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MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Thesis Exhibition

May 2 - 16, 2015
Artwork displayed on the wall of a gallery.


Tue, May 12; 6:00 - 8:00pm

School of Visual Arts presents “MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Thesis Exhibition,” a showcase of works submitted by all 19 members of the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay class of 2015. Curated by faculty member David Sandlin, the exhibition is on view May 2 through May 16 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.   

Statement from the curator: “Narrative storytelling takes many forms in this year’s MFA thesis exhibit: a minutely detailed scroll unfurls the history of history; an interactive game console dazzles the viewer with animated battling knights and monsters; cut paper collage combines with colored pencil to exquisitely depict the poignant tale of a lonely giantess. Each of these visual narratives represents the culmination of a year’s work by an intimate community of gifted artists who have drawn on their interaction with peers, faculty, and visiting critics to create extraordinarily original stories. Some of the artists here use words and images on paper and canvas, and some venture into three dimensions. Computer-generated visuals are juxtaposed with finely detailed linocuts, each story told in the medium best suited for the tale.”

Chris Bonnell’s Feast of the Ouroboros is a time map that explores over 700 years of epic battles, great rulers and notorious blunders of Greek and Roman history.

Alexa Cassaro’s project is the scrapbook diary and origin comics of Spidergirl that chronicles the misadventures of mythological hybrid loser kids (Spidergirl, Medusa, Fishboy, Harpygirl and Bandaidgirl) taking revenge on superficial sparkly popular kids.

Knights, an interactive web comic by Andrew Craft, tells the tale of a young knight, his steed and their quest to rid the world of negativity.

Stephen Cup created an illustrated book about labor organizer Fannie Sellins, who, in 1919, was beaten and fatally shot by company police on the picket line outside the Allegheny Coal Co. near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Tragical History of the Jackson Sisters and the Extraordinary Now! by Sarah Dvojack follows two orphaned sisters as they adjust to life (and magic) with their grandparents in 1911 New York City.

Francisco Galarraga produced a collection of interior illustrations for science fiction and classical mythology books.

Kiss and Tell is Alina Gorban’s semiautobiographical comic in four acts that follows a teenage girl coping with being molested as a child and her destructive choices in men as a result.

Gregory Hedderman painted a series exploring memory, violence and mental illness.

Lost at Home by Mike Hirshon is the story of a young man trying to find his way home after regaining consciousness in an alley.

Lily Hoyda’s Shade is a comic that follows the origin of a drag queen who is blackmailed into becoming an assassin, using drag as a cover for their hits.

Lisha Jang’s graphic novel tells the story of Jade’s adventure to the mysterious land of shadows, the setting of her grandfather’s stories, where she battles monsters and gains the courage to say farewell to her beloved grandfather.

Menagerie: Wild Animals for Your Home by Allene La Spina is a collection of handmade and functional animal pieces, inspired by Colombian craftsmanship, to decorate your home.

Michael Lauritano’s Zeke Spade, Barnyard Investigator is the story of an intrepid boy detective, Zeke Spade, solving the mystery of who knocked over Mrs. MacDonald’s pie.

Nicholas Little created a collection of digitally created images focused on camouflage, hunting and exploration.

Rabi Mao’s A Brief History of Puff Island is an encyclopedia of the fictional Puff Island, a remote land of weird creatures and exotic life.

Amanda Moeckel’s picture book, Only the Good Dreams, is about a little girl and her nighttime guardians, a group of stuffed animals who grow giant while she sleeps and act as gatekeepers of her dreams.

Mo Razzouqi explores the trauma haunting desert life.

Elaheh Taherian’s The Giant Woman is the story of a giant woman who helps the people of her village, but is unappreciated.

Plant 1301, a graphic novel by Roshan Zhao, depicts a girl and her astronaut father exploring the universe.

MFA Illustration as Visual Essay at SVA is designed to maximize students’ opportunities as figurative artists, from the conventional 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 making art as a way of life.

Free and open to the public