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School of Visual Arts Magazine


Promotional art for and an interior photo of Farewell Books, Austin, Texas. See What’s in Store, page 12.


Contents 3 From the President 4 SVA Close Up News and events from around the College 10 What’s in Store New products created by SVA entrepreneurs 18 Subject Matter: Drilling Down Former faculty member Ann Bastian on industry and the environment 20 Creative Life: Space Programs Real-estate resources for artists 22 Portfolio: Andrew Brischler Brischler’s paintings are damaged pop art 30 The Assignment MFA Interaction Design students bootstrap businesses

38 Print Making Artists explore 3D printing’s possibilities 44 Q+A: Amelie Klein A design museum curator discusses her work 48 Building Character Character design from concept to sketch to screen 58 Diversity in Comics A call for more voices in the medium

62 Alumni Affairs For Your Benefit • SVA Alumni Society Awards 2015 • Donor List • Notes and Exhibitions • In Memoriam 80 From the SVA Archives Academic advisement is introduced at the College

SVA typography by Ryan Durinick (BFA 2009 Design).


VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL School of Visual Arts Magazine Spring 2015 Volume 23, Number 1

From the President

EDITORIAL STAFF S. A. Modenstein, senior editor Greg Herbowy, editor James S. Harrison, copy editor Dan Halm, visuals coordinator VISUAL ARTS PRESS, LTD. Anthony P. Rhodes, creative director Michael J. Walsh, director of design and digital media Brian Smith, art director Sheilah Ledwidge, associate editor Sneha Keshav, design intern

ADVERTISING SALES 212.592.2207 CONTRIBUTORS Ann Bastian Lisa Batchelder Jamelle Bouie Christopher Darling Nadia DeLane Christina Fitzpatrick Alexander Gelfand Michael Grant Dan Halm Jamie Keesling Elizabeth McMullen Danica Nelson Jane Nuzzo Miranda Pierce Angela Riechers Kate Styer © 2015, Visual Arts Press, Ltd. Visual Arts Journal is published twice a year by External Relations, School of Visual Arts, 209 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 100103994. Milton Glaser, acting chairman; David Rhodes, president; Anthony P. Rhodes, executive vice president. @SVA_News

photo by Harry Zernike

COVER FRONT: Andrew Brischler, Let Me Blow Ya Mind, 2012, oil and graphite on raw canvas; courtesy of the artist and Gavlak, Los Angeles. See Portfolio, page 22. BACK: Suzanne Anker, Remote Sensing (6A), 2013, plaster, pigment, resin, glass Petri dish. See "Print Making," page 38. American colleges and universities have long attracted talent from around the world, and SVA has been fortunate in this regard. For the 2014 – 2015 academic year, the College enrolled students from 78 countries. It’s one more indication of just how globalized the creative professions have become in this century. As we are reminded in this issue of Visual Arts Journal, artists often thrive on crossing borders, particularly when it comes to mediums and cultural traditions. One example is Peter Sellars, who has accepted the College’s invitation to speak at SVA’s 2015 commencement exercises. Sellars has built an international reputation directing opera and theater, working with sources and collaborators as diverse as Shakespeare and contemporary Malian composer and singer Rokia Traore. Another example is designer, writer and educator Michael Bierut, who commands attention whether discussing typefaces or the Ebola crisis. His expansive career will be the subject of the 27th SVA Masters Series exhibition this fall. BFA Fine Arts Chair Suzanne Anker has worked for decades at the intersection of art and science, with particular interest in technologies like gene splicing. In “Print Making” (page 38), she talks to writer Alexander Gelfand about how 3D printing has created new possibilities for artists and designers. If 3D printing has introduced artists to new materials, SVA alumni Mansi Gupta and Cassandra Michel (both MFA 2014 Products of Design) saw an opportunity to do something new with one of the world’s oldest manufacturing materials— leather. Teaming up for a class project, Gupta and Michel launched a line of protective sleeves

for laptops and tablets fabricated from leather remnants left over from the production of other goods in India. It’s one of the many alumni and faculty ventures highlighted in What’s in Store (page 10). In this issue’s Q+A (page 44), readers meet Amelie Klein (MFA 2011 Design Criticism), a former journalist who is now a curator at the widely respected Vitra Design Museum in Germany. The museum’s latest project explores contemporary art and design across the African continent, from YouTube videos to sculpture. Finally, this issue of the Journal considers border crossings in the realm of popular culture. Artist Zackary Drucker (BFA 2005 Photography) received widespread attention for her work in the 2014 Whitney Biennial exhibition, a selection of photographs of herself and her transgender boyfriend, Rhys Ernst. Drucker is also an associate producer and actress on the series Transparent (page 14), about a transgender father of three. One of the first programs produced by Amazon and widely covered in the media, the show won the 2015 Golden Globe for best comedy series. Meanwhile, African American comics artist Shawn Martinbrough (BFA 1993 Illustration) has had a prolific career drawing for such publishers as DC Comics, Marvel and Vertigo. But as writer Jamelle Bouie reports in "Diversity in Comics" (page 58), while recent years may have seen an uptick in nonwhite protagonists, diversity in the world of comics is still a work in progress. David Rhodes President



SVA Close Up

The Definition of Design

Michael Bierut has an ability to connect design to everything and everything to design. He’s compared the ITC Garamond font with leisure suits and expounded on the role of design in the Ebola crisis. Consider the title of his forthcoming book: How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world (Thames & Hudson, 2015). This knack for taking knotty or high-concept ideas and expressing them in a way anyone can understand has made Bierut, a partner in the highly regarded design firm Pentagram since 1990, a star in the creative world. This fall, the designer, critic and educator VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL

will be in the spotlight at SVA as the 27th annual Masters Series Award honoree. A retrospective of his work and career, held in conjunction with the award, will feature everything from logos and graphics to exhibition designs and personal works from his own collection. Bierut’s colleagues hold him in high regard for the contributions he has made to the design field over the years and for his expertise as a cultural critic. He’s a co-founder of Design Observer, a go-to resource for design professionals that features essays, news, commentary and podcasts (including MPS Branding Chair Debbie Millman’s influential “Design Matters” series). A protégé of the late design giant Massimo Vignelli, Bierut is also widely admired as a generous mentor and educator, frequently lecturing at SVA, Yale's School of Art and elsewhere. The SVA Masters Series Award is the latest among many honors that Bierut has accumulated throughout his career, including an AIGA Medal and a National Design Award, presented by Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. His work is part of the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He is an Art Directors Club Hall of Fame member, served as president of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and is president emeritus of AIGA National. In 1988, SVA founder Silas H. Rhodes instituted the Masters Series, an annual award and exhibition honoring the great visual communicators of our time. The Masters Series brings greater exposure to those whose influence has been felt strongly and by many, but whose names often go unrecognized by the general public. “The Masters Series: Michael Bierut” will be on view at the SVA Chelsea Gallery October 7 through November 7. [Lisa Batchelder]

TOP Michael Bierut, brand identity and packaging for Saks Fifth Avenue, 2006; Bierut photo by Christian Witkin.




CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Michael Bierut, signage for The New York Times Building, 2007; WalkNYC pedestrian wayfinding for the New York City Department of Transportation, designed with PentaCityGroup, 2013; “Light Years” poster for the Architectural League of New York, 1999.

“My first show was four paintings and I worked on them for two years. And pricing them and selling them was devastating, because there was no price that would’ve done them justice, and there was no person that could’ve loved them as much as I did.” Dan Colen, artist. From a Q&A with businessman and art collector Peter Brant, hosted by MFA Fine Arts.



SVA Close Up

This spring, SVA begins renovation work at its 133/141 West 21st Street building, converting a currently unused space on the ground floor into the Visual & Critical Studies Gallery, which will be dedicated to showing work by the BFA program’s students, alumni, faculty and staff. Among other improvements, the existing doorway will be replaced with a large window, to make exhibitions visible from the street. The gallery, due to be completed in time for the fall 2015 semester, was proposed by Tom Huhn, chair of BFA Visual & Critical Studies; faculty member Peter Hristoff will serve as its director. “Carefully selected monthly exhibitions that reflect the inquisitive and multifaceted nature of the department will be our priority,” Hristoff says. “The space will also be used for the department’s annual ‘Senior Studio’ exhibition and end-of-year show.” In addition to featuring their work, the gallery will invite BFA Visual & Critical Studies students and faculty to mount their own curatorial projects. “We have students who are interested in curating, performance, installation and education,” Huhn says. “So I expect this to become a very dynamic space.” [Jamie Keesling] VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL


Show Room

On Thursday, May 14, SVA will hold two commencement exercises, one each for its graduate and undergraduate degree candidates, in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Regardless of which ceremony students and their families attend, all are in for an inspirational send-off when visionary opera, theater and festival director Peter Sellars delivers this year’s addresses. Sellars has been on the cutting edge of cultural activism for more than three decades, acclaimed for his unconventional projects and collaborations with other well-known artists. He has staged a version of Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” for puppets. His Don Giovanni was a drug addict; his King Lear drove a convertible. His partnerships with composer John Adams have resulted in some of the most highly praised and controversial operas of our time, such as Nixon in China (1987) and The Death of Klinghoffer (1991). Other recent endeavors include Desdemona (2011), a collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison and Malian singercomposer Rokia Traoré, and FLEXN (2015), a collaboration with flex dance pioneer Reggie “Roc” Gray and 21 street dancers from East New York. Yet even as his productions are mounted for large crowds all over the world, Sellars—currently director in residence at the English National Opera—concedes that the new

photo by Ruth Walz

photo by Samuel Morgan

Director’s Commentary

generation demands a more intimate and immersive audience experience. “Most young people don’t want to go to an opera house,” he said in a recent speech, “and it’s not how those people want to have a good time, to sit with 5,000 other people.” Last year he helped launch a study to explore how artists, academics and scientists can come together to address the future of live performance. In his view, “New technology means you don’t have to have an opera house to do an opera.” Named Musical America’s 2014 Artist of the Year, Sellars’ other honors include an Erasmus Prize, a Gish Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Polar Music Prize and a Sundance Institute RiskTakers Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a professor at University of California, Los Angeles, and resident curator of the Telluride Film Festival. Following his addresses to SVA’s class of 2015, Sellars will receive an honorary degree from the College. [LB]

“The whole series was shot on film, and I believe it may be the last show that ever will be.” Tim Van Patten, director and executive producer of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. From a talk hosted by MPS Live Action Short Film.


Annual Migration


This summer, SVA’s Chilean Summer Workshops, a program that hosts art and design students from Chile for intensive workshops at the College, celebrates its 10th anniversary. In 2005 Rosemarie Viggiano, chair of SVA’s MAT Art Education program, traveled to Chile to visit a former student and give a talk at Duoc UC Professional Institute, in the coastal city of Viña Del Mar. While there she met Andrés Besa, then the head of the institute’s advertising department. Besa had studied in the U.S. and wanted to give his students the same opportunity. Viggiano offered to try to generate interest in such a project from her colleagues at SVA. An inaugural group of 20 students traveled to New York that year and took a two-week advertising workshop with SVA faculty member Jack Mariucci and Richard Wilde, chair of BFA Advertising and BFA Design. Today, the program brings nearly 130 students to SVA each summer from Duoc UC and other Chilean institutions, including Desarrollo University and Andrés Bello University, where Besa is now director of the school of advertising. Students from

Chilean Summer Workshop students with BFA Design faculty member Skip Sorvino (BFA 1994 Graphic Design) in Central Park.

the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, also participate. Viggiano’s program now offers workshops in graphic design, interior design and fashion photography, among other subjects. Each two-week-long course consists of hands-on exercises and assignments, and students are encouraged to take advantage of New York City’s many resources. “It is an intensive academic and creative experience, with outstanding facilities and services and experienced faculty,” says Joaquín Béjares, international relations manager at Andrés Bello University. “It is a ‘start-up’ for new bright minds.” Participants study from 9:00am to 4:00pm each day, and by the end of their stay complete at least one finished portfolio piece—an advertising campaign or an artist’s accordion book, for example. The program culminates with

an event at the SVA Theatre, where the students gather with faculty to celebrate and present their work. “It’s rewarding to see how students are challenged, and to see how much enthusiasm and passion they put into their projects and the high level of the work they produce,” says Alexandra Faille, international coordinator for Duoc UC's School of Design. And it’s not just the students who benefit. “Chileans are very demonstrative of their appreciation,” says Viggiano. “So SVA faculty members get a lot of hugs.” “Year after year, they continually remind me of why I teach,” Wilde says. “Their openness, their risk-taking and their love of process has in turn energized me and nourished me in ways that that are difficult to describe.” [Kate Styer]

“Once you have [found] people that you can trust, you need to actually trust them. . . . If you can do that, that kind of collaboration is going to bring out the best in you and everybody else. For me, it’s the most exhilarating, most liberating, fantastic way to make work. Everything I do now, creatively, is all about relationships.” Lynn Shelton (MFA 1995 Photography and Related Media), director. From a Q&A at After-School Special, SVA’s first alumni film and animation festival.




SVA Close Up Venice photos by Danielle Durchslag. BELOW Installation photo of Tavares Strachan's Polar Eclipse, 2013, Bahamas National Pavilion, 55th Venice Art Biennale.

Venetian Class This July, SVA is offering a nine-day Arts Abroad program in Venice, timed to coincide with the city’s 2015 Art Biennale—an every-other-year exhibition of selected international artists that is one of the art world’s most venerated and highly anticipated events. Enrollment in the program, the College’s first to include access to the Biennale, is open to the public, and participation is good for 1 transferable art history credit. The trip will be led by SVA Career Development Assistant Director Anna Ogier-Bloomer, an artist, educator and career counselor, and Coordinator Meg Kissel, an art-history docent with an extensive background in Italian art, language and literature. In addition to guided visits to historic sites, museums and galleries (and a syllabus of related critical and historical reading materials), enrollees will receive

lodging, transportation, an unlimited pass to the Biennale and a limited-edition copy of the exhibition’s catalog. SVA graduates whose work will be featured in this year's exhibition include Adrian Piper (1969 Fine Arts), Mika Rottenberg (BFA 2001 Fine Arts), Gary Simmons (BFA 1988 Fine Arts), Lorna Simpson (BFA 1982 Photography), Sarah Sze (MFA 1997 Fine Arts) and Anton Vidokle (BFA 1988 Fine Arts), founder of e-flux. The featured artist for the American Pavilion at this year’s Biennale is Joan Jonas; the director of this year’s Biennale is writer and curator Okwui Enwezor. (For more on another of Enwezor’s recent projects, see “Q+A: Amelie Klein,” page 44.) For more information on this and other SVA Arts Abroad programs, visit [Greg Herbowy]

photo by Getty Images, courtesy of Amazon Fashion

Last fall, student groups from several New York City-area art and design colleges convened in Brooklyn for the 2014 Amazon Fashion Studio Sessions, a daylong competition to produce and present a campaign, whether for menswear or women’s wear, promoting clothes and accessories sold on In the end, the e-commerce giant’s executives awarded an SVA team first place in the women’s wear category; the honor came with a $25,000 prize for the students and an additional $15,000 for the College. Congratulations to the winning students Rachel Goto (BFA Design), Andres Pelaez (BFA Photography) (pictured at left), Leonardo Porto (BFA Advertising), Jae Eun Seok (BFA Photography) and Elise Swain (BFA Photography). VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL

photo by Chun, Tae Woong


Creative Outposts


For SVA’s Korean and Chinese students—who make up the largest and the fastest-growing segments of the College’s international student population, respectively—study in the U.S. presents certain challenges. For one thing, there’s mastering not just English but also American vernacular. There is also the matter of adjusting to cultural differences and finding common ground on which to make friends. After graduation, they face another transition—to the career world, whether by starting their professional lives in the U.S. or returning to their home countries to work. To help with all of this, the College recently opened offices in Seoul and Shanghai, where members of the SVA community can meet in pursuit of their goals. “We want to give these students a level of support that will ensure their continued success,”

says SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes. “In part, that means strengthening our network of alumni and employers.” SVA’s Seoul office is located in the city’s Hyehwa-dong neighborhood, known for university art centers, schools, theaters and museums. The office, located in the same building as the Dong Soong Art Center—one of the area’s most prominent cultural venues—is staffed by Andrew Chang, an SVA faculty member and director of the Office of Programs for International Students, and alumnus Heewon Seo (MFA 2012 Fine Arts). Last November, SVA officials and invited guests held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the office’s completion. Joining Rhodes, Chang and Seo at the ceremony were representatives of SVA partner institutions Sangmyung

University, Soong Eui Women’s College and Seoul National University of Science and Technology, along with a diverse group of SVA administrators: Michael Campbell, controller; faculty member Renyi Hu (MFA 2012 Art Practice), who is also SVA’s regional coordinator for East Asia; John McIntosh, chair of BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects; Sam Modenstein, executive director of External Relations; Jane Nuzzo, director of Alumni Affairs and Development; Adam Rogers, director of International Outreach; and Angie Wojak, director of Career Development. The SVA office in Shanghai, which Hu staffs, is situated in a 1919 Art Nouveau building near the Huangpu River in the city’s historic Bund neighborhood. Built out to SVA’s specifications, it features a multipurpose event space and a terrace with sweeping views; it also has a video gallery, library and lounge. In November, more than 200 parents and prospective students visited the Shanghai office for a Portfolio Day, at which SVA representatives offered feedback to aspiring artists and designers. “Our overseas offices now enable us to offer personal guidance and real-time information in a way that wasn’t possible before,” says Javier Vega, executive director of SVA Admissions and Student Affairs. Accordingly, exhibitions, lectures, workshops and interviews are planned throughout the year at both locations. To stay informed of upcoming programs, Korean and Chinese alumni are encouraged to keep an eye out for the SVA alumni newsletter. To join the SVA Korean Alumni group on Facebook, alumni should contact Heewon Seo at SVA is also on Chinese social media networks Weibo, Youku, Renren, Wechat and QQ (184452575). [Michael Grant]

“Making work is absolutely essential to me. . . . But it’s equally important to me to see to what extent I might be able to widen the path and assist other artists in the construction of their work.” Carrie Mae Weems, artist. From a talk hosted by MFA Art Practice.



What’s in Store

TO SUBMIT A PRODUC T FOR WHAT ’ S IN S TORE , SEND INFORM ATION TO Strong Female Protagonist: Book One Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag Top Shelf Productions Softcover, 220 pages, $19.95 Strong Female Protagonist, written by Brennan Lee Mulligan (BFA 2009 Film and Video) and illustrated by Molly Ostertag (BFA 2014 Cartooning), is a web comic turned graphic novel that tells the story of Alison Green, who leads a double life as Mega Girl, an invulnerable superhero fighting for social justice. Mega Girl and a band of “biodynamic” teenage crime fighters take on the toughest of all possible villains, but the social ills of inequality, poverty and discrimination remain. When Mega Girl’s mind-reading arch-nemesis Menace reveals evidence of a sinister conspiracy, Alison begins to doubt the importance of her super-heroics. Publicly renouncing Mega Girl, she goes back to school to fight for justice in a new and different way. Mulligan and Ostertag met years ago at summer camp, but their collaboration didn’t begin until 2009 at SVA, where they discussed the “strong female protagonist” trope in literature and comic book culture. Mega Girl emerged as an exemplar of this ideal: a virtuous young American woman with physical super-strength and inner convictions. In 2012, their comic debuted on its eponymous website, where the story is updated twice weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays). Last spring, the pair held a Kickstarter campaign to fund an up-to-date print anthology of the series, an effort that raised nearly 800 percent of their original goal. The extra funds went into higher production standards (including selected color pages) and additional online and print content. Aside from the book, the Strong Female Protagonist website also sells tie-in buttons and T-shirts. [Nadia DeLane]

Brief books for people who make websites



Jason Santa Maria

ON WEB TYPOGRAPHY Kill the Messenger Directed by Michael Cuesta (BFA 1985 Photography) Universal Pictures DVD/Blu-Ray, $19.99/$24.99


Peter Bagge: Conversations Edited by Kent Worcester (faculty, Art History) University Press of Mississippi Hardcover, 208 pages, $40

On Web Typography Jason Santa Maria (faculty, MFA Interaction Design) A Book Apart Softcover, 142 pages, $18


Killed & Rejected postcard set Lauren Simkin Berke Six postcards, $11 Every working illustrator has them: submitted artworks that, for whatever reason, were turned down; commissioned pieces that, for whatever reason, were never published. With this postcard set, Lauren Simkin Berke (MFA 2003 Illustration as Visual Essay) has found a new life for these unpublished (i.e., “killed”) and rejected drawings. Printed on heavy, matte-finish stock, the collection includes rough sketches of covers for guides to Shakespeare’s plays and a reimagining of George Washington crossing the Delaware (this time with Jesus at the helm), among other curiosities. The cards are available at the artist’s Etsy shop (accessible via the website above), which also sells Berke’s illustrated iPhone covers, light-switch plates and more. [Greg Herbowy]

The Divine Boaz Lavie (author), Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (BFA 2000 Illustration) (illustrators) First Second Softcover, 160 pages, $19.99



What’s in Store

Farewell Books Travis Kent and Mikaylah Bowman 913 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas Opening a bookstore could seem like a questionable endeavor these days, in light of e-books and the dominance of online retail, so Travis Kent (BFA 2007 Photography) and Mikaylah Bowman, friends and business partners, named their Austin shop accordingly. In 2013, the two opened Farewell Books on the site of Dormy Books—the independent bookstore where they both were previously employed. The “Farewell” is a bittersweet acknowledgment of printed matter’s steady decline, though there are ways for print—and bookstores—to endure, Kent says. One option: make a bookstore more than just a bookstore. Farewell Books also serves as an art gallery and event space, hosting poetry and prose readings, concerts, films and performances. The shop also rents out its unused space to other local businesses. If visitors get hungry, they can stop by Shhmaltz, a vegetarian Jewish food truck parked in back of the store. They can also grab an espresso at Flat Track Coffee or check out Las Cruxes—a shop that specializes in vintage clothing and accessories, apothecary items and records. “By banding together,” Kent says, “we are able to make it easier and more affordable to exist in what is quickly becoming a prime location. Collectively we offer a little bit of everything. You can eat, drink, shop and view art in one location.” [Christopher Darling]


North Philadelphia Daniel Traub (MFA 1998 Photography, Video and Related Media) Kehrer Verlag Hardcover, 124 pages, $50

Designing Here/Now: A global selection of objects, concepts and spaces for the future Edited by Allan Chochinov (chair, MFA Products of Design) and Eric Ludlum Thames & Hudson Hardcover, 448 pages, $50


QNSMADE Amy Wu Stickers, $3; patches, $6; tank tops and T-shirts, $20 – $28; hats, $20 – $35 MFA Interaction Design student Amy Wu (BFA 2008 Graphic Design) grew up and still lives in Queens. The largest of New York City’s five boroughs, in terms of square miles, Queens is populous and endlessly diverse. It is home to the New York Mets, the U.S. Open, the Museum of the Moving Image and MoMA PS1. And yet, somehow, it is always an also-ran, after the muchhyped Manhattan and Brooklyn, when it comes to media coverage and international profile. So when Wu was assigned to raise $1,000 for a business or product idea in her first-year Entrepreneurial Design course (see The Assignment, page 30), she decided “to give the people who live in Queens a platform to tell their story,” she says. The result: QNSMADE, a multifaceted website featuring interviews, photography, a “mom and pop” business directory, a history section, and an e-commerce store selling Queens- (or rather, QNS-) branded and manufactured merchandise. Wu launched the site in February 2014 and has since taken on several volunteer writers and photographers. Late last year, she created a QNSMADE winter food guide for a Time Out: New York event (now available online as a PDF). Now, with graduation in sight, she’s preparing to expand operations and partner with other local institutions to become more active in the community. Last September, QNSMADE hosted a screening of My Brooklyn, a documentary about gentrification, at co-working space QNS Collective; the event also featured a discussion with grassroots organization Queens Neighborhoods United. And this March, QNSMADE began a free series of workshops for Queens teenagers, aimed at encouraging self-expression and empowerment “and showing them that they don’t have to leave their borough to become successful,” she says. [GH]

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao: New York Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao (MFA 2005 Photography, Video and Related Media), with essays by Sean Corcoran and Justin Davidson Aperture Hardcover, 160 pages, $95



What’s in Store Transparent Created by Jill Soloway, associate-produced by and co-starring Zackary Drucker Amazon Prime Instant Video (Amazon Prime membership required)

Transparent images courtesy of Amazon Studios.

When critics use words like “groundbreaking” to describe the Golden Globe-winning Amazon Prime series Transparent, they are not exaggerating. At the center of the family drama is Mort, a transgender father of three, played by veteran actor Jeffrey Tambor. Transparent neither caricaturizes nor sentimentalizes Tambor’s character, now known as Maura. The show “sets a new precedent for transgender storytelling . . . by taking trans narratives out from the cultural underbelly and crafting new, relevant and human portraits of trans experience for a broader audience,” wrote The Huffington Post’s Diana Tourjee. Zackary Drucker (BFA 2005 Photography) and her creative partner, filmmaker-artist Rhys Ernst, helped develop Transparent’s pilot and now serve as the series’ associate producers. Drucker also has an on-screen role as Eleanor, the leader of a transgender support group. “It’s a big year for visibility for trans people,” she says. “Gender is a hot topic right now. It’s a conversation that people are ready for.” That conversation does indeed seem to be becoming more and more mainstream, and Drucker has been an active participant in it. She has been profiled in publications like Slate and Interview, and a photo series by Drucker and Ernst chronicling their relationship as a transgendering couple was featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Asked whether she ever tired of being called a “transgender artist,” preferring instead to be known simply as an artist, Drucker said, “I’m interested in exploring what it means to be a human, and I’m deeply invested in the trans community and trans civil rights. It’s my duty as an artist to have a critical voice. Gender is certainly a part of it, but the perception that gender is a theme in all of my work is an outsider’s view, reducing it to something simpler than it really is.” Drucker credits SVA for providing abundant stimulation and a strong foundation on which she has built a career. She names Allen Frame, Barrie Karp and Amy Taubin as influential faculty mentors. “They taught me everything I know about social movements,” she says. These days, Drucker has so many exhibitions in the pipeline, she says, she can’t keep track of them all. But Transparent alone—widely praised as the best new series of 2014—is enough to keep her busy. More episodes have been ordered and work on Season 2 is under way. Viewers can expect to see more Transparent—and more of Zackary Drucker—this coming fall. [Lisa Batchelder]



TRMTAB Mansi Gupta and Cassandra Michel Tablet sleeves, $55 – $65; MacBook sleeves, $100 – $120 TRMTAB—founded by SVA alumni Mansi Gupta and Cassandra Michel (both MFA 2014 Products of Design) and initially funded through a successful, SVA-promoted Kickstarter campaign—produces and sells a line of “up-cycled” leather sleeves for tablets and MacBooks, with more accessories in the works. The enterprise, rooted in Gupta and Michel’s shared belief that small, purposeful changes can have comprehensive and lasting effects, began as an assignment in a business structures class the two took together at SVA. Growing up, Gupta was exposed to the ins and outs of her family’s leather manufacturing company, Prachi Leathers, in Kanpur, India. She says that even then she was aware of areas of the production process that could be improved, such as finding uses for the thousands of pounds of leftover leather scraps. “I wanted to do something that would in some way be connected to my father’s factory back home,” Gupta says. “With tons of feedback from our faculty and peers, one thing led to another and TRMTAB was born.” TRMTAB works with Prachi’s craftsmen to turn what would otherwise be considered waste into refined, high-quality accessories. Since the leftover

leather varies in shape, size and color, Gupta and Michel came up with their own weaving and stitching processes, which allow them to use as much of the material as possible. Each item, cut and woven by hand, is one of a kind; a small tab helps owners easily remove devices from their sleeves. The name TRMTAB comes from “Call me Trimtab,” the tombstone inscription of famous systems theorist Buckminster Fuller—a reference to the tiny surfaces on the rudder of a ship or airplane that help stabilize the craft. Gupta and Michel hope their partnership with Prachi and their collection of leather goods will be the “trim tab” that helps inspire less wasteful manufacturing practices on a larger scale. Gupta and Michel aim to one day partner with other factories and have been working on prototypes for wallets, totes and journal covers. “TRMTAB can be more than a line of up-cycled goods,” Gupta says. “It exists to make small changes in an effort toward mindful production, and our future collections will speak to that.” [Kate Styer]



What’s in Store Outlaw Pete Bruce Springsteen and Frank Caruso Simon & Schuster Hardcover, 56 pages, $19.99 When Frank Caruso (BFA 1985 Media Arts) first heard Bruce Springsteen’s 2009 album, Working on a Dream, he knew he had landed on something special. “When I heard track 1, ‘Outlaw Pete,’ I literally put my pen down and just listened to the story,” says Caruso, who is vice president of creative services at King Features. Caruso began to sketch out the song and, thanks to his friend Dave Marsh, a veteran music critic and Springsteen biographer, those sketches made their way to the rock star’s hands. Thus, the picturebook version of Outlaw Pete was born. Outlaw Pete tells the story of a diaper-clad baby who begins his life of crime when he robs a bank. Caruso, who claims he has listened to the song “more times than every member of the E Street Band combined,” was careful to make sure his adaptation stayed true to Springsteen’s original idea. “Bruce conceived and created the character of Outlaw Pete, so all I was trying to do was capture everything he poured into the lyrics, the character, the music, the song and get it down on paper.” Flipping through the book, one thing stands out: Outlaw Pete’s eyes are rarely shown. “I have a thing about not showing (too many) eyes,” Caruso says. “I feel the eyes lock down a character, but I like to keep it open for the reader to project themselves onto the character and into the story.” Caruso says he wanted the reader to “participate” and “relate to the journey” as he did when he first heard the song. “To me,” he says, “Outlaw Pete wasn’t about illustrating a song, it was about illustrating a piece of literature written by Bruce, which he set to music and colored with instrumental and vocal emotion.” [Danica Nelson]

VECTOR Artists Journal Peter Gregorio and Javier Barrios Cost variable Art meets the written word in VECTOR Artists Journal, a periodic collection of essays by contemporary artists published by Peter Gregorio and Javier Barrios (both MFA 2007 Fine Arts). Available online and in print and funded through donations and a “pay what you want” model, each edition of the publication, which was founded in 2008, focuses on a specific city and features contributions by its resident creative professionals. The fifth and latest edition, published in late 2014, spotlights Berlin. Past issues have been dedicated to Oslo and New York City and have included work by fellow MFA Fine Arts alumni as well as faculty members. This “literary exhibition,” as its co-founders call it, is one component of Gregorio and Barrios’ larger project, VECTOR Productions, Inc., created to spread the ideas and work of visual artists around the world. Their mission: “To build a database of knowledge online, in publication, through events, exhibitions and lectures.” [LB]


TO SUBMIT A PRODUC T FOR WHAT ’ S IN S TORE , SEND INFORM ATION TO The Camelot Kids: Book One Ben Zackheim (author), Ian Greenlee (illustrations), Nathan Fox (cover illustration) CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Softcover, 514 pages, $14.99 Fans of Arthurian legend and the Harry Potter series will appreciate The Camelot Kids: Book One, the first in a planned series by MFA Visual Narrative faculty member Ben Zackheim. The story is centered on Simon Sharp, a 14-year-old orphan whose life changes when he discovers his true family heritage: he is a descendant of the legendary Sir Lancelot. Merlin the magician and his apprentice Maille Rose take Simon from his ordinary world—attempting to stay clear of bullies, trying desperately to fit in at school—and transport him to New Camelot, a mythical land of trolls and other fantastical beings, where he begins training with the 149 other ancestors of the Knights of the Round Table. Meanwhile, unseen evil forces work to make an ominous prophecy come true. Zackheim’s young-adult saga, initially published as a series of e-books, also features cover art by MFA Visual Narrative Chair Nathan Fox (MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay). [Dan Halm]

Vision Anew: The Lens & Screen Arts Edited by Adam Bell (faculty and MFA 2004 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Charles H. Traub (chair, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media), with contributions from several SVA alumni and faculty University of California Press Hardcover and softcover, 312 pages, $75 / $34.95


Crude oil cleanup at Ao Prao Beach in Rayong, Thailand. Photo by Sujin Jetkasettakorn,


Subject Matter

Drilling Down Ann Bastian on industry and the environment Ann Bastian taught history at SVA from 1977 through 2014. Her three courses—21st Century History I: Globalization and the New World Order; 21st Century History II: The Power of Citizens and Nations; and EcoHistory: Oil and Water, the 21st Century in Crisis—continue to be taught by faculty members Dania Rajendra and Molly Schultz-Hafid. A longtime activist for public education, the environment and social equality, Bastian is also a senior fellow at the New World Foundation. She is co-author of Choosing Equality: The Case for Democratic Schooling (Temple University Press, 1986) and is currently working on a book about lessons for building progressive social movements. OVER MY YEARS AT SVA, I DISCOVERED THE MERITS OF

teaching history in reverse: starting with the present and working back to the roots of events that are happening around us. And that’s how my courses are taught—looking at the world today and figuring out how we got here, for better and for worse. I introduced the ecohistory course in 2005, soon after Hurricane Katrina, to focus on the causes and consequences of climate change. I believe climate change will be the central story of the 21st century, and that the growing water crisis will be its most daunting challenge. The back story goes something like this: humans have been using fossil fuels for ages, but they started using them on a scale that powered society during the Industrial Revolution, beginning 300 years ago. The first wave of industrialization was fueled by coal, which still generates 40 percent of the world’s electricity. The second industrial wave was fueled by oil—petroleum—which gained a foothold in the mid-19th century as a replacement for whale oil in lighting cities. Ironically, Thomas Edison’s development of the electric light bulb almost crushed the infant oil industry and expanded our dependency on coal. But oil soon made a big comeback with the invention of the internal combustion engine. By the mid-20th century, oil not only fueled transport but also massive petrochemical industries, which produce everything from pharmaceuticals to pesticides to plastics. Today we’re into a third industrial wave—a globalized system of trade and production that is increasingly fueled by “extreme oil”; since oil reserves are getting more difficult to tap, we’re turning to high-risk extraction methods like natural-gas fracking, oil-shale strip-mining and deep-water drilling.

We have reached the ecological limits of the carbon age and face collateral damage to our water systems. There’s the direct pollution of water because of toxic emissions and runoff, and then there are the side effects of global warming. With cumulative carbon emissions trapping heat in the atmosphere, oceans are growing increasingly acidified and we are melting off our freshwater storage systems—the glaciers and ice caps and snow packs that are rapidly disappearing around the world. There are already severe water crises in Australia, India and the American West, especially in California, the leading U.S. agricultural state. The pattern is global and it affects food production, poverty, migration, human health and species extinction . . . all the life cycles of our planet. Unequal access to water also produces political unrest and regional conflict. For instance, a strong argument can be made that a historic drought in Syria has destabilized the country, contributing to its present civil war. Following an era of wars fought over oil, we may be entering an era of wars fought over water. Not all the news is grim. There’s a worldwide movement of citizen activists fighting to safeguard public water systems, stop the privatization of water supplies, end the waste and pollution of bottled water and expose the threats to water posed by most of our current industrial agriculture and energy practices. There’s also a global climate movement taking shape, which many SVA students saw firsthand last September during the People’s Climate March. There’s a global food-justice movement trying to move us toward sustainable farming and healthy eating. Young people are participating in many different ways. A lot is happening here in New York City, on SVA’s doorstep. The two 21st-century history courses that I developed share this focus: how “people power” can and has changed history. College students are of an age when they are just waking up to their place in the world. My hope is that they’ll learn about what’s happening around them so they can make a difference, as informed citizens of the world and as artists who can contribute their talent. History teaches us that things weren’t always this way, and they don’t have to be this way in the future. We have choices to make in how history turns out. •



Creative Life by Christina Fitzpatrick

Space Programs Resources and proposals for making New York City affordable for artists again NEW YORK HAS LONG BEEN AN EXPENSIVE CITY. RECENTLY,

though, the challenges of finding housing and workspace have dramatically increased, especially for artists and independent creative professionals. Neighborhoods that attracted artists for their affordability and big spaces—SoHo, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg— have fallen prey to rising rents and high-end real-estate developers. This kind of transformation used to happen gradually. In the case of Williamsburg, it took roughly 20 years. As of late, however, the speed of such economic and demographic turnovers has accelerated. Within the past six years, Brooklyn’s Bushwick area has experienced a wave of luxury developments; according to a report quoted last fall in The New York Times, rents there have risen 17.6 percent in the past year alone. What’s an artist to do? Stephanie Diamond, founder of the Listings Project (—a weekly email that advertises available realestate and professional opportunities from all over the world—insists that these challenges are all a part of the creative life. “That’s when we get innovative,” she says, “and new neighborhoods, new artist enclaves, are formed.” For example, as a means of adapting to today’s economic landscape, Diamond has noticed that a lot of artists now live together, no matter their age or marital status—and that social stigmas surrounding such arrangements are giving way. “It used to be ‘I’ll have a roommate until I grow up’ or ‘until I get married,’” she says. But now more married artists are living with other couples or renting a room in a shared space. “There’s a lot more variation as to what it means to have—or to be—a family or a household.” To create each week’s email, Diamond personally vets all submissions (no brokers, managers or third-party services allowed). VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL

There are fees for those who list, but anyone can subscribe to the service for free. Listings Project, which now has subscribers from 70 countries, originates from Diamond’s own search for a new apartment in 2003. Looking to spread the word, she turned to her personal network, emailing a number of friends and asking for leads. After she’d found a space, she continued to get tips, which she in turn forwarded to other friends. Her contact list grew and grew, until managing the emails and the attendant website became a full-time endeavor, and her focus widened from the New York metropolitan area to include listings from Bali to Ukraine. Despite this success, Diamond speaks practically about her life as an artist and the financial constraints involved. “I’m aware that I will always have a day job, that applying for a grant is part of my practice, and that even going to a meeting with my accountant is also part of my creative practice. I think seeing a more holistic picture is more of a trend these days.” An additional resource for affordable workspace in New York is chashama ( Since 1995, this nonprofit has provided free exhibition, work, rehearsal and performance spaces to more than 12,000 artists. Art patron and real-estate heiress Anita Durst founded the organization in memory of Reza Abdoh, an Iranian playwright and director who often staged his performances in unusual spaces, such as warehouses and abandoned buildings. Chashama— which means “to have vision” in Farsi—began offering subsidized studio space in 2007. It now offers 23 locations in neighborhoods such as Harlem, midtown Manhattan, Queens’ Rockaway Peninsula and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Currently, more than 120 artists are renting subsidized chashama spaces at 90 percent below market rate.


The atrium and an artist’s studio at Brooklyn Army Terminal, one of 23 location in New York City that have been repurposed as affordable creative work and exhibition spaces by the nonprofit chashama. Atrium photo by James Mocko; photos courtesy of chashama.

In the political sphere, low- to middle-income New York artists now have Mayor Bill de Blasio as a potential advocate. He has devised “a five-borough, 10-year plan,” in which 200,000 affordable apartments will be created or preserved over the next 10 years. The plan’s literature pledges support to “artists and musicians who struggle to find affordable housing and/or live/work space,” a pledge the mayor elaborated on in his 2015 State of the City address, in which he announced plans to build 1,500 affordable live/work units, and an additional 500 affordable studio spaces, exclusively for artists. De Blasio has also altered income restrictions in housing lotteries so that middle-income residents can be included and, under his administration, the process to apply for newly constructed, affordable housing has been streamlined. The old paper applications were as rigorous and time-consuming as those for grants and fellowships. Now, through NYC Housing Connect (, applicants can open an online account and maintain one universal application, which may be reused in future lotteries. Much of these government initiatives, though, involve either waiting and hoping or the luck of the draw. And 200,000 affordable homes in a city of more than 8 million cannot address the needs of everyone. Furthermore, the cost of commercial and studio spaces is what often affects artists most, and the mayor has proposed only 2,000 of these in his plans. Meanwhile, the laws that protect residential tenants do not apply to commercial lessees. Studio rents can double, and can be terminated without just cause. The Small Business Jobs Survival Act,which as of press time was pending in the New York City Council, is a response to these issues. If enacted,

it would force commercial lease renewal into arbitration in court if need be and mandate 10-year leases, if lessees desire them. “Part of what’s happening as a result of the housing crisis is that people are examining the economics of the art world,” says Hrag Vartanian, critic, curator and co-founder of the arts blog Hyperallergic. “Why isn’t the Whitney Museum paying an artist to be in its biennial?” he asks. “Why isn’t an artist being paid to be on a panel?” Consequently, a few organizations dedicated to improving the economic landscape for artists have formed in recent years. Working Artists in the Greater Economy, or WAGE (, is one such New York-based group, leading the movement to recognize museums and galleries, such as Artists Space in Tribeca, that voluntarily offer artist fees. “For an artist in the city to receive $1,000 to appear in an exhibition is a really big deal,” Vartanian says. “That could pay for a studio space for two months.” The Artist Studio Affordability Project, or ASAP (, is another activist group working to create a broader network of political support for artists. The group organizes protests, lobbies elected officials and conducts workshops and discussions to teach communities the ins and outs of New York City’s zoning policies. “The only way things will change is if artists start caring about urban policy,” Jenny Debnau, one of ASAP’s founding members, says. “Artists—all people—need to start fighting back.” •



Portfolio By Dan Halm

Andrew Brischler Something is “off.” You immediately notice the slight imperfections in a sea of solid colors. Confronted by the bold and bright abstract paintings of Andrew Brischler (MFA 2012 Fine Arts), you get a sense that you are looking beyond the surface. “I want to make work that people can understand on several levels,” he says. “There’s an initial beauty that you see in it, and when you get closer, either physically closer or seeing a lot of the work together, you start to understand there’s something insidious, strange, flawed and wrong going on under the surface.” His work is intentionally battered and awry; you can see his hand in each painting, disrupting the solid color fields, patterns and typefaces. Brischler acknowledges there are many ways to make cleaner images than he does, but says the flaws he adds are an indication of human failure. He also leaves areas of certain paintings unfinished, which allows the underlying gesso or the rawness of the surface to show. “The paintings are really orchestrated,” he says, “and I sort of have an idea when I start of where it’s going to disintegrate and fall apart. But while everything is preplanned, I don’t really know what the piece will look like. Things happen organically. It’s the push and pull of making a mark and then making another mark.” In his latest works, Brischler explores his influences, which can be anything from lettering from a horror movie poster to the logos for Eternity by Calvin Klein to vintage gay pornography or 1970s disco album covers. “I’m listening to what I aesthetically respond to,” he says. “The finished paintings are examinations of our cultural climate as well as documents of my own uneasiness—images that conflate definitions of success and failure, chance and contrivance, aloofness and emotional unraveling.” He wants his work to be about who he is at the time that the work is created.


He also wants to trigger memories or strong sensations in his audience, whether that means viewers recognizing the source of a typeface—the “A” in his Tantrum (Clockwork), 2014, for example, comes from the book cover and movie poster of A Clockwork Orange—or getting vertigo from looking at one of his spiral paintings. “More than anything, I am interested in the need for people to want to ground themselves somewhere,” he says. “It’s a balancing act between giving people enough and not giving them too much. I just like that people need to recognize their own history in the work.” Over the past year or so, Brischler has been using colored pencil almost exclusively. As a result, some of his larger images take over a month to complete. This labor-intensiveness means the artist, by necessity, is heavily invested in every inch of each panel. “There’s a futility to making a ‘painting’ with 80 or so of the same colored pencil,” he says. “I could easily make a similar-looking image with tape and acrylic paint, but I’m quite attached to the strange, frenetic, flawed surface I get with colored pencil.” The pencil also gives the works—thanks to the sheer amount of medium covering the surface—a strange waxy sheen. Brischler’s abstractions are bright, colorful and above all very human, evoking a sense of style and deep connection to pop culture. The works pulsate with energy and verve, draw the viewer in and allow an escape through their imperfections— the same imperfections that make them, in a sense, perfect. Brischler is represented by the Gavlak Gallery in Los Angeles and Palm Beach and his work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. To see more, visit  ∞

Andrew Brischler, Tantrum (Clockwork), 2014, colored pencil, marker and graphite on paper. All images courtesy of the artist and Gavlak, Los Angeles.


Andrew Brischler, The Foul Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart (OH), 2013, colored pencil, marker and graphite on paper.

OPPOSITE: Andrew Brischler, Sorry, 2013, colored pencil, marker and graphite on raw canvas over panel.



Andrew Brischler, Cold War, 2013, oil and pencil on raw canvas over panel.

OPPOSITE: Andrew Brischler, Novacane (Orange), 2014, colored pencil and graphite on panel.



Andrew Brischler, Witness, 2014, colored pencil, gesso, graphite and oil bar on panel.

OPPOSITE: Andrew Brischler, New (Orange), 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas over panel.



The Assignment by Dan Halm


Entrepreneurial Design INSTRUCTORS

Gary Chou, Christina Xu and Leland Rechis The assignment: $1,000 project Students in this first-year MFA Interaction Design course are asked to devise, design and run a business that earns a minimum $1,000 (or, if they choose to work in pairs, $2,000) in profit through online sales or fund-raising by semester's end. Most choose Kickstarter as their platform, and you can find several recent projects from the course on SVA’s curated page, “The best way to prepare students for designing in a rapidly changing, unpredictable world is to make them do something in the real world,” says Chou, who cofounded the course with Christina Cacioppo in 2012. “The ‘$1,000 project’ does just that. Christina Xu, Leland Rechis and I serve as coaches and advocates, not as judges.”

Sneha Pai, illustration (detail) from Maker’s Alphabet, 2014.



Archigrams / Michie Cao Goal: $3,000  /  Amount raised: $11,258 For Archigrams, Cao, who holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture, picked 10 of her favorite buildings from around the world and drew a graphic illustration of each. The works are available individually as 18 x 24" posters ($40 each) or as a full set of 5 x 7" prints ($30). Facts about the buildings are printed on the backs of the 5 x 7" versions, and the set also comes with a glossary of architectural terms. What she learned “I learned how important it is to have a vision for your product— I received a lot of advice from established designers and product people, as well as from architects and design students, and all of them were distinctly different in their approaches. One of the hardest but most necessary things to do is to consider all the advice, figure out what you think is the best approach and commit to it. I also realized the power of leveraging social media and reaching out to like-minded people and communities. The tweets and blog items, and being featured as a ‘Kickstarter Project of the Day,’ were what really made the campaign a success.”

How the project changed her perception of design “I’d previously thought that design was something that’s hard to sell, unless you’re consulting or are an extraordinary artist, which is not how I see myself. This exercise has shown me that it is possible, more than anyone would think, so long as you can appeal to a need or interest and build a community around it. Moving forward, I feel more confident and empowered. I have the business and marketing experience so that, if a compelling idea comes up, I’ll know how to execute it.” Project status “I spent last summer making and packaging the posters and prints. Last September, I sent out all my orders and created an online shop,”



The UpStanding Desk  /  Sam Carmichael and Mikey Chen Goal: $10,000  /  Amount raised: $105,186 Articles in recent years have decried the health detriments of most office workers’ sedentary culture, but few companies are able or willing to provide standing desks to all interested employees, and jury-rigged solutions are often unsightly and imperfect. With the UpStanding Desk, Carmichael and Chen set out to create an affordable, adjustable and easy-to-build standing desk set. The pair created standard ($199.99) and double-wide ($249.99) versions and, for DIYers, a set of construction plans ($49.99). What they learned “When launching a product or service, it’s important to release and iterate rapidly rather than keeping it close to your chest in the interest of ‘perfecting’ it. The best way to gauge a response is to have people respond to it in the real world. Second, when looking at crowd-funding operations, it might seem like a lot of the work takes place before and during fund-raising, but for physical products the bulk of the work actually takes place during and after fulfillment. Our desks weigh up to 35 pounds and require boxes that are more than three feet tall, so the logistical side was especially complex.”


How the project changed their perception of design “The rapid prototyping tools in SVA’s Visible Futures Lab gave us the ability to quickly prototype our very first version, and every time we made a change to the design we could run and cut new pieces on the ShopBot CNC machine. We were used to rapid prototyping and iteration on virtual projects, but taking the same approach with a physical product was a great learning experience.” Project status “After we finished our funding period we still had a lot of demand, so we continued to collect email addresses, formed an LLC and launched to take orders. Since then we’ve shipped more than 800 desks to customers in the U.S. and Canada and many more sets of plans around the world. Next, we’re planning to further expand internationally and to continue to build the company and product line.”


Engraved  /  John T. Kim (MFA 2014 Interaction Design) Goal: $1,500  /  Amount raised: $23,929 Engraved offers business cards made of wood, with the words and graphics laser-etched into the surface. The cards are available in “minimal” (from $49 up) and “standard” (from $59 up) designs. Kim came up with the idea after realizing how interchangeable and forgettable most business cards are. What he learned “Storytelling is as important as the product itself. I used Kickstarter as my platform, so one page on the web was all I got to tell my story. I created a promotional video and this seemed to work very well. The video was convenient for posting on social media, which is also a great way to tell your story.”

How the project changed his perception of design “Rather than changing my perception, it strengthened my belief that good design will always communicate. At the beginning of the project, I heard a lot of concern from others that everything was going digital. I was able to prove that something as ‘analog’ as wooden business cards can also grab people’s attention.”  Project status “I’ve developed it into a business with an online store at”



Game of Phones  /  Luke Stern and Sam Wander Goal: $6,000  /  Amount raised: $16,856 Stern and Wander’s party card game ($20 per deck) challenges you to show off your smart-phone ability—and addiction. Players take turns pulling a card from the deck; each card has a prompt for a group competition, like “Find the best #selfie” or “Text a random number. First reply from a human wins.” Game of Phones turns our overreliance on devices, an activity many decry as antisocial, into an opportunity for fun with friends and strangers.

Project status “We shipped to our backers last October, and then began selling through a partner retailer called Photojojo [ store/awesomeness/game-of-phones] last November. We were unsure what the demand would be after the Kickstarter campaign was over, but partnering with Photojojo has been a great start—they placed two re-orders before 2014 was out, and we’ve seen exciting press, like a short feature on The Today Show.

What they learned “There is often a tendency to over-think execution, but with tools like Kickstarter it is so much easier now to reach a wider audience with less financial risk. Gauging an idea’s popularity is no longer a huge hurdle to get over.”

“We’re now considering selling directly rather than through a partner, and we’ve been approached about licensing deals. We’re keeping our options open and playing it by ear.”

How the project changed their perception of design “Perhaps the most striking thing was finding out that people love being involved in your process and feeling like they’re playing a part. The traditional roles of producer and consumer have been blurred, and new forms of that relationship can be really rewarding. We also felt a lot of responsibility in what we were doing, because we were interacting with our backers. They were real people and we wanted to please them.” VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL


A Memory Between Us / Dami You Goal: $1,000  /  Amount raised: $14,212 A Memory Between Us is a make-your-own-postcard kit designed to help travelers memorialize their journeys and share their experiences with friends and families in a vivid, personal way. Each $19 kit contains two sets of 12 cards—one for you and one for a companion. The sets are identical but, since two different people are making the cards, different perspectives, emotions, anecdotes and trip highlights are recorded, creating a dual narrative of the adventure. What she learned “Don’t be ashamed of sharing ideas or asking opinions. Right before initiating my Kickstarter campaign, I reached out to people via social networking platforms to gauge their reactions to my idea. These same people recognized my project when the campaign launched in earnest, and it was great to see their support and have them cheer me on.

How the project changed her perception of design “It was an opportunity for me to see a larger picture in the design process. Previously, probably because of my graphic design background, I spent more time on small details. Details are still important to me, but I have come to believe that I need to think about basic values and true meanings in order to create designs that may be meaningfully used in people’s lives.” Project status “I opened a shop on Etsy named A Memory Between Us, and the kit is also selling on The Backyard [], an online concept store in Switzerland. For details, you can visit”

“I also learned that the Internet is powerful. I had it in my mind that my product idea would be a success if 10 people sincerely enjoyed it, even if I received zero funding. Amazingly, more than 500 people from around the world backed A Memory Between Us. I believe the concept resonated with people, which lead to the project being widely shared online.” SPRING 2015


The League of Ladies  /  Shelly Ni (MFA 2014 Interaction Design) Goal: $3,000  /  Amount raised: $7,198 Inspired by a Baltimore feminist group’s send-up of the Victoria’s Secret lingerie line, Ni set out to create her own, more feminist underwear brand. After a round of interviews with a wide range of women about their childhood heroes (and their underwear preferences), she designed The League of Ladies: colorful hipster- and boyshort-style bottoms ($20) decorated with prints of feminist icons Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo. What she learned “The importance of working in public—that is, sharing the story of The League of Ladies as it came together, sketch by sketch, idea by idea—with a community of online collaborators and fans.” How the project changed her perception of design “It can be hard, unfortunately, to engage in constructive dialogue about feminism online. But when you frame feminism through the lens of a superhero underwear project, it becomes more approachable to talk about. The design insight here: The way you frame a story is key. And I got to my way of framing feminism by asking real women about their lived experiences. Good stories reflect real, relatable ones.”


Project status “I recently collaborated on a limited edition collection [$48 – $58 per pair; $150 – $198 per set of four] with Dear Kate [], a women’s underwear start-up founded and run by women. Dear Kate makes wicking, stain-releasing and leak-resistant underwear—‘period panties’ that are cute as hell. And items from my first collection are still available online at”


Maker’s Alphabet  /  Sneha Pai and Melody Quintana Goal: $4,500  /  Amount raised: $12,737 A primer on all the ways creative people make things today, Pai and Quintana’s children’s book Maker’s Alphabet covers everything from fashion design to ’zines. Pai drew the book’s colorful, cartoony illustrations and Quintana wrote the rhyming text. Maker’s Alphabet will be sent to project backers in either hardcover or e-book versions; those interested in joining the mailing list to be informed of future availability can visit What they learned “In addition to the boatloads we learned about printing and self-publishing, we took away a great deal about putting an idea out into the world. Two lessons are:

"Two: launch before you’re ready. At the time it was nervewracking, but it forced us to bypass any preconceptions of what was and wasn’t possible. We pulled together a concept, proposed it to the world and saw what the world had to say. We built from there.” How the project changed their perception of design “It’s inspired us to put our ideas out earlier than we’re comfortable with, to solicit feedback.” Project status  “We’re in our final round of proofing and hope to go to print soon.”  ∞

"One: treat it like an experiment. There is no right or wrong result. There is just the result, and it leads to knowledge that helps set up the next experiment. This neutral perspective helped us offload lots of emotional baggage and focus on managing the elements within our control.


Artists explore 3D printing’s possibilities


Vincent Chen, Memento Mori, 2014, 3D printed plastic.

40 OPPOSITE David Lobser, Traditional Basket #3, 2014, PLA 3D print.

traditional painting techniques to produce colorful abstract forms inspired by molecular structures, while architect-turnedfashion designer Francis Bitonti has employed 3D printing to create a variety of objects—most notably, the racy black gown he conjured up in 2013 for burlesque artist Dita Von Teese. Yet the road to 3D-printed art and design has not been entirely smooth. When Anker first became interested in the process more than a decade ago, the machines were prohibitively expensive and difficult to find. The more sophisticated printers are still pricey—the professional-caliber models in SVA’s Digital Sculpture Lab, four floors down from Anker’s office, cost upward of $35,000 each—but a simple desktop consumer version can now be had for less than $1,000. Beyond issues of cost and access, however, Anker also had to confront the challenge of determining how best to exploit an emerging technology. “It took me quite a while to figure what to make,” she admits. Her first effort, an attempt to create shapes based on the morphology of the human brain, went nowhere (she eventually used ordinary ceramics and classical techniques for the works) and it was several years before she ultimately succeeded with a series of monochromatic pieces inspired by Rorschach tests. “Remote Sensing” represents Anker’s first stab at 3D printing with color, and the results illustrate one of the most exciting aspects of the technology for artists and designers alike: the potential for creating objects they could not previously have conceived, much less produced. Anker says that she could never have imagined the continuous gradations of color the printer created around the edges of the various pieces in the series, an effect produced by the particular algorithms the machine employs. Nor could she have achieved the crystalline texture of the pieces through conventional means. “It was made by a machine,” she says, “but it looks totally organic.” To create the “Remote Sensing” sculptures, Anker used computer software to generate 3D versions of images from a previous series of inkjet prints, and then tweaked them until she got the effect she was after. She then used other software applications to slice the resulting three-dimensional images into layers, and to generate detailed sets of instructions in a programming language called G-code, which told a large ZCorp printer in the Digital Sculpture Lab precisely how to layer the mixture of pigment, resin and powdered plaster it uses to build its shapes. There was a time when each step in this process would have required the assistance of trained technicians. Just as the prices of 3D printers have plummeted, however, so has the level of difficulty associated with the software that makes them work. Printing something reasonably sophisticated still requires several different applications—one for rendering or manipulating a 3D model, one for slicing it up into layers, another for integrating all of that information and generating the G-code—but much of the grunt work is now automated. “You don’t need a team,” says Luis Navarro, who runs the Digital Sculpture Lab and teaches a 3D printing course for BFA Fine Arts students. “You just need to learn a little bit about a bunch of software.” The lab’s workstation is equipped with a variety

“I could never have done this by hand.” Suzanne Anker, chair of SVA’s BFA Fine Arts program, is leaning across her desk on the fifth floor of 335 West 16th Street, with a piece from her latest series of sculptures, “Remote Sensing,” in the palm of her hand. The work is impossibly detailed and somewhat otherworldly: delicate spires in various colors and hues emerge from a dense plaster-and-resin substrate, clustering together to form dense, spiky eruptions and finely ridged, curvilinear curtains. The material looks something like coral, and evokes an alien landscape in miniature, or some rare and exotic crystal. In fact, “Remote Sensing” is the culmination of 12 years’ worth of Anker’s experimentation with 3D printing, a technology that first appeared in the 1980s and has lately been heralded as the Next Big Thing. A 3D printer works somewhat like a conventional inkjet printer. But instead of depositing ink on paper to create two-dimensional images, it deposits layer upon layer of material (plastic, ceramic, metal) in order to build up three-dimensional objects. Industrial manufacturers and commercial designers were quick to seize on the technology’s possibilities, and a number of items from all stages of the production process, from action-figure prototypes to fully functional aircraft parts, are now routinely printed rather than sculpted, cast or injection-molded. As the technology matures and the price of a decent 3D printer continues to fall, more and more people in the creative communities are also embracing the technology—either as a complement to traditional fabrication methods or as a thing unto itself. European artists like Nick Ervinck, in Antwerp, and Erik van Straaten, in Amsterdam, commonly produce sculptures using nothing but 3D printers. In New York City, multimedia artist Shane Hope combines 3D printing with VISUAL ARTS JOURNAL

Francis Bitonti Studio in collaboration with Michel Schmidt Studios, 3D-printed gown for Dita Von Teese, 2013; photo by Albert Sanchez Photography, courtesy of Francis Bitonti Studio.


of computer-aided design and 3D-modeling software (SolidWorks, Modo, Geomagic Studio), any and all of which might be required for a particular project. Leif Mangelsen, director of the College’s Visible Futures Lab—a high-tech “maker space” open to all SVA graduate students as well as selected artists-in-residence—says that it was precisely this confluence of increasing user-friendliness and declining costs that made it feasible to equip the lab with its own digital fabrication machines. Tucked away behind an expansive wood shop is an area packed with compact 3D printers made by Stratasys and MakerBot. The student-made objects filling the shelves illustrate just how versatile the machines can be: there are prototypes of adjustable wrenches and over-theear headphones printed in red and blue ABS plastic, along with abstract shapes whose curved, perforated surfaces enclose small plastic spheres—sculptures that would have been excruciatingly difficult to fabricate by hand. Despite the technology’s recent advances—and students’ eagerness to experiment with it—Mangelsen is careful not to overstate the current capabilities of the machines (a hesitance that marks him as notably level-headed: the IT consultancy Gartner recently published a “Hype Cycle” chart, illustrating how quickly expectations for the technology were inflated by proponents). For the most part, he says, 3D printers do not turn out what he would consider to be finished products. Rather, they are most useful for generating multiple iterations of a concept in order to arrive quickly at a “highly developed prototype” with “some degree of refinement”—or as he puts it, something that isn’t just cobbled together from hot glue and Popsicle sticks.

Suzanne Anker, Remote Sensing (5A), 2013, plaster, pigment, resin, glass Petri dish.

In the right hands, however, today’s 3D printers can push the boundaries of their capabilities. Consider the work of David Lobser (BFA 2000 Animation). As an artist-in-residence at the Visible Futures Lab last year, Lobser bypassed 3D modeling software altogether and mathematically generated his own G-code, causing the printers to produce what appeared to be tiny baskets woven from incredibly fine wire. No one, including Lobser, could have predicted how these algorithmic sculptures were going to look. And Mangelsen and Navarro both emphasize just how helpful 3D printing can be when it is paired with other fabrication methods—producing molds for bronze casting or vacuumforming, for example, or creating small but intricate details for larger works in wood or plaster. It’s no accident that the 3D printers in the Digital Sculpture Lab and the VFL share space with other tools like robotic routers and laser cutters. “You can do 100 things with a 3D printer,” Mangelsen says. “But you can do 100,000 things with a 3D printer and a band saw.”  ∞ SPRING 2015




Amelie Klein

Amelie Klein (MFA 2011 Design Criticism) was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, where she earned her first master’s degree in business administration, at Vienna University of Economics and Business, and then worked in the broadcasting, journalism, PR and nonprofit fields. In 2009 she moved to New York City to study at SVA, where she was awarded a Silas H. Rhodes Scholarship for general academic excellence. After graduating from the College, Klein joined the curatorial staff of the Vitra Design Museum, which is dedicated to the research and presentation of design, past and present. Located in a Frank Gehry-designed building in Weil am Rhein, Germany, the museum is home to a collection encompassing key objects from design history as well as the estates of several important figures in the field, such as Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, George Nelson and Verner Panton. Its exhibitions address a wide range of themes, including future technologies, sustainability, mobility and social awareness. Recently, Klein spoke with Visual Arts Journal about how her experience as a design journalist prepared her for life as a curator, the process of building and shaping an exhibition’s narrative, and the Vitra Design Museum’s current exhibition, “Making Africa,” which is on view through September 13 and features the work of more than 120 African artists and designers working in everything from fashion to fine art to photography. The show’s advisory board includes such prominent names as architect David Adjaye, writer and curator Okwui Enwezor (who is also director of the 2015 Venice Art Biennale) and curator Koyo Kouoh.


Frank Gehry, Vitra Design Museum, 1989. ©Vitra Design Museum, photo by Thomas Dix

46 Cyrus Kabiru, Caribbean Sun, from the “C-Stunners” series, 2012. © Carl de Souza AFP/Getty Images. OPPOSITE Omar Victor Diop, Aminata (left) and Mame, from “The Studio of Vanities” series, 2013; courtesy of the artist and Magnin-A Gallery, Paris.

have a process of elimination, where something is too heavy, too big, too complicated, too expensive or too fragile to be transported to an exhibition and so you have to lose it. IS THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A CURATOR AT A DESIGN MUSEUM AT ALL WHAT YOU EXPECTED?

I didn’t leave design journalism with a fixed “I want to become a curator” idea in my head, but I did want to do something I could engage with in a more profound way. I found it unsatisfying to be rushing from one deadline to the next on a weekly basis, without being able to delve deeply into a topic. What frustrated me most about my work in journalism was the close connection of design to “lifestyle.” Anything connected to “lifestyle” is intrinsically and deeply linked to advertising. It’s always “The newest, hottest thing is this, so you must go buy it now.” If you look at design publications, rarely do they talk about something that you will not find as an advertisement somewhere else in that same publication. IT’S RAMPANT, AND IT’S GETTING MORE BLATANT, I THINK.


The position was posted on the museum’s website and on the websites of some other German museums as well. They were looking for months for someone with a background in design. It turns out that most applicants had a background in fine arts, not design, and these are two very different fields. I didn’t have any experience whatsoever in curating, but my SVA degree put them at ease. They saw who I trained with, and learned from.

And yet design is such a compelling and interesting cultural discipline. Everybody knows Mozart and the important painters. If people are interested in a wider range of cultural subjects, then they also know about cinema and theater and opera, but nobody except your geek friend knows Eames. Most people have a general cultural education, but this education never seems to include design. IS THAT ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A CURATOR—THAT DESIGN IS INSUFFICIENTLY APPRECIATED BY THE CULTURE AT LARGE? DO YOU SEE YOUR JOB AS BRINGING DESIGN TO A WIDER AUDIENCE WITHOUT AUTOMATICALLY


Oh, no, not at all. From journalism I brought a knowledge of storytelling as well as know-how about the field of design in general. Curating an exhibition is basically like writing an article, and it’s a lot like editing, too, except that a curatorial project is larger and deeper and involves a bit more research as you come up with your concept and overall narrative arc. Instead of gathering or collecting words, you collect objects that exemplify the argument you want to make. Then, if you want to sharpen that argument, you have to narrow down your selection of objects. And finally, you





The concept of identity was the basis of our research. We thought, Let’s look at three large topics that feed into notions of identity: one, social belonging; two, the environment, whether manmade or natural; and three, the question of “Who am I?,” which is always accompanied by “Where do I come from? Where do I go?” We include a very broad range of creative voices in the exhibition, because there isn’t such a thing as a unified African design or visual language. The advisory board helped us locate design professionals, artists, curators, gallerists, researchers and academics across the continent to contribute ideas to shape the content of the exhibition. We consulted Africans living on the continent and from the diaspora, and a few European academics and researchers as well. With my colleague Julia Friedel, I went to South Africa twice—once to Cape Town and once to Johannesburg—as well as to Dakar and Nairobi, and took part in think tanks organized with the help of the board and local partners such as Porky Hefer and Yelda Bayraktar, both designers and design consultants in Cape Town, and Koyo Kouoh, a curator in Dakar and London. In total, Julia and I spoke to more than 60 people. WHAT GROUND DO YOU COVER IN THE SHOW?

We address materials and technologies, infrastructure, and the environment, with a focus on what’s happening in the continent’s major cities: Cairo, Cape Town, Dakar, Lagos and Nairobi. We’re not looking at humanitarian design or traditional craft. It’s also not about industrial design. Instead, the exhibition contains a wide selection of independent multimedia projects by contemporary artists and designers—everything from YouTube videos to blogs to sculpture. We include work from ZIVA, a graphic design, newmedia and animation college in Zimbabwe that was founded by

designer and educator Saki Mafundikwa, and work from the Lagos Photo Festival, Nigeria’s international festival of photography. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE IN “MAKING AFRICA”?

No. There’s too much to choose from. I do love the work of Kenyan sculptor and painter (and TED Fellow) Cyrus Kabiru, who makes sculptural eyeglasses, called C-Stunners, out of used materials and objects he finds on the streets of Nairobi—metal wire, discarded auto parts, gears, beads, buttons. Each pair is unique. What I really like about them in the context of this show is that glasses are also such a strong metaphor: they change your own personal appearance as well as sharpening or clarifying what you see. WHAT’S UP NEXT AT THE VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM?

In the fall we will launch an exhibition on the Bauhaus and its relevance today. And in the spring of 2016, we’re opening a large Alexander Girard retrospective. I should mention that “Making Africa” is scheduled to travel for three to five years. Once the show is dismantled in midSeptember, it will open at the Guggenheim Bilbao at the end of October. After that, the Brooklyn Museum is interested and so is the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, along with some other major institutions, although these arrangements aren’t finalized as of yet. It will be pretty amazing, I must say, to see it travel. I hope it will spark discussion and conversations, and maybe even controversy. •


Building Character design from concept to sketch to screen




How does one make a comet clumsy? Or a monster lovable? These are the challenges that animators and character designers grapple with every day—how to not only create imaginary beings, but give them physicality that effectively communicates emotions, motivations and back story. To get an inside look at the art and craft of character development, Visual Arts Journal recently asked six professionals from advertising, film, gaming and television to talk about their work. Tim Doolen (BFA 2009 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) is art director at Muse Games, the independent studio behind such titles as Guns of Icarus and the forthcoming Hamsterdam. Mike Knapp is an art director at Blue Sky Studios, where he has worked on the feature film Epic (2013), among other projects. Alex Kupershmidt (BFA 1982 Animation), a longtime animator at Walt Disney, has worked on some of the most memorable animated characters of the past 30 years, including Stitch, from Lilo & Stitch (2002), the hyenas from The Lion King (1994), and the title character in Aladdin (1992). Louis Henry Mitchell, who studied and has taught at SVA, is creative director of character design at Sesame Workshop, the production house responsible for the Sesame Street TV series and its related books, educational materials and toys. Anca Risca (BFA 2008 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) is a creative director at Nathan Love, an animation and design studio founded by Joe Burrascano (BFA 2002 Computer Art) that develops animated characters for a variety of media. And Gini Santos (MFA 1996 Computer Art), is an animator at Pixar, where she has contributed to such films as Brave (2012), Up (2009), Finding Nemo (2003) and Monsters, Inc. (2001). Here’s what they had to say.



Do your research In the early stages of character creation, research and inspiration are key. First tip: step away from the screen. “I do very little research on the computer unless I’m on a strict deadline,” Mitchell says. Knapp agrees. “A lot can be found on the Internet,” he says, “but I always worry that if I can find a reference online, then so can everyone else.” Animators often go to great lengths to immerse themselves in their characters and their environment. When Santos worked on Pixar’s Cars (2006), set in the world of auto racing, she went to the track and rode with drivers “to get the feel of the dynamics of a car,” she says, “so I would know what a car’s body would do—how its weight would shift—if I made it act a certain way.” While working on Epic, an adventure set in a forest teeming with real and imaginary creatures, Knapp and his team not only studied up on plant and insect anatomy, “we crawled through the foliage at parks and forests to find our inspiration firsthand,” he says. If established actors have already committed to voice roles in the production—and increasingly, in the case of movies, they are: Epic’s cast included Beyoncé and Amanda Seyfried; recent Pixar movies have featured Ed Asner, Peter O’Toole and Emma Thompson—animators may also watch their past work. Sometimes, animators even research moods. “[We] watch a lot of films with the same emotional content [as what we’re working on],” Santos says. Another tip to keep in mind: know your audience. While a movie might aim for universal appeal; smaller-budgeted entertainments, as well as ads and games, can have a narrower focus. “If the project is geared toward kids,” Risca says, “we generally gravitate toward very expressive faces—bouncy, fun

and simple shapes, goofy humor. If the target is on the older side, the spectrum shifts to more elegant and sophisticated details, and often more focus on the overall forms rather than the face and eyes.”

Look in your own backyard Research and inspiration don’t necessarily demand extensive field work. Echoing the old saw, “Write what you know,” animators and designers often look to their circle of family, friends, colleagues—even their pets or themselves—to flesh out a character’s look and mannerisms. ”We go through our mental Rolodexes of people we know,” Knapp says. “Everyone has encountered a lot of ‘characters’ in their life.” When the team at Blue Sky was creating the three-legged pug Ozzy for Epic, for example, “we found a friend of a friend who owned a three-legged pug,” he says. The owner brought the dog in and the team was able to observe the animal firsthand.

PREVIOUS SPREAD Gini Santos was part of the team that brought the characters of Monsters, Inc. (2001), to life; still courtesy of Disney•Pixar. OPPOSITE Michael Knapp, Jinn mother and daughter designs for Epic (2013). © 2015 FOX. ABOVE Alex Kupershmidt was supervising animator for the character of Khan (left) in Disney’s Mulan (1998). “I usually rely on finding a particular hook to give me a handle on a character,” he says. “Khan has no ulterior motives when it comes to Mulan. It does not matter to him if she stays home . . . or goes to war and becomes a national hero. He would treat her with the same devotion and loyalty.” Still © Disney Enterprises.



Keep it fresh

Act out

Don’t just copy from source materials; approach them with an active imagination. While Tim Doolen and his colleagues were doing research for the steampunk-inspired costumes worn by the characters in Guns of Icarus, they soon realized the style’s limitations. “We went back to the drawing board,” he says, “and asked, ‘What would the Industrial Revolution have looked like if it had taken place somewhere other than 18th-century England? What if it had been in Japan? Or Morocco?’ This helped us feel like we were creating something new, not just repeating predictable design sources.” “I was once asked to create a futuristic world,” Mitchell says, “and I thought I would go to the Hayden Planetarium, at the Museum of Natural History, for inspiration. On my way, I decided to go through the museum’s prehistoric section, and what happened shocked me: I started seeing futuristic designs in the bones of animals that had been extinct for centuries. A sloth bear’s bones made a perfect suit of armor once I imagined them in a mix of glass and metal. Femurs became rifles. All of this happened because I allowed serendipity to kick in.”

Once the concepts for a character have been decided, acting exercises can aid animators and designers in filling out its mannerisms and understanding its personality. At Pixar, Santos and her colleagues often take in-house acting classes. “Acting is at the core of what we do,” she says. “Our goal is to create believable characters who think and emote.” To truly get into character, Santos and her team have even gotten into costume. For the lovable, bumbling character of Sulley in Monsters, Inc., for example, the animators wore long tubes on their arms, “to see what it felt like when he walked or gestured,” she says. “It’s useful to know general aspects of acting skill,” Kupershmidt says—in particular, the maxim that one should try to be the character, rather than act the character. “If you know who the character is, you’ll know how the character will act in any given situation.” “You have to make sure you connect emotionally,” Mitchell says. “If you feel it, the odds are that others will connect emotionally, too.” Mitchell considers acting fundamental to his job. “I am always in character—acting with my pencil or with the armatured Muppet puppets,” he says. “I have to be an actor when I draw them or pose them. I have to actually be all of them, totally. They truly are my friends in my own heart. I just listen to what they want to do.” As such, he considers the drawings he creates for storyboards and special events, and the puppet poses he creates for Sesame Street photo shoots, to be “still performances.”

ABOVE Concept art (left) and a screenshot for the character of Pim in the forthcoming video game Hamsterdam, courtesy of Muse Games. OPPOSITE, FROM TOP Character development and design sketches for a re-imagined NBC peacock, 2009. Courtesy of Nathan Love. Sesame Workshop’s Louis Henry Mitchell with some of Sesame Street’s beloved characters. Photo by John Barrett. © 2015 Sesame Workshop; all rights reserved.


Michael Knapp, Nod and the Bird Race (for Epic). To populate the world of Epic, which featured forest creatures both real and fantastical, Blue Sky’s animators did extensive research, studying animal and plant anatomy and taking field trips to observe wildlife firsthand. Š 2015 FOX.




Getting non-humans right When it comes to the task of anthropomorphizing our furry, feathered, slimy or scaly counterparts, animators again turn to acting, even filming each other playing scenes, so they can reference them later on. However, Santos and her colleagues stop short of using motion-capture technology. “It could offer literal movement,” she says, “but animation is life exaggerated, so the shapes and the motion in it are more appealing and richer than they are in the real world.” Risca’s key tip for making an animal character more relatable: give it “human” eyes. “Many animals don’t have visible eye whites, but a majority of cartoon animals are portrayed with them,” she says. “The same goes for expressive brows.” Before sititng down to draw, Mitchell suggests studying the animal’s real-life behavior. As the character begins to take form, “the focus should not be on balancing human and animal traits but rather harmonizing them,” he says. “The amount of human gestures [an animal character has] depends on the overall approach of the film,” Kupershmidt says, noting the difference between the Disney classics Robin Hood (1973), in which “animals dress and behave like humans,” and Bambi (1942), in which “very few” humanizing touches were added to the characters. “You don’t necessarily need human gestures to convey emotion. We all have seen animals act lazy, frightened, hungry or excited in their own manner.” “The less known an animal is to the public, the more important it is to humanize it to make it relatable,” Risca says. “We all know a dog wags its tail, but most people don’t know what a porcupine or ostrich does when it’s happy. So it’s important that those characters act more human, so we can relate to them and love them.”

Keep it real When the character finally emerges, is there a “magic ingredient” to making it believable? “Consistency,” Doolen says. “As long as the characters don’t break their established set of behaviors, the player or viewer will interpret them as real. Nothing will take an audience out of fantasy quicker than inconsistency.” Similarly, Mitchell keeps a close eye on the work of Sesame Street’s puppeteers, so that his work will reference theirs. “I am always in school, watching them,” he says, “because the performers are so close to their puppet characters.” “Sometimes, for whatever reason, a character just doesn’t ‘click,’” Doolen says. While developing CreaVures, a 2011 release, Doolen was working on the animation for “a small forest spirit,” he says. When the character was made to run, it looked “generic, but we couldn’t articulate why. Almost by accident, I shifted the character’s center of gravity, so it leaned backward as it ran. It instantly looked so labored and forced—as if this little, out-of-shape potato was reluctantly sprinting and hating every moment of it. . . . The smallest, most subtle alteration can change everything.” Even while at rest, a character’s appearance should communicate its personality. This is doubly true for shorter works, which have less time to establish character through

action or dialogue. Risca recently helped develop a character named Comet for Froot Loops Bloopers cereal. “There was a very clear direction from the client that Comet should be clumsy,” she says. This trait was communicated through not only its haphazard flight path but its facial features. The Nathan Love team rendered Comet with “big eyes and one big buck tooth on the side, giving it qualities similar to a big baby,” she says. As a character takes shape, keep records of its development, organizing these inspirations, research materials and acting notes into character sheets and reference boards with color and texture swatches. These resources tell other designers and animators everything they need to know about a character’s look, personality and movements, down to its waggling eyebrows and half-laced shoes. The Jim Henson Company, for example, keeps “immaculate records,” Mitchell says. “Each puppet has its own fur texture and/or color, and swatches of the actual fleece or fur are kept, along with the procedure on how to texturize them.”

Keep it simple Above all, character design must serve the story. Extraneous detail, no matter how appealing at first, “can make a character tiring or a distraction,” Mitchell says. Better instead to find a signature move or trait that defines a character, and stick with it. Mitchell cites Miss Piggy’s karate chop—which original performer Frank Oz created in a moment of improvisation—as a perfect distillation of her famously hot temper, and still “a key movement for the character to this day.” “When I taught character design at SVA,” Mitchell says, “I ended each year with the French movie The Red Balloon”—a 1956 short in which a boy and a balloon become friends. “It proved, beyond a doubt, that the way a character looks is not even close to how vital the development of the story is. That balloon didn’t have a face—or anything—on it. It didn’t even speak or have a name. But when it was happy or angry, you knew it!” Mitchell also liked to show his students Chuck Jones’ The Dot and the Line (1965), an animated short in which a dot and a line fall in love. “When you watch that film, you see living entities,” he says. “But it is just a red dot and a black line.”  ∞

OPPOSITE: A rendering (top) and action sketches for the character of Comet, developed for Froot Loops Bloopers, 2015. Courtesy of Nathan Love.



Diversity in Comics


A call for more voices in the medium

When Shawn Martinbrough (BFA Illustration) graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1993, superhero comics looked more like the multicultural mélange of his Bronx hometown than they ever had in the past. Marvel’s X-Men books, among the most popular in the country, counted Storm (an African American woman), Jubilee (a Chinese American woman) and Psylocke (a Japanese woman) as core characters. The African American Green Lantern, John Stewart, was at the helm of DC’s Mosaic series for more than a year, and the DC Comics imprint Milestone Media had just debuted as a vehicle for minority characters and stories. But while Martinbrough would soon work on a wide range of characters—Marvel hired him while he was still in college, and he would go on to draw for Dark Horse, DC Comics and Image—he would find himself in an industry that still lacked diversity. And the picture at the major publishers is much the same today: While you can now read series featuring Pakistani Americans (Ms. Marvel), African Americans (Storm, The Mighty Avengers) and mixed-raced Americans (Ultimate Spider-Man), the vast majority of people behind those titles are white. In a genre geared to the aspirations of a multitude of different people, the industry looks—at best—like a small slice of its audience. This isn’t to say that white creators can’t write or draw nonwhite characters. And, to be clear, there are many artists of color doing terrific work in mainstream comics. Martinbrough, for example, is hugely prolific; in addition to drawing Image’s critically acclaimed Thief of Thieves—written by Andy Diggle and Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame—he’s done work on DC’s Batman and the Justice Society of America. For its “Futures End” story line last fall, DC employed a number of artists of color, including Dustin Nguyen for Batman & Robin and Ralph Morales for Wonder Woman. And at Marvel’s helm are Joe Quesada (BFA 1984 Media Arts), the chief creative officer, and Axel Alonso, the editor-in-chief.

But of the dozens of monthly titles currently published by DC and Marvel, just a handful—like Greg Pak’s Action Comics—are written by people of color. Only one, the All New Ghost Rider, is written by an African American. The recent past wasn’t any better. When DC introduced “The New 52” in 2011, two titles were helmed by black writers: Mister Terrific and Static Shock. Within a year, both were canceled. Over the previous decade, only a few black writers—chief among them Christopher Priest and the late Dwayne McDuffie—had any real presence in mainstream comics. Overwhelmingly, according to comics historian and researcher Tim Hanley, the people who sketch characters, ink pages, craft narratives and tell stories are white. Of the 323 title credits in June 2014, for instance, 11.5 percent went to Latino creators, 6.8 percent went to Asian American creators and 1.2 percent went to black creators. Mainstream comics creators aren’t just overwhelmingly white—they’re also overwhelmingly male. Here, again, Hanley’s work is useful. In June 2014, DC and Marvel published a combined 143 comics, with 1,196 credited creators. Of that number, just 11 percent were women. As you go further back, the numbers get lower. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that women are underrepresented on the page too, despite the fact that women make up nearly 51 percent of the U.S. population (50.8 percent, according to the last census). Last year on FiveThirtyEight, writer Walt Hickey did a rough calculation of the number of women characters on the DC and Marvel rosters. Working off of fan databases and publisher lists, he counted 3,599 female characters out of a total of 16,376 in the Marvel universe and 1,916 female characters out of a total of 6,541 in the DC universe. Of course, this is a tally of who exists, not who appears. When you narrow your count to what’s actually on the page, you find that female characters are roughly 31 percent of both the DC and Marvel universes.

OPPOSITE A selection of artwork and covers for DC, Image, Marvel and New Paradigm comics. In recent years, publishers have capitalized on reader interest in nonwhite and/or women heroes, renewing focus on several long-running characters and introducing a number of new titles.

Thor (top, far left), Ms. Marvel (top, second from right), Black Panther (top, far right), Luke Cage (middle, far left), Storm (bottom, second from left) and Captain Marvel (bottom, far right) images courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.


The Flash (top, second from left), Green Lantern Corps (middle, second from left), Cyborg (middle, far right) and World’s Finest (bottom, second from right) images courtesy of DC Entertainment. Monstress image (middle, second from right) courtesy of Image Comics.

Watson and Holmes image (bottom, far left) courtesy of New Paradigm Studios.



Shawn Martinbrough, cover art for Image Comics’ Thief of Thieves #25, written by Robert Kirkman and Andy Diggle, 2014.


If comics’ audience were mostly male and mostly white—as per the stereotype—this would be understandable, a case of companies hiring the people who represent the market for their product and catering to their tastes. But the audience for comics is more diverse than is commonly understood. In fairness, this is hard to quantify. Even in the age of digital comics, most people buy their books from independent shops, which, unlike major retailers or the companies themselves, don’t track demographics, making it difficult to get a handle on who reads what. Instead, anyone interested in counting comics readership has had to rely on survey data or other methods, and the results are inconsistent. In one 2008 survey, women comprise just 5 to 10 percent of the readership for superhero comics, which fits—anecdotally—with retailers’ observations. But according to a 2014 analysis from researcher Brett Schenker, women account for more than 46 percent of self-identified comic book readers, a claim bolstered by attendance at comics conventions, which tends toward gender parity. It’s worth noting that the overrepresentation of men among comic book readers hasn’t always been the status quo. During the first heyday of comics—in the 1930s and ’40s— women and girls were avid fans of the medium. As Paul Lopes notes in Demanding Respect: The Evolution of the American Comic Book (Temple University Press, 2009), a Market Research Company of America report from 1944 found that 81 percent of girls between 12 and 17, and 28 percent of women between 18 and 30, read comic books. All of this comes with an important caveat: “By 1947,” Lopes writes, “circulation numbers were declining for virtually all superhero titles.” The fall of the superhero, he continues, “led to genre bursts for previously tried genres like teen and war, as well as brand-new genres like romance and horror.” Which is to say that the women readers of the past were consuming a variety of comics in different genres, and if we widen our aperture, we see that this is true in the present as well. Indeed, diversity is much greater in the world of independent and creator-owned comics. There, we see not only a variety of characters and stories in a range of different genres—from the realist thriller DMZ to the space opera Saga—but a range of different creators. A 2014 Eisner Awardnominated issue of Watson and Holmes—a series co-created and published by Brandon Perlow (BFA 1994 Illustration)—was produced by two black American creators, Brandon Easton and N. Steven Harris (BFA 1991 Media Arts). Other popular independent titles by black writers include The Army of Dr. Moreau by David F. Walker and Molly Danger by Jamal Igle (both of whom also studied at SVA). And many of the titles announced at recent expos for Image Comics have been written or drawn (or both) by women: Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson and Sloane Leong’s From Under Mountains; Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman’s Invisible Republic; Andy Belanger and SVA faculty member Becky Cloonan’s Southern Cross; Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress; and Emi Lenox’s Tadaima. Independent comics aren’t without problems of access and representation. But because they don’t have the same barriers as the mainstream publishers—because they aren’t part

of big conglomerates and because they lack the conservatism that comes with decades of continuity—they are more hospitable to people and groups underrepresented by the mainstream. And with crowd-funding and digital distribution, it is easier than ever to create a comic and deliver it to new audiences. Which raises a question: If the world of comics is flatter than it’s ever been, if there are opportunities for women and minority creators outside of the marquee superhero titles, what does it matter if the larger publishers are homogenous and unrepresentative? Who cares? The simple answer is that superhero stories matter. Millions of people read superhero comics and watch superhero movies. Since 2000’s X-Men, Hollywood has become a bona fide factory for superhero films. Major stars angle for roles in them. In a real way—judging from the countless hours of conversation and criticism around them—superhero stories are one of the ways we understand ourselves and our world. In the last 15 years, we’ve tackled bigotry with the X-Men series, war with the Iron Man series, secrecy and surveillance with The Dark Knight (2008) and family and longing with The Incredibles (2004). Given this wide reach and influence, we need more voices in the world of superhero comics—people who can speak to a variety of different experiences and bring new kinds of characters and stories to the world. And we need them at companies with an important connection to the broader culture.  ∞

STAND UP, COMICS In the 20-plus years that Keith Mayerson has taught in SVA’s BFA Cartooning program, he’s seen his classes go from being “mostly white guys, mostly doing superhero comics” to being “over half women, with students all the colors of the rainbow and from everywhere, creating all genres of comics,” he says. Mayerson, now the program’s coordinator, attributes this change to the broadening diversity of comics themselves—not only in terms of nonwhite and/or women superheroes, but also with the wider availability of manga, graphic novels and underground titles. This is a trend he sees as only continuing. “Media companies need superhero comics and graphic novels to stay alive, because they provide material for shows and movies. And superhero comics are kind of the Wall Street of the comics world—if they’re doing well, they keep the smaller publishers in business. Plus, all of the bookstores that still exist have realized that, as objets d’art and gifts, graphic novels sell well, and they’re curious and want to promote them more.” Also promising, he says, is the increasing viability of web comics, which can wholly circumvent publishers and distributors. Mayerson hopes that comics’ rising cultural prominence will inspire more and more individuals to try their hand at the medium. “America is getting smarter, and is finally recognizing that comics are a unique, intelligent art form that appeals to all ages and ideologies. I think people in this country have really woken up to the power of comics.” [Greg Herbowy]



photo by Chun, Tae Woong

Alumni Affairs

For Your Benefit: Alumni News and Networks A message from Jane Nuzzo, director of SVA Alumni Affairs and Development What is a network? Simply put, it is any interconnected system. One good example is the extraordinary group of art and design professionals that are linked by their status as SVA alumni. While this aggregation—35,000 strong and growing—originates and has a high concentration in New York City, it exists throughout the United States and reaches out across the world. Thinking about where an individual alumnus fits into such an immense group can sometimes be overwhelming, but SVA Alumni Affairs is here to help. As a part of your alumni benefits, our office provides a number of ways for you to stay connected. First off, we want to stay in touch. And since much of our communication happens over email, be sure that you have provided us with your updated contact information, including a current email address. By creating an online alumni account at, you can change or verify these details whenever you like. You can also reach us at 212.592.2300 or We are happy to be in direct contact and make any updates for you. Second, we want to know what you are up to. Tell us your news—we want to learn about all of your projects, exhibitions and accomplishments. Email with any updates and we will share them across social media, submit them for inclusion in Visual Arts Journal and keep them in our records for future reference.


Next, in addition to the College’s main social media outlets, Alumni Affairs administers alumni-specific social media pages. These pages are just for you. If you haven’t already, visit to connect to our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter channels so you can see what’s going on and participate in the networks. Thousands already have; we encourage you to join them. As an SVA alumnus, you are also encouraged to join SVA Portfolios—an exclusive network powered by Behance. It’s a great way to connect with other alumni and be discovered by potential clients, recruiters and employers. Sign up and showcase your work today. Looking ahead, you will soon be able to take part in our upcoming Alumni Directory project. In the coming months we will be working on assembling an official, comprehensive directory of SVA alumni, available to all alumni. Stay tuned for your invitation to participate. Finally, despite all the technological resources available for staying in touch, nothing beats face-to-face interaction. So please watch for invitations to alumni receptions and other networking events. Many are hosted annually by various College departments and by Alumni Affairs—both in New York City and beyond. We invite you to participate. Take action and never underestimate the power of the SVA alumni network.  ∞



Print your alumni ID, update your contact information and

• Educational programs, networking receptions and special events

access the alumni directory

• Alumni newsletter and departmental invitations via email

Tell us about your projects, exhibitions and accomplishments

• Career Development workshops and the online job board

• Continuing Education discount


• Weekly model drawing sessions

• Access to the SVA Library • 10% discount on SVA-branded products at the SVA Campus Store


• 10% discount at DaVinci Artist Supply (with current alumni ID; restrictions apply)


• Subscription to the Visual Arts Journal

Go to and click on the LinkedIn icon

• Opportunities for health, auto, home, dental and renter’s insurance

SVA Portfolios/Behance

• Access to the SVA-curated Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages

Showcase your work on

• Professional website listing on

For complete details visit Questions? Contact SVA Alumni Affairs at 212.592.2300 or


SVA Alumni Society Awards 2015 Alumni Scholarship Awards David Abrevaya, BFA Cartooning

Deulle Min, BFA Interior Design

Michael Bailey-Gates, BFA Photography

Kathryn Mussallem, MPS Digital Photography

Cheng Lun Chen, MFA Interaction Design Daniel Chilcote, BFA Interior Design Alaina Ewins, BFA Cartooning

Emily Nakissa, MFA Social Documentary Film Paola Ochoa, MFA Social Documentary Film

Joseph Gardner, BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects with thesis partner Anne Fong, BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects

Lauren Palmer, MFA Design Criticism

Marissa Grinstead, BFA Film and Video

Maria Cecilia Pugliese, MFA Computer Art with thesis partner Yijun Liu, MFA Computer Art

Yam In Dawn Han, MPS Live Action Short Film Sarah Johansen, MFA Fine Arts June Korea, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Samantha Lee, BFA Animation Ao Li, MFA Computer Art Daniel Lopera, BFA Photography

Ellis Powell, BFA Cartooning Sasha Prood, MFA Design

Chelsea Quinlan, BFA Animation Melody Quintana, MFA Interaction Design Riccardo Renna, MFA Computer Art Julia Santoli, BFA Visual & Critical Studies Jonathan Schneider, BFA Film and Video

Xinran Ma, BFA Illustration

Jonathan Schoonover, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media

Elena Manetta, BFA Animation

Mingyang Sun, MAT Art Education

Nicholas Manfredi, BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects with thesis partners Thaddaeus Andreades, Elizabeth Ku-Herrero and Marie Raoult, BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects

Wan-Jung Tsai, MFA Design

Yi-Shan Mao, MFA Design Kristoffer Mikkelsen, MFA Computer Art Christina Milan, MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism


Nadya Wijaya, BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects with thesis partner Suhyun Cho, BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects Hyeonkyeong Yeo, MFA Fine Arts Exa Zim, BFA Film and Video

Thanks to generous contributions from alumni and friends of the College, the SVA Alumni Society was able to grant more than $60,000 in awards to these students, in support of their thesis projects. You can support the next generation of artists by donating to the Alumni Society at Be assured that 100 percent of your contribution will go to a future award recipient. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Ellis Powell, Car Crash, 2014, ink on Bristol; Jonathan Schoonover, Black Powder II, 2014, inkjet print; Elena Manetta, explosions concept art for On Schedule, 2014, digital (drawn and colored in TVPaint).


SVA Alumni Society Awards 2015 Named Fund Awards 727 Award Brian Lemus, BFA Design Amelia Geocos Memorial Award Gerald Sheffield, BFA Fine Arts BFA Illustration and Cartooning Award Min Kyung Kang, BFA Illustration Bob Guglielmo Memorial Award Zoë van Dijk, BFA Illustration Casandra Grullon, BFA Cartooning Edward Zutrau Memorial Award Panayiotis Terzis, MFA Fine Arts Jack Endewelt Memorial Award Edward Lima, BFA Illustration James Richard Janowsky Award Rory Pfotenhauer, BFA Film and Video MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Award Sarah Dvojack, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Alina Gorban, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Robert I. Blumenthal Memorial Award Eunhae Seo, BFA Design Sylvia Lipson Allen Memorial Award Monica Lai, BFA Fine Arts Jennifer Nguyen, BFA Fine Arts Thomas Reiss Memorial Award Júlia Standovár, MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Will Eisner Sequential Art Award Chris Bonnell, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay William C. Arkell Memorial Award Paola Bernardini, BFA Film and Video


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Júlia Standovár, Hungarian Girls with Pickle (detail), 2014 – 2015, digital photograph (montage); Monica Lai, Beauty in a State of Fear, 2014, thread, pages from State of Fear by Michael Crichton; Gerald Sheffield, Elon, 2014, Flashe on wood panel; Zoë van Dijk, Hoodoo Woman, 2014, acrylic, watercolor and ink.


Donor List The SVA Alumni Society gratefully acknowledges these SVA alumni who gave to the society from July 1 through December 31, 2014.

Andrew M. Coppa BFA 1994 Photography

Jeanne Finneran-Millett BFA 1985 Media Arts

Staci Fischer Laico BFA 1991 Communication Arts

Michael G. Corbitt BFA 1989 Media Arts

Lawrence Flood BFA 1980 Fine Arts

Laurence Laiken E 1977 Advertising

Alice E. Meyers Corjescu E 1974 Fine Arts

Marie Fonseca BFA 1983 Media Arts

Patricia Langer BFA 1995 Illustration

John C. Cornell G 1972

Sarah J. Froelich MFA 2010 Design Criticism

Steven Langerman G 1972 Photography

Phil (alumnus) and Julia Coyne BFA 1986 Media Arts

Andrew Gerndt G 1971 Fine Arts

Hanna Lee BFA 2010 Interior Design

Cora Cronemeyer E 1966 Fine Arts

Isolina Gerona BFA 1991 Fine Arts

J. P. Lee MFA 1991 Computer Art

Christine Cucuzza BFA 1997 Graphic Design

Catherine Gilmore-Barnes BFA 1986 Media Arts

John Lefteratos BFA 1988 Media Arts

Michael C. Cuesta BFA 1985 Photography

Andrea M. Golden E 1985

David Lubarsky BFA 1979 Photography

Charles Curcio BFA 1983 Media Arts

Pete D. Grill BFA 2014 Illustration

Rafael Macia E 1968 Photography

Therese Curtin BFA 1980 Media Arts

Jean Held E 1969

Laura Maley BFA 1978 Fine Arts

Jandir F. Da Silva BFA 1993 Cartooning

Joseph Herzfeld BFA 1991 Fine Arts

Denise Malin-Young BFA 1983 Media Arts

Diane Dawson Hearn BFA 1975 Media Arts

Michelle M. Hickey BFA 1998 Animation

Leith M. McCarroll-McLoughlin E 1974 Graphic Design

Cynthia Bittenfield MFA 2009 Photography, Video and Related Media

Peter S. Deak BFA 1990 Film and Video

John Himmelman BFA 1981 Media Arts

Allan L. McCoy E 1968

Eva Bokosky BFA 1978 Media Arts

Cat Del Buono MFA 2008 Photography, Video and Related Media

James Hopkins BFA 1982 Media Arts

Jenny Moradfar Meyer BFA 1980 Media Arts

Elizabeth J. Hunter BFA 1985 Photography

Glen Mordeci BFA 1987 Film and Video

Eugene Iemola 1979

Bethanie Deeney Murguia MFA 1998 Illustration as Visual Essay

Kim Ablondi BFA 1984 Photography Juan Alfonso E 1982 Olive Alpert E 1980 Illustration Adam P. Ames MFA 1997 Photography and Related Media Michael J. Angley G 1971 Advertising Anthony Angotti E 1965 Advertising Anonymous (5) Sara Bailin MPS 2011 Live Action Short Film Paul Basile G 1969 Advertising Frank Bele BFA 1987 Media Arts

Anna Marie Borzelli E 1973 Murray Brenman E 1978 Graphic Design Marguerita Zerillo Brinton E 1976 Angelo Canitano G 1970 Carol Caputo G 1960 Graphic Design Roger M. Caruana BFA 1985 Media Arts Ed Cassel G 1970 Fine Arts Paul K. Caullett BFA 2000 Graphic Design Terese Cavanagh 1968 Media Arts Bernard Champon, Jr. G 1969 Fine Arts Frederick Chandler G 1969 Film and Video William N. Ciaramelli G 1967 Adam V. Ciccarino BFA 2012 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects


Christine DeMaio BFA 1989 Fine Arts Eric Demski BFA 2003 Film and Video Anthony DeRose BFA 2010 Film and Video Theresa DeSalvio BFA 1976 Fine Arts Haydee Diaz BFA 1986 Media Arts Candace (alumnus) and Jeffrey Dobro MPS 2010 Digital Photography

Gary J. Joaquin BFA 1981 Media Arts Allen Johnston E 1966 Graphic Design Yvette Kaplan BFA 1976 Animation Stephen Kashtan BFA 1982 Media Arts

Claire Ensslin BFA 2012 Film and Video

Jayoung Kim BFA 2009 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects

Gilda Everett BFA 1979 Media Arts

Noelle W. King MFA 2013 Art Practice

James Ewing E 1973

S. Klein G 1970 Photography

Charles Fazzino BFA 1977 Media Arts

Alexander Knowlton BFA 1987 Media Arts

Diane Fienemann BFA 1984 Photography

Jean Kooi BFA 1978 Media Arts

Manuela F. Filiaci BFA 1979 Fine Arts

Helmut Krackie G 1969 Fine Arts

Ariel S. Finkelstein BFA 2011 Cartooning

Paula B. Krieg BFA 1980 Fine Arts

Lauren R. Nelson MAT 2005 Art Education Adam J. Newman BFA 2008 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects MAT 2011 Art Education Nancy Boecker Oates E 1980 Media Arts Donald A. Orehek E 1951 Cartooning Romaine B. Orthwein MFA 2003 Photography and Related Media Edith Ostrowsky E 1972 Andy Outis MFA 2006 Design Kevin (alumnus) and Jill Petrilak BFA 1976 Animation Gary Petrini E 1979 Media Arts Maria E. Pineda BFA 1995 Illustration


Jennifer Pouech BFA 2002 Photography

Donna H. Sharrett BFA 1984 Fine Arts

Rick Pracher and Jackie Seow BFA 1987 Media Arts BFA 1984 Graphic Design

Jerold M. Siegel BFA 1975 Fine Arts

Steve Pullara BFA 1979 Fine Arts Marc R. Rabinowitz MFA 2008 Design

Anita Herzog Simes BFA 1974 Media Arts Brigitte Sleiertin-Linden BFA 1987 Media Arts

We also thank these parents and friends of SVA who supported the SVA Alumni Society. Anonymous (3) Sandra and Francis Archer Rammond Astor Anthony Barba and Diane Rainone-Barba

Duan Li Charles and Priscilla Lindenauer Lipinski Real Estate Advisors LLC Amy Lutkin Ginny MacKenzie John and Niki Madias Victoria Manteria

Todd L. Radom BFA 1986 Media Arts

Ellen Small MFA 1997 Photography and Related Media

Floyd M. Rappy BFA 1985 Media Arts

Rena Anderson Sokolow BFA 1986 Media Arts

William and Jane Beucler

McGladrey LLP

Christopher M. Reid BFA 1977 Media Arts

Skip Sorvino BFA 1994 Graphic Design

Dr. Ravinder Bhalla

Lynn and Jim McNulty

Karen and Kuba Brown

Karen and Stephen Mills Lori Minasi

John Barrett

Sandra and Edward Marsallo

Gary Barton

Michiko and Shoichi Matsumoto

Lisa E. Rettig-Falcone BFA 1983 Media Arts

Art G. Stiefel BFA 1987 Media Arts

Richard Buntzen Michael Burrows

Mr. and Mrs. D. Mininni

Jean-Claude Ribes G 1969

Sue R. Taube BFA 1977 Media Arts

Nada Camali

S. A. Modenstein

Gabriel Ricci BFA 1986 Media Arts

Ana Tiburcio-Rivera BFA 1985 Media Arts

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Carnevali

Patrick and Patricia Morahan

Lisa Carr

Yoko Mori

Vernon C. Riddick G 1973

Robert Todd E 1965

Joe and Joann Cozza

Mary and Dan O’Byrne

Gregory A. Crane

Barbara Rietschel BFA 1976 Media Arts

Thomas Trengove 1968

John and Amy Crane

Coleman and Elizabeth O’Donoghue

Eileen Robert E 1973

Alli Truch 1989 Graphic Design

DaVinci Artist Supply

Jorge Luis Rodriguez BFA 1976 Fine Arts

Joanne S. Ungar BFA 1984 Fine Arts

Esther and Joseph DeRosa

Shepard Rosenthal BFA 1975 Media Arts

Tom Wai-Shek G 1970 Advertising

Bill and Monica Fabbri

Ann Rowland-Rosensohn BFA 1981 Fine Arts

Judith Wilde BFA 1979 Fine Arts MFA 1994 Illustration as Visual Essay

James Farek

Gini Santos MFA 1996 Computer Art Herbert K. Savran BFA 1977 Film and Video Jean A. Schapowal BFA 1987 Media Arts Joel Scharf BFA 1983 Media Arts Philip Scheuer E 1981 Illustration Mark Schruntek BFA 1993 Advertising Eileen Hedy Schultz BFA 1977 Media Arts Joseph M. Schwartz BFA 1988 Media Arts Matthew K. Scott BFA 1998 Graphic Design JoAnne Seador BFA 1977 Photography Anthony Seminara BFA 1974 Media Arts

Mark Willis BFA 1998 Illustration Angelia Wojak BFA 1990 Media Arts Jamie B. Wolcott BFA 1999 Illustration Gary N. Zaccaria BFA 1981 Media Arts Michelle M. Zadlock BFA 1990 Media Arts

Mary and Gerard Curley

Susan Dukess Elizabeth Fama and John Cochrane Mary Kay and Woody Flowers Marchanille Folley Kaori Fujiki Theresa Giammona Cynthia and Bennett Golub Mr. and Mrs. Jesse J. Greene, Jr. Helen and John Guglielmo Dr. and Mrs. Steven Hacker Mary Hendricks

Albert T. Zayat E 1969

Maryhelen Hendricks and Robert Lewis

Randy Zeiger-Globus BFA 1978 Fine Arts

The Ironwood Foundation, Inc.

Andy Zmidzinski BFA 1975 Film and Video

Glenn Jacobson

(E) denotes an evening program student. (G) denotes a graduate of the certificate program.

Dr. Jeremy Isenberg Darryl Jensen Michael Kahn / Benefits Unlimited Inc. Ming-Dai Kuo

Jimmy Seung Woo Seo BFA 2000 Graphic Design

LaSalle Solutions

Charles Sforza and Mary Moran BFA 1982 Advertising BFA 1976 Graphic Design

Michaele and Edward Lefferman

LDI Color ToolBox

Ralph A. Ottaiano The Pantano Family Foundation Mary C. Quinlan Mr. Cid S. Quintana William Rednour Abby Robinson The Ruth and Jerome A. Siegel Foundation Barbara Salander James Silberstein and Sarah McGill Helena Soares and Luis Paixao Andrew Stanton Julie and William Stone Robert Sylvor, Esq. Tag Creative LLC William and Louise Taylor Jonathan Temkin Riva Touger-Decker and Brian Decker Loraine and Michael Ungano, Sr. Charles R. Vermilyea, Jr. Mrs. Diane Waynick Lynton Wells Wells Fargo Bank Hilda Werschkul Peggy Whitlock Joyce Yaes David Zamula

Karen and Michael Lefkowitz



Alumni Notes Supranav Dash, Pixel Study #180 Variation No. 1, 2014, iPhone capture and glitched apps printed on archival inkjet.

GROUP EFFORTS Beyza Boyacioglu (MFA 2012 Computer Art) won the Brooklyn Pride Award and Catya Plate (1988 Fine Arts) won the Spirit Award at the 17th Brooklyn Film Festival, NYC, 6/8/14. Matthew Lee (BFA 2005 Animation) created the animated short film festival Midsummer’s Night Toons, NYC, 6/20/14, featuring films by Michael Altman (BFA 2014 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects), Luz Batista (BFA 2014 Animation), Joseph Cappabianca (BFA 2006 Animation), Thomas DiPalma (BFA 2014 Animation), Sarah Sloyer (BFA 2014 Animation) and Anne Yang (BFA 2014 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects). Donica Ida (MFA 2014 Design) was a Grand Prize winner, JuHun Choi (BFA 2014 Design) was a finalist in the Motion Graphics category, and NaiWei Liu (MFA 2014 Computer Art) was a finalist in the Animation category of the 2014 Adobe Design Achievement Awards, 9/23/14. Julie Schenkelberg (MFA 2011 Fine Arts) was a Juried Category Award winner and Kevin Sudeith (MFA 1995 Fine Arts) was a Public Vote finalist at the ArtPrize Awards 2014, Grand Rapids, MI, 10/10/14. Flash Forward Tenth: Special Anniversay Edition, 4-book set (Magenta Foundation, 2014) included work by Anna Bauer (BFA 2005 Photography), Jessica Bruah (MFA 2009 Photography, Video and Related Media), Kevin Cooley (MFA 2000 Photography and Related Media), Harlan Erskine (MFA 2009 Photography, Video and Related Media), Ina Jang (MPS 2012 Fashion Photography), Dina Litovsky (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media), Tracey Mancenido-Tribble (MFA 2014 Art Practice), Marc McAndrews (BFA 1998 Photography), James Pomerantz (MFA 2011 Photography, Video and Related Media), Ilona Szwarc (BFA 2013 Photography) and James Tribble (MFA 2014 Art Practice). MFA Illustration as Visual Essay alumni were included in The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature (Seven Stories Press, 2014): Molly Brooks (2013), Maelle Doliveux (2013), Keren Katz (2013), Dasha Tolstikova (2012) and Andrea Tsurumi (2013). Christopher McDonnell (BFA 2001 Animation) published Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo (Abrams, 2014), featuring work by Thomas Herpich (BFA 2002 Cartooning), Ian Jones-Quartey (BFA 2006 Animation), Philip Rynda (BFA 2003 Animation) and Rebecca Sugar (BFA 2009 Animation). Andreanna Seymore (BFA 1997 Photography) published Scars and Stripes: The Culture of Modern Roller Derby (Schiffer Publishing, 2014), featuring a foreword by Jean Schwarzwalder (BFA 2003 Photography).


1959 Paul Davis’ (Illustration) work was accepted into the permanent collection of the Public Theater’s Newman Gallery, NYC, 11/3/14. 1973 Chris Stein (Fine Arts) was interviewed for “Blondie’s Chris Stein Shares Stories Behind His Punk Photographs,” Rolling Stone, 10/2/14. 1975 Margaret McCarthy’s (BFA Fine Arts) book Notebooks From Mystery School (Finishing Line Press, 2014) received first honorable mention in the New Women’s Voices Awards, Georgetown, KY, 6/3/14. 1977 Domonic Paris’ (BFA Film and Video) film, Thunder and the House of Magic (2013), premiered in theaters in NYC, 9/5/14. 1980 William Abranowicz (BFA Photography) led a four-day summer photography workshop in Santorini, Greece, hosted by the Athens House of Photography, 7/3-7/6/14. Judy Schiller (BFA Photography) screened her film It Happened in Havana (2013), Fort Laurderdale International Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 11/16-11/17/14.

1981 Drew Friedman (BFA Cartooning) published Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Pioneering Legends of Comic Books (Fantagraphics, 2014). Keith Goldstein’s (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Looking Up: A Photographer Captures World Trade Center Tourists,” Time Magazine, 9/11/14. Kenny Scharf (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Kenny Scharf Delivers Cosmic Cavern Museum This Fall,” Art News, 11/13/14. 1982 Adrienne Austermann (BFA Graphic Design) published The Sleepy Star Goes to Heaven (1414 Publishing, 2014). 1982 Mark Newgarden (BFA Cartooning) published Bow-Wow’s Nightmare Neighbors (Roaring Book Press, 2014). 1983 Paul Leibow (BFA Media Arts) was featured in “Leonia Mural in a Race for Space,”, 11/11/14. 1985 Dana Marshall’s (BFA Photography) work was included in the Bright Now Festival, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, 9/26-9/28/14.


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Collier Schorr (BFA Communication Arts) was interviewed for “Collier Schorr on Kate Moss,” AnOther Magazine, 9/2/14. Emily Thompson (BFA Media Arts) was featured in “Abstract Art Exhibit opens Oct. 10,” The News Eagle, 10/4/14. 1986 Kei Okada (BFA Fine Arts) was interviewed for “Offering the Gift of Comfort,” The New York Times, 7/14/14. 1987 James McKeon’s (BFA Advertising) work was featured in “Rahway’s Broken Hearts Memorial Honors Families of Soldiers Killed in Iraq,”, 11/11/14. 1988 Lisa Zilker (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Lisa Zilker Brings Work of Intelligence and Verve to Synagogue for the Arts,” The Tribeca Trib, 6/30/14. 1989 Al Nickerson (BFA Cartooning) was a panelist for “Creator-owned Comics (vs.Corporate-owned Comics),” at the comic book festival Special Edition: NYC, 6/15/14. 1990 Patricia Spergel’s (MFA Fine Arts) work was included in Creating

Abstract Art: Ideas and Inspiration for Passionate Art-making (North Light Books, 2014). 1991 Remington Scott (BFA Fine Arts) served as performance capture director for the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Square Enix, Activision, 2014). Morten Tyldum’s (Film and Video) film The Imitation Game (2014) won the People’s Choice award for Best Film at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, 9/14/14. 1992 Lynn Pauley (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Drawing on Location with Lynn Pauley,”, 11/5/14. Hanoch Piven (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “My Name is Hanoch and I Play with My Food,’ ”, 8/25/14. Ray Villafane (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Master Pumpkin Carver Ray Villafane,” AmericanProfile. com, 10/6/14. 1993 Miles Ladin’s (MFA Photography and Related Media) work was featured in “Pop Shots by Miles Ladin,” Women’s Wear Daily, a series published 9/5/14-9/11/14.

1994 Jason Rand’s (BFA Graphic Design) firm HarrisonRand was featured in “A New Effort From a ‘‘New’ Jersey City Urges, ‘Make It Yours,’” The New York Times, 10/6/14. 1995 Lynn Shelton’s (MFA Photography and Related Media) film Laggies (2014) premiered in theaters in Los Angeles, NYC and Seattle, 10/24/14. 1996 Michael Combs’ (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) work was featured in “Sculptor and Photographer Shine Light on Relics,” The New York Times, 9/19/14. Suzanne Dell’Orto (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “15 Notable Art Professors in New York City,”, 9/23/14. Simen Johan’s (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Animals Like I Had Never Seen,” Huffington Post, 10/4/14. Brian “KAWS” Donnelly’s (BFA Illustration) work was featured in “Clean Slate,”, 9/17/14. Stephen Savage (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated “Exile’s End,” The New York Times, 6/20/14.


Riccardo Vecchio (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was interviewed for “Riccardo Vecchio: The Q&A,”, 9/29/14. 1997 John Carlucci (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “What Do You Call the First Porn Film Shot Using a Drone? DRONE BONING,” Daily Mirror, 11/5/14. 1998 Kevin Asch’s (BFA Film and Video) film Affluenza (2014) premiered at the SVA Theater, NYC, 7/9/14. Brian Finke (BFA Photography) published U.S. Marshals (powerHouse Books, 2014). Christopher Schanck (BFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Shiny Furniture: Meet Christopher Schanck, Fashion’s New Design Darling,” Vogue, 6/23/14. Rachel Sussman’s (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Survivors,” The New Yorker, 9/22/14. Daniel Traub (MFA Photography and Related Media) published North Philadelphia (Kehrer Verlag, 2014). 1999 Thomas Libetti (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was interviewed for “Thomas Libetti’s Floral Drawings,”, 7/16/14.



Gerard Way (BFA Cartooning), formerly of the band My Chemical Romance, released his first solo album, Hesitant Alien (2014) and announced his first solo tour accross the U.S., 10/12-10/23/14. Richard Zimmer’s (BFA Computer Art) firm, zdi, branded the television show, World’s Wildest Commercials, which premiered on ABC, 8/27/14. 2000 David Needleman’s (BFA Photography) portraits of stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were featured in “Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Films,” The Hollywood Reporter, 7/4/14.

“Dirty Dirty Love: Reuben Negron,” Juxtapoz, 9/24/14. Matthew Pillsbury’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) work was featured in “Destination: Tokyo,” The New York Times, 7/18/14. Roshani Thakore (BFA Fine Arts) screened a video presentation of her public art project “Move With Us,” Queens Council on the Arts, NYC, 11/7/14. Michael Townsend (BFA Cartooning) published Mr. Ball: An EGG-cellent Adventure (Blue Apple Books, 2014).

2001 Michael Harry’s (BFA Film and Video) work was featured in “Oval–Smart Sensors for Complete All-Round Protection,”!, September 2014.

2005 David Ben-David (BFA Graphic Design) was interviewed for “A Word With the Designer Behind NYC’s Most Original Backpacks,” New York Observer, 7/30/14.

Shih Chieh Huang’s (MFA Fine Arts) work was featured in “Taiwanese Artist Concocts Surreal Robotic Sea Sculptures,” Wired UK, 10/2/14.

Lauren Castillo (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) published Nana in the City (Clarion Books, 2014).

James Jean (BFA Illustration) was featured in “Pen & Paper: James Jean’s Album Art Exploration,”, 7/21/14.

Gary DiRaffaele (BFA Animation) was interviewed for “Toonzone Interviews ‘Breadwinners’ Gary ‘Doodles’ DiRaffaele & Steve Borst,”, 6/20/14.

Gene Mollica (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was interviewed for “Jenn Stark Goes Behind the Scenes with Cover Designer Gene Mollica,” USA Today, 10/28/14.

Ulli Gruber (BFA Film and Video) screened her short film Peter Piper the Balloon Meister (2014), South Side Film Festival, Bethlehem, PA, 6/14/14.

2002 Michael Alan (BFA Fine Arts) performed his project “Living Installation” at the House of Collection, NYC, 10/18/14.

UuDam Nguyen (MFA Fine Arts) created and launched the web application and interactive project, “License 2 Draw,” Yokohama, 8/18/14

Joe Fig (MFA Fine Arts) was featured in “Artists’ Studios: The Dollhouse Version,” Art News, 6/16/14. Edward Hemingway (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated Of All The Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History (Algonquin Books, 2014). Ziggy Livnat’s (MFA Photography and Related Media) video footage of marine life was featured in “Nature: Marine life of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” CBS Sunday Morning, 6/15/14. Joseph Sywenkyj (BFA Photography) won the 2014 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his project “Verses from a Nation in Transition,” 10/15/14. 2004 Morley (BFA Film and Video) was interviewed for an episode of the webseries “Vicariously,”, Fall 2014. Reuben Negron (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in


Gillian Robespierre (BFA Film and Video) was featured in “Inside Director Gillian Robespierre’s Anti-Establishment Wardrobe,” Elle magazine, 11/5/14. Melissa Scott (BFA Graphic Design) gave a talk titled “Iterating to Success: Collaborative Product Development,” AIGA Hive conference, Seattle, 6/20/14 2006 Koren Shadmi (BFA Illustration) illustrated “Five Ideas to Fix Downtown Crossing: How Boston Could Rethink Its Most Frustrating Pedestrian Zone,” The Boston Globe, 11/2/14. Amy Stein (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Taking Taxidermic Animals Out for Some Fresh Air–and Portraits,” Wired, 10/23/14. Jeongmee Yoon’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) work was featured in “Blue Is For Boys, Pink Is For Girls: See Children Surrounded By Their Color-Coded Toys,” Fast Company, 8/7/14.

2007 Owen Brozman (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated You Have to F***ing Eat (Akashic Books, 2014). Amy Elkins (BFA Photography) was featured in “27 Must-See Art Exhibits Opening This Fall,” New York Magazine, 8/25/14. Alejandra Laviada (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) was featured in “Alejandra Laviada: Re-Constructions,” Lenscratch. com, 8/26/14. Raheem Nelson (BFA Cartooning) was interviewed for “Spotlight: iPad Artist Raheem ‘Ra’ Nelson,”, 8/11/14. Tatsuro Nishimura (BFA Photography) won first place in the Still Life/ Food category of the 2014 America Photographic Artists New York Photo Contest, NYC, 6/30/14. 2008 Jade Doskow’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) photographs were featured on digital billboards in Toronto, Montreal and

Vancouver as part of the project Paint the City, 8/15-9/15/14. Jenny Morgan (MFA Fine Arts) was interviewed for and had her work featured on the cover of the September 2014 issue of Juxtapoz, 8/5/14. Kara Rooney (MFA Art Criticism and Writing) published “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective,”, 7/15/14. Matthew Rota (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated “My Grandma the Poisoner,”, 10/27/14. Martin Wittfooth (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was interviewed for “Artist Interview: Martin Wittfooth,”, 9/5/14. 2009 Scott Houston’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) film Chain Gang (2014) premiered at the NYC Independent Film Festival, NYC, 10/16/14.

In Memoriam Jamil Abdul-Azim (BFA 1984 Photography) died on June 7, 2014. Born in Brooklyn, he graduated from Manhattan’s High School of Art and Design and, in addition to his SVA degree, earned a master’s degree from Brooklyn College. Abdul-Azim worked for several years as an optometric technician and later taught art in New York City public schools. He was a mentor to many of his students, a longstanding member of the United Federation of Teachers and served on the city’s Board of Education. He is survived by his son, Khalil; daughters, Zalika and Asha; fiancée, Fatima Capo; father, Garfield Lee, and many aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces. Valery F. Daniels (MPS 2006 Art Therapy) died on November 16, 2014. Daniels was an artist and art therapist. In addition to her SVA degree, she held a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and an MFA from Yale University. As an art therapist, she worked in the inpatient psychiatric unit of Bellevue Hospital. As an active member of her East Village community, she helped create a library now shared by New York City public schools 63 and 363. Daniels is survived by her husband, Andrew Knox, and daughters, Annamariah and Claudia Knox. Her family and friends have established the Valery Daniels Memorial Lecture Series, which will offer talks on art therapy and related disciplines. Robert Lubalin (1963 Fine Arts) died on July 29, 2014. Lubalin grew up in Woodmere, New York, and was a resident of Caldwell, New Jersey. In addition to his SVA education, he studied architecture at City College, City University of New York, and Syracuse University. He began his career at architecture firm Davis Brody and went on to serve as principal at Jacobs Consultancy. He is survived by his wife, Susan; son Jeffrey and daughterin-law Jennifer; son Andrew and daughter-in-law Darcie; grandchildren, Sylvia, Jolie, Jackson and Kelsie; and brother, Peter, and sister-in-law, Marie. Robert Trani (1969 Design and Illustration) died on July 11, 2014. He was born in the Bronx and was a resident of Lexington, Virginia. Trani served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy, was twice commander of Lexington’s VFW Post 1499 and was a member of Collierstown Baptist Church. He loved to hunt, fish and paint and was a proud Italian-American Yankees fan. He is survived by his wife, Valerie; daughters, Robin and Julianna; brothers, Christopher and Albert; and grandchildren, Cassandra and Tristan.

SVA ALUMNI SOCIETY gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our




Contributions from corporate partners benefit the SVA Alumni Society Housing Scholarship Fund, which provides students with financial need the opportunity to experience campus life. For information on the Corporate Partners for the Arts program or the SVA Alumni Society, contact Jane Nuzzo at 212.592.2302 or, or visit


Julissa Ortiz (BFA Advertising) was interviewed for “New Talent: Julissa Ortiz,”, 10/22/14. 2010 Miho Aikawa (MPS Digital Photography) was featured in “Intimate Photos of How People Eat in New York City,” Fast Company, 7/14/14. Natan Dvir’s (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media) work was included in the Backlight Photo Festival, Tampere, Finland, 9/1711/18/14 Kelley Hensing (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was featured in “Studio Visit: Behind the Scenes of Kelley Hensing’s ‘The Animal Within’,” Hi-Fructose, 11/6/14. 2011 Sasha Friedlander (MFA Social Documentary) received a MacArthur grant for Mudflow, a documentary film she is co-directing with Cynthia Wade, 10/28/14. Cindy Hinant’s (MFA Fine Arts) video Selfish (2012) screened at the 6th Cairo Video Festival, Gezira Art Center, Cairo, 11/13/14. Mark Kendall (MFA Social Documentary) screened his film La Camioneta (2012) at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 9/17/14-9/19/14. Catt Small (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “Script of Success: Tech Phenom Catt Small Talks Black Girls Coding, Diversity In Gaming,”, 7/3/14. 2012 Joana Avillez (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) illustrated Not That Kind of Girl (Random House, 2014) by actress Lena Dunham. Bon Duke’s (MPS Fashion Photography) portraits were featured in “The Millennials Are Generation Nice,” The New York Times, 8/15/14. Steven Loring’s (MFA Social Documentary) film The Age of Love (2013) premiered at DOC NYC, 11/15/14. Alfred Park (BFA Graphic Design) was featured in “Designer Emphasizes Fun as Mantra in Life, Business,” The Korea Herald, 7/4/14.

Bahar Yurukoglu, Omun, 2014, plexiglas, video projection and drywall.

Albert Pereta’s (MFA Design) web application Iceberg was featured in “Pinterest Buys Startup with Image Organizing Skills,”, 7/30/14. 2013 Liam Ahern’s (BFA Film and Video) film Enjoy Better (2013) screened at the Chain Film Festival, NYC, 8/6/14. Shubhashish Bhutiani’s (BFA Film and Video) film Kush (2013) won Best Short Film at the London Indian Film Festival, 7/18/14. Rovina Cai (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) was interviewed for “Artist Showcase: Rovina Cai,” Lightspeed Magazine, October 2014. David Carofano (MPS Branding) was featured in “There’s No One Surefire Branding Strategy, But You Should Always Make People Care,”, 11/12/14. Supranav Dash’s (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Glitched Images You’d Never Think Were Photographs,” Wired, 8/5/14. Randy Gregory (MPS Branding) was interviewed for “Questioning Everything and Relating to Users are Key Branding Strategies,” Psfk. com, 11/3/14. Naomi Lev (MFA Art Criticism and Writing) curated “Preliminary Study:


RS-IT (Part 2),” which showed in three galleries simulataneously: Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI, 7/2-7/30/14; Fire Barn Gallery, Grand Haven, MI, 6/30-8/2/14; Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI, 7/1-8/17/1. Loren Parisella’s (BFA Photography) work was featured in “A Photographer’s Ode to Her Old Family Home,” T Magazine, 9/18/14. Daniel Sierra (MFA Computer Art) was selected as a 41st Annual Student Academy Award winner for his short film Oscillate (2013), 6/6/2014. Zachary Smith’s (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Times Square Seen Through Fresh Eyes,” T Magazine, 11/20/14. Brendan Steere’s (BFA Film and Video) short film Rules (2014) won Best Film Award at the 6th Seoul International Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival, Dongjak Culture and Welfare Center, Seoul, 9/30/14.

Illustrations,” The Washington Post, 7/23/14. Matin Zad’s (MPS Fashion Photography) work was featured in “Designer Observations: #fashion by Matin Zad,” AnOther Magazine, 11/17/14. 2014 Julia Buntaine’s (MFA Fine Arts) work was featured in “The 11-Foot Long Neuron,” Scientific American, 9/6/14. Irene Chin (BFA Fine Arts) screened her short film The Bachelorette Party (2014) at the NewFilmmakers New York Fall Series, Anthology Film Archives, NYC, 10/4/14. Francisco Hernandez (MFA Design) presented his project ¡Leí Leí! at the Latino 2 Tech Startup Conference, NYC, 9/16/14. Zachary Krevitt (BFA Photography) was featured in “Sex, GIFs and Locker Room Jocks,” Dazed, 7/12/14.

Nikki Sylianteng (MFA Interaction Design) was featured in “A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed,” Wired, 7/15/14.

NaiWei Liu’s (MFA Computer Art) animated film Something Important (2014) won Best Short Animation at the Asians on Film Festival, Los Angeles, 10/13/14.

Ilona Szwarc (BFA Photography) was awarded the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture from the Arnold and Augusta Newman Foundation, 6/9/14.

Kathryn McElroy’s (MFA Products of Design) work was featured in “This Headset Dims Your Computer Screen When You Lose Focus at Work,” Fast Company, 11/5/14.

Patricia Voulgaris’ (BFA Photography) work was featured in “Weird Abstract Photos That Look Like Incomplete Memories,” Wired, 9/16/14. Anna Yoken’s (BFA Illustration) illustrations were featured in “Old J. D. Salinger Stories Revived by New

Hector Rene (BFA Photography) was featured in “Still Life With Soldier and Bullets,” The New York Times, 8/14/14. Josh Treuhaft’s (MFA Design for Social Innovation) work was featured in “Dining From Trash to Table in Brooklyn,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/22/14.


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Apple Authorized Campus Store The SVA Campus Store offers professional guidance and advice to assist you in making the right Apple choice for your needs. Alumni Discounts Upon presentation of their SVA ID card, graduates may receive a 10% discount on all SVA-branded products. The SVA Campus Store also offers great in-store pricing on select hardware and design peripherals.

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Alumni Exhibitions

FROM LEFT Marlena Buzcek Smith, Traffik, 2006, poster; Aya Kakeda, Poster for Au Hasard de Mon Bazar, Usagi Paris Gallery, 2014, gouache and digital.

GROUP EFFORTS “Marquee Moon,” Thierry Goldberg Gallery, NYC, 7/10-8/15/14, included work by MFA Fine Arts alumni A. J. Nazzaro (2012) and Jamie Sneider (2013). “Verisimilitude,” Curator Gallery, NYC, 7/17-8/23/14, included work by Arthur Miller (BFA 1981 Illustration) and Gina Minichino (BFA 1990 Cartooning). “Expanding Mode,” Concepto Hudson, Hudson, NY, 7/19-8/17/14, included work by Laura Murray (BFA 2012 Fine Arts) and Hiroyuki Nakamura (MFA 2002 Photography and Related Media). The Ninth Biennial of Visual Arts of the Central American Isthmus, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 7/30-8/24/14, included work by Priscilla Gonzalez (BFA 2009 Fine Arts) and Jaime Permuth (MPS 2009 Digital Photography). “Horses and Bayonets,” Coohaus Art, NYC, 8/4/14-8/16/14, was curated by Briana Thornton (BFA 2013 Photography) and featured work by Hector Rene (BFA 2014 Photography). “Utopian Pulses – Flares in the Darkroom,” Wiener Secession Association of Visual Artists, Vienna, Austria, 9/11-11/2/14, included work by Mariam Ghani (MFA 2002 Photography and Related Media) and Carlos Motta (BFA 2001 Photography). “BRIC Biennial, Volume 1, Downtown Edition,” Gallery at BRIC House, NYC, 9/20-12/4/14, included work by Seth Michael Forman (MFA 1989 Fine Arts), Valerie Hallier (MFA 1994 Computer Art), Jenny Polak (MFA 1992 Fine Arts) and Penelope Umbrico (MFA 1989 Fine Arts). “Material Way,” Shirley Fiterman Art Center, NYC, 9/30-12/1/14, included work by Holly Miller (BFA 1984 Fine Arts) and Wendy Small (BFA 1984 Fine Arts). “Sixteen Sweet,” Ivy Brown Gallery, NYC, 10/23-11/1/14, included work by Jenny Morgan (MFA 2008 Fine Arts), Stacy Scibelli (MFA 2009 Fine Arts), Trish Tillman (MFA 2009 Fine Arts) and Natalia Yovane (MFA 2010 Fine Arts).


1963 Ellen Pliskin (Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “The Painterly Printmaker,” Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery, Cheshire, CT, 8/5-8/30/14. 1969 Bill Plympton (Cartooning). Solo exhibition, “Plymptoons: Short Films and Drawings by Bill Plympton,” Museum of the Moving Image, NYC, 9/13/14-1/4/15. 1974 Walter O’Neill (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Off The Wall/ Fresco Paintings,” Hudson Guild Gallery, NYC, 9/4-11/29/14. 1976 Theresa DeSalvio (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Dealing with Trauma through Art Making,” Holy Family University Art Gallery, Philadelphia, 10/3-10/29/14. 1976 Lucy Reitzfeld (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “Between the Boroughs,” George Billis Gallery, NYC, 6/24-8/16/14. 1977 Laurence Gartel (BFA Graphic Design). Group exhibition, “My Cities, Your Identities,” Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiatives, Bilpin, NSW, Australia, 7/18-7/24/14.

Stewart MacFarlane (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Medusa,” Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 7/8-7/27/14. 1979 Elise Sinatro (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “The Art of Stewardship,” Chestertown RiverArts Gallery, Chestertown, MD, 11/6-11/29/14. 1981 Peter Hristoff (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Heroes/Kahramanlar,” C.A.M. Gallery, Istanbul, 10/2311/23/14. Robert Murphy (BFA Fine Arts). Curatorial project, “Shadows and Blood: Richard Hambleton’s New York,” Dorian Grey Gallery, NYC, 10/9-11/9/14. Kenny Scharf (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Kenny Scharf,” Pace Prints, NYC, 10/10-11/8/14. 1982 Melissa Rubin (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Surfacing,” John Molloy Gallery, NYC, 9/6-10/1/14 1983 James Wang (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “James Wang: Paintings,” Chinese American Arts Council Gallery 456, NYC, 10/17-11/7/14.


1984 Donna Sharrett (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Hudson Valley Seed Library: Art of the Heirloom,” Ross Gallery, New York Botanical Garden, 11/15/14-1/19/15. 1985 Emily Thompson (BFA Media Arts). Solo exhibition, “The Modern Landscape,” Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Narrowsburg, NY, 10/1011/1/14. 1987 Aleathia Brown (BFA Media Arts). Solo exhibition, “Out of Boundaries,” Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, NYC, 9/12-10/31/14.

New Works on Paper,” Danese Corey, NYC, 10/17-11/15/14. 1992 Christine Soccio (BFA Graphic Design). Group exhibition, “PrologueEpilogue,” Newark Arts Council and The Gateway Project, Newark, NJ, 10/9-11/16/14. 1993 Miles Ladin (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Sun Stroke,” Station Independent Projects, NYC, 6/19-7/12/14. Doug Magnuson (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Fugue State,” Gridspace, NYC, 11/8-12/5/14.

Mamie Holst (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Eccentric Abstraction,” Frosch & Portmann, NYC, 6/268/3/14.

1994 Brian Adam Douglas (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “ELBOW-TOE: Liner Notes,” R. Jampol Project(s), NYC, 10/17-11/2/14.

Gary Petersen (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Tilting Points,” Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ, 9/28/14-1/18/15.

Inka Essenhigh (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Comet Dust & Crystal Shards,” Jacob Lewis Gallery, NYC, 10/17-11/15/14.

1988 Mary Salvante (BFA Illustration). Curatorial project, “Mel Chin: Disparate Acts,” Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ, 9/2-1/11/14.

John Ferry (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Solo exhibition, “John Ferry: New Works,” Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, KS, 11/7/141/3/15.

1989 Margaret Lanzetta (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Blues For Allah,” Heskin Contemporary, NYC, 10/2312/13/14.

Riad Miah (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Riad Miah,” Simon Gallery, Morristown, NJ, 9/19-10/11/14.

Joan Mellon (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Joan Mellon PAINTINGS,” SUNY Empire State College Hudson Gallery, NYC, 10/23/14-1/23/15. Brian Rutenberg (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Brian Rutenberg: Saltwater,” Forum Gallery, NYC, 10/30-12/6/14. Penelope Umbrico (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Mountains, Moving: Light Leaks, and Chemical Burns,” Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, 10/2-11/8/14. 1990 Steven DeFrank (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Recipients of the 2013 Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant,” Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA, 10/2111/16/14. Lance Fung (MFA Fine Arts). Curatorial project, “Nonuments,” Washington, DC, 9/6-10/6/14. Robert Melee (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “A Dozen Roses,” Higher Pictures, NYC, 6/26-8/1/14. 1991 Theresa Chong (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Theresa Chong:

1995 Michael De Feo (BFA Graphic Design). Solo exhibition, “A Pocket Full of Posies,” Rush Art Gallery, NYC, 9/4-9/20/14. Jalal Pleasant (Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Mythe & Muze,” Go Galleri, Amsterdam, 7/17-8/31/14. 1996 Sean Greene (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “Second Sight,” Brian Morris Gallery, NYC, 6/197/20/14. Justine Kurland (BFA Photogra­phy). Solo exhibition, “Sincere Auto Care,” Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, NYC, 9/4-10/11/14. Marianne Vitale (BFA Film and Video). Solo exhibition, “Marianne Vitale: Nine Worthies,” Zach Feuer, NYC, 11/11-12/20/14. 1997 Sean Hemmerle (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Brutal Legacy,” Front Room Gallery, NYC, 9/5-10/5/14. Sarah Sze (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Sarah Sze: Triple Point (Planetarium),” Bronx Museum of the Arts, NYC, 7/3-8/24/14.

John Szlasa, Untitled, 2014, cement, galvanized steel, spray paint, construction mesh, dye, rebar and wire.

1998 Christopher Bors (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Group exhibition, “Everything Bad Is Good for You,” Grizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia, 11/711/29/14. Brian Finke (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “Brian Finke: U.S. Marshals,” ClampArt, NYC, 11/2012/20/14. 1999 Jude Broughan (BFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Certain Lights,” Churner and Churner, NYC, 6/57/18/14. Colin “COJO” Jorgensen (BFA Graphic Design). Solo exhibition, “10 Subjects,” Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, NYC, 9/25-10/23/14. Janelle Lynch (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Presence,” Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY, 6/13-11/16/14. Artem Mirolevich (BFA Illustration). Solo exhibition, “The Tree of Life,” Avant Garde Gallery by MMC, NYC, 11/23-12/12/14. 2000 Kevin Cooley (MFA Photography and Related Media). Group exhibition, “Sightings: Kevin Cooley and Jessica Malls,” Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR, 11/21/14-1/4/15. Eric Rhein (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Ephemera as Evidence,” La MaMa Galleria, NYC, 6/56/29/14.

2001 José Casado (MFA Computer Art). Group exhibition, “Inverted Normals,” Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ, 11/10-12/20/14. 2002 ON megumi Akiyoshi (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “ON megumi Akiyoshi, Husmann/Tschaeni, Susanne Keller, Stefan Kiss,” Galerie Reinart, Rheinfall, Switzerland, 6/15-7/20/14. George Boorujy (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Solo exhibition, “Taxonomy,” Arsenal Gallery, NYC, 9/11-9/13/14. Mariam Ghani (MFA Photography and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Mariam Ghani,” Ryan Lee Gallery, NYC, 9/2-9/20/14. Kate Gilmore (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Kate Gilmore: A Roll in the Way,” Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, 10/19/144/5/15. Aya Kakeda (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Solo exhibition, “Au Hasard De Mon Bazar,” Usagi Paris Gallery, Paris, 6/13-7/2/14. Marlena Buczek Smith (BFA Graphic Design). Group exhibition, “Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012,” ADC Gallery, NYC, 7/8-8/13/14.



2003 Bahar Yurukoglu (BFA Photography). Group exhibition, “Intimate Horizons,” Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR, 9/2811/2/14.

Kevin Cooley, In the Valley of the Sun, 2014, installation, 12 39” flatscreen TVs displaying live video feeds from 12 roof-mounted, closed-circuit cameras.

2005 Carolyn Agis (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “UP&OUT: Carolyn Agis, Molly Spitta & Sylke Spitta,” NYOC Gallery, NYC, 7/18-8/22/14. Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Jeff ChienHsing Liao’s New York: Assembled Realities,” Museum of the City of New York, 10/15/14-2/15/15. John Szlasa (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “To Do as One Would,” David Zwirner, NYC, 6/267/25/14. 2006 Shai Kremer (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “World Trade Center: Concrete Abstract,” Julie Saul Gallery, NYC, 9/4-10/25/14. 2007 Lisa Elmaleh (BFA Photography). Solo exhibition, “American Folk,” Foley Gallery, NYC, 7/17-8/9/14. Lauren Haggis (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition,” Agora Gallery, NYC, 8/22-9/11/14. Dina Kantor (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Treece,” A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, 6/26-7/20/14. Shiri Mordechay (MFA Fine Arts). Solo exhibition, “Serpents of the Rainbow,” Alter Space, San Francisco, 10/18-11/29/14. 2008 Cat Del Buono (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Solo exhibition, “Cat Del Buono: Voices,” Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, 9/5-10/30/14. Stan Narten (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “People Staring,” Kravets/Wehby, NYC, 6/5-7/5/14. Kara Rooney (MFA Art Criticism and Writing). Group exhibition, “In Between Days,” Driscoll Babcock Gallery, NYC, 6/29-8/8/14.

Jonny Ruzzo (BFA Illustration). Group exhibition, “Empty Kingdom,” 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, 6/6-7/26/14. Catherine Young (MFA Interaction Design). Group exhibition, “Hybrid Highlights,” Seoul National University Museum of Art, Seoul, 10/8-12/7/14. 2013 Faith Holland (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media). Curatorial project, “Coded After Lovelace,” Whitebox Art Center, NYC, 8/149/2/14.

2012 Ryan Brady (BFA Visual & Critical Studies). Group exhibition, “Ryan Brady & Nick Farhi, Irreverent Decadence,” Louis B. James Gallery, NYC, 9/7-10/18/14.

Renyi Hu (MFA Art Practice). Solo exhibition, “Come Clean: The Infinite Confession Project,” Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 8/15-9/20/14.

Laura Murray (BFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Balls to the Wall,” Arcilesi | Homberg Fine Art, NYC, 6/5-6/29/14.

Federico Infante (MFA Illustration as Visual Essay). Solo exhibition, “The Space Between,” Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, NYC, 10/211/1/14.


Mathias Kessler (MFA Art Practice). Group exhibition, “Autoimmune,” Vohn Gallery, NYC, 10/10-11/18/14. Denise Treizman (MFA Fine Arts). Group exhibition, “Concrete Muse,” DUMBO Arts Festival, NYC, 8/268/28/14. 2014 Bilo Hussein (MPS Digital Photography). Group exhibition, “The 3rd Annual Juried International Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art,” LuminArté Gallery, Dallas, 10/25-11/29/14.

Yufei Kao’s (MFA Computer Art) animated film Revenge (2014) screened at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival 2014, Berlin, 10/1610/19/14. Hsin Wang (MPS Digital Photography). Group exhibition, “INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks,” Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ 8/23-9/28/14.


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From the SVA Archives

Forty years ago this fall, SVA introduced its first academic advisors, a group of professionals drawn from the College’s faculty and staff who would provide counseling to matriculated students—advising them on their course work, helping them select and enroll in classes and keeping them on track for graduation. The advisors were also charged with bringing students’ concerns to the attention of the relevant departments, to ensure that the programs were responsive to their needs and interests. Though such a service is now common in higher education, at the time it was a rarity among art and design colleges—so much so that SVA can fairly claim to be among the first such institutions to offer it. SVA President David Rhodes, then the chair of Humanities and Sciences and vice president for Academic Affairs, founded the academic advisement office and served as its chair. (He appears at the far left in the above photo, which originally ran in Memoranda, SVA’s administrative newsletter, in the summer of 1975.) Coming just three years after the New York State Board of Regents authorized SVA to confer bachelor of fine arts degrees, Rhodes’ initiative further signaled the College’s commitment to providing students with not just rigorous practice in their chosen field, but a well-rounded educational experience.


“It was an exciting time,” SVA Provost Jeffrey Nesin says. Nesin, then a Humanities and Sciences faculty member, was among the first advisors, serving Fine Arts and foundationyear students. (He is second from right above—“wearing linen pants,” he helpfully points out.) With the College now awarding BFAs, “many accomplished people who had gone to SVA in the past re-enrolled to complete their degree requirements,” he says. “So I advised and taught all these fabulous, interesting folks who became friends.” Today, academic advisement continues to be integral to the student experience at SVA, with 14 full-time advisors serving the 11 undergraduate departments (at the graduate level, departments’ directors of operations also serve in an advisory capacity). “We don’t consider it a deskbound job,” Lucky Checkley, who has coordinated advisement at the College for more than 30 years, says. “Advisors have the opportunity to visit classes, talk to instructors and seek out students where they are, so they can let people know where they are.” [Greg Herbowy] The SVA Archives serves as the repository for the historical records of the College; collections include announcements, posters, departmental and student publications and other printed ephemera and artifacts dating back to SVA’s founding in 1947. To learn more, visit

Promotional image for Archigrams. See The Assignment, page 30.

External Relations 209 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010-3994

Spring 2015  

Painter Andrew Brischler, curator Amelie Klein, character design development, and more.