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MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Thesis Exhibition

April 30 - May 19, 2016
The work of a class displayed on a wall.


Mon, May 16; 6:00 - 8:00pm

School of Visual Arts presents “MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Thesis Exhibition,” an exhibition of thesis projects by graduating students. Curated by faculty member David Sandlin, the exhibition is on view Saturday, April 30, through Thursday, May 19, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.

Curator David Sandlin describes the projects in the exhibition as “witty, provocative and eminently engaging narratives” that showcase the range of MFA Illustration as Visual Essay students.

The Space Beyond the Miles by Annie Bowler is a reflection on place, pattern and people as told through the story of a runner while on her morning loop.

Inspired by the beauty of mangroves, Lys Bùi recreates the density of a forest by layering traditional Vietnamese silk paintings onto wooden strainers.

Mikayla Butchart’s Sup is a magazine focused on sustainable food practices, with illustrated essays, interviews, how-to guides, recipes, and more.

Joseph Cassanova’s “Treasure Hunting” is a three-part series of illustrated short stories that follow the journey of individuals searching for something.

“A Brief History of Man and Dog” by Susan Coyne examines the human-canine relationship through historical and anthropological research, found photographs and interviews with dog owners.

Diego Cadena’s series of portraits focuses on artists who succumbed to tragedy, either by suicide or substance abuse.

Chioma Ebinama’s anthropological installation studies the fictional Anwu tribe.

Jon Guinn’s series of three paintings illustrates black identity and the daily life of a black American family.

Midway by John Lee constructs a mythology of Chinese- and Filipino-American family histories in the South.

Sahng Yeon Lee’s Starlight the Rat is an illustrated middle grade novel about an unlikely trio in search of the missing “Sun Princess.”

Suyoun Caroline Lee’s Caroline’s Garden is a picture book about a young girl who must look after her father’s garden while he is away.

Jeff Lowry’s series of concert posters advertise a fictitious band.

Girlhood by Claire Merchlinsky is a zine and installation series about growing up as a girl in the South during the early 1990s.

Robin Mørk illustrates Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841).

Liam O’Donnell’s single–image stories use visual metaphors to depict natural and manmade systems.

I Can’t Smell My Way Back Home is a picture book by Joo Won Oh that tells the story of two dogs without their senses of smell or sight.

Amelia Rosales created an homage to the fiction section of The New Yorker.

Traveler is a picture book by Vesper Stamper that tells the Biblical story of Job through a child’s perspective.

Jackie Tam explores the landscape as a meditation on the Earth as a living, breathing thing.

MFA Illustration as Visual Essay at SVA is designed to maximize students’ opportunities as figurative artists, from the gallery wall to the full range of digital, print and online media. The program fuses the development of creative thinking with technical and communication skills. Additional focus is placed on best practices in navigating the visual-art marketplace while empowering students to choose art-making as a way of life.

Free and open to the public