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This September at SVA: Upcoming Virtual Events and Exhibitions
August 31, 2021 by Maeri Ferguson
Sophia Dawson

Artist, activist, SVA alumnus and faculty member Sophia Dawson (BFA 2010 Fine Arts), in a photo taken by The Bishop Gallery, who curated “Correspondence: The Installation” in conjunction with BFA Visual & Critical Studies.

Credit: The Bishop Gallery

Fall at SVA means more than just “back to school.” New events and exhibitions, including some you can enjoy in-person, are coming to the galleries and theatre. From the Flatiron Project Space windows to Brooklyn Bridge Park to Zoom lectures and workshops from renowned artists and industry leaders, there is so much to fill the days and nights this month. 


Through September 10 | “Correspondence: The Installation” | Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21st Street

Born from the acclaimed art series “To Be Free,” artist, activist and SVA faculty member Sophia Dawson’s (BFA 2010 Fine Arts) Correspondence (Maria Editions, 2021) is a collection of letters and ephemera from incarcerated members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement. The “To Be Free” series explores, through portraiture, the stories of the 20+ remaining U.S.-held political prisoners who were jailed for their activism in the black liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The project utilizes art to call attention to their continued imprisonment and to advocate for their freedom. Presented by BFA Visual & Critical Studies in conjunction with The Bishop Gallery.

Through September 26 | “And Then...2021” (Online)

From the astonishing talent of our MFA Visual Narrative program, “And Then…” features the thesis projects of the class of 2021. These imaginative works from 11 recent graduates explore new frontiers in an ever-changing world. In this interactive online exhibition, viewers can watch videos, read artist statements and even subscribe to debut issues of these original comics and visual stories.

Through September 15 | FAILED STATE: Restart

MFA Art Practice presents a virtual exhibition of works by first-year MFA candidates, produced under the guidance of summer 2021 Artist-in-Residence Katya Grokhovsky, that explores the notions of failure and the construct of capitalism through a combination of found materials in a variety of media.

Through September 17 | MFA Visual Narrative Open Studios (Online)

The Open Studios show represents the culmination of the intensive summer semester at the College's MFA Visual Narrative program. This daring body of work by first- and second-year students explores how narrative paths can be created across the spectrum of genre and media. These students share the common goal of exposing their truths through narrative design through a broad range of new-media techniques—from live-action videos to storyboards and visual mapping to animation, game design, and sequential art. 

September 13 - October 15 | “A Quiet Scale” | Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21st Street

A two-person exhibition featuring the work of Josephine Halvorson and Hanneline Røgeberg and curated by Catherine Haggarty, safely viewable in the windows of the space from the sidewalk.

September 18 – December 1 | SVA at Photoville | Brooklyn Bridge Park

SVA Continuing Education and MPS Digital Photography will each present displays at New York City’s 2021 Photoville, New York City’s free premier photo destination now in its 10th year.

September 23 – October 8 | MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Thesis Exhibition 2021 | SVA Chelsea Gallery and online

An exhibition of thesis work that focuses on ideas of modern living from around the globe, curated by Kris Graves, Publisher of Monolith Editions and Kris Graves Projects.

September 30 – October 16 | “recalled” | SVA Gramercy Gallery and online

An exhibition of thesis work from the MPS Digital Photography class of 2021. 

September 30 – October 16 | “The Nature of Things” | SVA Flatiron Gallery and online

Porad Gasan-Zade, Gameboy Advance: Metroid Fusion (2002) from MFA Visual Narrative's Open Studios 2021

Porad Gasan-Zade, Gameboy Advance: Metroid Fusion, 2021, from MFA Visual Narrative's Open Studios 2021

Credit: Porad Gasan-Zade,


September 2, 7:00 – 8:30pm | Daredoodles with Tom Motley (Online)

Join BFA Cartooning instructor Tom Motley for another round of drawing challenges developed from his online courses Cartooning Basics, Figure Drawing for Cartoonists and Thinking in Ink, presented by SVA Continuing Education. This time, participants will play with the graphic elements of comics, such as cartoon lettering and motions, in addition to trying a high-contrast approach to ink. You’ll draw along with us and show off your doodles, followed by a Q&A at the end. Come draw, play and express yourself! 

September 9, 7:00 – 8:30pm | An Introduction to the Magic of Watercolor (Online)

In this workshop, SVA Continuing Education faculty member Andrew Chang will introduce the materials for watercolor painting and demonstrate a few simple techniques. You will have the opportunity to watch and/or follow along with a painting demonstration and learn how to problem-solve while working with water. 

September 13, 6:00 – 8:00pm | Valery Daniels Memorial Lecture: Cathy Hyland Moon, MA, ATR-BC (Online)

In this virtual lecture presented by SVA MPS Art Therapy, author and professor emeritus in the Art Therapy department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cathy Moon will discuss how racial inequality and pandemics have received renewed attention in the U.S. over the past year and a half. What lessons have we learned from these social and public health crises, and how do we translate lessons learned into actions aimed at healthcare justice? This interactive presentation/workshop will address three areas of inquiry: the conundrum of providing equitable access to art therapy services while also earning a living wage; the urgent need for strategies of resistance against systemic racism within our healthcare practices; and lessons from the pandemic and uprisings, such as the importance of mutual aid, the wisdom of the disability community and the innate turn to creativity in times of distress and collective trauma.

September 14, 7:00 – 8:30pm | Jaime Permuth (Online)

This Fall SVA’s MPS Digital Photography program celebrates the 10th anniversary of its i3: Ideas, Images and Inspiration lecture series with a kickoff lecture from documentary photographer Jaime Permuth, hosted by the founding chair of the program, Katrin Eismann. Jaime Permuth is a Guatemalan photographer living and working in Seoul, Korea. In 2017, his series “YONKEROS” received solo exhibitions at the New England School of Photography and at the Center for Photography Woodstock.

September 15, 12:00 – 1:00pm | Between U.S. Race Theory and French Republican Ideals (Online)

As she settles in France after nearly two decades working in the U.S., the Caribbean, and elsewhere, curator Claire Tancons wonders how France’s foundational Republican ideals and contemporary multicultural experience rub against each other through the lens of American race theory and identity politics—recently demonized by factions within France’s higher education system and at the upper levels of the Republic itself. Nadia Yala Kisukidi is a French philosopher and a curator of the 2021 Yango Biennale in Kinshasa who has examined the colonial implications of “blackness” in France and Europe. What can the U.S. and France learn from each other about the philosophical, cultural and institutional challenges of race and identity today?

September 16 – 26 | 11th Annual SocDoc Thesis Showcase | Online and In-Person

SVA's MFA Social Documentary Film class of 2021 will share their work-in-progress thesis films, which inspire and amaze—especially as they completed their films through the global pandemic. Screenings will occur online with select showings in-person at SVA Theatre in New York City on Thursday, September 16 and Friday, September 17.

September 19 – 26 | After School Special 2021 | SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street

Featuring some of SVA's most accomplished film, television, animation and visual effects alumni, this week-long festival will include screenings, premieres and Q&As with industry insiders that offer behind-the-scenes looks at the world of television and cinema. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

September 28, 4:00 – 6:00pm | Laura F. Gibellini

This lecture by Laura F. Gibellini, a process-based artist working in a variety of media that derive from drawing, is presented by MFA Art Practice as part of the Practice Lecture Series.

September 28, 7:00 – 8:30pm | Marvi Lacar (Online)

A lecture from Marvi Lacar, a photographer and filmmaker whose goal is to emotionally connect with her audience using creative visual language, part of the MPS Digital Photography program's i3: Ideas, Images and Inspiration lecture series, now celebrating its 10th year. Lacar's documentary work, “This Is A Love Story,” is a ‘visual diary’ exploring generational trauma. Her own journey with depression gave birth to 1in20, a mental health initiative aimed at educating and destigmatizing mental illness through creative storytelling.

September 30, 7:00 – 8:00pm | Visiting Artist Lecture: Aaron Gilbert (Online)

Join BFA Fine Arts for a Visiting Artist Lecture with painter Aaron Gilbert. 

Still from Yijia Zeng’s film OVERSEAS from the 11th Annual SocDoc Thesis Showcase

A still image from Yijia Zeng’s film OVERSEAS from the 11th Annual SocDoc Thesis Showcase.

Credit: Yijia Zeng.