Why do visual artists write? Writing stories, novels, scripts, plays, poems, biographies, art reviews, memoirs, essays and blogs are ways to discover who we are, what truly moves us, and to communicate our discoveries to others. Word and image share a long and rich history. Visual artists train to develop a visual language, and much visual work is developed in dialogue with written language, through storyboards, film and photo shoot scripts, short or extended narrative essays, advertising and design contracts or your own blog and website. Writing and visual art are natural companions that inform each other brilliantly.
Our writing concentration can be a valuable addition to your art studies, expanding your creative skills in fresh, unexpected directions.
Our faculty, all professional writers, recognize that writing is a calling and a challenge. It is our mission to enable you to develop your talent, hone your craft and take the plunge into exploring alternative modes of creative expression: language as a creative tool.
The Writing Program offers both critical and creative writing courses. The critical writing courses embed writing in specific topics, ranging from popular culture to digital media. Our creative writing courses include journal writing, storytelling, writing for multimedia performance as well as experimental courses that will give you a real writing workout. We are also pleased to offer two summer, SVA Destination courses: HWD-2392-Writing Visual Culture in Cambridge, England and HWD-3344-A Writing in the Land of Enchantment in Taos, New Mexico.
These writing courses are open to all SVA students, whether or not you wish to commit yourself to the Writing Program. All writing courses (HWD prefix) are Humanities and Sciences electives. If you decide not to pursue the concentration to the final creative statement—that of making a portfolio of your work—the courses will still help fulfill the required number of elective Humanities and Sciences credits.
The Writing Program is a 15 credit non-degree concentration, nestled within the requirements of the Humanities and Sciences department. In the Writing Program, students choose critical or creative writing courses culminating in the creation of a writer’s portfolio.
After taking HCD-1020, Writing and Literature I, and passing the Proficiency Exam, second semester students may begin their course of study in the Writing Program by taking any of the critical writing courses (courses numbered HWD-2000 through HWD-2999) instead of HCD-1025, Writing and Literature II. Students may take a critical writing class in their second year as well, or at any time before they take the Portfolio, HWD-3990.