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New SVA Books to Gift this Holiday Season
December 14, 2020 by Michelle Mackin
Graphic reading "Gift Guide: Book Edition" on a striped blue and white background wrapped in a bow

Each year brings a new crop of books by SVA alumni and faculty—titles that span various genres and reader interests. Below are some notable recent publications from the College’s community, for all the bookworms on your “nice list” this year. Tip: shop through Bookshop to support small and local bookstores! To see this year’s list of other gift ideas, click here.

Happy holidays from the School of Visual Arts!

Graphic Novels

Book cover of SVA alumnus Jerry Craft's "Class Act" featuring a cartoon of a young Black boy wearing a backpack and juggling a graded test, two other smaller cartoonish people and a book.

The cover of SVA alumnus Jerry Craft’s latest graphic novel Class Act.

Credit: Jerry Craft / HarperCollins

Class Act (HarperCollins)

By Jerry Craft (BFA 1984 Media Arts)

Hardcover/softcover/e-book, $22.99/$12.99/$10.99

Author and cartoonist Jerry Craft’s Class Act follows his first graphic novel New Kid, which, earlier this year, won both a Newbury Medal and a Coretta Scott King Book Award. From the perspective of a young Black student named Drew, Class Act, like New Kid, explores what it’s like to be one of the few kids of color in a predominantly white private school. Still, this time around, Craft also looks at the differences between Drew and his best friend Jordan, who is also Black. “I wanted to show many of the intricacies and nuances that I don’t often see with Black kids in books and movies,” Craft explains.

Other new graphic novels books by SVA alumni and faculty:

Guantanamo Voices (Abrams Books)

Edited by Sarah Mirk; Illustrations by Alexandra Beguez (MFA 2016 Visual Narrative) and other artists.

Hardcover/e-book, $24.99, $13.99

Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West (Penguin Random House)

Lauren Redniss (MFA 2000 Illustration as Visual Essay)

Hardcover/e-book, $30/$14.99

Read our recent Q&A with Redniss about this book here.

A Cloud of Outrageous Blue (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Vesper Stamper (MFA 2017 Illustration as Visual Essay)

Hardcover/e-book/audio, $19.99/$10.99/$20

Bionic (Top Shelf Productions)

Koren Shadmi (faculty, BFA Illustration; BFA 2006 Illustration)

Softcover/e-book $19.99/$11.99

Children’s Books

SVA alumnus Eugenia Mello's book "Moving" lays on a pile of packing peanuts. The cover features an illustration of a young girl with her arms crossed looking unhappy.

SVA alumnus Eugenia Mello’s children’s book, Moving.

Credit: Eugenia Mello / Victionary

Moving (Victionary)

Eugenia Mello (MFA 2017 Illustration as Visual Essay)

Hardcover, $19.95

Inspired by her nomadic childhood, Eugenia Mello tells the story of a lonely young girl who eventually finds a family within her new community and its culture through dance and music.

Other new children’s books by SVA alumni and faculty:

We Disagree (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster)

Bethanie Deeney Murguia (MFA 1998 Illustration as Visual Essay)

Hardcover, $17.99

Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell (HarperCollins)

Selina Alko (BFA 1995 Illustration)

Hardcover, $18.99

Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring (Enchanted Lion Books)

Matthew Burgess; illustrated by Josh Cochran (faculty, BFA Illustration)

Hardcover, $18.95

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Lauren Castillo (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay)

Hardcover/e-book, $16.99/$9.99

The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth (Crown Books for Young Readers)

Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; illustrated in part by Shadra Strickland (MFA 2005 Illustration as Visual Essay)

Hardcover/e-book/audio, $16.99/$9.99/$14

A Day at the Park: My 1st Seek and Find Book

Laura Bullock; illustrated by Amber Sung (BFA 2019 Illustration)

Paperback, $9.99


Cover of SVA alumnus David Heredia's book. It is yellow with black and red writing that reads: "The Freelance Hustle: The Complete Guide to Making a Living as a Freelance Artist. Sharing 20 years of freelance experience, David Heredia"

David Heredia’s self-help book, The Freelance Hustle.

Credit: David Heredia

The Freelance Hustle: The Complete Guide to Making a Living as a Freelance Artist

David Heredia (BFA 2000 Animation)

Hardcover, $19.99

In The Freelance Hustle, David Heredia aims to motivate artists to be their own boss and gives them tips on doing so. He also runs a mentoring group called the Freelance Hustlers for those who want to advance their freelance careers. To learn more about Heredia and his book, read our Q&A with him and watch his lecture at SVA, both from earlier this year.

Other new nonfiction titles by SVA alumni and faculty:

The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress (Algonquin Books)

Jennifer Steinhauer (BFA 1990 Communication Arts)

Hardcover/e-book, $27.95/$21.95

Hello, Fears: Crush Your Comfort Zone and Become Who You’re Meant to Be (Sourcebooks)

Michelle Poler (MPS 2015 Branding)

Hardcover, $25.99

Pencil Workshop: Develop Your Sketching Skills in 50 Experiments (Abrams Noterie)

Sasha Prood (MFA 2015 Design)

Paperback, $19.99

Co-Illusion: Dispatches from the End of Communication (The MIT Press)

David Levi Strauss (chair, MFA Art Writing)

Hardcover, $39.95


Book cover of SVA alumnus Amani Willett's new book. It is yellow with a red spine and features an image of a street sign that reads "A Parallel Road: Amani Willett."

Amani Willett’s latest photography book, A Parallel Road.

Credit: Amani Willett/Overlapse

A Parallel Road (Overlapse)

Amani Willett (MFA 2012 Photography, Video and Related Media)

In this multi-layered photography book, Amani Willett explores the Black experience of driving in America over the past 85 years. Layering archival and new images, Willett examines the question of how long the road will continue to be a site of violence and oppression for Black people in American society.

Other new art/photography titles by SVA alumni and faculty:

Faux Pas. Selected Writings and Drawings (After 8 Books)

Amy Sillman (BFA 1979 Fine Arts)

Softcover, $24.95

Amy Sillman recently spoke with MFA Art Writing about this book. Watch the talk here.

Eating Alone

Anna Eveslage (faculty, MFA Visual Narrative; MFA 2015 Visual Narrative)

Paperback, $40

Carlos Motta: History’s Back Rooms (Skira)

Carlos Motta (BFA 2001 Photography)

Hardcover, €54.00

Girl Pictures (Aperture)

Justine Kurland (BFA 1996 Photography)

Hardcover, $50

Don’t Postpone Joy

Hugo Yu (BFA 2019 Photography and Video)

Paperback, $20


A book titled "Raft of Flame" by SVA alumnus Desiree Alvarez. The cover features an illustration of what could be an eye: a black circle surrounded by blue, then light brown, then orange, then black.

SVA alumnus Desirée Alvarez’s poetry book, Raft of Flame.


Raft of Flame (Omnidawn)

Desirée Alvarez (MFA 1992 Fine Arts)

Paperback, $17.95


Vintage Graphic Design: Type, Typography, Monograms & Decorative Design from the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries (Allworth Press)

Steven Heller (co-chair, MFA Design; faculty, MA Design, Research and Criticism) and Louise Fili (faculty, BFA Design and MFA Design)

Paperback, $19.99


Pietro Cicognani: Architecture and Design (Vendome)

About Pietro Cicognani (BFA 1985 Fine Arts); By Karen Bruno; photography by Francesco Lagnese; foreword by Isabella Rossellini

Hardcover, $40


True Story (Viking)

Kate Reed Perry (faculty, MFA Design for Social Innovation)

Hardcover/paperback/e-book/audio, $26/$28/$13.99/$17.50

This feature includes content from fall/winter 2020 editions of the Visual Arts Journal.