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Street Smart: The Intersection of Art and Design in the City

November 18 - December 20, 2017
The front desk of a business called street smart
Credit: Photography: Ryan Sobotka


Thu, Nov 30; 6:00 - 8:00pm

School of Visual Arts presents “Street Smart: The Intersection of Art and Design in the City,” a multimedia exhibition on view from November 18 through December 20 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery. The city has always been a muse to those who inhabit it, and the featured artists in this exhibition—all graduates of SVA—are noted for making work that is for or about the urban environment. Their site-specific and interactive installations, photographs, paintings, sculptures, designs and illustrations are challenging, multilayered and politically and socially engaged, much like the city itself.

“Street Smart” features more than 50 new and recent works by an international selection of established and emerging alumni artists. The 19 participating artists are Kevin Amato (BFA 2003 Photography), Steven Bindernagel (MFA 2006 Fine Arts), Karlos Carcamo (BFA 1997 Fine Arts), Luiz d'Orey (BFA 2016 Illustration), Michael De Feo (BFA 1995 Graphic Design), Brian Adam Douglas, a.k.a. ELBOW-TOE (BFA 1994 Illustration), Natan Dvir (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media), Carol Fabricatore (MFA 1992 Illustration as Visual Essay), Timothy Goodman (BFA 2007 Graphic Design), Katsumi Hayakawa (MFA 1999 Fine Arts), Robert Herman (MPS 2009 Digital Photography), Natasha Jen (BFA 2003 Graphic Design), Hyesu Lee (MFA 2011 Illustration as Visual Essay), Susan Leopold (BFA 1982 Fine Arts), Dina Litovsky (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media), SaveArtSpace’s Justin Aversano (BFA 2014 Photography) and Travis Rix (BFA 2014 Photography)Hannah Smith Allen (MFA 2007 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Amy Wu (MFA 2015 Interaction Design).

Notable works on view include a new mural by designer Timothy Goodman. Artist Luiz d’Orey will show two new paintings made from cut and assembled signage found at construction sites. d’Orey uses a process of re-posting images of his paintings to the sites he plunders for materials, allowing them to weather and be painted over, and then reusing the signage for additional paintings. Brian Douglas, a street artist known as ELBOW-TOE, will produce a large scale, interactive, site-specific sculpture inspired by a play structure he made for his children, as well as a new series of drawings based on found images of the injured, orphaned and displaced children of Aleppo, Syria. Illustrator Hyesu Lee will produce a mural to accompany her pocket-sized guides to Brooklyn and Queens, which will be available as takeaways for visitors. SaveArtSpace, a nonprofit public art organization, will invite three recent graduates to create works related to urban ecology for select New York City billboards. And Amy Wu, founder of the QNSMADE website and apparel brand, will build a voting booth in the gallery surveying visitors about their relationship with the borough of Queens.

Accompanying the exhibition will be an exhibition catalog with photos and memories about the artists’ time as students at SVA, a foreword by Jane Nuzzo, director of SVA Alumni Affairs and Development, and an essay by Jamie Keesling (MA 2013 Critical Theory and the Arts), operations manager for SVA Galleries.

An artist panel discussion will be held on Wednesday, December 13. Four SVA alumni with work in Street Smart will discuss navigating their lives and careers as artists in New York City, and how SVA played a role in getting them where they are today.

Participating alumni include Michael De Feo (BFA 1995 Graphic Design), Luiz d'Orey (BFA 2016 Illustration), Susan Leopold (BFA 1982 Fine Arts) and Dina Litovsky (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media). Moderated by Naomi Lev (MFA 2013 Art Criticism and Writing).

Free and open to the public