Creative Investment: 2017 SVA Alumni Scholarship Award Winners
February 21, 2017
A modern painting of a face in foliage.
Dark face in the middle of green plants
A Blackness That Is Other, Not Safe, or Normal by MFA Fine Arts student Brittany Cassell.

What does a documentary about a kid who raps about math and science, an illustrated retelling of "Hansel and Gretel" set in modern day Baltimore, and paintings about contemporary black identity all have in common? They are all SVA student projects that recently received an Alumni Scholarship Award from the SVA Alumni Society.

Established in 1999, the Alumni Scholarship Awards are presented annually to SVA students. “Current students in their final year are invited to apply for funding for their thesis or portfolio projects and applications are then evaluated by independent panels of alumni, who are always thrilled at the chance to see what students are working on,” says Miranda Pierce , development manager of Alumni Affairs and Development, who also spearheads this annual program. “It’s truly a community effort.”

A cartoon image
Sinformist by MFA Computer Art student Yuchun Chao.

Each year, the SVA Alumni Society, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit, administers over 20 awards and scholarships, including the Alumni Scholarship Awards program, distributing funding to distinguished undergraduate and graduate students working in disciplines such as advertising, cartooning, fine arts and more.

This year, a record 78 students were chosen from a pool of over 300 applicants, and were awarded scholarships worth more than $83,000 for projects as varied as narrative film, animation, painting and sculpture. “It's always amazing to see their applications,” says Pierce. “The inventiveness of their projects and the talents displayed impress me every year.”

Tire in mud
After Oil by BFA Film students Shailyn Cotten and Jessica Naftaly.

For the full list of 2017 Alumni Scholarship Award recipients and more images, click here. For more information about the Alumni Society and its scholarships, visit or contact Miranda Pierce at