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MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Thesis Exhibition

April 29 - May 20, 2017
Tree hous in a tree on fire
Credit: Artist: Brian Britigan


Tue, May 2; 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 29, through Saturday, May 20, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.

Curator David Sandlin describes the projects in the exhibition as “a delight for your eyeballs and for your brain. The engrossing visual narratives that showcase the range of MFA Illustration as Visual Essay students are variously painterly and graphic, sensuous and psychedelic."

Brian Britigan illustrates a series of images that explore the coming-of-age themes of trial, transition and loss.

Stasis by Erica Chan is a graphic novel-in-progress about a girl as she transitions through the phases of life, maintaining relationships and learning about herself.

Audun Grimstad’s paintings explore themes of isolation, facades and the sense of protection.

Inspired by Invisible Cities, a series of short stories by Italo Calvino, Shreya Gupta illustrates the experience of people living and travelling to fantastical cities.

Mago Huang tells the story of a lemur who does not like his own seemingly useless tail and envies the more purposeful tails of other animals.

Genevieve Irwin’s illustrated children’s book Zoluskha is based on the true story of a Siberian tiger that was orphaned as a cub but successfully raised to return to the wild.

Jin Xiajing tells the story of a young girl who learns to see the big picture from a new little friend.

By creating satirical public service announcements, David Leutart explores New York City’s visual language and how it translates to traditional print and sign making.

Aura Lewis’s Feminism, Illustrated surveys notable moments in American women’s path to liberation and equal rights in the 100 years since they were granted suffrage.

Helen Li tells the fictional story of her and her partner’s self-run food truck using multiple illustrated components.

Amber Ma’s giant watercolor depicts a battle between a cohort of fish-people and a demonic sea creature.

Wenkai Mao’s series of paintings focuses on dramatic lighting, atmosphere and conveying subtle feelings through images.

Eugenia Mello’s picture book Moving follows a girl’s emotional journey.

Objects of Surrealism is a collection of drawings by Zach Meyer that are inspired by fiction stories of disorder, memory and the unconscious.

Shinyeon Moon illustrates an encyclopedia exploring the mythical world of giantesses.

Nicole Rifkin uses religious iconography as satire to explore blind faith within feminism.

Through a portfolio of illustrations, Ryan Raphael shows glimpses into a typical suburb that has been invaded by surreal plagues.

Francisco Rodriguez’s Corridos Prohibidos disputes political propaganda and expresses the divergent opinions of the Colombian war conflict.

Ignacio Serrano’s Purpose explores the meaning of life through an illustrated letter written to a fictional character.

In Pappy, Megan Templehof examines her relationship with her grandfather by depicting memories from her childhood.

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