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News and events from around the College WHAT’S IN STORE | 10

Products created by SVA entrepreneurs CREATIVE LIFE:

Habitats for Humanities | 18 The growing variety and flexibility of artists’ residencies PORTFOLIO: Shen Wei | 20 Photographs celebrating the mysteries of nature, heritage and personal identity

Washington, DC | 30 Six alumni working in and around the nation’s capital



A roundtable discussion on the political potential of art and design TOTAL IMMERSION | 42

The present and future of virtual reality THE PRODUCTS OF PRODUCTS OF DESIGN | 50


“I felt my life was going to go in a very wrong direction if I didn’t give this a full try.”

A unique collaboration between MoMA Wholesale and MFA Products of Design BOOKKEEPING | 58

Three artists open up their journals for the Journal ALUMNI AFFAIRS | 66

For Your Benefit | Support the Talent SVA Alumni Society Awards Spring 2017 Donors | Alumni Notes & Exhibitions In Memoriam FROM THE ARCHIVES | 80

Vito Acconci at SVA

“To be the only academic program with this type of partnership is an extraordinary honor and a tremendous opportunity.”


VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL Fall 2017 Volume 25, Number 2


An alumnus re-imagines the SVA logo

EDITORIAL STAFF Joyce Rutter Kaye, senior editor Greg Herbowy, editor James Harrison, copy editor Tricia Tisak, copy editor

VISUAL ARTS PRESS, LTD. Anthony P. Rhodes, executive creative director Gail Anderson, creative director Brian Smith, art director Ryan Durinick, designer

COVER FRONT: Carl Titolo, sketchbook detail, undated. BACK: Photo from Avatar Dance Battle (2016), a Sensorium Works VR project with movement artists Lil Buck, Jon Boogz and Turbo.


CONTRIBUTORS Lindsay Ballant Caitlin Dover Alexander Gelfand Dan Halm Jacqueline Iannacone Nicholas Little Michelle Mackin Jane Nuzzo Lauren Palmer Miranda Pierce Margaret Rhodes Emily Ross Charles Snyder Kate Styer Megan Wilde Briana Younger © 2017, Visual Arts Press, Ltd. Visual Arts Journal is published twice a year by SVA External Relations. School of Visual Arts 209 East 23rd Street New York, NY 10010-3994 Milton Glaser ACTING CHAIRMAN

David Rhodes PRESIDENT


facebook.com/schoolofvisualarts instagram.com/svanyc schoolofvisualarts.tumblr.com twitter.com/SVA_News vimeo.com/svaedu youtube.com/user/SVANewYorkCity



Nicholas Little MFA 2015 Illustration as Visual Essay nicholaslittleillustration.com V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L



s SVA enters its 70th year this fall, I am reminded once again of how much the College, our community and the professions we serve have all grown and changed, while the fundamentals of a meaningful art and design education have remained constant. The “electronic age” predicted by the late artist and former faculty member Vito Acconci in his 1989 SVA commencement address (see page 80) has been with us for some time now. But traditional draftsmanship and craftsmanship have lost none of their immediacy or tactile appeal. I have written in this space before about the resilient popularity of printed books in our digital era, and in this issue contributor Caitlin Dover writes about the endurance of another type of book: the sketchbook, which is still a vital tool for artists of all types (see page 58). One artist she features, Carl Titolo, has been a part of SVA for more than 50 years, as a student, alumnus and faculty member. For the past 40-plus years he has taught the importance of keeping a sketchbook, for both technical and creative exercise, to students in our design and illustration programs. As his own, voluminous collection of sketchbooks shows, he knows whereof he speaks. Of course, even as old traditions are upheld, designers continue to press forward. Among the emerging technologies that have attracted considerable attention recently is virtual reality. For “Total Immersion” (page 42), we asked contributor Margaret Rhodes (no relation) to speak with some alumni in that field about what they are working on now and what breakthroughs they hope will be realized in the years to come.

The “electronic age” has been with us for some time now, but traditional draftsmanship and craftsmanship have lost none of their immediacy or tactile appeal.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the magazine.

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pr esi den t school of v isua l a rts



News and events from around the College

City Views

ABOVE Natan Dvir, Dolce & Gabbana 01, 2012, C-print. BELOW Kevin Amato, Mushroom Kids, from The Importants (Phaidon, 2016).


egardless of what they studied, where they settled down or what they went on to do in their careers, all SVA graduates have one thing in common: the experience of living and working in New York City. Fittingly then, this fall’s alumni exhibition at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, “Street Smart: The Intersection of Art and Design in the City,” is dedicated to alumni work made for or about the urban environment. From culture-jamming to fine art, the works on view are, like city life itself, challenging, multilayered and politically and socially engaged. “Street Smart” will feature some 50 works by 19 artists, designers, illustrators and photographers. Participating alumni include Justin Aversano and Travis Rix (both BFA 2014 Photography), whose nonprofit organization, SaveArtSpace, creates public art installations in spaces otherwise used for advertising; Michael De Feo (BFA 1995 Graphic Design), a street artist whose flower paintings have been embraced by the fashion world; Dina Litovsky (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media), whose photographs document New York’s social circles and rituals; and Amy Wu (MFA 2015 Interaction Design), whose QNSMADE website and apparel


brand celebrates the neighborhoods, people and businesses of her native Queens. “Street Smart” will be on view from November 18 through December 20 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor. A reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, November 30, from 6:00 to 8:00pm. For more information, visit sva.edu/exhibitions. [Greg Herbowy] V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Michael De Feo, Untitled (Miranda Anna

and Elektra June Kilbey-Jansson for The Kooples, 2016), 2016, acrylic on outdoor street advertisement; Hyesu Lee, page from Pocket Size Guide to Brooklyn, 2016; Karlos Cårcamo, Hard-Edge #1418, 2014, latex and spray enamel on canvas over wood panel; Hannah Smith Allen, Scheduled Implosion 6 (Las Vegas, Nevada), 2014, variable sized print/projection; Susan Leopold, Entrance (detail), 2015-16, mixed media, architectural model making materials, mirror, LED lights, wood; Carol Fabricatore, Snake Charmer, 1998, charcoal and acrylic; rapper Your Boy For Life performs at the 2014 launch party for Amy Wu’s QNSMADE website and brand.

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Culture Club In the early 1980s, cultural historian Tim Lawrence writes in his book Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor: 1980 – 1983 (Duke University Press, 2016), “New York experienced a community-driven cultural renaissance . . . that stands as one of the most influential in its, and perhaps in any city’s, history.” Pioneering East Village venue Club 57 was an essential part of this urban rejuvenation, with a cohort of SVA students at its core. Located in the basement of a Polish church at 57 St. Mark’s Place, this DIY space fostered an atmosphere of inclusivity and unbridled creativity among the young artists who frequented its array of performances, themed events and interactive film screenings. The Museum of Modern Art in New York is revisiting the eclectic downtown institution through a major retrospective due to open on October 31. “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978 – 1983” seeks to address the lasting influence of Club 57’s progenitors through an exhibition and screening series that display “the fundamentally interdisciplinary nature” of the space’s activities and how it “relates to the museum’s own thinking about integration between mediums,” write organizers Sophie Cavoulacos and Ron Magliozzi, both staff curators in MoMA’s film department. With guest curator Ann Magnuson, actor, performance artist and former Club 57 manager, they have amassed a collection of work that reflects the club’s significance as an innovative alternative art space and celebrates its contributions to the “artistic legacy” of New York City. During its run, Club 57 was a kind of annex to SVA for artists Anney Bonney (MFA 2008 Computer Art), Keith Haring (1979 Fine Arts), Frank Holliday (BFA 1980 Fine Arts), Peter Hristoff (BFA 1981 Fine Arts), M. Henry Jones (BFA 1979 Film and Video), Eric Marciano (BFA 1984 Film and Video), April Palmieri (BFA 1978 Fine Arts), Esther Regelson (BFA 1982 Film and Video), Kenny Scharf (BFA 1981 Fine Arts) and Bruno Schmidt (BFA 1979 Media Arts). MoMA’s


exhibition will include work by all of these alumni, along with that of several others who studied at the College, including outré performance artist John Sex (né McLaughlin). “New York City was our campus,” Holliday says. “The door opened to Club 57 and we all walked in . . . out of class and into this made-up art venue.” As a hangout and creative outlet, free from the strictures of classes and studios, the space was instrumental to the formation of their artistic sensibilities—“a wonderful mash-up of nightclub lounge, Beach Blanket Bingo, mad lab, cinema and summer stock theater,” Hristoff says. Students from nearby Parsons and NYU also took part in the revelry, as did Jean-Michel Basquiat. “You could do anything,” Scharf says. “It was a place where you could incubate ideas in private with your friends without having the scrutiny of the real world, because nobody was paying attention.” For “Club 57,” MoMA will present painting, printmaking, photography and video originally shown at the club in its heyday, along with various ephemera (flyers, posters, zines). The setting is meant to “evoke the club environment and perspective without re-creating it,” Cavoulacos and Magliozzi say, with works on rotation throughout the duration of the exhibition. “Club 57: Film, Performance and Art in the East Village, 1978 – 1983” will be on view from October 31, 2017, through April 1, 2018, at The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street. [Lauren Palmer]

ABOVE April Palmieri,

Valentine’s Day Repose, 1982, digital image from 35mm Kodachrome slide, courtesy the artist. BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT Peter Hristoff, Untitled Newspaper Piece (Chinese), 1979, silkscreen on newsprint, courtesy the artist; Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf, event fl yer for “Video A GoGo” screening at Club 57, 1980, courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kenny Scharf, Escaped in Time, I’m Pleased, 1979, acrylic on canvas, courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles.


Positive Reviews


n June 22, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)—the organization that oversees colleges and universities in the mid-Atlantic region and has vouched for the quality of SVA’s academic programs and administrative services since 1978—voted to reaffi rm the College’s accreditation. SVA’s reaccreditation was the culmination of a two-year process, which began in fall 2015 when 56 College faculty and administrators, organized into seven working groups, convened to implement a decennial self-study in concert with the Middle States Collaborative Implementation Project, an MSCHE initiative to introduce its updated standards of excellence for educational institutions. Over the course of several months, they reviewed what the College is doing well, cataloged its growth and accomplishments over the past 10 years and considered areas for improvement—all based on the criteria set forth by MSCHE’s revised standards. In fall 2016, their findings and recommendations were presented in a comprehensive self-study report, submitted first to the SVA Board of Directors and then to MSCHE.


“No artist knows wholly, fully what they are doing. None of us does.” —ROBERTA SMITH, art critic for The New York Times. From

a talk hosted by MFA Art Practice.

Earlier this year, SVA hosted a visiting team of volunteer MSCHE evaluators. Over the course of three days, the team—which was made up of faculty and administrators from other accredited colleges and universities—reviewed the College’s self-study and met with a broad cross-section of the SVA community, including students, faculty, administrators and members of the board of directors. The evaluators then produced their own report and recommendations, which was submitted to both the College and MSCHE. In addition to reaffirming its accreditation, MSCHE’s June letter to SVA noted the College’s participation in the Collaborative Implementation Project and commended the quality of its self-study process. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2025 – 2026. [Emily Ross]

A Perfect Host In November, when the Science Channel premieres its reboot of MythBusters—a popular, long-running series in which famous scientific myths (talking to plants helps them thrive, cola dissolves teeth, etc.) were creatively put to the test—SVA alumnus, New York City native and designer Jon Lung (MFA 2016 Products of Design) will be front and center as one of its two new cohosts, tasked with investigating the truth behind some of the world’s most widely spread urban legends, folklores and action-movie clichés. Lung competed for his hosting gig on MythBusters: The Search, a reality show that aired on the Science Channel last January and February. Though an on-camera novice, his good humor and technical know-how—flexed in such challenges as finding a needle in a haystack, building a boat out of cardboard and picking a handcuff lock with a bobby pin—won the judges over, and by the end of the live finale he and Brian Louden, a rescue diver and jack-of-all-trades from Houston, stood victorious. This spring, Lung began work on the series, relocating to Los Angeles, brainstorming topics with the producers and crew, helping to build the show’s famously wild contraptions and rigs and filming the first season’s 14 episodes. An obsessive tinkerer, DIY-er and former furniture designer whose MFA thesis project, aimed at encouraging people to be more inventive and resourceful with everyday objects, was inspired by MacGyver, Lung calls his TV hosting experience so far “fantastic.” The new season of MythBusters premieres on the Science Channel on Wednesday, November 15, 9:00pm EST. [GH]


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“I can’t complain when every week I get to blow something up or build some insane machine,” Lung says. “Every day, I check something off my bucket list.”




A Welcome Center


t the start of this academic year, a purpose-built, two-story space opened on the ground floor and lower level of 342 East 24th Street—next door to the 24th Street Residence, SVA’s newest and largest residence hall. Housing the College’s Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Accounts offices, this facility integrates with Student Affairs and the International Student Office—which moved to the 24th Street Residence building in 2016—making the location “the de facto student enrollment center for the College,” says Javier Vega, executive director of Admissions and Student Affairs. For many years, Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Accounts offices were in SVA’s 209 East 23rd Street building, the six-story edifice that is home not only to other administrative offices, but the SVA Gramercy Gallery, classrooms, studios and more. There, Admissions was scattered among three different floors and lacked dedicated spaces for applicant meetings and recruitment presentations. The new space combines all Admissions operations on one floor and includes some new amenities: a 40-seat presentation room where prospective students and parents can be introduced to the College, as well as glass suites that border the reception area, allowing for one-on-one portfolio reviews.


“Will [Eisner] encouraged me a great deal when I was starting to write my own work. ... He said his theory was that the writer and artist should work as closely together as possible—in fact, they should inhabit the same body.”

“For years we’ve thought about developing a customdesigned space that would allow us to welcome and work with prospective students in a more dynamic way,” says Matthew Farina, director of Admissions, whose input helped guide the new offices’ design. “Now this is finally possible.” Likewise, Financial Aid and Student Accounts—which had previously occupied offices on two separate floors—have been integrated into one fluid space on the building’s lower level, sharing presentation and conference rooms. “We are excited about this opportunity to service our students and their families in a more open and inviting atmosphere,” says William Berrios, director of Financial Aid. “Financial Aid and Student Accounts work closely together, so our greater proximity makes students’ interactions with us much more convenient.” To shepherd the project from design through construction, Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes led a team comprising several SVA administrators, architect Laurence Jones and engineer Rose Molina, of Levien & Company, the building’s project management company. The new space also features original work by students and alumni from all SVA programs, curated by Gail Anderson (BFA 1984 Media Arts), creative director of the Visual Arts Press, the College’s inhouse design studio. Additionally, a video display can be found on the building’s exterior walls, spanning the corner of East 24th Street and First Avenue. “It is a vibrant and innovative feature that puts the creative output of the College on full display, day and night,” Farina says. “I can’t think of a better facade for Admissions.” As of publication time, construction for the new offices was in its final stage. To see photographs of the completed space, visit sva.edu. [Michelle Mackin]

—FRANK MILLER, comics artist and writer. From “100 Years of Genius:

The Life and Legacy of Will Eisner,” a conversation between Miller and BFA Cartooning faculty member Klaus Janson hosted by the SVA Library and SVA Cartoon Allies.


To submit an item to Close Up, send information to



Go Fund Yourself The rise of crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo, where artists and entrepreneurs raise money for passion projects, has made any number of ideas into reality in the past 10 years. However with these new opportunities have come new skills to be learned. To that end, Patricia Romeu, assistant director of SVA Career Development, has created a crowdfunding lab for students and recent alumni. “Crowdfunding isn’t easy,” says Romeu, who is also an Emmy-winning documentary producer with substantial experience in film fund-raising and development. “Different sites are better for different projects, and certain types of projects have a better success rate than others. You need to create a compelling message and incentives for backers, and a campaign must be managed daily, using social

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media to enhance its online presence. You need to treat it like a job.” This spring, the lab’s participants regularly met over three months to study best practices and case studies and workshop their own campaigns. Participants included MFA Design for Social Innovation students Adewunmi Adetayo and Salimi Akill; MFA 2017 Social Documentary Film alumni Melanie McLean Brooks, Chelsi Bullard and Sandra Itäinen; Kenneth Greenwood (MPS 2016 Digital Photography); Emeka Patrick (MPS 2016 Branding); Thomas Slattery (MFA 2017 Visual Narrative); and Lightning Yumeku (BFA 2012 Animation). Romeu plans to run the lab again in 2017 – 2018 and will be accepting applications this fall. This time around, the group will meet over an extended schedule, to give participants more prep time. “Crowdfunding campaigns typically last one to two months,” she says. “But you usually need to spend three to six months getting ready for them.” For more information on this and other SVA Career Development resources, visit sva.edu/career. [GH]

In SVA Career Development’s spring 2017 crowdfunding lab, fund-raising campaigns were developed for projects including (clockwise from top): Aura, a narrative game by Thomas Slattery (MFA 2017 Visual Narrative); “12 Dancers, One Duet,” a photo series by Kenneth Greenwood (MPS 2016 Digital Photography); The Three Brothers, an animated series by Lightning Yumeku (BFA 2012 Animation) and A Stranger to My Mother, a documentary by Sandra Itäinen (MFA 2017 Social Documentary Film).




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

Dream Collective/ Kathryn Bentley 

KATHRYN BENTLEY dreamcollective.com Casual and fine jewelry, $40 – $14,000 1404 Micheltorena Street, Los Angeles Kathryn Bentley (BFA 2000 Fine Arts) didn’t plan to become a jewelry designer— she got into the field through a chance post-graduation job for designer Aurora Lopez Mejia—but it’s not surprising that it’s where she ended up. Her Texas upbringing was steeped in aesthetics: her father is an architect and sculptor, and her parents kept well-designed homes filled with art. Today, she maintains an eponymous fine jewelry line, a casual jewelry line called Dream Collective, and a store—also called Dream Collective—in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood that sells not only her designs but the apparel, home goods and cosmetics and fragrances of others. After two years of making jewelry for her Kathryn Bentley brand, Bentley moved to Los Angeles from New York and launched a second line, Dream Collective,


in 2008. Dream Collective offers everyday-wear bracelets, necklaces, earrings and brooches. For her fine jewelry line, to which she is “constantly” adding new pieces, “I want to create timeless future heirlooms that will withstand trends,” she says. Often, the design is directed by a stone; favorites include watermelon tourmaline, opals, rose-cut diamonds and turquoise. Dream Collective, which utilizes silver, enamel and semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli and malachite, serves as an outlet for Bentley to explore more offbeat ideas. Twice a year, she spends a few weeks researching some object or subject of personal interest—be it Art Deco, water towers or the work of artists like Pablo Picasso and Jean Arp—before sitting down to sketch designs for its latest collection.

Bentley’s jewelry is crafted almost entirely in the Los Angeles area. “Since Dream Collective’s inception, I have worked with local artisans and jewelers,” she says, with materials sourced from vendors with ethical and eco-conscious practices. That commitment to community-minded commerce extends to the Dream Collective store, which opened six years ago and offers a carefully selected variety of goods—many made by artists within Bentley’s circle of friends—that appeal to what The New York Times called her “magpie eye” and reflect her self-described taste for “minimal, colorful, clean-line” designs. [Miranda Pierce]


Shelf Liners 

This year has yielded a bumper crop of new books by SVA alumni and faculty. Here are just a few of the many titles released or forthcoming in 2017. [Greg Herbowy & Michelle Mackin]

THE WITCH BOY Molly Ostertag (BFA 2014 Cartooning) Graphix Hardcover/softcover/ e-book, 224 pages $24.99/$12.99/$7.99

AH YES BAD THINGS Andrea McGinty (MFA 2014 Fine Arts) Soft City Softcover, 56 pages, $15

DIGGING IN THE STARS Elizabeth Blakeney (BFA 2010 Animation) Blaze Softcover/e-book, 344 pages $9.95/$3.99

WHEN THE RULES AREN’T RIGHT: 7 TIME TRAVEL TALES OF ACTIVISM Written by Leslie Tolf, featuring illustrations by Veronica Agarwal (BFA 2016 Cartooning), Alex Graudins (BFA 2016 Cartooning), Giselle Sarmiento (BFA 2015 Cartooning) and Madeline Zuluaga (BFA 2016 Illustration) Softcover, 112 pages, $19.95

WARRIORS: GRAYSTRIPE’S ADVENTURE Written by Erin Hunter, illustrated by James Barry (MFA 2004 Illustration as Visual Essay) HarperCollins Softcover/e-book, 272 pages $12.99/$10.99

ASSUMING BOYCOTT: RESISTANCE, AGENCY, AND CULTURAL PRODUCTION Co-edited by Kareem Estefan (MFA 2012 Art Criticism and Writing) OR Books Softcover/e-book, 276 pages $18/$10

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SCHOMBURG: THE MAN WHO BUILT A LIBRARY Written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Eric Velasquez (BFA 1983 Media Arts) Candlewick Hardcover, 48 pages, $16.99

MARK TOBEY: THREADING LIGHT Debra Bricker Balken (faculty, MFA Art Writing) Rizzoli Hardcover, 208 pages, $55

GARBAGE NIGHT Jen Lee (BFA 2008 Illustration) Nobrow Hardcover, 72 pages, $18.95

THE BOX Ron Amato (BFA 2003 Photography) Bruno Gmuender Hardcover, 96 pages, $59.99

IN LIVING COLOR Jerry Craft (BFA 1984 Media Arts) Mama’s Boyz, Inc. Hardcover/softcover 96 pages, $21.86/$14.95




$ 4 .99 USD


DRIFTWOOD PENCILS Scott Bluedorn (BFA 2009 Illustration) scottbluedorn.com Set of three, $30



AMERICAN ASSASSIN Directed by Michael Cuesta (BFA 1985 Photography) CBS Films Feature film Premiered September 15

ENDLESS NEW YORK Mark Bischel (MFA 2000 Illustration as Visual Essay) mbischel.com Illustrated card set, $30

OK K.O.! LET’S BE HEROES Created by Ian Jones-Quartey (BFA 2006 Animation) Cartoon Network Animated TV series, check local listings


All Time Comics 

JOSH and SAM BAYER fantagraphics.com Full-color comic books 28 pages each, $3.99 – $4.99


he superhero team-up is a classic comics storytelling device: Bring two titans together to achieve a seemingly insurmountable task and watch the sparks fly. In that spirit, longtime comics artist and writer Josh Bayer (MFA 2009 Illustration as Visual Essay) and his brother, filmmaker, music video director and fellow alumnus Sam Bayer (BFA 1987 Media Arts) teamed up to develop All Time Comics, the first superhero imprint from alternative comics publisher Fantagraphics. Initially conceived as a way of building a back story for characters Sam is developing for a future film project, All Time Comics consists of four interconnected series, each about and named for an original superhero: Atlas, Blind Justice, Bull Whip and Crime Destroyer. “Sam came with the characters and a lot of the details already worked out, but then opened it up and really gave me and the artists a lot of creative license,” says Josh, who writes each of the issues. Through their partnership with Fantagraphics—one of the most respected and high-profile

publishers in comics—the Bayers have been able to bring together an impressive group of contributing artists. All Time Comics’ creative teams rotate for each issue and feature pairings of upand-coming talents with artists from the Bronze Age of Comics—a period in American superhero history, lasting roughly from 1970 to 1985, that saw a turn toward darker, more adult storytelling and the rise of the antihero. All Time’s first issue, Crime Destroyer #1, featured the last published work of the late Herb Trimpe, cocreator of Marvel’s popular Wolverine character, as well as inks by Ben Marra (MFA 2003 Illustration as Visual Essay). Collaborators for upcoming releases include Al Milgrom (cocreator of DC’s original Firestorm character), Rick Buckler Jr. (contributing artist for Arcana’s Ripperman and Shadowflame titles) and Noah Van Sciver (writer of the 2016 Eisner Award-nominated graphic novella Fante Bukowski). To promote the imprint, Sam directed a live-action video trailer introducing the characters Bull Whip and Crime Destroyer, which premiered online in March in advance of the publication of Crime Destroyer #1. A second installment in that series, as well as the debut issues of Atlas, Bull Whip and Blind Justice, were released throughout the spring and summer. The initial six issues of All Time Comics will be published in a collected volume this fall, and the brothers are currently working on a second “season” of six issues, to be released in 2018. [Charles Snyder] V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L


dog-shaped vessels by Phil Scheuer, bowls by David Hollingsworth, bowl by Helayne Friedland, eyeglass cases by Hollingsworth.

Shape Shifters 

Helayne Friedland Designs Helayne Friedland helaynefriedlanddesigns.com $20 – $400 Cave Work David Hollingsworth cavework.com $40 – $200 Scheuer Ceramics Phil Scheuer behance.net/philscheuer Prices upon request The artistry and uniqueness of handmade, functional ceramic work lend an individual touch to one’s home décor, and among the ceramicists working via traditional methods today are three alumni: Helayne Friedland (BFA 1984 Media Arts), David Hollingsworth (BFA 2004 Graphic Design) and Phil Scheuer (1981 Illustration). Nature is the primary inspiration for Helayne Friedland’s vases, jars and bowls. She begins her process by photographing details of the outdoors—like the patterns on leaves or the bark of trees—which she then interprets into the form or texture FA L L 20 1 7

of her vessels, or directly silk-screens onto the clay. As her surfaces tend toward the complex, her shapes, created on the wheel or by hand-building techniques, are kept relatively simple. With Cave Work, David Hollingsworth creates everyday items—including lamps, planters and eyeglass holders—imbued with uncommon character and warmth. Working from slabs of clay, he is able to obtain unusual and geometric shapes and patterns that aim for a playful, experimental effect and are informed by his love of design and architecture. Phil Scheuer’s symmetrical vessels, thrown on the wheel, balance their clean aesthetic with an unmistakable sense of whimsy. He’s experimented with cartoon characters (a natural subject matter for Scheuer, whose other job is as an educational and editorial illustrator); made containers shaped like acorns, koalas, monkeys and dogs; and created undulating vases decorated with vine and brick motifs. [Dan Halm] 13


The Take a Stand Project 

JENNY CHRISTIAN, RAQUEL MARTINEZ, KARLA MICKENS COLE and MAY SHEK itakeastand.org Silk scarves, $102 each


fter hearing the election results in November 2016, May Shek (MPS 2012 Branding), a brand and innovation strategist at Siegel+Gale, felt compelled to support the causes she believed would be imperiled by the incoming administration. She got together with friend and former classmate Raquel Martinez (MPS 2012 Branding), creative director of AFS Intercultural Programs, and two other designers, Jenny Christian and Karla Mickens Cole, and within a month the four launched the Take a Stand Project. “We want this initiative to continuously celebrate and promote diversity in the ways we create, connect and live,” Shek says. Each designer created an original silk scarf bearing a supportive message for a cause that is likely to be at risk in the current political climate. For each scarf sold, 100% of the profit is donated to an organization that benefits the corresponding cause. Proceeds from Christian’s gender-equality scarf go to the National Organization for Women; Mickens Cole’s women’s health scarf proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood; the profits from Martinez’s immigration-equality scarf are donated to the International Refugee Assistance Project; and the proceeds from Shek’s scarf for LGBTQ rights benefit the Trevor Project. [MM]

Sick Individual 

FELIPE URTEAGA sickindividual.co T-shirts, $30; posters, $20 Sick Individual, the T-shirt brand of Felipe Urteaga (BFA 2008 Animation), celebrates iconic artists, athletes, humanitarians and intellectuals from the Renaissance to the present day. Urteaga draws each T-shirt portrait, incorporating references to key achievements of the featured “sick individual” (sick, in this sense, meaning amazing or impressive). The 15 or so subjects include soccer star Lionel Messi, legendary boxer and activist Muhammad Ali and James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Made with ultra-soft Peruvian cotton, the shirts—along with posters of the designs—are sold online and in retail outlets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, with a portion of proceeds donated to charity. Urteaga plans on expanding the business with new shirts and a U.S. retail presence in the months to come. [GH]






Ketta Ioannidou (MFA 1999 Illustration as Visual Essay) kettaioannidou.com Tote bags, $40

Directed by Dana Terrace (BFA 2013 Animation) Disney XD Animated TV series Check local listings

Ki Yan Yip (BFA 2016 Design) and Clara Yu 8bitbaconn.bigcartel.com Cotton and fl eece embroidered beanie, $26


Lindlund Ruler 

As the things we use to read or watch content continue to proliferate and diversify, today’s designers are expected to produce work that can successfully fit multiple formats—whether they are as small as a watch face or as big as a movie screen. And while playing with dimensions is easy enough on a computer, assessing an idea’s scalability in the sketching stage can be anything but. With their Lindlund ruler, BFA Design students Axel Lindmarker and Jens Marklund offer a tool that “bridges the gap FA L L 20 1 7


AXEL LINDMARKER and JENS MARKLUND lindlund.co Multiple-measurement rulers $30 each (bulk discounts available) between physical and digital,” Lindmarker says. The Lindlund (a portmanteau of the collaborators’ last names) gives the user four units of measurement: centimeters, inches, pica (used in typography) and pixels (the dots that make up an image on a digital screen). Additional notches indicate standard iPhone and iPad screen dimensions, so designers can easily draw screen templates to work within. Made of anodized aluminum with a slip-proof rubber backing, the ruler is sturdy enough to serve as an edge for making clean tears, and a central cutout running its length can

be used for drawing perfect right angles. After coverage in Fast Company and Wired and a spring Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $66,000—or, as both Lindmarker and Marklund are Swedish, more than 581,000 krona—the pair began accepting preorders for the ruler, which comes in black or silver. The finished products began shipping in September. Now in the final year of their BFA program, the two designers plan to grow their business by updating other traditional tools to better suit the needs of the modern world. [GH]




ANNALIISA ARIOSA-BENSTON famousonmars.space Apparel and accessories, $12 – $1,500 Famousonmars is part feminist fashion line, part art installation and overall stylish. This apparel and accessories line, created by AnnaLiisa Ariosa-Benston (MFA 2016 Fine Arts), includes jewelry, backpacks and jackets tagged with words and phrases like “Future = Feminism,” “Persist,” “Resist” and “Girl Cvlt.” When she first started out, Benston wanted the brand to reflect her sense of humor and draw attention to her Instagram page (@famousonmars), the platform on which she initially launched the line. She was inspired by the famous saying “I’m big in Japan,” and liked the tongue-in-cheek quality of saying she was “Famous on Mars.” In addition to her e-commerce site, Benston periodically installs Famousonmars “pop-ups” at shops and art fairs like the Satellite Art Fair in Miami. She approaches each pop-up as an art installation, carefully planning out the lighting, the color of the walls and the presentation of the items on view. “Everything is for sale and most objects are meant to be experienced not only visually, but tactually as well,” she says. She wants her products to be truly intersectional, so most are oversized and gender neutral. “When someone buys clothing, it becomes their broadcast to the world,” she says. “I want those who purchase Famousonmars to feel that connection. Feminism isn’t a feminine pursuit, it’s a human one.” [DH]


LaSeur Knives 

TONY LaSEUR laseurknives.com Culinary, decorative and hunting knives, from $80 Not long after graduating from SVA, Tony LaSeur (BFA 2004 Illustration) settled in a rural area of western Maryland, making his living as a muralist. With “an actual kitchen” at his disposal for the first time in his adult life, he says, “I started getting into hunting and cooking, and I wanted to start acquiring some good knives.” Around the same time, he landed a commission at a blacksmith’s shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The owners let him use the facility in the off-hours and, after researching the process, he tried his hand at making his own blades. “I was hooked,” he says. Several years later, LaSeur moved to a house in Fredericksburg, Virginia, that had a detached garage big enough to create his own metal shop, and decided to make his self-taught hobby a full-time pursuit. He built early word of mouth by making knives for family and friends. Business has grown steadily since. LaSeur’s most popular items are his 8-inch chef’s knives, which feature his logo—a flattened, cursive “L”—on the blade and sell for around $300. He also regularly turns out butcher’s, hunting, oyster and paring knives, as well as custom orders ranging from swords to carving sets. Each piece is made from start to finish by LaSeur alone, with the carbon-steel blades either forged or ground, the handles carved from a variety of woods and the final items sharpened on a series of Japanese water stones. Special orders take six to eight weeks during most of the year, and two to three months leading up to the holiday season. [GH] V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L

Stuck on You 


re enamel pins “everywhere”? The heretofore humble accessories—an easy way to personalize one’s jacket, shirt or bag with a bit of flash—have been written up in Allure, The New York Times, Vogue and W over the past year; VICE Media’s Creators Project website even features a weekly “best pins” roundup. For artists and designers looking for another creative outlet or a fun way to promote their work, the appeal of enamel pins is no mystery: They’re eye-catching, collectible, durable and inexpensive to make and buy. Here are some of the many pins made and sold by SVA alumni. [GH]


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etsy.com/shop/alexbeguez $8 – $10


catsandanimetrash.storenvy.com $8

incompany.co $10

shellican.com $10 – $14



etsy.com/shop/instantrabbit $10




etsy.com/shop/saravaron $10



kitschn.co $8 – $10; two-pin combos $15 – $17

zinehug.storenvy.com $6 – $8



etsy.com/shop/suejeanko $10

etsy.com/shop/raishamf $10


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etsy.com/shop/giannameoladraws $7.50 – $8.50

jocelyntsaihstore.tictail.com $8


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Navigating the great wide world of work


Habitats for Humanities by alexander gelfand

As a recent SVA graduate, Marilyn Narota (MFA 2016 Fine Arts) had a general sense of what she wanted from her first artist’s residency: a structured environment where she could make work, meet fellow practitioners and receive feedback from seasoned arts professionals. But as a city-bred newlywed with a parttime job and no driver’s license, she also had a good idea of what she didn’t want: a traditional retreat-style commitment that would require her to abandon her husband for a month “in the middle of nowhere,” she says. “I don’t think I was ready for that.” Not that long ago, Narota might not have had much choice. Historically, most artists’ 18

and writers’ residencies followed the model made famous by organizations such as the MacDowell Colony, in New Hampshire, or Yaddo, in upstate New York. Designed to enable artists to escape their everyday obligations and concentrate on new work, these opportunities came at a price. Participants had to agree to be in a particular, usually remote place for an extended period, accepting a certain amount of isolation as part of the package. Commuting was not an option, nor was bringing one’s family—conditions that automatically excluded anyone who could not, for whatever reason, detach themselves from their regular lives for any significant length of time. V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L


That is no longer the case. According to Flannery Patton, director of member services and communications at the Alliance of Artists Communities, an international network of artists’ residencies, the variety and flexibility of residencies has markedly increased over the past decade. There are now a great many nontraditional residencies offered by organizations of all kinds—from museums and universities to research institutions, community arts centers and even for-profit companies—some requiring no more than several days’ commitment. “These opportunities are only meaningful when they are accessible,” Patton says. And at this point, she adds, there is something for just about everyone, regardless of individual circumstances. One New York City–area example is Residency Unlimited, a Brooklyn nonprofit that offers residencies customized to artists’ needs, often through partnerships with area organizations like the New Rochelle Business Improvement District in Westchester County and the Casita Maria Center for Arts in Education in the Bronx. Participants get studio and exhibition space, technical assistance and the chance to work on community-based arts projects. Farther afield, more discipline-specific organizations like Zea Mays Printmaking, in western Massachusetts, and the Bakery Photo Collective, in Portland, Maine, offer residencies lasting less than a week. And each year the Millay Colony for the Arts in upstate New York offers a “virtual” residency, in which the artist need only spend four days of the monthlong commitment on site. Narota, for her part, recently completed GRAB BACK: Feminist Incubator, FA L L 20 1 7

a 2017 program at Project for Empty Space (PES), a nonprofit arts organization in Newark, New Jersey, co-directed by SVA faculty member Jasmine Wahi. PES creates multidisciplinary exhibitions and programming aimed at promoting dialogue and cultural tolerance; GRAB BACK encouraged a cohort of four female artists (including MPS 2017 Digital Photography graduate Anna Ogier-Bloomer) to create work in response to the infamously lewd remarks made by President Donald Trump that surfaced in the 2016 presidential campaign. Narota had come to know Wahi when the latter curated the thesis exhibition of Narota’s class; when Wahi announced the five-month residency openings via social media and email, the artist jumped at the opportunity. Narota commuted to PES by train from her Harlem home and had around-the-clock access to its shared workspace, an arrangement that let her keep her job and enjoy life with her new husband. She also had total artistic freedom—and got lots of feedback from Wahi and her PES co-director, Rebecca Pauline Jampol. “It really did suit what I needed exactly,” she says. To wade through what Patton calls the “overwhelming” variety of residency programs now available—her own organization lists approximately 700—check out the sidebar of online resources on this page. And be prepared for competition. Despite the growth of nontraditional programs, aspiring participants continue to face a very traditional problem, Patton says: “There are far more applicants than spots.” Some things, it seems, never change. ✸

ALEXANDER GELFAND has contributed to

The Economist, The New York Times and Wired, among other publications.

RESIDENCY RESOURCES . . . The following websites and organizations offer free information about artists’ residencies in the U.S. and abroad, how to apply and search for the right opportunities, and more. Alliance of Artists Communities artistcommunities.org China Residencies chinaresidencies.com Rate My Artist Residency ratemyartistresidency.com ResArtis resartis.org Residency Unlimited residencyunlimited.org TransArtists transartists.org

OPPOSITE Artist Marilyn Narota poses next to her

mixed-media sculpture A Girl Whose Name Is Love, Is Missing (2017) at “Claw,” a group exhibition of work created as part of this year’s GRAB BACK: Feminist Incubator residency at Project for Empty Space, Newark, New Jersey. ABOVE Installation shot of Narota’s work at “Claw.”



Shen Wei


by dan halm

here is a quiet serenity and irresistible beauty to the work of Shen Wei (MFA 2006 Photography, Video and Related Media) that is palpable. Whether in the stillness of his revealing self-portraits or the romanticism of his landscapes or still life, his photography captures a sense of calm and power.



TOP Shen Wei, Doorway (Red/Cyan), 2017, C-print. BOTTOM Shen Wei, Self-portrait (New York), 2010, C-print.

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Shen Wei, Peach Tree, 2014, C-print.

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Wei moved to the United States when he was 23 to attend undergraduate school in Minnesota. His culture, upbringing and education inform his work. “I grew up in Shanghai, where it is very westernized,” he says. “It was easy to adopt the lifestyle or way of thinking here [in the States]. In the beginning of my work I think that my Chinese upbringing was less apparent; however, as I grow older I think this nostalgic feeling is starting to kick in.” That pull has led him to return to China more often in the last few years, to investigate and renew his connection to his birth country and its traditions. “Wei continues to evolve as an artist with every new body of work as he explores his sense of self,” says Brent Beamon, director of Flowers Gallery in New York City, which represents the artist. “He is unafraid to use various mediums to convey images that are intimate, melancholy, seductive and introspective.” Although Wei has tackled numerous projects throughout his career, from documenting his interactions with strangers to 22

exploring the Chinese concept of qi, an unseen life force and method of healing, he views all of his work as part of a larger whole that tracks his personal and professional journey. “As I grow as a person and an artist, I like to see those transitions,” he says. “And of course self-portraiture isn’t an unusual subject matter in photography. But I also think about being an artist from China who grew up in that environment, especially as a man, and how sensitivity is perhaps more difficult than if you grew up here.” His unabashed explorations of himself—frequently nude—are often paired with examinations of Chinese culture and a deep appreciation of the beauty of his homeland. The nudity in Wei’s work never feels gratuitous; with its classically minded lushness and attention to the beauty of the human form, it is reminiscent of that in Renaissance paintings. Although some might consider the work provocative, Wei’s photographs aim to beguile the viewer and evoke an overwhelming sense of calm. “I’d say my sexuality is always in my work. It’s even in the [photographs of] plants,” he says. “In art I think that’s very important, but I never want to be specific V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L

Shen Wei, Self-portrait (Earthly), 2012, C-print.

about it. I think it’s more psychological, more emotional in a way than sexual. I want that part to be more in the work than the skin, the intimacy.” Wei’s images have been shown in galleries and art fairs throughout China, and despite the generally conservative attitudes toward nudity there, his self-portraits have been met with a surprising openness and little controversy or censorship. The Internet has also helped get his work out to the masses, both in China and the rest of the world. “I constantly question myself—whether I am going too far, because of growing up in China and being very conservative in a way,” he says. “When I was making naked portraits, I was not worried about censorship. I was more worried about my family and what they would think of the work.” Whatever his ambivalence for the mores and norms of mainstream Chinese culture, the beauty of the country’s landscapes has been a rich wellspring for his photography. As Wei has grown up and lived in large, metropolitan settings, he feels strongly that having natural elements adds another level of FA L L 20 1 7

sensuality and mystery to his work. “I don’t really see nature, so part of me is always seeking it,” he says. “It’s almost like a fantasy for me to be in that kind of environment. It has this attractiveness to me, especially water.” Traveling the countryside, Wei looks for unfamiliar locations that he nonetheless feels drawn to, and his photographs in these settings—a lotus pond, a countryside temple, a balcony overlooking the Suzhou River—are exhilarating. “The work is really about going back home and finding your roots,” he says. “What’s bounded them together at the core is my spirituality. All of these projects are intertwined and very much about me.” Wei is represented by Flowers Gallery in New York City and London. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Library of Congress, among other institutions. For more information, visit shenphoto.com. ✸ 23

Shen Wei, Hanging Shirt, 2015, C-print.



Shen Wei, Self-portrait (Scars), 2015, C-print.

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Shen Wei, Self-portrait (Mushroom), 2012, C-print.

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Shen Wei, Self-portrait (Burn), 2012, C-print.



Shen Wei, Peacock, 2014, C-print.

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With Spotlight, Visual Arts Journal takes a closer look at cities and countries where SVA alumni live, work and contribute to the local creative community. In this issue: the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, home to many graduates of the College, including the following six.

by Briana Younger NEGAR AHKAMI MFA 2006 Fine Arts


or Negar Ahkami, art became a calling she could no longer ignore. After exhibiting her own art as a young girl and later being surrounded by it at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where she worked as a lawyer in her 20s, she knew it was time to create her own professionally. “It made no rational sense for me to be quitting my day job,” she says. “I reached a point where I had no other choice.


I felt my life was going to go in a very wrong direction if I didn’t give this a full try.” Ahkami quit her job in search of more time rather than more education, but eventually enrolled at SVA to get a proper start. “I didn’t expect to ever get an MFA. I kind of knew what I wanted to do. . . . I knew what I believed in,” she says. Her work has since been shown in a number of solo and group exhibitions around the world (including this year’s “Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America” at the University of Connecticut’s William Benton Museum of Art), and reviewed in such

publications as ArtNews and The New York Times. Initially, Ahkami’s paintings aimed at highlighting and resisting the narratives associated with her Iranian American heritage in a post– 9/11 world. But the constant challenging of misconceptions and explaining of her culture became a source of pain that ultimately inspired her to find a new approach. These days, she is focusing more on escapism, and the paintings hung on the walls of her Arlington, Virginia, studio are ornate and surreal, marked by brilliant swirling patterns inspired by mosque tiles. The latest feature

cartoonish club dancers captured mid-move, leaping from the canvas with texture that begs viewers to touch it. “The flamboyance in the art is a way to subvert that all black, unsmiling, [veiled imagery of Iranian women],” she says. “It’s inspired by Persian art but more so Habibi”—a gay Arab disco night that started in New York. “For me, what I love so much about [Iranian] culture is the joy, the rhythm, the love of dance.” OPPOSITE Negar Ahkami, Starry Muse, 2017, gesso, acrylic and glitter on panel. Negar Ahkami portrait by Greg Staley.


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JENNIFER STEINHAUER BFA 1990 Communication Arts


s midyear elections loomed during President Barack Obama’s first term, it looked as though the political tides of the country were turning, and Jennifer Steinhauer found herself riding the wave. She’d recently moved from her post as The New York Times’ Los Angeles bureau chief to become a congressional reporter based in Washington, DC—another notch in a journalism career that has spanned nearly three decades. When Steinhauer began her journalism career, “I don’t know that I had a goal,” she says. “If anything, I tried to avoid politics. . . . I started off as a feature writer—that was really my strength—and then I started to move more 32

and more into news over the years, which was a good thing, but it did end up leading to politics.” Steinhauer earned her first job at the Times while she was still an SVA student. Since then, she has covered everything from fashion to health care. She was the New York City Hall bureau chief during 9/11—a time she describes as “very, very intense”—before moving on to LA. But it’s not all news all the time. She has written a novel, Beverly Hills Adjacent (St. Martin’s Press, 2009), coauthored with Jessica Hendra, and two cookbooks—A Meatloaf in Every Oven (2017), coauthored with fellow Times writer Frank Bruni, and Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) (Clarkson Potter, 2014). And at the end of every day, she makes a point of leaving business on the Hill. “I try really hard to erase work from my brain pretty much the second I get in the Metro,” she says. “I turn im-

mediately to what I’m making for dinner, to my kids and what they want, to my herb garden. . . . I also try not to be on Twitter on the weekend. I don’t always succeed, but that’s my number-one tip for anybody.” Still, there may be no journalists more essential at present than those who are covering politics. With the new administration, Steinhauer’s job has largely shifted from focusing on policy to writing about the president’s impact on his party and how members of Congress respond to him. Attitudes toward journalists have also shifted; they are sometimes met with open hostility. “It’s really a disconcerting thing because obviously physical attacks on journalists are an attack on democracy in that we have constitutional protections for the free press,” she says. “I think it’s something you’re going to see more journalists engage as an issue.”

ABOVE In addition to her journalism

for The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer has co-authored a novel, Beverly Hills Adjacent (2009), and written two cookbooks: this year’s A Meatloaf in Every Oven (co-authored with fellow Times writer Frank Bruni) and 2014’s Treat Yourself. Jennifer Steinhauer portrait by Bill Pierce. Article reproduction courtesy The New York Times.


MELISSA MALZKUHN MFA 2015 Visual Narrative


MEGHAN LAZIER MFA 2015 Design for Social Innovation


ne of Meghan Lazier’s first jobs out of undergrad was in Afghanistan, working with a media agency to create radio and television commercials aimed at fighting corruption and restoring civic trust. The adventure of travel and the thrill of creating wasn’t enough, however. She needed to see results. “There was just a moment of thinking, ‘If there could be more thoughtful and strategic design, these campaigns could have a much larger impact,’” she says. She contemplated business school but ultimately applied to SVA, drawn by the MFA Design for Social Innovation program, which bridged the gap between tangible and intangible design work, touching on everything from graphics and visuals to experiences and services. It also fulfilled Lazier’s urge to work toward improving people’s lives on a large scale. She soon found herself abroad once more, this time in Liberia with Bridge International Academies, to help reshape the education system of a country plagued by a lack of teachers and materials and an abundance of systemic issues. “We were going into communities, figuring out FA L L 20 1 7

how we could introduce something that is complex at a policy level to someone who may have had a piecemeal, patchwork education because of the war,” she says. “Something like that has the potential to impact a lot of people, and it’s pretty humbling that I was a part of that process, but it’s scary because we don’t know if it will work, and no one profession has all the answers.” Since then, Lazier has settled in Washington, DC, working as a UX (user experience) designer for the Federal Reserve. As the first design hire for her particular team, she assists economists by finding new ways to connect, organize and visualize their data. Her work reaches policymakers whose decisions affect citizens’ daily lives. “I’m just not the type of person that is motivated by things that are cool or sexy. I really care about impact and legacy, and I’m compelled to work in difficult environments,” she says. “We throw the word privilege around a lot, and it’s overused, but I think it’s important. I have parents who really cared about education and I’m an educated person. I’m really lucky in that way and I want to give back.”

his year marks the 200th anniversary of the first school for the deaf in America. And with undeterred momentum, Melissa Malzkuhn, director of the Motion Light Lab at Gallaudet University— the first institution of higher education for the deaf in the world—is making strides in deaf education and the creation of resources for deaf youth and their loved ones. “We’re a culturally linguistic minority group. We have a rich history. We have literature. We have everything that every cultural minority has,” Malzkuhn says via interpreter in her lab at Gallaudet’s Washington, DC, campus. “These misconceptions that people hold because of a lack of understanding lead to assumptions, most of which come from this medical model of deaf people—that we need to be fixed in some sense.” As a third-generation deaf person, her own experiences inform much of her approach. Shortly after she set out to get her MFA, she was inspired to begin work on an ASL app after her fellow students expressed an interest in learning sign language.    “I was the only deaf person there, and I realized that I really wanted to connect with my classmates because

we were communicating through an interpreter, which is okay, but you lose some of that one-on-one connection,” she says. “We wanted to collaborate and develop a relationship that went deeper.” The award-winning ASL App, which includes more than 1,500 signs and phrases to date, is now available on iOS and Android products. Malzkuhn and her partners at her production company, Ink & Salt, are preparing a version for Android. At Gallaudet, she has published several bilingual storybooks aimed at motivating deaf children to read. The books, available on iPad or Android via vl2storybookapps.com, present their stories both in ASL and written English. Her team is now looking to up the interactivity, with 3D avatars (including one based on Malzkuhn herself) translating nursery rhymes and, ultimately, appearing in kids’ shows. She is also at work on a narrative-based game, The Boy Who Ate Words, that she began developing at SVA.  “The absurd is my passion,” she says. “I like to find ways of telling stories that really question our understanding of the world.” BELOW An illustration by designer and developer Melissa Malzkuhn for the December 14, 2014, edition of The Washington Post’s free daily, Express. Melissa Malzkuhn portrait by Conor McLaren.

ABOVE UX designer Meghan Lazier

at work at the Federal Reserve; photo courtesy Anchyi Wei of the Office of Personnel Management. Meghan Lazier portrait by Kelly Fitzsimmons.




omic books and childhood go hand in hand, but for Shawn Martinbrough, his interest in the medium was nothing fleeting. His love of reading comics became a love for drawing them, and while still attending SVA, he landed his first gig after his portfolio impressed an editor at the 1992 New York Comic Con. “I was fortunate enough to get a card from Marcus McLaurin, one of the few black comics editors at the time,” he says. “At the time, Marvel was commissioning artists to do fully painted illustrations, and that was my first work.”


Inspired by illustrators like Frank Miller, Alex Toth and BFA Cartooning faculty member Dave Mazzucchelli, Martinbrough developed an interest in high-contrast noir, a style that makes use of shadow and dark space to bring drama and impact to a story. He has penned a book on the technique, How to Draw Noir Comics (Watson-Guptill, 2007), and within his own repertoire he has perfected it, notably in his work on Marvel’s Luke Cage Noir series, among others.  Still, for someone who has had the opportunity to draw some of comics’ most recognizable faces—from Batman and Black Panther to Hellboy and Captain America—ask him who his favorites are, and Martinbrough doesn’t have an answer. Every day is a chance to re-imagine old characters and stories while creating some of his own.

“I really take each thing as a challenge,” he says. “I enjoy crafting the world of Thief of Thieves. . . . Being able to craft that universe from the ground up and design and create the characters myself is really cool. Drawing Luke Cage, an iconic character, and being able to put a Harlem Renaissance–type spin on him was amazing. Each project takes on its own significance.” Martinbrough, who considers himself “old school,” ends each day of work in his Alexandria, Virginia, home studio with ink-stained fingers. Even in this digital age, he still approaches his art with the same method that got him where he is, pen in hand. But with nearly three decades under his belt, he’s

looking past the page for new creative opportunities. “I’m a storyteller, and I’m always looking for a way to communicate an idea through a visual image. I see this as something I could organically do in film and television,” he says. “I think the greatest thing about being an artist is being able to put your ideas and elements of yourself and personality and your ideals into an image and having it affect a lot of different people a lot of different ways.”

ABOVE, FROM LEFT Covers for Thief

of Thieves, an Image Comics series drawn exclusively by illustrator Shawn Martinbrough, and a Martinbrough panel from Marvel’s Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #525, 2011. Shawn Martinbrough portrait by Joy Asico.


JACKIE LAY MFA 2010 Design


erendipitously, Jackie Lay’s thesis to complete her MFA Design degree at SVA aligned perfectly with her present career. She’d presented on translating ideas— philosophies like Buddhism, Taoism and existentialism— into animations. Now she animates the ideas contained within news articles and stories in The Atlantic. When she began, she was the first animator on the team. “It was an adventure,” she says. “It felt like a lot of responsibility to have the legacy of this 160-year-old magazine pushed on me in a new medium.” Before all that, Lay had planned to become a different sort of artist. Growing up, she spent much of her time drawing and writing, and she says she “never really had a choice” but to enter a creative field. A visual arts major as an undergraduate, upon graduation she did what most artists do: headed to New York City.

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“I spent four years trying to ‘make art’—whatever that means—and got kind of disillusioned with the art world in general and became more interested in design,” she says. “Design is appealing because someone gives you a problem and you’re asked to solve it visually. That seems like more of a worthwhile challenge.” Her knack for creative and effective animation presented what she says was her biggest challenge yet. A former SVA instructor, Jennifer Kinon, offered her a job with the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. And while the intersection between animation and politics may not seem obvious, it wasn’t the contrast in medium and subject that proved the most difficult; it was the time. “Sometimes they’d want a visual to go with breaking news,” she recalls. “When the terrorist attacks happened in Paris, I had basically two or three hours to come up with something and execute it in time for their announcement.” At The Atlantic, Lay’s design and animation talents have been used to illustrate everything from interviews

with Barack Obama and director David Lynch to a feature on mass incarceration. “I just wanted to constantly have fun and entertain myself, but I ended up in this space of journalism, which can be fun but it can also be a lot more serious,” she says. “Telling a story with gravity—that feels great too.” ✸ BRIANA YOUNGER has written about music and culture for The Washington Post, Pitchfork and NPR, among other outlets.

Illustrations by designer Jackie Lay for the 2016 Clinton campaign about (from top) equal pay, national security, manufacturing jobs, terrorist attacks in Paris and campaign finance reform.



ith the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory looming, there is no denying that America has entered a new era of political and social engagement, particularly for those on the left: Witness the endless marches supporting women, immigrants and the environment, town hall shout-downs and congressional office sit-ins over health care, and avalanches of donations supporting cause-related organizations. Activism fueled by discontent has been brewing for years, of course, with the growth of social movements such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street and Fight for $15. But the 2016 election was the match that lit the fire of a contentious national dialogue that shows no signs of abating. 36


NING An SVA GERoundtable Designers, illustrators and artists play a vital role in shaping this conversation. They lead strategy and branding for campaigns and nonprofits, craft public-awareness campaigns, produce galvanizing images and educate the next generation of thinkers and creators. To gauge the impact of these efforts and debate the best way forward, the Visual Arts Journal invited a cross-section of voices from SVA’s community of design professionals to participate in a roundtable discussion about the current state of design and activism, moderated by Lindsay Ballant (BFA 2004 Graphic Design), art director of The Baffler, a political and cultural magazine. Below are condensed and edited highlights of that spirited conversation, which was held on campus this May. FA L L 20 1 7



Steven Heller

Co-chair, MFA Design. A longtime art director, educator, design historian and journalist, Heller has written more than 170 books on design, illustration and visual culture.


was an art director for the Irish Art Center, and we did a flyer for George McGovern, comparing him to Nixon on Ireland. And it was one of the worst things I ever designed. But it served its purpose. And I had to bite the bullet and say, “I’m just going to do what they need me to do.” The design often plays second fiddle to the message, hopefully they play in the same key. When you give your students an assignment to do something political, their instinct is to do something that’s good that will end up in a portfolio, not necessarily good in that it’s going to remain in somebody’s head. And I think that’s the nature of going to design students to act out or act up. It can take four years to teach that doing a template or doing a spreadsheet or a manual is just as important as doing the poster. There used to be an organization called Workshop in Nonviolence—WIN. And it was a physical place where people came and took classes on organizing.


These things can’t be done instinctively. There are strategies that people should follow and the strategies change depending on the way the media changes.

Victor Ng

Faculty, MFA Interaction Design. Ng is a senior art director and brand strategist at The New York Times and former head of web design for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.


hepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster was always this beacon of what you could do as a designer in politics. But there could only be one “Hope” poster. And so I think there are other ways that maybe aren’t currently known to a lot of young designers in which you can participate. When I was in the Bay area working at a Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer center, they had a really inefficient sign-in sheet. They had to take a sign-in sheet that was entered into an Excel sheet that then was entered into a DNC database. And that was handed off to three different people. I just took 15 minutes to redesign it so the form fields matched the database, and it saved everyone a bunch of time.

ABOVE As head of web design for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, MFA Interaction Design faculty member Victor Ng helped build an online platform that was optimized for mobile devices.


It’s really the small, incremental, kind of classic form of understanding your audience and trying to solve a small problem for them that can actually amplify the work these organizations are trying to do. And I think the most effective kind of amplification is to focus on organizations that have been crafting specific policy proposals for a long time and are trying to get those passed, to use design to amplify those, in addition to designing protest posters.

Julia Lindpaintner

MFA 2017 Products of Design. Lindpaintner is a designer and strategist who has worked for Pentagram, the nonprofit Common Cents Lab and the U.S. Census Bureau. Her thesis project, Justice by All, explored means of strengthening civic engagement in the judicial system.


here are these two paths of design activism: the visible and the invisible. Even if nobody ever notices, the power of design is to just make things clearer, easier to do or more appealing. After the election we began to think, “What can we do as designers to be of use in the current debate?” And we realized it wasn’t always strictly design that we had to offer. When those of us in the MFA Products of Design Department went to the Women’s March, we didn’t design our own posters. Dozens of designers shared their posters, so we printed and used those. We realized the biggest thing we had to offer was our studio space, so we began hosting events to bring together design students across New York, and opened the space to the

public for lectures and networking. And I think it’s important to not always have the instinct of, “Oh, I have this idea. I have to make a new thing,” but rather, “I have this idea. Probably other people have it, too. How can I partner most effectively with somebody that may have the content aspect covered, and amplify their voices through design?” I think that’s hugely powerful.

Colleen Tighe

BFA 2014 Illustration. Tighe is a freelance illustrator and founding member of the media committee for the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.


f there are designers who want to get involved in any sort of activism, going to a group and saying, “Can I please just organize your email template?” is such a good thing to do, and I’m speaking about this as someone who is heavily involved in my volunteer group. I have never felt like my personal voice is stifled by the work I do for an organization, which is totally separate, ego-wise, for me. And I think it’s also important to emphasize: For all the work you do make for an organization that you could put in your portfolio, at the end of the day it’s in the service of this cause that you believe in. And you still should have to make your own work to fulfill whatever other purposes you need.

covers for Time and Der Spiegel have been widely recognized as some of the most indelible political artworks to come out of the 2016 election.


do my political work out of personal anger. It’s not about responsibility or anything. It’s really more about, “I think we’re this far away from complete chaos.” So I’m just yelling, “Hey, this thing could explode at any moment.” I think the danger of that is the idea that the designer becomes a propagandist. When you start working for a party, when you stop becoming an individual and you work for an organization, you’re no longer making art. You’re making propaganda in a way. It’s a choice. But I think what happens is, when you take a job, it’s a continual choice. Having grown up in Cuba, where propaganda was, you know, hammered down people’s throat to elicit responses, and there were artists that worked for the government—I’m just very cautious of that.

Edel Rodriguez

Faculty, BFA Illustration. Rodriguez is an artist and illustrator whose high-profile, Donald Trump-themed

ABOVE Branding consultant, writer and MPS

Branding Chair Debbie Millman (left) and illustrator and organizer Colleen Tighe.

LEFT Colleen Tighe’s poster for the DSA’s

participation in the February 2017 A Day Without Women strike.

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Steve Brodner

Faculty, BFA Illustration. A prolific and award-winning illustrator and political cartoonist, Brodner has contributed to such publications as Esquire, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Washington Post over his 40-year career.

What did we see after the terrorist attacks in France? This is what we first saw: Somebody created a logo. And everybody changed their Facebook pages to this logo. What did we do when marriage equality came out? We put the [rainbow] flag over our faces. . . . And this year we saw the launch of the

fastest-embraced brand in history: the pink pussy hat. These are symbols we are using to telegraph ideals. They are not selling anything. Instead they are representing a community with a shared mission. And this gives me great optimism for the discipline of branding. ✸

OPPOSITE Illustrator and BFA Illustration faculty member Edel Rodriguez’s cover for the August 22, 2016, issue of Time.

ABOVE Op-ed art by illustrator and BFA Illustration


VA, even more than most schools, has been socially minded over the decades. And that is in part due to the person who runs the school [SVA President David Rhodes] and the people that he brings in. But we still teach advertising. There’s good and bad advertising, but advertising is advertising, and propaganda is all of what we do. More or less whatever we do is feeding into the manipulative process. How do we step away—how do we look introspectively at that and change the way we deal with things? I mean, Edel’s Der Spiegel cover made such a huge mark, but is it going to have the same impact in another six months? I’m against everything they stand for, but I kind of admire Tea Party people, and I kind of admired Phyllis Schlafly, because these guys didn’t go home. They lost in the Supreme Court on abortion and they came out the next day and fought for 30 years and they’re shutting down clinics all over the country. Now, after all this, they’re one Supreme Court justice away. And hats off to them, right?

Debbie Millman

Chair, MPS Branding. Millman is a branding consultant, writer and host of the National Design Award-winning Design Matters podcast.


e’re all engaging in these behaviors, whether they are pro- this or pro- that, or anti- this or anti- that. The question of whether or not this is branding or design? Well, I contend it’s probably both. If we look at all of these constructs, these things that we use to identify a set of beliefs—whether it be the red “Make America Great Again” hat or the Hillary logo—you can see this effort to manufacture meaning is everywhere. Even the anti-branding efforts—Adbusters, Buy Nothing Day, the No Logo contingent—they’re employing the very tenets of branding and design that they so vehemently oppose. But what heartens me is how branding has become a profound manifestation of the human spirit. Design has become democratized. Branding has become democratized.

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faculty member Steve Brodner for the April 9, 2017, edition of the Los Angeles Times.







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When you enter artist Rachel Rossin’s virtual reality piece The Sky Is a Gap (2017), an animated world flooded with lavender light and filled with floating debris and what could be shards of electronics, you need to watch your step. Movement will trigger the surrounding digital environment: Walk forward, and you could cause objects to explode. A dramatically different experience than previous VR films or games before it—it isn’t linear, nor is it built around the passive observer–active performer dynamic that lies at the heart of most viewing entertainment—The Sky Is a Gap is a telling example of where design and storytelling in VR might be headed. 44


“There’s literally over 100 years of thought in filmmaking, in how to compose for a rectangle, how you light for it, work with two-stereo sound, how to make people look forward,” says Terrence Masson, chair of MFA Computer Arts at SVA. “In VR all of those rules go away.” This fall, to explore VR as a whole new medium (as opposed to another viewing platform), Masson will teach a two-semester course at SVA on storytelling in VR—one of the first classes of its kind in the United States. Masson, who can count animation credits on three Stars Wars films and has spent the last 10 years running an augmented reality company, says the curriculum will focus on narrative, documentary and game storytelling. “An example of an assignment is: tell a one-minute story, but use all four cardinal directions and the VR environment for a reason—don’t just swing the camera around,” Masson says. One reason to use a 360-degree environment is that it brings the immediacy of the performing arts to viewers. “Video has never been able to truly capture an actor’s presence or the immediacy of musical choreography,” says Matthew Niederhauser (MFA 2015 FA L L 20 1 7

Art Practice), cofounder of Sensorium Works, the New York City studio that produced The Sky Is a Gap for Rossin, who debuted it at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. “We think that in VR, which is a comparably more overwhelming media form, you could feel like an actor is right next to you.” To that end, Sensorium recently partnered with the New York Theatre Workshop during its run of Geoff Sobelle’s performance-installation The

PREVIOUS SPREAD Screenshots of in-production VR

projects by Sensorium Works for choreographer and dancer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (left), and theater artist Geoff Sobelle and New York Theatre Workshop (right). ABOVE A Molecule-branded VR headset, photograph courtesy The Molecule. BACKGROUND An image from artist Rachel Rossin’s VR installation The Sky Is a Gap (2017), courtesy the artist and Sensorium Works.

“There’s literally over 100 years of thought in filmmaking. In VR, all of those rules go away.” Object Lesson. Sensorium’s work on it is still in production, but Niederhauser says the overarching idea has to do with translating these performances into a new medium. To bring such an experience into high definition—to make a VR dance performance feel as vivid as a night at an immersive theater experience like Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More—Niederhauser says the technology needs to catch up. He’s particularly interested in volumetric capture, in which 45

TOP An image from artist Rachel Rossin’s VR installation The Sky Is a Gap (2017), which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, courtesy the artist and Sensorium Works. ABOVE A behind-the-scenes photo of motion capture for Avatar Dance Battle (2016), a Sensorium Works project that used volumetric capture—filming performers from multiple angles—to create photo-realistic 3D images.


an array of cameras film actors from every angle so that the images appear in photo-realistic 3D. The technology is nascent—8i, a California startup, and DepthKit, a young company out of the New Museum’s New Inc. incubator, are early players in volumetric capture—but Sensorium is exploring ways to create narratives that can benefit from it. In the past few years, VR has experienced a Cambrian-like growth, aided by advances in camera rigs and headsets, but the technology also can hinder creators. Volumetric capture, for instance, isn’t yet mainstream. And rendering engines can’t keep up with designers’ ambitions. “We’re always chasing the frames per second,” says Andrew

Dayton (BFA 1998 Computer Art), founder of Steel Wool Studios, a VR production company based in Oakland, California. Dayton worked at Pixar for 12 years (he created Andy’s room in Toy Story 3) and says for an animated film, designers render at 1/24th of a second. For VR, an engine needs to create 60 to 90 frames per second. “You might have to make some artistic compromises,” Dayton says. “But from a story point of view there’s always a creative way to inject your narrative.” For example, in Bounce, an educational puzzle game created by Steel Wool, the player learns about physics by helping a robot escape imprisonment, getting it to bounce, jump or roll around obstacles. The game has 50 levels, and creating an immersive, 360-degree environment for each would have required a ton of time and talent. Instead, Steel Wool allowed the game’s dynamic—the turning, the jumping—to help shape the narrative. Dayton says story vignettes exist on a “layout path” that matches up with points of action in the game. These points of concentration let Dayton and his designers animate certain scenes in vivid detail and not worry too much about others. Dayton is describing an adaptation— an animator adjusting a story to fit the parameters of a new technology. Soon, Dayton, Niederhauser and designers like them will need to adapt yet again. “There are things that hamper us: I have the headset wires attached to me and the computer, and I have to have V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L

ABOVE A screenshot (top) and behind-thescenes photo from Avatar Dance Battle (2016), a Sensorium Works VR project filmed in and around Las Vegas with movement artists Lil Buck, Jon Boogz and Turbo. LEFT Sensorium Works filmed a performance of choreographer Ann Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Work/Travail/Arbeid (2017) at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, for a still-in-production VR version of the piece.

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Screenshots from Bounce (2016), a VR puzzle game by Steel Wool Studios available on Steam, an online gaming platform.

controllers in my hand,” Dayton says. “But I think this technology is going to accelerate at a pace we haven’t seen in any other hardware.” When that happens, new factors—like haptic feedback, in the form of controllers’ vibrations in or gusts of air from secondary devices, all synced up to what the users see in their headsets—can enter the fray. Masson mentions Oculus’s Henry the Hedgehog VR film from 2015. In it, a Pixar-esque hedgehog looks for companionship and hugs (his quills make both hard to find). In the future, Masson says, it’s easy to imagine that hedgehog giving the viewer a kiss on the cheek. As technology becomes more sophisticated, the level of immersion—and therefore, the potential for storytelling moments—deepens. That’s not exclusive to VR for entertainment. The medical industry, among others, is leveraging VR to solve problems or augment ability. Luke DiTommaso (BFA 2001 Computer Art), a principal at creative studio The Molecule, points to VR as an exciting new educational tool for doctors to learn more about different types of patients and why a specific drug may be beneficial. The Molecule’s experiential design team is at work on one such project, for a new cholesterol medication called Livalo. “That’s not necessarily Hollywood sexy,” DiTommaso says. “But 48

these are uncharted waters, and they desperately need our expertise in terms of storytelling and tradecraft.” As these projects stack up, it’s clear that VR is no longer a fringe pursuit and in a massive state of experimentation. Designers are busy creating new standards—or at least toying with hypothetical ones. “It’s the chance to mold a new paradigm, or be involved in early stages of exploring what is working and what is not,” Niederhauser says. “Each production is a complicated puzzle.” It may be cliché, but everyone agrees it’s a creative Wild West—unpredictable and seemingly boundless in promise. Still, there are a few predictable changes: The gear will become untethered to a console. One day, a 5G Internet connection will make streaming content to your headset possible, so you can take it anywhere with ease. And it feels safe to assume that technologists and doctors will team up to solve VR’s

oft-cited motion-sickness problem, which has put off many early users. According to Dayton, no matter what today’s designers make, the technology’s youngest adopters will grow up to shape VR more than we can imagine. “There have been a few epiphanies we’ve had about VR—one was when I put my kids in a headset,” he says. “They just took off, exploring as if it were second nature to them. All the heads at the studios talk about what our kids might one day do with VR.” ✸ MARGARET RHODES is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is currently an editor at New York magazine, working on the Strategist section. Previously she was a staff writer at Wired, where she covered design.


Screenshots from Mars Odyssey (2016), an educational VR game by Steel Wool Studios available on Steam, an online gaming platform.

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by greg herbowy


t should come as little surprise that students in SVA’s MFA Products of Design program—dedicated to the study and pursuit of new, potentially transformative uses for design in all of its forms—are ace product designers. But should proof be needed, take for example the department’s ongoing collaboration with MoMA Design Store, the retail arm of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. For the past three years, MFA Products of Design students have been invited to develop and pitch ideas to MoMA Wholesale, which produces inventive, often playful versions of everyday household items, travel gear, jewelry and gifts that are sold online, in MoMA Design Stores and by more than 1,000 retail partners around the world. To date, the brand has optioned 12 of the students’ creations, with two designs rolled out this year, four to be introduced January and the remainder in development.



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For even a seasoned product design team, this would be considered a notable rate of success, says Gabrielle Zola, MoMA’s manager of business development, who, along with Chay Costello, MoMA’s associate director of merchandising, meets with the students throughout the year to critique their ideas and, ultimately, decide which to pursue. “It’s been one of the most positive and successful partnerships,” she says, “with one of the highest volumes of products we’ve moved forward with.” In between Costello and Zola’s visits, department faculty member and SVA GroundFloor Incubator Director Sinclair Smith—an experienced industrial designer himself—provides feedback and technical support as students develop their pitches and prototype their creations. Royalties from any sales are paid to the product’s designer, designers retain intellectual property rights to ideas that MoMA Wholesale declines, and product packaging and advertising includes the designer’s name and calls out the brand’s collaboration with MFA Products of Design. “We cherish this relationship,” says MFA Products of Design Chair Allan Chochinov, who initiated the arrangement in 2013 at the suggestion of Paola Antonelli, a department faculty member and MoMA’s senior curator of architecture and design. “A product has to meet the highest standards of design and manufacturing quality to have the MoMA logo put on it, so to be the only academic program with this type of partnership is an extraordinary honor and a tremendous opportunity for our students.”

In addition to the possible financial gain and enviable résumé item, the MoMA/MFA Products of Design partnership offers students rare perspective into the business side of product development. The benefit for MoMA Wholesale is to be involved from the earliest stages of the design process. “The dialogue we have with the students is invaluable,” Costello says. “We regularly challenge one another’s assumptions about design and its role in our daily lives. Even for ideas we have not gone forward with, we are glad to be part of the discussion.” One of the most valuable insights comes from a common refrain heard from Costello and Zola in pitch meetings: “We’d sell that, but we wouldn’t make it.” “There’s a difference between a product that MoMA feels comfortable selling as a retailer and a product that MoMA will put its name on and sell as a wholesaler,” Smith says. A successful idea must not only be affordably and reliably mass produced, it must also fulfill the brand’s goal of offering well-designed products that “surprise and delight,” as Zola puts it, and in doing so represent the museum and its larger mission to consumers all over the world. But perhaps most valuable to participating students is the excuse to let their imaginations roam free. “At the end of the day what I felt the project offered most was a break from the rigors and stress of grad school life,” says Oscar Pipson (MFA 2016 Products of Design), whose Divine Proportion bottle opener (see page 57) will be released in January. “It was a chance to let the hair

down, put the academics to one side . . . and get your hands dirty and have fun.” As the collaboration enters its fourth year this fall, the partners are looking into a possible expansion. This summer, Smith traveled to Yame, Japan, a little-known city in the country’s Fukuoka prefecture that is home to many artisans working in traditional handicrafts. If all goes well, next year the College will introduce a three-week SVA Destinations program—open to both students and non-students—in which participants work with Yame craftspeople to develop potential MoMA Wholesale products. “The goal is to shine a light on a region with an extraordinary and diverse craft tradition,” he says. “By creating contemporary designs using traditional techniques and selling them through MoMA, we hope to help keep those craft industries alive and provide a meaningful experience of cultural exchange for everyone involved.” The following pages present the MFA Products of Design–created items introduced by MoMA Wholesale this year, as well as a preview of those to be released in January. All were designed by members of the program’s classes of 2015 and 2016. For more information about these products or MoMA Wholesale, visit store.moma.org. For more news about the partnership and other MFA Products of Design initiatives, visit productsofdesign.sva.edu. PHOTOGRAPHS BY Jacqueline Iannacone (BFA 2012 Photography) STYLING BY Megan Wilde

Illusion Spinner

Oscar de la Hera Gomez


e la Hera Gomez’s spinning paperweight, introduced by MoMA Wholesale this fall, is made of bone china and engraved with overlapping floral and spiral patterns, which create a hypnotic optical effect when set in motion. The idea, he says, was to create a desktop item that encourages meditative work breaks for users to clear their thoughts and refocus their attention. To see more of de la Hera Gomez’s work, visit oscardelahera.com.



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Geo Stacking Coasters



ot only were these colorful coasters—ridged with interlocking geometric shapes and made with dishwasher-safe silicone— the fi rst MFA Products of Design idea to make it across the development finish line, they were also featured prominently on the front and back covers of MoMA Wholesale’s winter 2017 catalog. Having been told MoMA was interested in tabletop items, Khunprasert arrived at her concept obliquely, drawing abstract shapes and then imagining possible materials with which they could be made and functions for them to fulfill. To see more of Khunprasert’s work, visit panisaobjects.com.

Ambi Chopstick Set Oscar de la Hera Gomez JANUARY RELEASE


isposable chopsticks are terribly wasteful,” de la Hera Gomez says, “but everlasting ones are hard to keep in pairs.” His Ambi set, which pairs durable wenge chopsticks with a leaf-shaped silicone holder, seeks to solve that problem. As a bonus, the holder—which comes in two shades of green, yellow and red—doubles as a tabletop place setting for the sticks.



Tic-Tac-Trivets Alexa Forney



orney’s tic-tac-toe–inspired trivets—the small stands that keep hot pans and pots from scorching tables—embody the whimsical and fun-loving aspects of the MoMA brand, reimagining what might normally be considered drab, utilitarian kitchen items as the building blocks of a beloved childhood game. To see more of Forney’s work, visit alexaforney.com.

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Multi-ccino Coffee Cup Josh Corn



one-size-fits-all mug, the Multi-ccino features marks indicating the proper measurements of ingredients for espresso drinks—from the simple double shot to the more elaborate cappuccino (equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk). To see more of Corn’s work, visit joshcorn.com.



Divine Proportion Bottle Opener Oscar Pipson



ipson’s opener offers convenience, functionality and durability: Made of sturdy brushed brass, its credit-card size and slimness allows for wallet storage. Its real appeal to aesthetes, however, may be its clever use of the so-called golden spiral, an age-old touchstone for classically proportioned compositions and designs. “Instead of using the spiral as a tool to find or define perfect proportions,” he says, “I wanted to find functional moments within the spiral’s geometry.” By cutting out the spiral’s curve as contained within a square, Pipson found he had an ideal lever for prying off bottle caps. To see more of Pipson’s work, visit oscarpipson.com.

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launch pad, idea repository AND

mental oasis BY CA ITLI N D OV E R

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f you open a flat-file drawer in the Manhattan studio of Carl Titolo (G 1967), you should pull up a chair—you’re probably going to want to stay a while. The drawers are filled with layer upon layer of sketchbooks; each book opens to a spread carpeted with minute, jewel-toned paintings, delicate pen drawings and jottings about art, food and architecture. Titolo calls these sketchbooks, which he has been keeping for more than 50 years, “appetizers.” For any visually minded person, they amount to a feast.  60

PREVIOUS SPREAD Frank Ockenfels 3, Angelina X, 2001 (left); Carl Titolo, sketchbook detail, undated (right).


The appeal of sketchbooks is longlived, but arguably it has gained a new dimension these days, ruled by images and image-sharing. The ephemeral quality of sketches pairs well with that of social media, which could account for the nearly 18 million Instagram posts currently tagged “sketchbook.” At the same time, it seems likely that some of the recent appreciation for sketching stems from its embodiment of two qualities that are scarce online: tactility and privacy. Three SVA alumni agreed to speak with Visual Arts Journal about the role sketching plays for them. Titolo is an artist, illustrator and longtime faculty member in the College’s BFA Design and MFA Illustration as Visual Essay departments. Kara Rooney (MFA 2009 Art Writing) has an interdisciplinary practice that encompasses performance, sculpture and criticism; she also teaches art history at SVA. Frank Ockenfels 3 (BFA 1983 Photography), who is based in Los Angeles, is an in-demand photographer known for his iconic portraits of celebrities such as David Bowie and Angelina Jolie. These artists’ generations, backgrounds and practices are greatly divergent, but for all three, the reasons they sketch are deeply entwined with the way they approach and produce their work. For Ockenfels, his notebooks started as “technical journals,” with Polaroids and diagrams showing how he planned to light a photograph. Then, as he recalls, “I found myself collaging the extra Polaroids and scraps of paper related to the shoot. Then I would write down my FA L L 20 1 7

thoughts or opinions on the shoot—a great way to clear my head.” His notebooks are still an excellent tool for head clearing, he notes, but they have now evolved into something far more complex, blending handwriting, expressive ink drawings, and “cheap printouts of my work, old and new.” Many of the resulting entries are layered and densely textured, and their content is often filled with sexuality and an intensity of emotion. “I like to make things that feel raw, real—that feel ‘one of one,’” he says. Rooney also brings layering and collage into her sketches, energetic sweeps of black on white, often woven through with snippets of her own photography. Rooney makes these pieces in series

Undated selections from artist and SVA faculty member Carl Titolo’s sketchbooks. Titolo has drawn, painted and collaged in sketchbooks as part of his daily art practice for more than 50 years.

of four or five, standing up at a table and working with inks, graphite and water-based washes on heavy white paper. She calls such works “warm-ups,” a name that brings to mind her time as a dancer, though she says they really stem from her training as a painter. “Particularly when I’m between projects, or when I’m beginning a body of work, they’re a way for me to get into the gestural mindset of the sculptural forms,” she says. “Even though I work with a lot of theory, this particular physicality has to be there first.” In a manner 61

Selections from the notebooks of photographer Frank Ockenfels 3. Clockwise from top right: Bowie bacon corner, 2003; BOWIE SPLIT, 2002; OBAMA MY PRESIDENT, 2017; NATALIE diary of Anne Frank, 1998.



similar to Ockenfels, Rooney’s sketches bring together different strands of her practice. For a series of works that she calls “Reverbs,” she photographs her sculptures, manipulates them in Photoshop and then incorporates them in three-dimensional pieces. Printed-out test images that didn’t make it into the finished works later have their use in the warm-ups. Rooney also keeps notebooks, mostly devoted to writing, and they are sprinkled with imagery. “They’re more like idea journals,” she says, explaining that on any given day she might be writing “something that could become an artist’s statement” or recording “an experience that would go into the work.” Even more than Rooney, Titolo sees his sketchbooks as a source for his finished work. “They are a springboard for everything that matters,” he says. “It’s pretty much gathering ingredients, and since I always have a pad with me, I’m always drawing.” It’s a habit that started early. As a young artist right out of SVA without a studio of his own, he would often draw from observation while sitting in places like Horn and Hardart automats—restaurants in which patrons could retrieve their meals from cubbies with glass doors. Sketches like these got him his first editorial job, when Penthouse magazine featured his drawings as

a visual essay along with a poem written by a friend. Over time, Titolo continued to sketch his surroundings, but became focused more on small details—a door knocker, a cup of espresso, fishing boats propped against a wall—that he observed and collected from his daily life and travels. He and his wife have made regular journeys to Italy since 1980, and both his notebooks and finished work reflect his love for that country. These days, at home in Manhattan, he makes notes in his sketchbooks at a café while drinking his morning coffee, then often

“It’s pretty much gathering ingredients,” Titolo says, “and since I always have a pad with me, I’m always drawing.” FA L L 20 1 7

Kara Rooney, warm-ups, ongoing, acrylic ink, digital photography, graphite, pen, charcoal and paper.

heads to his studio to work on a series that evokes Italian locales. Echoing Ockenfels, Titolo describes the sketchbook practice as a way to clear one’s mind. “It can take you anywhere your imagination wants to take you,” he says. “It’s a form of therapy.” For years he has used sketchbooks in his curriculum, giving all of his students a pad at the beginning of each semester. He allows them freedom to do what they want in the books, a freedom that, he says, “has produced, unanimously, the most creative work from every single student that they’ve done in any other form.” Having a place to work where there is no agenda is key to the important function sketchbooks serve for students and established artists alike. “My journals answer no question nor have any need 63



Kara Rooney, warm-ups, ongoing, acrylic ink, digital photography, graphite, pen, charcoal and paper.

to be understood. They just express random thoughts or the visual vomit that’s in my head,” Ockenfels says. “I can look at a blank page and not be afraid or put too much weight on that first line. I like seeing the scissor marks on the paper or the tear, the imperfection of the ink and how it stains the paper and moves without control across the surface of the page. To spatter ink across a piece is so freeing because you can only guess where it’s going to land.” “Visual thinking” like this goes beyond a diary, capturing more than just articulated thought. “[Sketchbooks] become . . . a magical history of your head and your hand,” Titolo says. Rooney says she

“They’re an archive of my daily existence as an artist.” will often go back to her journals to see where her thinking was six months previously: “[They’re] an archive of my daily existence as an artist, and an incredibly valuable part of my working process.” They are also very personal. As Rooney says, artists’ journals “can give you insight not only into the working process but into artists’ lives and reflections.” That’s one reason we like to look at sketchbooks, and it is also the reason that there will always be a tension between that desire and the need for artists to keep them private. When Ockenfels, Rooney and Titolo share their sketches, they let us behind the scenes of their work, giving us a glimpse into something not created for the public eye. As Ockenfels puts it, when people ask to see his journals, “A few will start to ask questions or have ideas about what works or doesn’t work. With a smile on my face I tell them I don’t care and I’m not interested. They are for me.” ✸ CAITLIN DOVER is a writer and editor based in New York City. She has worked as managing editor of Print magazine and has written about design and culture for Print, Metropolis and ELLE Décor, among other publications.

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@svaalumni SVA Alumni

20% tuition discount on SVA Continuing Education courses

For complete details visit sva.edu/alumni Questions? Contact SVA Alumni Affairs at 212.592.2300 or alumni@sva.edu




Established as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofi t in 1972, the SVA Alumni Society’s primary mission is to raise money in support of various student scholarship programs. Because all administrative and overhead expenses are covered by the College, 100 percent of all donations received by the alumni society go directly to student scholarship and award funds. For more information about the SVA Alumni Society, to make a donation, and to stay connected, visit sva.edu/alumni. Questions? Call 212.592.2300 or email alumni@sva.edu.

The 2017 SVA Alumni Society board members and award recipients at this year’s precommencement reception at the SVA Chelsea Gallery.

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Support the Talent A message from Jane Nuzzo, director of SVA Alumni Affairs and Development

Sometimes making a big difference starts out small. In 1998 the SVA Alumni Society distributed its very first Alumni Scholarship Awards: Five students each received $500 in support of their final thesis projects. From those humble beginnings, the society’s impact has grown exponentially. In addition to the general Alumni Scholarship Fund, the society now administers 25 individual named funds, as well as the Housing Scholarship Fund, annually distributing a multitude of merit and need-based cash awards, providing financial assistance to current students as they complete their studies. Last year $160,000 was given out to more than 90 deserving students. And over the course of the last 20 years, the society has assisted more than 750 students, distributing nearly $1.5 million overall. But it’s about more than just the money. Preparing to graduate from SVA can be both ex-

hilarating and overwhelming. The pressure to hit all of the year-end deadlines, combined with the anticipation of what’s coming next, can be daunting. Receiving an award from the Alumni Society instills a belief in recipients during what can be an uncertain time: the transition from student to working professional. The awards build confidence during the “11th hour,” encourage risk-taking, nurture ambition and make the seemingly impossible possible. These scholarships provide significant opportunity, recognition and motivation at a crucial moment in a graduating student’s education and budding career. On behalf of the Alumni Society, thank you to all who annually make contributions in support of our student scholarship programs. Turn to page 69 to see the most recent list of donors.



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 Alumni Society Merit Award, for a BFA candidate who demonstrated community building and leadership excellence while at SVA; the Brian Weil Memorial Award, for a graduating BFA Photography student; the DaVinci Award, for BFA Cartooning and BFA Illustration students whose final projects are illustrated books or graphic novels; 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 SVA’s founder, given to third-year BFA Visual & Critical Studies students who demonstrate excellence in writing.


Alumni Society Merit Award Chaerin Ahn, BFA 2017 Visual & Critical Studies Brian Weil Memorial Award Vanessa M. Teran Collantes, BFA 2017 Photography and Video DaVinci Award Ashley N. De Leon, BFA 2017 Illustration Jonathan Aleksey, BFA 2017 Cartooning Theresa A. Chiechi, BFA 2017 Cartooning Richard Wilde Award Ryoko Wakayama, BFA Design Silas H. Rhodes Memorial Award Brittney R. Najar, BFA Visual & Critical Studies


Vanessa Teran Collantes, Oceti Sakowin, 2016, C-print; Jonathan Aleksey, cover for J-Man Special #1: “First Contact,” 2017, Photoshop CS6; Theresa Chiechi, page from What Happens in the Dark, 2017, ink and marker; Ashley De Leon, cover for Marsi and Pola, 2017, pencil and digital; Brittney Najar, Untitled #2, 2015, C-print; Ryoko Wakayama, speculative cover designs for The New York Times Magazine, 2017; Chaerin Ahn, animation stills from Here Forever, 2017, 10-channel video.

You can help support the next generation of creative professionals by donating to the SVA Alumni Society at sva.edu/give. Be assured that 100 percent of your contribution will go to future award recipients.



The SVA Alumni Society gratefully acknowledges these SVA alumni who gave to the society from January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017.

Tom Alonzo BFA 1984 Illustration

Michael A. Delia MFA 1987 Fine Arts

Anna F. Laytham BFA 2013 Design

Junko Shimizu BFA 2003 Illustration

Gail T. Anderson BFA 1984 Graphic Design

Christopher Dimino BFA 2002 Graphic Design

Lillian Lee MFA 2011 Design

Jerold M. Siegel BFA 1975 Fine Arts

Anonymous (3)

Charles Fazzino BFA 1977 Graphic Design

Richard Levine BFA 1983 Fine Arts

Jared A. Simon BFA 2015 Film and Video

Lawrence Flood BFA 1980 Fine Arts

Roxanne Lorch Lipman E 1984

Colony Pest Management, Inc.

Pamela Fogg BFA 1989 Graphic Design

Habby Osk Magnúsdóttir MFA 2009 Fine Arts

Ellen Small MFA 1997 Photography and Related Media Lauren SolomonO’Leary BFA 2004 Illustration

Francis Di Tommaso

James L. Barry MFA 2004 Illustration as Visual Essay Alexandra M. Barsky BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects Alexandra A. Beguez BFA 2006 Computer Art MFA 2015 Visual Narrative Ashley C. Benston MFA 2016 Fine Arts Mark Bischel MFA 2000 Illustration as Visual Essay Cynthia Bittenfield MFA 2009 Photography, Video and Related Media Donna L. Blind BFA 1983 Fine Arts Sally Bozzuto MFA 2013 Photography, Video and Related Media Michael Brennan BFA 1994 Graphic Design Russell Calabrese E 1976 Film and Video Carlos R. Castro BFA 1991 Advertising Katie A. Cercone MFA 2011 Fine Arts Kun-I Chang MFA 2007 Computer Art Boyeon Choi MFA 2013 Illustration as Visual Essay Richard Clarkson MFA 2014 Products of Design Roseann Consolo BFA 1979 Advertising Chris D’Acunto BFA 2009 Advertising Diane Dawson Hearn BFA 1975 Illustration Angela M. De Vito BFA 2014 Animation Peter S. Deak BFA 1990 Film and Video

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Penelope Fournier BFA 2017 Illustration Raisha M. Friedman BFA 2016 Illustration Vanessa Germosen BFA 2003 Illustration John and Lauren (alumnus) Giuff re BFA 1986 Illustration

Michele L. Martinez BFA 2007 Graphic Design Patrick McDonnell (alumnus) and Karen O’Connell BFA 1978 Media Arts Louis Mercurio E 1970

Drew Gold BFA 1995 Illustration

Gary Messina G 1969 Advertising

David Haas E 1974

Wyatt Mills BFA 2013 Fine Arts

Steven L. Hamilton MFA 2015 Products of Design

Jessica F. Moral BFA 1999 Cartooning

Robert L. Herman MPS 2009 Digital Photography

Maryann C. Murphy BFA 1987 Graphic Design Joseph E. Nowaczyk BFA 2004 Cartooning

Joseph Herzfeld BFA 1991 Fine Arts

Hui Chen Ou Yang BFA 2015 Design

David Hollingsworth BFA 2004 Graphic Design

T. Padavano BFA 1984 Illustration

Risa Horiuchi BFA 2013 Illustration

Vesper I. Stamper MFA 2016 Illustration as Visual Essay Dana M. Stirling MFA 2016 Photography, Video and Related Media

Michael Campbell Thomas and Georgeann Carnevali Century Elevator Maintenance Corp. The Clorox Company

Ralph Colucci DM Pros Larry Dobosh Exclusive Contracting Barbra and Tom Forscht General Plumbing GHP

Ellen Su BFA 2013 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects

Heartland Brewery

Minju Sun BFA 2015 Illustration

James E. Fitzgerald, Inc.

Choon K. Teoh BFA 2010 Illustration

Laurence G. Jones Architects, PLLC

Jocelyn Tsaih BFA 2015 Design

Levien & Company

En Q. Tsao BFA 2011 Graphic Design Astrida Valigorsky MFA 1996 Photography and Related Media

Hudson Square Delivery J.S. McCarthy Printers Joyce Rutter Kaye

Lipinski Real Estate Advisors, LLC Theodore Marks Lori Minasi S. A. Modenstein

Ashley R. Pearsall MFA 2012 Computer Art

Kevin “Gig” Wailgum MFA 1991 Illustration as Visual Essay


Chris Hung BFA 2001 Computer Art

Daniel E. Perrone BFA 2005 Photography

Mark Willis BFA 1998 Illustration

Random House, LLC

Ketta Ioannidou MFA 1999 Illustration as Visual Essay

Rocio Rodriguez Salceda MFA 2008 Fine Arts

Jamilla Wu BFA 2015 Illustration

Ki Yan Ip BFA 2016 Design

Shepard Rosenthal BFA 1975 Graphic Design

Danlu Xing MFA 2016 Photography, Video and Related Media

Catherine A. Jones BFA 1979 Graphic Design

Kaori Sakai BFA 2009 Graphic Design

(E) denotes an evening program student.

Bonnie Sue Kaplan Valentino G 1971 Advertising

Gae Savannah MFA 1995 Fine Arts

(G) denotes a graduate of the certificate program.

Dionisios Kavvadias BFA 1997 Computer Art Noelle W. King MFA 2013 Art Practice Mustapha Lamrabat BFA 1987 Media Arts Emily M. Langmade MFA 2013 Fine Arts

Phil Scheuer E 1981 Illustration Robert V. Schnabel BFA 2003 Advertising Joe Schwartz BFA 1988 Graphic Design Jimmy S. Seo BFA 2000 Graphic Design

We also thank these parents and friends of SVA who supported the SVA Alumni Society: Margaret Bernstein BOCA Group Michelle Bonime Burnham NY, Inc.

Mr. and Mrs. Cid Quintana Joni Blackburn and David Sandlin Seaward Corporation Signature Financial, LLC Andrew Stanton TD Bank, NA Telcar Corporate Interiors Asha Thomas Kaori Uchisaka Vantage Financial Vital Spring WB Mason Webster Bank Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation



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

GINA MINICHINO (BFA 1990 Media Arts), M&Ms, 2017, oil on panel. Her solo exhibition “Paintings” was on view at the George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, 5/20-6/1/17.

GROUP EFFORTS MFA 1989 Fine Arts alumni Guy Corriero and Seth Michael Forman had work included in the group exhibition “Ten Shades of White,” Frosch and Portmann, NYC, 12/1/16-1/15/17. Janet Hansen (BFA 2007 Graphic Design), Adalis Martinez (BFA 2013 Design) and Rachel Willey (BFA 2012 Graphic Design) were featured in “The Best Book Covers of 2016,” The New York Times, 12/7/16. BFA Photography alumni Kevin Amato (2003) and Justine Kurland (1996) were featured in “The Best Photography Books of the Year: 2016,” American Photo, 12/14/16.

Several SVA alumni participated in the 2017 South by Southwest Conference and Festivals, Austin, TX, 3/10-3/17/17: BFA Film and Video alumni Samir Oliveros (2013) and Victoria Rivera (2011) screened their film Bad Lucky Goat (2017); Peter Phok (BFA 2003 Film and Video) produced the film Most Beautiful Island (2017), which screened at the festival; George Krstic (BFA 1994 Film and Video) and Chris Prynoski (BFA 1994 Animation) presented “Storytelling in Games and Animation”; Mykola Duzyj (BFA 2004 Illustration) spoke on the panel “The Art of Selling Out”; Adam Banicki (MFA 2012 Social Documentary) spoke on the panel “Social Video and the Future of Consumption” and Sarah Henry (MFA 2015 Interaction Design) spoke on the panel “Empathy Lab.”

Pablo Delcan (BFA 2012 Graphic Design) and Tahir Karmali (MPS 2015 Digital Photography) were featured in “30 Under 30: Art & Style,” Forbes, 1/4/17.

Kate Gilmore (MFA 2002 Fine Arts) had work included in “Indirect Representations,” curated by Joe Fig (MFA 2002 Fine Arts), Cristin Tierney Gallery, NYC, 3/16-4/15/17.

MFA Art Practice alumni Mitchell Brock (2015), Quinn Dukes (2015), Alexandra Hammond (2015) and Simone Kaplan (2014) had work included in “6 Degrees,” 184 Project Space, NYC, 1/14/17.

Jude Broughan (BFA 1999 Fine Arts), Daryl Daniels (MFA 2016 Fine Arts), Cat Del Buono (MFA 2008 Photography, Florencia Escudero (BFA 2010 Fine Arts), Kira Nam Greene (MFA 2004 Fine Arts), Nasrah Omar (BFA 2012 Photography), Amanda Turner Pohan (BFA 2008 Fine Arts), Heather Powell (MFA 2005 Fine Arts) and Nichole Washington (MPS 2016 Digital Photography) had work included in “2017 Whitney Houston Biennial: Greatest Love of All,” Chashama, NYC, 3/19-3/29/17.

Patricia Bellucci (BFA 1980 Fine Arts), Ashley Garrett (BFA 2008 Fine Arts), Keena Gonzalez (BFA 2008 Photography), and Lori Merhige (BFA 1999 Illustration) had work included in “Safe Space,” Church of St. Paul the Apostle, NYC, 1/20-2/22/17. Paul Gabrielli (BFA 2005 Fine Arts), Lisa Kirk (BFA 1991 Fine Arts), and Diana Shpungin (MFA 2002 Fine Arts) had work included in “Heartbreak Hotel,” Invisible-Exports, NYC, 2/24-4/2/17. MFA Fine Arts alumni Rebecca Goyette (2009) and Brian Andrew Whiteley (2013) performed “Golden Showers: A Sex Hex,” Volta Art Fair, NYC, 3/2-3/5/17. Peter Malone’s (BFA 1977 Fine Arts) article “From Brooklyn to Russia’s Ural Region, Artists Cross Political and Geographic Borders,” featured Irina Danilova’s (MFA 1996 Fine Arts) nonprofit organization Project 95 Inc., Hyperallergic, 3/1/17. MPS Digital Photography alumni Christopher Borrok (2012), Robert Herman (2009), William King (2015), Hye-Ryoung Min (2009) and Mark Roussel (2014) had work included in the group exhibition “small works Baruch 2017,” Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, NYC, 3/3-3/28/17.


Trish Tillman (MFA 2009 Fine Arts) had a solo exhibition, “Stage Diver,” Asya Geisberg Gallery, NYC, 4/16-5/13/17, owned by Asya Geisberg (MFA 1999 Fine Arts). Carlos Saldanha (MFA 1993 Computer Art) received the Creative Impact Award and Dana Terrace (BFA 2013 Animation) was named an Animator to Watch at the 2017 10 Animators to Watch, hosted by Variety and Nickelodeon, 5/5/17. MFA 2015 Products of Design alumni Lucy Knops and Julia Plevin were featured in “Bugging Out: Culinary Institute Serves Up Crunchy Crickets,” USA Today, 5/11/17. Michael Alan (BFA 2002 Fine Arts), Kevin Curran (BFA 1992 Graphic Design), Riad Miah (BFA 1994 Fine Arts), David Reed (BFA 2003 Illustration), Alexis Rockman (BFA 1985 Fine Arts) and Julia von Eichel (BFA 1996 Fine Arts) had work included in “Give Voice: The Postcard Project,” LMAKgallery, NYC, 5/21/17.



Alexa Grace’s (BFA Illustration) illustration was featured in “Love Lessons From the (Very) First Couple,” The New York Times, 4/1/17.

Peter Hristoff (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Seven Veils,” Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden, North Salem, NY, 4/22-6/10/17.


Sheila Hershkowitz (BFA Media Arts). Group exhibition, “From A to Z,” Barnes Gallery, Garden City South, NY, 12/1/161/7/17.

Barbara Kolo (BFA Media Arts). Group exhibition, “Ambiguous Reality,” Los Angeles Art Association, Los Angeles, 1/24-2/3/17.


Kenny Scharf (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Blox and Bax,” Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, 3/11-4/22/17.

Joseph Kosuth (Fine Arts) presented his installation “Colour in Contextual Play,” Mazzoleni, London, UK, 5/19-7/28/17. Bill Plympton (Cartooning) was featured in “The Simpsons: Bill Plympton’s Latest Couch Gag Is a Bit Inception in its Animation,” Indie Wire, 3/9/17.


Marilyn Church (Illustration). Group exhibition, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations,” Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 4/27-10/28/17.


Margaret McCarthy (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Southern Landscapes,” Brickworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA, 3/1-3/31/17.


Kevin Larkin (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Palimpsest,” B.J. Spoke Gallery, Huntington, NY, 5/2-5/28/17.


John Rosis (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” Edward Hopper House, Nyack, NY, 3/10-5/21/17. Elise Sinatro (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “The Art of Stewardship 2017,” Chestertown RiverArts Gallery, Chestertown, MD, 4/7-4/23/17.

Lucky Checkley (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Exposure 2,” Ceres Gallery, NYC, 12/6-12/10/16.


Theresa DeSalvio’s (BFA Fine Arts) film Tales: A Cautionary Story about Heroin Addiction (2016) screened at the Erie International Film Festival, Erie, PA, 12/3/16.


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Robert Pizzo (BFA Cartooning) illustrated the May/June cover of Chief Executive, 5/1/17. Drew Friedman (BFA Cartooning). Solo exhibition, “Heroes of the Comics,” Society of Illustrators, NYC, 5/2-6/3/17.


Lorna Simpson (BFA Photography) was featured in “Artist in Residence,” Vogue, 3/8/17. Joey Skaggs (BFA Advertising) organized “NYC’s 32nd Annual April Fools’ Day Parade: It’s a Trumpathon!” NYC, 4/1/17.


Andrea Fraser (Fine Arts) was featured in “’It’s Important to Be Specific about What We Mean by Change’: A Talk With Andrea Fraser,” Art News, 12/13/16. Stephanie Stylander (BFA Photography) was featured in “Representations of the Self,” Aesthetica, 12/13/16.


Warren Drummond (BFA Cartooning) was the storyboard artist for the film adaptation of the August Wilson play Fences (2016). Joseph Quesada (BFA Media Arts) was featured in “Marvel’s Joe Quesada Makes Directorial Debut with Agents of Shield Digital Series,” IGN, 12/12/16. Jill Salvino’s (Media Arts) documentary Between the Shades (2017) premiered at Soho International Film Festival, NYC, 6/17/17. Joanne Ungar (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Reclaim, Reprocess,” Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, CT, 12/8/16-1/18/17.


Steven Block (BFA Cartooning). Group exhibition, “Making Marks: Digital Sketches to Painted Stories,” Dorsky Gallery, NYC, 3/30-4/16/17. Alexis Rockman (BFA Fine Arts) partnered with the RxArt Clinical Study to create a site specific installation at Montgomery County Outpatient Center, Rockville, MD, 3/9/17. Collier Schorr (BFA Communication Arts) was featured in “6 Photographers Who Have Reclaimed the Gaze,” Catalogue Magazine, 4/10/17.



Robert Gilmer (BFA Photography) was featured in “Gilmer, Orduna serve food, hospitality at Dixie Quicks,” The Daily Nonpareil, 2/26/17. Joseph Gyurcsak (BFA Illustration) was featured in “The Impact of an Art Mentor, with Joe Gyurcsak,” Savvy Painter, 3/21/17. Nina Mushinsky (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “70 Years Already,” Galerie Dina Vierny, Paris, France, 1/25-3/24/17.


Melanie Kozol (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Big Idea,” The Painting Center, NYC, 1/31-2/25/17. Elizabeth Peyton (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “5 Minutes with … Elizabeth Peyton’s (Dark) Harry,” Christie’s, 2/1/17.


Alice Mackler (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Alice Mackler,” Kerry Schuss, NYC, 5/7-6/30/17. Eva Mantell (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Natura Mathematica,” Central Booking, NYC, 4/6-5/28/17. Catya Plate (Fine Arts) was featured in “Catya Plate: Developing a Rich Alternative Universe through Stop Motion Animation,” Directed By Women, 5/30/17. Vincent Romeo (BFA Media Arts) was featured in “Relaxing Retro Colors Pitch Baseball Nostalgia,” Graphic Design USA, 5/1/17. Kathy Shorr (BFA Photography) was featured in “Photographer Profile - Kathy Shorr,” American Illustration - American Photography, 3/14/17.


Margaret Lanzetta (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Artist: The Public Intellectual,” Kashi Townhouse Art Gallery, Kochi-Muzris Contemporary Art Biennale Curatorial Projects 2016, Kochi, India, 2/19-3/29/17. Suzanne McClelland (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Just Left Feel Right,” Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, 3/5-9/4/17.


Steven DeFrank (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Steve DeFrank,” Romanov Grave, 2/4/17. Michael Giacchino (BFA 1990 Film and Video) composed the score for the film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Patricia Spergel (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Sarah Lutz & Patricia Spergel, A Conversation Afloat,” The Painting Center, NYC, 1/3-1/28/17.


JADE DOSKOW (MFA 2008 Photography, Video and Related Media), Seattle 1962 World’s Fair, “Century 21 Exposition,”

Science Center Arches at Night, 2014, archival inkjet print. Doskow’s solo exhibition “Lost Utopias” was on view at the John Hartley Gallery at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 3/20-4/10/17.


Kip Omolade (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Hyperrealistic Oil Paintings of Vivid Chrome Masks by Kip Omolade,” Colossal, 1/9/17.


Lili Almog (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “The Space Within,” Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, Australia, 4/27-5/21/17. Johan Grimonprez (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Blue Orchids,” Sean Kelly Gallery, NYC, 1/27-3/11/17.


Miles Ladin (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “American Dreamin’,” Hudson Guild Fulton Center, NYC, 12/2/16-2/10/17.

Doug Magnuson (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “If You Stay Busy You Have No Time to Be Unhappy,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, AZ, 2/18-5/28/17.

Nona Faustine (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “My Country,” Baxter Street Camera Club of New York, NYC, 12/8/161/14/17.

Timothy Okamura (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Tim Okamura Lives His New York Dream,” Galleries West, 5/19/17.



Randall Emmett (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “Interview: Silence Producer Randall Emmett Talks Scorsese, Power & John Gotti,” Hollywood, 1/9/17. Riad Miah (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Alternating Current,” Mayson Gallery, NYC, 4/4-4/28/17.

Vera Lutter (MFA Photography and Related Media) was featured in “Artist to Photograph Doomed Structures at Los Angeles County Museum,” The New York Times, 1/24/17. Edie Winograde (MFA Photography and Related Media). Group exhibition, “Double Exposure: An Exhibition of Photography and Video,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Arvada, CO, 1/19-3/26/17.


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alumni@sva.edu 1996

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Other Hats: Icelandic Printmaking,” International Print Center for New York, NYC, 4/13-6/14/17. Brian Belott (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Dr. Kid President Jr.,” Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, NYC, 5/4-7/1/17. Simen Johan (BFA Photography) was featured in “Ken Weingart Interviews Simen Johan,” Lenscratch, 1/2/17. Justine Kurland (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Autophoto,” Foundation Cartier, Paris, France, 4/20-9/24/17. Stephen Savage (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) published Little Plane Learns to Write (Macmillan, 2017).


Karen Leo (BFA Fine Arts) was awarded a 2017-2018 A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship, 4/5/17. Daniel Maldonado’s (BFA Film and Video) film H.O.M.E. (2016) won the 2016 Best Narrative Feature at the Queens World Film Festival, 3/14-3/19/17; 2016 Audience Award Best Narrative Feature at the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, 5/3-5/7/17; and 2016 New York Showcase Award at the Harlem International Film Festival, 5/5-5/7/17.

Janice Caswell (BFA Fine Arts) received a $10,000 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 3/23/17. Kenneth Eng’s (BFA Film and Video) documentary My Life in China (2014) is now streaming on World Channel, 1/31/17. Brian Finke (BFA Photography) was featured in “Our 9,000-Year Love Affair With Booze,” National Geographic, 2/20/17. Bella Foster (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Food of Light,” Canada 333, NYC, 2/4-3/12/17. Darin Mickey (BFA Photography) was featured in “These Photos Capture the Weirdness of Ordinary Life,” Vice, 5/15/17. Banks Violette (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “An Artist Returns from the Edge,” T Magazine, 4/21/17.


Andrew Nemr (BFA Computer Art) held a residency with Google’s VR painting platform, Tilt Brush, 1/10/17.


ON megumi Akiyoshi (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Armory Night Screening Event,” Williamsburg Art and Historical Center 3F Theater, NYC, 3/4/17. Michael Alan (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “An Annual Affair: Frieze Art Fair Alternative,” West Chelsea Arts Building, NYC, 5/5/17. Sookoon Ang (BFA Fine Arts) participated in “RU Talk: Sookoon Ang in conversation with Kyle Dancewicz,” Residency Unlimited, NYC, 5/24/17. George Boorujy (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Group exhibition, “Radical Kingdoms,” Mandeville Gallery, Schenectady, NY, 1/21-6/18/17.

Katrin Eismann (MFA Design) was featured in “Women of Influence,” B&H Video Pro, 2/23/17.


Tomer Hanuka (BFA Illustration) illustrated the cover of The New Yorker, 3/20/17.

Dylan Stone (MFA Fine Arts) curated “200 Years of Diaries,” Orkney Library and Archive, Kirkwall, Scotland, 3/3-7/11/17.

Eric Rhein (MFA Fine Arts) was honored at the 12th Annual Visual AIDS Vanguard Awards, 5/22/17.

Sarah Sze (MFA Fine Arts) published the article “How I Solved It: The Problem of Suspense,” The New Yorker, 5/11/17.

Naomi White (MFA Photography and Related Media) was featured in “Naomi White Investigates Consumerism And Material Culture,” On Art And Aesthetics, 2/4/17.



Janelle Lynch (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “River,” Gabinete de Arte k2o, São Paulo, Brazil, 4/6-4/9/17.

Noam Rappaport (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Cusp,” James Fuentes, NYC, 5/31-6/25/17.

Christopher Bors (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Group exhibition, “Successive Excessive,” Parlour Art Gallery, NYC, 1/15-2/19/17.

Noah Landfield (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Abstracted Landscapes,” Findlay Gallery, NYC, 2/1-2/28/17.

Jenai Chin (BFA Illustration) was the body artist for the cover and editorial of the January issue of V, 1/5/17.

Gustave Blache III (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Solo exhibition, “A Work in Process: Paintings by Gustave Blache III,” Louisiana Art and Science Museum, Baton Rouge, LA, 3/11-6/4/17.

Malin Abrahamsson-Alves (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Forward Slash/ Technology, Transcendence & Tea,” Anderson Contemporary, NYC, 3/164/18/17.

Bahar Yurukoglu (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “Maybe I’d Like to Be Like You,” Art Suemer, Istanbul, Turkey, 3/10-4/22/17.

Katsumi Hayakawa (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Singular Object,” 53W53 Gallery, NYC, 4/5-4/21/17.

Kathleen Murray (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “That Shadow, My Likeness,” Tops Gallery, Memphis, 2/244/2/17.


James Jean (BFA Illustration) was featured in “From Comic Book to Art Gallery: The Brilliant and Beautiful Art of James Jean,” Dangerous Minds, 5/8/17.

Lynne Yoshii (BFA Cartooning) was featured in “DC’s 2016 Artist Workshop Class Roster Named,” Newsarama, 11/10/16.


Amy Finkbeiner (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “America Now!,” Salt Studio, NYC, 4/28-4/30/17.

Timothy Mensching (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “Horses,” 11R Gallery, NYC, 1/18-2/19/17. Reka Nyari (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Personal Structures - Open borders,” European Cultural Centre, Palazzo Mora at the Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy, 5/13-11/26/17. Diana Shpungin (MFA Fine Arts) published Drawing of a House (Triptych, 2016). Allan Tarantino (MFA Computer Art). Group exhibition, “Spring Temper,” Godel & Co., NYC, 3/30-4/21/17.


Lauren Simkin Berke (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Illustrator Profile - Lauren Simkin Berke,” American Illustration - American Photography, 5/25/17. Yuko Shimizu (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Illustrator Yuko Shimizu on Starting a Creative Career in Your 30s and Keeping Home and Work Life Separate,” Creative Boom, 4/7/17.

Rosson Crow (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Inside the Electric, Eclectic L.A. Studio of Artist Rosson Crow, Fashion Darling and Pioneer Woman of the New West,” W, 4/20/17. Kira Greene (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Don’t Grab My Papaya!” Art Gallery at the College of Staten Island, NYC, 4/19-5/18/17. Rachel Shuman’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) film One October (2017) screened at Stranger Than Fiction, IFC Center, NYC, 5/17/17. Malcolm Stuart (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “IKEA’s Newest Collaboration Includes Large Sketchbooks and T-Shirts,” Poppytalk, 5/5/17.


David Ben-David (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “How Sprayground’s Newly Developed Smart Pack Is Changing Everyday Travel,” Forbes, 4/27/17. Lauren Castillo (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) contributed to What’s Your Favorite Color? (Henry Holt and Co., 2017). Rachael Dunville (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Group exhibition, “Rachel Dunville | Michael Joseph,” Daniel Cooney Fine Art, NYC, 5/11-6/17/17. Christopher Hastings (BFA Cartooning) was featured in “Marvel’s Pint Sized Groot Undertakes a Strange Adventure,” Comic Book Resources, 3/14/17. Gillian Robespierre’s (BFA Film and Video) film Landline (2017) opened the San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco, 4/5/17.


Theodore Hose (BFA Animation) wrote “Trump’s America through the Eyes of a Cult Survivor,” Huffington Post, 3/24/17. Gavin Kenyon (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Shrouds,” Blum & Poe, NYC, 4/19-5/26/17. Michael Rizzo (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “Bobo Touch is Back With Another Funny PSA About ‘Personal Space’ in NYC Subway,” Viewing NYC, 3/2/17. JeongMee Yoon (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Pink and Blue: Coloring Inside the Lines of Gender,” National Geographic, 1/1/17.

Dan Halm (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay), curated “Abstract Communication,” Here Art, NYC, 3/16-5/6/17. V I SUA L A R T S JOUR N A L


Hannah Allen (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Scheduled Implosions by Hannah Smith Allen,” Afterimage, 12/3/16. Lisa Elmaleh (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Of Metal and Light,” Gravy Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 3/3-3/26/17. Hadassa Goldvicht (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “He Tends Venice’s Jewish History. She Filmed Him.” The New York Times, 5/30/17. Raheem Nelson (BFA Cartooning) self-published From the Elm to the Empire (2017). Tatsuro Nishimura (BFA Photography) won Graphis Competition awards in the following categories: Gold (Flowers), Gold (Nude), Silver (Food), (Fine Art), Silver (Fine Art). Michael Reeder (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “For Michael Reeder, We All Have the Same Face,” Yorokobu, 2/16/17.

Jennifer Young (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Backstory,” Paul Calendrillo New York, NYC, 12/6/16-1/8/17.


Cannaday Chapman (BFA Illustration) illustrated the cover of The New Yorker, 4/24/17. Jenny Morgan (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “SKINDEEP,” Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, 5/26-8/27/17. Sophia Wiedeman (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Myth, Motherhood and Buttered Toast: An Interview with Sophia Wiedeman,” Women Write About Comics, 1/26/17. Martin Wittfooth (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Animal Planet: The Beautiful, Disturbing and Surreal Paintings of Martin Wittfooth,” Dangerous Minds, 4/4/17.

Jeseok Yi (BFA Advertising) was featured in “Korean ‘Ad Genius’ Behind Thought-Provoking, Smart Social Campaigns,” Yonhap News Agency, 1/9/17.



Joshua Citarella (BFA Photography) was featured in “Up and Coming: Joshua Citarella Is the Ultimate New York Freelancer,” Artsy, 2/25/17.

Marilyn Montufar (BFA Photography) received a $3,000 grant award from the Artists Up Grant Lab, 2/1/17.

Natan Dvir (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Platforms,” Head On Photo Festival at Casula Powerhouse Center, Casula, Australia, 5/5-5/28/17.

Andrew Castrucci (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Wrong Side of History,” Bullet Space, NYC, 5/18-6/25/17.

Jaime Permuth (MPS Digital Photography). Group exhibition, “Noir: Defining the Melodrama,” Longwood Arts Gallery, NYC, 2/1-5/3/17. Lissa Rivera (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “An Artist and Her ‘Beautiful Boy,’” The New York Times, 5/25/17. Rebecca Sugar (BFA Animation) was featured in “Steven Universe Is the Queerest Animated Show on TV,” Vulture, 1/30/17.

Miriam Atkin (MFA Art Criticism and Writing) was a panelist for “Art/Writing,” A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, 4/1/17.

Dina Litovsky’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) work was featured in “Coming Out for Debutantes,” The New York Times, 1/5/17. Jason Yarmosky (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “Somewhere,” University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, ME, 5/19-9/2/17.

BRADLEY CASTELLANOS (MFA 2006 Fine Arts), Hunting Is Painting, 2017, oil, acrylic and photo collage on panel, courtesy the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York City. Castellanos’s solo exhibition “Sunshine State” was on view at the Ryan Lee Gallery 5/25–6/29/17.

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BRIAN RUTENBERG (MFA 1989 Fine Arts), Magnolia, 2016, oil on linen. Rutenberg’s solo exhibition “Lowcountry” was on view at the Forum Gallery, NYC, 3/23–5/6/17.


Cynthia Hinant (MFA 2011 Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Exercise Videos,” MoAb. space, NYC, 1/30-2/13/17. Mark Kendall (MFA Social Documentary) was featured in “Fellows Friday: Q&A with Filmmaker Mark Kendall,” The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, 4/21/17.


Joana Avillez (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “The Q & A: Joana Avillez,” American Illustration - American Photography, 2/6/17. Lauren Caldarola (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “Argentum,” Marybury, NYC, 4/28-5/26/17.

Patrick Kinsella (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “The Q&A: Pat Kinsella,” American Illustration American Photography, 12/2/16.

Bon Duke’s (MPS Fashion Photography) work was featured in “Exclusive: Allow the New York City Ballet’s New Campaign to Take Your Breath Away,” Elle, 5/18/17.

Jonathan Rider (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Alejandro Jassan in Conversation with Jonathan Eric Rider,” OneRooph, 12/9/16.

Lisa Fairstein (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Deep Shade,” Baxter Street Camera Club of New York, NYC, 5/4-6/3/17.

Peter Svarzbein’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) work was featured in “A Trolley and a Dream: Texas Border City Aims to Boost Ties With Mexico,” Fast Company, 5/30/17.

Jeremy Haik (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Jeremy August Haik,” Aint-Bad, 3/22/17.

Amelie Znidaric (MFA Design Criticism) curated “Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine,” Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, 2/11-5/14/17.


Ina Jang (MPS Fashion Photography) was featured in “Drawn Dreamy: Ina Jang’s Photographic Hybrids,” Lomography, 5/14/17. Peter Lee’s (MPS Fashion Photography) photograph was featured on the cover of the February issue of Vogue Korea, 1/18/17.

Laura Murray (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “She Inspires,” Untitled Space Gallery, NYC, 5/3-5/20/17. Lorelei Ramirez (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Nasty Women,” Knockdown Center, NYC, 1/12-1/15/17. Christina Wang (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “How This Designer Uses Momofuku Cakes as a Muse,” New York Post, 4/10/17. Brandy Watts (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) published The Field Photographs of Alain H. Liogier: Plants of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic, 1968 – 1969 (NYBG Press, 2017).


Shubhashish Bhutiani (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “Mukti Bhawan Review: A Masterpiece That Embraces Life and Death,” The Quint, 4/13/17. Joey Cofone (BFA Design) was featured in “An Interview with Joey Cofone of Baron Fig,” The Believer, 1/12/17. Maelle Doliveux (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “The Q & A: Maelle Doliveux,” American Illustration American Photography, 1/3/17.

Faith Holland (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Artist Profile: Faith Holland,” Rhizome, 1/4/17. Renyi Hu (MFA Art Practice). Solo exhibition, “Immortal Palace,” Chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai, China 12/19/162/28/17. Dana Kalmey (MFA Social Documentary) was awarded an Impact Partners Documentary Producers Fellowship, 3/1/17. Mathias Kessler (MFA Art Practice). Solo exhibition, “Artifacts & Other Errors of Perception,” Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO, 1/26-5/29/17. Sara Kriendler (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “2020,” Chimney, NYC, 1/132/19/17. Min Liu (MFA Computer Art) was featured in “Artist of the Day: Min Liu,” Cartoon Brew, 1/30/17. Benjamin Mendelewicz (BFA Cartooning) was featured in “Gross-Out Collages from Visual Artist Ben Mendelewicz,” It’s Nice That, 4/10/17.


Wyatt Mills (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Q&A with Artist Wyatt Mills,” Flaunt, 12/15/16. Star Montana (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “I Dream of Los Angeles,” Main Museum, Los Angeles, 5/7-7/23/17. James Perkins (MPS Fashion Photography). Group exhibition, “Remnants,” Cluster Gallery, NYC, 4/8-5/30/17.

Ja’Tovia Gary (MFA Social Documentary) screened her work and participated in a panel discussion in “An Evening with Ja’Tovia Gary,” The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, 4/17/17. Nadia Haji Omar (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “[Old/New] Psychedelic Providence,” Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Chicago, 12/4/16-1/15/17.

Ryan Shorosky’s (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Western State of Mind,” The New York Times, 1/31/17.

Anthony Hawley (MFA Art Practice) presented the collaborative performance installation, “The Afield,” National Sawdust, NYC, 1/4/17.

Erik Spink (MFA Social Documentary) received a 2017 Impact Partners Documentary Producers Fellowship, 3/1/17.

Lisa Lok (BFA Design) was featured in “Designer of the Week: Lisa Lok,” Print, 2/12/17.

Ilona Szwarc (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Foam Talent,” Red Hook Labs, NYC, 3/31-4/15/17.

Anne Quito (MFA Design Criticism) was awarded the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, 4/20/17.

Paul Tuller (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Daily Crush: Paul Tuller’s LGBTQ Chechnya T-shirt,” Out, 5/12/17.


Justin Aversano (BFA Photography) curated “Equipoise,” Storefront Project Gallery, NYC, 2/14-2/26/17. Graciela Cassel’s (MFA Fine Arts) short film Citylife 2 (2016) screened at New Filmmakers, NYC, 12/7/16.

Evelina Reinhart (MPS Digital Photography) was featured in “Evelina Reinhart: Our Appetite for Trends,” aCurator, 12/6/16. Benjamin Saulnier (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “A Case for Frivolity,” Prince Street Project Space, NYC, 1/13-1/15/17.


Ima Mfon (MPS Digital Photography). Group exhibition, “Nigerian Identities and the Migrant Series,” Rick Wester Fine Art, NYC, 3/9-4/22/17.

Najeebah Al-Ghadban (MFA Design) designed Why I March (Abrams Books, 2017).

Bryan Moore (MFA Art Practice). Solo exhibition, “National Mythstory,” Student Union Building Fine Arts Gallery at Boise State University, Boise, ID, 1/9-2/19/17.

Mariam Aldhahi (MFA Design Criticism) published “How Steven Heller Redefined the Design Industry,” Magenta, 2/8/17.

Christy “Christybomb” Lee (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Rising Art Star Christybomb Found Her Place in Charleston,” Charleston Gazette-Mail, 12/17/16. Antonella Carrasco (MFA Social Documentary) documentary film Pele, My Paradise (2016) screened at the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, Bridgehampton, NY, 12/3/16. Chen Chang’s (MFA Computer Art) film Tiny Power (2015) screened at the Maryland International Kids Filmfest, 01/28/ 2017. Yader Fonseca (BFA Illustration) won a Golden Brush Award at the 2017 Illustrators of the Future Contest, 3/27/17. Fernando Gomes (BFA Photography) was featured in “A Photographer’s Journey Through a Forgotten America,” Time, 2/3/17.

Paola Ochoa’s (MFA Social Documentary) feature documentary SISTERS (2017) screened as part of the Rough Cut Lab 2017 at Visions Du Réel, Nyon, Switzerland, 4/21-4/29/17. Leonardo Porto (BFA Advertising) was featured in “Designer Leo Porto on How to Move from Student Intern to Studio Star,” Creative Boom, 5/5/17. Andrea Saavedra (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “Out of This World,” Studio 18, Pembroke Pines, FL, 1/27/17. Panayiotis Terzis (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “New Fine Art,” Trestle Projects, NYC, 4/8-5/5/17.


Ooldouz Alaei Novin (MFA 2016 Photography, Video and Related Media). Group exhibition, “Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video,” Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, 1/29-5/7/17.

NETTA LAUFER (MFA 2016 Photography, Video and Related Media), Fox, 2016, archival pigment print. Laufer’s work was shown in the group exhibition “25FT,” Museum of Natural History Collection, Tel Aviv, Israel, 3/28/17.

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IN MEMORIAM Feral Pines (BFA 2010 Fine Arts), also known as Riley Fritz, died December 2, 2016, in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California, along with 35 other people. Born in Westport, Connecticut, she traveled across the country before moving to the Bay Area in September 2016, where she flourished in the welcoming, trans-inclusive community. A talented artist and musician, she studied printmaking at SVA and was an avid bass guitar player. She was a beloved friend and member of the local trans community and the adoring owner of dog Grimma. She is survived by her parents, Bruce and Nancy Fritz, as well as brother Ben Fritz and sister Amanda Seagaard Parry. Richard Aaron (BFA 1974 Film and Video), iconic rock music photographer, died December 8, 2016, at the age of 67 after a long battle with kidney disease. He was once hailed by Modern Photography as one of the world’s 10 best rock photographers, and among the highlights of his lasting career are renowned photographs of thousands of musical artists, including a Paul McCartney portrait for Time magazine and the album cover for Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive! (1976). Born in New York, he and his photography agency were based in Los Angeles at the time of his death.

TIFFANY SMITH (MFA 2015 Photography, Video and Related Media), Woman Who Became Nigerian Through Her Parent’s Eyes, 2015, archival pigment print. Smith’s solo exhibition “Plant Life” was on view at Space Create, Newburgh, NY, 1/28-3/10/17.

Angelique Ambrosio’s (MPS Digital Photography) project “Seduction” received a 2017 Photo District News Photo Award in the Student Work category.

Fenghe Luo (MFA Design) was featured in “Fenghe Luo’s New York City Souvenirs Capture the True Personality of the Big Apple,” Designboom, 1/19/17.

Sean Donovan (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Tuesday, the 17th,” AC Institute, NYC, 1/17-2/3/17. Delano Dunn (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “No One Can Be This Tomorrow,” Long Gallery Harlem, NYC, 2/26-4/9/17.

Datrianna Meeks (MFA Interaction Design) was featured in “How This Brooklyn Designer Learned Tech Isn’t All About Code,” Technical.ly, 5/1/17.

Haoran Fan (MPS Digital Photography) was featured in “Haoran Fan: Covered / Uncovered,” Photogrvphy, 3/29/17. Georgia Lale (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “RED WHITE AND BLUE,” Forward Union Fair, NYC, 12/16/16.


Jung Hyun Park’s (MFA Computer Art) film Where R U From? (2016) was an official selection for the 2017 Praxis Film Festival, Goldsboro, NC, 2/3-2/4/17. Hannah Roman’s (MFA Computer Art) film The Moon Is Essentially Gray (2016) screened at the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, Stuttgart, Germany, 5/2-5/7/17.

Danielle Staif’s (BFA Photography and Video) photograph was featured on the cover of Time, 2/8/17.

Alexander Bas (BFA 2014 Fine Arts) died September 24, 2016. He was born in Port Washington, NY, and graduated from Paul D. Schreiber High School. As a BFA Fine Arts student at SVA, he was skilled at metalwork and sculpture. He was a passionate street artist under the name Silky Slim. He is survived by his parents, Cathleen Colligan and Ali Bas, as well as his brother, Volkan Bas.

Marvin Touré (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Marvin Touré’s Installation Art Speaks Loudly, So He Doesn’t Have To,” Uptown Magazine, 2/28/17. Kevin Townsend (MFA Art Practice) was featured in “Visiting Artist Kevin Townsend,” Montserrat Galleries Blog, 3/9/17. Ping Wang (MPS Digital Photography) was featured in “Ping Wang’s Dreamlike, Surrealist Tableaux,” PDNEDU, 1/24/17. Nichole Washington (MPS 2016 Digital Photography) received a 2017 En Foco Photography Fellowship, 4/4/17.








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n 1989, artist, architect and former SVA faculty member Vito Acconci, who died this April at the age of 77, gave the address at the College’s commencement exercises. Like the pioneering performance and video works that established his reputation as one of the most forward-thinking artists of his time, his remarks would prove prescient in the years to come. “You graduate into an electronic age, where notions of space and land and ownership have evolved out of existence,” he said. “The new public space will not be a center but a conglomeration of localized spaces. . . . The new public space will consist not of benches and platforms and stages but of capsule units and televisions and computer terminals.” Acconci taught on and off at SVA from 1969 to 1983—roughly the same time period when he presented many of what are now considered his most enduring works, such as Following Piece (1969), for which he trailed strangers on the street, and Seedbed (1972), for which he hid under a gallery floor and broadcast his fantasies to the visitors above. He also curated and participated in many exhibitions, screenings and talks at the College throughout the years, including “Performance Spaces” (1972), an early exhibition of performance art, and “Vito Acconci/Joan Jonas: Video Installations” (1977), at which he premiered his audiovisual installation The Object of It All (1977, pictured below). Just as Acconci’s work challenged traditional notions about art, so did his teaching at SVA. In his memoir My Avant-Garde Education (2015), writer Bernard Cooper, who studied at SVA in the early 1970s, describes his classes with Acconci as revelatory. “My perception of art was changed forever,” he writes. “Vito Acconci’s pedagogy was a mixture of persistent enquiry, faith in the invisible and nudges toward the unknown. It struck me for the first time that art might exist beyond the realms of painting and sculpture.”


A peek into SVA’s historical records. To learn more, visit svaarchives.org.

In his 1989 commencement speech, the full text of which is available in the SVA Archives, Acconci sounded a similar note: In the future, more than ever before, art will be everywhere. “The new public space will be a mix of deep space and disappearing surfaces, of reality and projection, of presence and absence,” he said. “The new public space will look not like architecture but like a mix of every discipline taught in an art school.” [Greg Herbowy]

ABOVE Poster for “Performance Spaces,” a 1972 exhibition at SVA curated by Vito Acconci, featuring an image from Dennis Oppenheim’s Parallel Stress (1970). BELOW Vito Acconci, The Object of It All, 1977, installation with video monitor, speaker and wooden boxes.


External Relations · School of Visual Arts 209 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010-3994 sva.edu

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Profile for SVA Visual Arts Journal

Fall 2017  

The future of VR, the political potential of art and design, photographer Shen Wei, and more.

Fall 2017  

The future of VR, the political potential of art and design, photographer Shen Wei, and more.