Presented by MFA Fine Arts

Life on an Island: Castaways

May 4 - June 2, 2019
event banner with title, Castaways


Sat, May 4; 3:00 - 6:00pm

SVA MFA Fine Arts is one of 30 New York-based organizations who will host free seasonal programs and exhibitions on Governors Island as part of its calendar of arts and cultural programs for 2019. Presented in the historic former military homes of Nolan Park and Colonels Row, programs will engage visitors of all ages in the visual and performing arts, environmental science and culture.

The first of three cycles of SVA programming on the island will be "Castaways," a group exhibition featuring 11 SVA alumni working across digital media, sculpture, collage and performance, curated by MFA Fine Arts faculty member Mark Ramos (MFA 2010 Computer Art). The exhibition is free and open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00am – 5:00pm.

Featured artists: Rebecca Adorno (MFA 2010 Computer Art), Hanna Alvgren (MFA 2010 Computer Art), Eun Young Choi (MFA 2001 Fine Arts), Boyce Cummings (MFA 2000 Fine Arts), Shih Chieh Huang (MFA 2001 Fine Arts), invited artist Taezoo ParkValerie Guinn Polgar (MFA 2010 Computer Art), Mark Ramos (MFA 2010 Computer Art), Federico Muelas Romero (MFA 2002 Computer Art), Heather Renée Russ (MFA 2011 Photography, Video, Related Media) and Jeremiah Teipen (MFA 2001 Fine Arts)

Exploring the concept of “Life on an Island,” the MFA Fine Arts-hosted exhibitions will engage the diverse body of SVA’s alumni, current students, faculty, invited artists and partner arts organizations to exhibit work relating to the theme through a series of short residencies. The work will be presented in three cycles, in Building 405B on Colonels Row. The first, “Castaways,” curated by faculty member Mark Ramos, is a group exhibition of existing work by alumni of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media; MFA Computer Art and MFA Fine Arts Departments. The second two cycles, “Archipelagos,” and “S.O.S.,” will focus on artist projects created during the summer residencies. All work relates in some way to the “Life on an Island” theme. “Islands exist as multitudes,” states MFA Fine Arts faculty member Mark Ramos, co-curator of the series. “We are interested in engaging artists with the conceptual idea of ‘Life on an Island’ with its multiplicity of meanings. We are equally as interested in physical geography as we are in the conceptual and metaphoric associations: islands as isolated, islands as tropical paradise, rugged survivalism of castaways, colonialism, rising sea levels, island gigantism, etc.  But perhaps, we are most interested in islands as metaphors for contemporary art world(s).

“As a globally recognized Fine Arts MFA program, we are fortunate enough to work with emerging artists from all over the United States and the world,” Ramos adds. “This perspective has given us rare glimpses into a vast archipelago of art worlds, unique socio-cultural influences, divergent aesthetic and art histories like islands on a chain.”

Cycle 2, "Archipelagos," curated by MFA Fine Arts faculty member, staff member and alumnus Alison Kuo, will take place from June 4 – July 7. 

Cycle 3, "S.O.S.," also curated by Alison Kuo, will take place from July 9 – 31.

Free and open to the public