, Stamford, CT, 3/3-4/30/14. 1967 Anna Walter (G Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Visual Journals,” Guild Gallery II, NYC, 1/9-3/14/14. Group exhibition, “Work on Walls,” Carter Burden Gallery, NYC, 5/29-6/19/14. 1973 Marilyn Church (E Illustration). Solo exhibition, “Marilyn Church,” PopUp Gallery, NYC, 1/6-1/13/14. 1976 Theresa DeSalvio (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Inside China,” Edward Williams Gallery, Hackensack, NJ, 1/20-2/28/14. 1977 Denise Halpin (BFA Graphic Design). Solo exhibition, “Slipping Under Sixty,” Mahzen Grill, NYC, 5/9/14. 1981 Ron Barbagallo (BFA Graphic Design). Solo exhibition, “Found in Los Angeles,” Arclight Hollywood, Los Angeles, 5/15-6/26/14.
Moira Dryer (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Moira Dryer Project,” Eleven Rivington, NYC, 1/122/22/14. Barbara Kolo (BFA Media Arts). Group exhibition, “Context Art Miami,” JanKossen Contemporary of Basel, Switzerland, Miami, FL, 12/3-12/8/13; group exhibition, Affordable Art Fair, NYC, 4/2-4/6/14. 1982 Melissa Rubin (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Still Standing,” Burgdorff Gallery, Bennington, VT, 3/17-4/18/14. 1983 Paul Leibow (BFA Media Arts). Solo exhibition, “The False Mirror,” Art Works Gallery, NYC, 1/11-2/24/14. Kenneth Wenzel (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Iraqi American Reconciliation Project,” Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda, Minneapolis, 12/12/131/26/14. 1984 Lisa Argentieri (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “No Boundaries,” Cold Spring Harbor Library, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, 4/5-4/30/14. Lydia Panas (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “Falling from Grace,” Cordon|Potts Gallery, San Francisco, 4/3-5/30/14.
Wendy Small (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “AIPAD Photography Show,” Park Avenue Armory, NYC, 4/9-4/13/14. 1988 Eva Mantell (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Overflow,” Mount Airy Contemporary, Philadelphia, 5/106/14/14. Catya Plate (Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Small Worlds,” Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA, 12/7/131/12/14. Mary Salvante (BFA Illustration). Curatorial project, “Cradles to Conquests: Mapping American Military History,” Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ, 2/3-3/15/14. Lisa “LMZ” Zilker (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Conversations btw Blue & Red,” Tribeca Synagogue, NYC, 2/10-6/12/14. 1989 Margaret Lanzetta (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Pull: Chronically Undifferentiated,” Curatorium, Hudson, NY, 4/12/14. Christopher Spinelli (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “The March,” Arsenal Gallery, NYC, 1/222/27/14. Penelope Umbrico (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Heavenly Bodies,” Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA, 2/235/25/14. T. J. Wilcox (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “T.J. Wilcox,” Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL, 1/313/8/14.
1990 Patricia Spergel (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Westchester Biennial,” Castle Gallery, New Rochelle, NY, 3/22-6/20/14. 1991 Lisa Kirk (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Left Behind,” Invisible Exports, NYC, 12/13/13-1/26/14. Lisa Deloria Weinblatt (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Group exhibition, “IN/EQUITY,” Waterworks Visual Art Center/ Museum, Norvell Gallery, Salisbury, NC, 2/7-5/16/15. 1992 Lili Almog (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “Down to Earth,” Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY, 5/246/16/14. Matt Jacobs (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Matt Jacobs,” Art Essex Gallery, Essex, CT, 2/19-3/15/14. 1993 Russell Ritell (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “Wild in the Streets: Paintings of Attitude and Aggression (Part Deux) and Then Some,” Skylight Gallery, NYC, 2/224/4/14. 1994 Joseph Adolphe (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Solo exhibition, “Messages, Memories and Dreams,” Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, NYC, 3/27-4/26/14. Brian Bailey (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Paz Art Show and Sale,” Ace Barber Shop, Albuquerque, NM, 4/4/14.
Steve Ellis (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “Coming to Times Square,” Condé Nast Building Lobby, NYC, 1/15-3/17/14. Eileen Karakashian (BFA Advertising). Group exhibition, “Alicia Chimento and Eileen Karakashian,” Piermont Flywheel Gallery, Piermont, NY, 5/1-5/18/14. Riad Miah (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Love Is in the Air,” Mayson Gallery, NYC, 2/10-4/19/14. Leemour Pelli (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “3 Years + 3 Days,” NOoSPHERE, NYC, 2/42/7/14. 1995 Michael De Feo (BFA Graphic Design). Group exhibition, “The 80s: Past + Present,” Bleecker Street Arts Club, NYC, 4/245/31/14. Lori Earley (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “The Devil’s Pantomime,” Opera Gallery, NYC, 6/7-6/28/14. Jalal Pleasant (Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Staatkunst,” Kinki Kappers Salon, Utrecht, 1/1-4/30/14. 1996 Irina Danilova (MFA Fine Arts). Curatorial projects, “BRURAL: Shattering Phenomena,” Bronx River Art Center, NYC, 2/7-3/1/14. Stuart Hawkins (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Everyone Knows What I look Like,” Zach Feuer Gallery, NYC, 1/92/15/14.
Molly Herman (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Lingua Franca,” The Painting Center, NYC, 3/17-4/22/14. 1997 Karlos Carcamo (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “The Work of Karlos Carcamo,” MLB Fan Cave, NYC, 4/3/14. Kathleen Hayes (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “ControVisual,” MF Gallery, NYC, 3/8-3/31/14. Stephen Sollins (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Correspondence,” Pavel Zoubok Gallery, NYC, 2/13-3/15/14. Sarah Sze (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Sarah Sze,” The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, 12/13/13-4/6/14. 1998 Christopher Bors (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Curatorial project, “Out There,” SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NYC, 3/4-4/9/14. Janice Caswell (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “eXergy,” LABspace, Great Barrington, MA, 5/2-6/22/14. 1999 Kevin Box (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Origami in the Garden,” Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill, Santa Fe, NM, 4/2710/25/14. Artem Mirolevich (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “New Mythology,” Imagine Gallery, NYC, 2/6-2/9/14. 2000 Katherine Bernhardt (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Stupid, Crazy, Ridiculous, Funny Patterns,” Canada, NYC, 2/1-3/9/14. Kevin Cooley (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Unexplored Territory,” Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, 1/11-2/22/14. Alexander Lee (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “The Botanical Factory,” P3 Studio, Las Vegas, 1/23-2/16/14. Eric Rhein (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Natural World,” 39th Street Gallery, Brentwood, MD, 3/22-4/26/14. 2001 Jose Carlos Casado (MFA Computer Art). Solo exhibition, “Dis_place.v[II],” Galeria Cero, Madrid, 5/29-7/25/14. 2002 Michael Alan (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “The Energy Reader,” Gasser Grunert Gallery, NYC, 1/122/23/14.
Diana Shpungin, Disappearing Act, 2012, hand-drawn digital video animation still.
Heidi Zito, In the Trees, 2014, oil on canvas.
Marlena Buczek (BFA Graphic Design). Solo exhibition, “Intercepting Time,” Stovall Family Gallery, NYC, 4/1-5/6/14.
Diana Shpungin (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Drawing Now Video,” Espace Commines, Paris, 3/25-3/30/14.
Joe Fig (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “New/Now,” New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, 4/19-7/20/14.
2003 Fawad Khan (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Solo exhibition, “Empire of Personal Myths,” Lu Magnus, NYC, 4/18-5/25/14.
Mariam Ghani (MFA Photography and Related Media). Group exhibition, “Index of the Disappeared: Secrets Told,” A/P/A Institute at NYU, NYC, 3/12-3/21/14. Young Kim (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Shades of Time: Exhibition of the Archive of Korean-American Artists Part Two, 1989-2001,” Gallery Korea, Korean Culture Service, NYC, 5/1-5/23/14.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
2005 Min Soo Cho (BFA Graphic Design). Curatorial project, “Kode NYC: The Light of Hope,” Salt & Fat, NYC, 1/4-1/20/13. Max Greis (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Hunter MFA Spring 2014 Thesis Exhibition,” Hunter College, NYC, 5/22-6/7/14.
2004 Masood Kamandy (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “M.O.O.P.,” Luis De Jesus, Los Angeles, 2/22-3/25/14.
2006 Joseph Grazi (BFA Animation). Solo exhibition, “The Fountain of Youth,” (Art)Amalgamated, NYC 2/293/18/14.
Matthew Pillsbury (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “City Stages,” Aperture, NYC, 2/19-3/27/14.
Gavin Kenyon (MFA Fine Arts). Installation, “Reliquary Void,” MoMA PS1, NYC, 3/16-9/14/14. 2007 Amy Elkins (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Up, Close & Personal,” Fuchs Projects, NYC, 4/4-5/11/14.
Raheem Nelson (BFA Cartooning). Group exhibition, “Portraits and Pop Art,” Art at The Grove, New Haven, CT, 4/4/14 Jennifer Young (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition,” Washington Square Park, NYC, 5/24-5/25/14 and 5/31-6/1/14. 2008 Jade Doskow (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “World’s Fairs: Lost Utopias,” Onishi Project, NYC, 5/28-6/10/14. Stan Narten (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Jamais Vu,” Kravets Wehby Gallery, NYC 2/22-3/22/14. Kara Rooney (MFA Art Criticism and Writing). Curatorial project, “Joseph Beuys Process 1971-1985,” Rooster Gallery, NYC, 1/8-2/9/14.
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2009 Samuel Adams (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Evidence of Absence,” Ziehersmith, NYC, 4/35/3/14. Stacy Scibelli (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Suit,” Warehouse Gallery & Studio, NYC, 2/12/14. Paul Vogeler (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Die Ahnung,” Galerie Albrecht, Berlin, 3/8-4/5/14. 2010 Teresa Henriques (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Prospective,” Rooster Gallery, NYC, 3/204/20/14. Anthony Iacono (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “Other People’s Paintings,” Torrance Shipman Gallery, NYC, 2/10-3/6/14. Raissa Venables (MPS Digital Photography). Solo exhibition, “Clearing Space,” Wagner + Partner, Berlin, 5/9-6/21/14. 2011 Lauren Chester (MPS Art Therapy). Curatorial project, “X-PRESSIONZ: An Exhibit Without Need to Inhibit,” Michael Mut Project Space, NYC, 1/30-2/15/14.
Betty Hart (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Through and Through,” Ground Floor Gallery, NYC, 2/123/23/14. Allyson Lamb (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Cutlog Contemporary Art Fair,” The Clemente, NYC, 5/8-5/11/14. 2012 Nir Arieli (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “Inframen,” Daniel Cooney Fine Art, NYC, 1/16-3/8/14. Andrew Brischler (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Patient Zero,” The Arts Club, London, 5/27-9/27/14. Laura Murray (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Ten: 10 Curators. 100 Artworks.,” Cindy Rucker Gallery, NYC, 5/9-5/11/14. Jonny Ruzzo (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “In Full Swing,” Parlour Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ, 5/24-6/30/14. Group exhibition, “Floralia,” Model Citizen Studios, Los Angeles, 5/17-5/18/14. Group exhibition, “Littletopia,” LA Art Show, Los Angeles, 1/15-1/19/14. Jenny Santos (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “The Nineteenth Hole,” Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, NYC, 12/28/13-1/26/14.
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Lightning Yumeku (BFA Animation). Group exhibition, “Art the Lifestyle,” EmbroidMe, NYC, 12/12/13.
3/8/14. Installation, “VVVVVV,” “Theorizing the Web,” Windmill Studios, NYC, 4/25-4/26/14.
Heidi Zito (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “In the Trees,” Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, NYC, 5/24-6/22/14.
Bo Rim Kim (BFA Design). Solo exhibition, “No Small Potatoes,” Chashama Gallery, NYC, 12/29/132/12/14.
2013 Anna Beeke (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Group exhibition, “Clouded Presence,” Gallery Ho, NYC, 12/5/13-1/18/14.
Wyatt Mills (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Phantasmagoria,” Essntl, Los Angeles, 3/8-4/5/14.
Anna Paula Costa E Silva (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Reality Is Just a Form,” Centro Cultural da Justiça Federal Museum, Rio de Janeiro, 1/18-2/27/14. Installation, “Assintotas,” Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, 3/21-5/18/14. Faith Holland (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Group exhibition, “Try to Forget,” Rat Factory Gallery, Hollywood, CA,
Randhy Rodriguez (MPS Digital Photography). Group exhibition, “Wondrous Indeed,” Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO, 1/24-2/22/14. Jamie Sneider (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Jamie Sneider,” Thierry Goldberg Gallery, NYC, 5/4-6/8/14. Denise Treizman (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Introductions,” Trestle, NYC, 1/10-2/14/14.
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From the SVA Archives
“It’s Not the Light . . .” SVA poster. Designer/copy writer: Tony Palladino, Art director: Silas H. Rhodes, 1983.
Tony Palladino, a New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame laureate and longtime SVA faculty member, died this past May at the age of 84. Over the course of a lengthy career in advertising and design, Palladino created logos, ads and packaging for a wide array of clients, such as Kellogg’s, Mobil Oil, the New York Metropolitan Opera and Simon & Schuster. His most famous creation is likely the logo for Psycho, used both for the original novel, published in 1959, and Alfred Hitchcock’s film adaptation, released in 1960. Consisting only of the title, spelled out in thick capital letters that, like dropped plates, have “cracked” into pieces, its fractured text simply and memorably communicates lead character Norman Bates’ irreparable state of mind. “If the idea is good,” Palladino once said, “you should be able to tell it over the telephone. If it worked over the telephone, bingo.” Palladino taught his first class at the College in 1958, beginning an association that would last through the rest of his life. In 1997, he donated his archives to the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives, which is housed alongside the SVA Archives. The Palladino Collection includes his book jacket, magazine cover and movie poster designs; illustrations for children’s books and The New York Times; and original paintings, mixed-media works and sketches. During his tenure at SVA, Palladino created several memorable works for the College’s long-running subway poster series. One of these, from 1983, is reproduced here. In a presentation at the 1991 International Design Conference in Aspen, Palladino discussed the poster, which depicts a long, vibrantly colored passageway. “This is an especially happy piece for me,” he said. “I noticed that . . . a lot of people throughout my life were always waiting for ‘that moment.’ I don’t know how many of you people waited for the moment to come. While you were waiting for the moment to arrive, nothing else was happening in your life. But it seemed to me that there’s a lot of other things going on before we get to the light at the end of the tunnel, that maybe we want to keep our eyes open.” [Greg Herbowy] The Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives, a division of the Visual Arts Foundation, is dedicated to preserving and making accessible design works of significant artistic, cultural and historical value by preeminent designers, illustrators, and art directors who have close ties to the School of Visual Arts. For more information, visit glaserarchives.org.
VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL
Interior page of March: Book One (Top Shelf, 2013), by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell See Q+A, page 48.
External Relations 209 East 23rd Street New York, NY 10010-3994 sva.edu