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Craig Coss talks about School of Visual Arts’ MFA in Visual Narrative

Thinking about applying to the MFA in Visual Narrative program? Applications are open now for summer 2017 entry. We look forward to seeing your work!

A note from our Chair, Nathan Fox. (Set up a one-on-one with Nathan here)

Great visual storytellers come from all walks of life, professions and art forms. They are the unique few who function as both author and artist—entertaining and influencing our imaginations through creations of art and literature. Their films can direct and redefine history or tell of our future, their books can set our imagination to flight in the palm of our hands, and their words can ignite our emotions and empower an audience to action. Great visual storytellers challenge our notions of self and truth, engaging an audience to its core. That level of visual narrative becomes an experience, a moment not soon forgotten, a memory forever cherished. These works have withstood the test of time, becoming part of our history and cultural identities.

This groundbreaking low-residency program is an innovative approach to visual narrative. Equal emphasis is paid to the art of creative writing and the craft of visual arts, fostering a truly revolutionary methodology of storytelling through the education of the “Artist as Author.”

During three summer residencies in New York City, participants will undertake an intensive exploration of the visual and structural components of story, integrating the dual roles of writer and visual communicator. Through workshops, guest lectures and studies in professional practice, we will explore and challenge the notions of design, storytelling and authorship. Participants maintain their professional and individual lifestyles as they work online with faculty, along with mentors who join during the second fall and spring semesters. This period is devoted to synthesizing the skills and crafts presented in the summer on-site intensives.

Through critical study, lectures and tutorials in the summer workshops, the MFA in Visual Narrative examines contemporary delivery systems of narrative art. As visual communication technologies advance in such areas as eBooks, interactive websites, podcasts, social media outlets and mobile devices, the program responds by preparing students for the challenges and opportunities in the digital marketplace. The faculty—chosen for its diversity of storytelling genres—includes animators, designers, illustrators, art historians, painters, printmakers, writers and graphic novelists.

In all forms of advertising, fine arts, game design, picture books, graphic novels, film, illustration and animation, there is a growing demand for talented and original content creators. The MFA Visual Narrative program fills that need—regardless of medium or style—enabling students to become creative, responsible arbiters of visual storytelling, able to shape their own identities, artistic voices and narrative art.

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