This February at SVA: Upcoming Virtual Talks and Exhibitions
February 2, 2021 by Maeri Ferguson
Nour Moustafa, Self Portrait, 2020, Digital illustration, from the exhibition 3D/ream Spiral_r e l a x

Nour Moustafa, Self Portrait, 2020, Digital illustration, from the exhibition 3D/ream Spiral_r e l a x.

February brings with it freezing temperatures, but also critical discussions about the artist’s role in changing a broken society, the decolonization of museums and how to use art therapy to heal amidst a crisis. It also brings lectures from seasoned industry professionals in the worlds of photography, multimedia communications and curation. And of course, this month brings new exhibitions from students across more than half a dozen departments, including BFA Fine Arts and MPS Art Therapy. All of these virtual events are free to participate and exhibitions are viewable in the online SVA Galleries.

Emmanuel Massillon, Stick Talk (Riding Dirty), 2020, 22 x 7 ¾ x 34 inches, from the exhibition In the Time of the Improbable

Emmanuel Massillon, Stick Talk (Riding Dirty), 2020, 22 x 7 ¾ x 34 inches, from the exhibition In the Time of the Improbable.

Credit: Emmanuel Massillon.


February 2, 7:00 - 8:00pm | Visiting Artist Lecture: Robert Branch

Join BFA Fine Arts for a Visiting Artist Lecture with artist and faculty member Robert Branch, who will discuss his experience as an original member of the Tim Rollins and Studio K.O.S. collective and his work at the intersection of art, multimedia instruction, community and communications.

February 4, 6:00 - 7:30pm | Art, Community, Accountability & Agape Love in a Post-Trump Administration

MFA Art Practice and BFA Fine Arts faculty member Angel Abreu of Studio K.O.S. will moderate a conversation with Ken Tan, Jeannine A. Cook and fellow K.O.S. member and BFA Fine Arts faculty member Robert Branch on communities’ and artists’ roles in healing from the current social unrest.

February 5, 7:00 - 8:30pm | Christopher Bedford: Structural Change in American Art Museums

This talk by Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) Christopher Bedford will examine the importance and immediacy of this change agenda, and the Museum's commitment to it, including successes to date, challenges encountered and plans for the future.

February 9, 7:00 - 8:30pm | Julia Stotz

Los Angeles-based food and still life photographer Julia Stotz will share her passion for food and her joy in photographing it, as part of the MPS Digital Photography i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration lecture series. Much sought after for her vivid, playful and painterly take on food, her clients include Airbnb, American Express, Apple, Bon Appetit, Coca-Cola, Food Network, Food & Wine, Refinery29 and Starbucks.

February 10, 7:00 - 8:00pm | Performance and Body Mapping Workshop

Body mapping is an intergenerational dialogue tool helping people of different generations to talk to each other. The experience builds trust and deepens people’s understanding of how their lives are all connected with each other. Join SVA Continuing Education for this body mapping workshop led by artistic director, choreographer and performer Anabella Lenzu, during which participants will use texts and drawings to share their own stories of their bodies. 

February 11, 11:00am - noon | Unsilencing, Unnaming and Institutional Transformation

Director of Kunstinstituut Melly, the Rotterdam institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy and sociologist Rolando Vázquez Melken share insights from the renaming process and its contribution to institutional decolonization in the Netherlands and beyond in a talk presented by MA Curatorial Practice.

February 12, 6:30 - 8:30pm | Valentine’s Day Virtual Drawing Marathon with Peter Hristoff: Be Mine!

Inspired by Valentine’s Day and ideas of romance, promise, love and fidelity—and the flip side of these expectations—participants will be working from prompts to create loose, fast drawings. Based on memory, imagination, word-association and a selection of Valentine’s Day-inspired photos, participants will be encouraged to let go and approach drawing as fearlessly and as joyfully as possible. Led by faculty member Peter Hristoff (BFA 1981 Fine Arts). 

February 18, 4:00 - 5:00pm | The Art of Slow Looking: An Intergenerational Workshop

When was the last time you stopped to really look at a work of art in a museum? Do you sometimes wish you could have a deeper and more engaging conversation around works of art with others? In this interactive workshop, focusing on just a few works by one contemporary artist, you will learn how to stop and look slowly and share your thoughts and observations in an intergenerational group.

February 23, 7:00 - 8:30pm | Nichole Washington

Nichole Washington (SVA MPS 2016 Digital Photography) will present an overview of recent projects and commissions as part of the MPS Digital Photography i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration lecture series. Washington uses photography and paint to create bold and expressive images that are an exploration of feminine strength, identity and spirituality. Her work centralizes superheroine characters that exist in an imagined space meant for healing and transformation.

February 25, 11:00am - noon | Frontier Imaginaries

Join roaming art platform and research initiative Frontier Imaginaries curator and founder Vivian Ziherl in conversation with Elizabeth Povinelli, Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University (and longtime Frontier Imaginaries contributor and co-conspirator) to discuss how colonial norms and forces “appear,” how curating is implicated and how social gatherings, exhibitions, images and forms can rebel, presented by MA Curatorial Practice.

February 26, 6:00 - 7:30pm | Community Lecture Series: Art Therapy in the Time of COVID-19

As many of us were forced to pivot therapeutic practices when the COVID-19 pandemic altered society last spring, this lecture, presented by MPS Art Therapy, explores art therapist and 2017 program alumnus Joshua Brancheau's efforts to find a way to meet his clients’ needs in the face of this crisis.

Rae Weyn González, Car Scene, 2020, Pen & Ink, Digital Media, 17 x 11 inches, from the exhibition The Circular Ruins

Rae Weyn González, Car Scene, 2020, Pen & Ink, Digital Media, 17 x 11 inches, from the exhibition The Circular Ruins.

Credit: Rae Weyn González.


Through February 6 | The Circular Ruins

An exhibition of work by MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Class of 2022 students, curated by faculty member Viktor Koen and inspired by the classic paradigm of Jorge Luis Borges’ passion for magical realism "The Circular Ruins (Las Ruinas Circulares)," first published in 1940. By viewing fire as a beginning rather than an end, 13 unique project concepts followed unexpected paths—down visceral rabbit holes and parallel universes where unlikely characters took the lead, from neon-colored gaming environments, shadows that question their hosts and personal documentation of origins and birth, to works inspired by Mayan codexes or the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” hypothesis of evil’s influence through the ages.

Through February 6 | 3Dream Spiral_Relax

BFA Visual & Critical Studies’ 2021 thesis show "3D/ream Spiral_r e l a x" was curated by faculty member Suzanne Joelson, and includes work by students Mina Al Huqail, Julia Colletes, Tyler Downing, Nour Moustafa, Juliet Nelson, Jay Park and Naomi Treistman. In an especially challenging situation, these students defied expectations of what art school can be, tapping into previously undiscovered resources and questioning assumptions.

Through February 26 | Influx and Efflux: Drawings by Taney Roniger | Flatiron Project Space, 133 W. 21st St

Presented by The Department of Visual & Critical Studies and The Flatiron Project Space, this exhibition of work by SVA alumnus and faculty member Taney Roniger will be safely viewable from outside the gallery's large street-level window. Of the work, the artist says, "Inspired by a new book by Jane Bennett from which the show gets its title, the drawings in this series invite the viewer into a fleshly and empathic encounter with writhing and rhythmic organic forms. Rousing the body's innate mimetic capacities, the forms act as animate forces, transferring their choreography onto the electrochemistry of the viewer. Scaled to the human body and left unframed, the drawings are also bodies, influencing and being influenced, influxing and effluxing."

February 9 - 22 | In the Time of the Improbable

In this time of isolation and anxiety and loss, students continue to pursue their work, making visible their reactions, fantasies and comfort in expression. Details, gestures, textures are variously presented to offer rich visual and psychological projections. This exhibition of work by BFA Fine Arts students, curated by Suzanne Anker, Nancy Chunn and Peter Hristoff, brings together works in a variety of mediums ranging from painting, sculpture, video, new media and drawing. 

February 13 - March 13 | Alone & Not Alone

An exhibition of multimedia artworks by MPS Art Therapy students and the people they work with at their internship sites, curated by Liz DelliCarpini, department internship coordinator and adjunct faculty member. During these challenging times of being “alone and not alone,” the artists seek to center the lived experience of people who confront social oppression and create restorative relationships in virtual and in-person spaces. Your involvement is viewed as a key aspect of community-based art therapy practice: creating opportunities for people to contribute, gain recognition and receive social support within our collective community. The therapeutic goals of “Alone & Not Alone” are to bring us together in ways that acknowledge and respect our differences.

February 16 - March 15 | Concurrence

A juried exhibition of multidisciplinary works by SVA students.

Ella Hilsenrath, Bird on a Wire, 2021, Mixed media, 7 x 12 x 1 inches

Ella Hilsenrath, Bird on a Wire, 2021, Mixed media, 7 x 12 x 1 inches, from the exhibition Alone & Not Alone.

Credit: Ella Hilsenrath.
Sisi Yu, Mind’s Eye, 2020, Digital, 11 x 17 inches

Sisi Yu, Mind’s Eye, 2020, Digital, 11 x 17 inches, from the exhibition The Circular Ruins.

Credit: Sisi Yu.