With its first graduating class poised for takeoff; the third group, Class of 2017, expected to land in a few weeks; and an exhibition of work by the Class of 2016 opening tonight, the MFA Visual Narrative program at SVA was asking for a visit.
Earlier this week, Chair Nathan Fox welcomed me to the studios, which are currently being fitted out with workstations, furniture, and equipment, including two shiny new Risograph printers. This low residency program brings together students, faculty and visiting artists, engineers, historians and more, from myriad disciplines, for three summers, with online study and Skype-facilitated conferences in between, to explore visual narrative form across all its platforms.
The first graduate program of its kind at SVA, MFAVN enables students to shape their own identities, artistic voices and narrative art regardless of medium or style. From hand lettering and sketching to constructing a virtual reality space, the opportunities to develop a unique artistic vision appear to be limitless. What remains bedrock is the guiding principle of artist as author.
© Rachel Mersky, Class of 2016. Development art for Spooked, a short film.
Storytelling is the driving force, with as much time being spent on creative writing as on shaping imagery. The faculty—chosen for its diversity of storytelling genres—includes animators, designers, illustrators, art historians, painters, printmakers, writers and graphic novelists.
Students come from diverse backgrounds and localities, and in this pressure cooker of creativity, they undergo transformation on many levels. Visitors to the program blog can tune into the frequency of their explorations, and make some discoveries about their process and projects along the way.
But for a live connection with the artists, faculty, and the place, tonight is the night. DSS/Digital Short Story | A MFA Visual Narrative exhibition, opens tonight, 5:30-7:30 at the MFAVN Studios. 136 West 21st Street, Tenth Floor, NY, NY. RSVP appreciated. MFAVN
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