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SVA’s MFA in Visual Narrative Program Debuts at 2012 New York Comic Con

Booth 2370, Small Press Area

Beginning in the summer of 2013, the School of Visual Arts (SVA) will offer an evolutionary low-residency graduate program and groundbreaking approach to visual storytelling – the Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Narrative. The MFA Visual Narrative program is built on an innovative philosophy: the education of the “artist as author,” which puts equal emphasis on both creative writing and visual expression. Dedicated to the craft and process of visual storytelling regardless of medium, this flexible, low-residency 60-credit program is designed for working professionals and recent graduates from all creative disciplines who are interested in pursuing visual narrative as professional art practice.

The program is chaired by editorial illustrator and comic book artist Nathan Fox, who will be promoting the MFA program in the small press area, Booth #2370 at the 2012 New York Comic Con. Many MFA Visual Narrative faculty and guest artists will showcase their books, prints and professional practice through signings and art-demo events.  Currently appearing at the MFAVN booth (#2370) will be Ben Marra, guest artist; Jeff Rogers, illustrator and designer; Mark Sable, author and playwright; Matt Rota, illustrator and Ben Zackheim, senior product manager and interim director for AOL Games. All sales and donations will benefit the new MFAVN scholarship fund. Daily appearance schedules will be available here or by QR code posted at the MFAVN booth (#2370).

For additional information, faculty and curriculum listings:

“Great visual storytellers challenge our notions of self and truth, engaging an audience to its core,” Fox said. “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.”

Students in the program will be on campus in Manhattan for three intensive eight-week summer residencies. During the fall and spring semesters, they will work online, synthesizing the skills and crafts presented in the summer sessions. During the summer, students will attend classes and seminars and work in the studios for eight to ten hours per day, six days a week. The summer sessions will concentrate on advanced writing, digital media and the process and craft of visual storytelling.

Courses include “History of Visual Storytelling: The Picture Book,” “Form, Empathy and Character Play” and “Web and Digital Media.” In the third year, each student will produce, curate and/or publish a narrative thesis in both analog and digital form that will be exhibited in a group show in one of the SVA galleries.  “Since visual communication technologies are advancing rapidly in such areas as e-books, interactive websites, podcasts, social media outlets and mobile devices,” said Fox, “the program is geared toward preparing students for the challenges and opportunities in this digital marketplace.”

Applicants with a figurative art background in any medium are welcome. Fox said that there is a growing demand for talented and original content creators in all forms of advertising, fine arts, game design, picture books, graphic novels, film, illustration and animation. He continued, “The MFA Visual Narrative Department at SVA will enable students to become creative, responsible arbiters of visual storytelling, able to shape their own identities, artistic voices and narrative art, regardless of medium.”

Additional faculty members include Jennifer Daniel, illustrator and graphics director; Edward Hemingway, feature reporter, comic writer and children’s book author; Ross MacDonald, author, illustrator and designer; Matt Madden, writer and artist; Leonard Marcus, children’s book illustration expert, and Dan Nadel, author and owner of PictureBox, Inc.

New York Comic Con attracted over 105,000 attendees in 2011, making it the second largest comic book and pop culture gathering in the country. And Crain’s New York Business has ranked NYCC as the second largest event in New York City.

Nathan Fox is an editorial illustrator and comic book artist. His work has appeared in the The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, Interview, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Wired, ESPN The Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Mother Jones, Spin, Mad Magazine, Image Comics, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics and Marvel. In addition, his art has been featured in projects for MTV, the Burton US Open 2009, the Nike House of Hoops, the 1800 Tequila 2012 Essential Artist Series Bottles, Instant Winner, REAL Skateboards and many others.

School of Visual Arts is a comprehensive college of art and design which has been authorized by the New York State Education Department to confer the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in advertising; animation; cartooning; computer art, animation and visual effects; film and video; fine arts; graphic design; illustration; interior design; photography; and visual and critical studies; and to confer the degree of Master of Fine Arts in art criticism and writing; art practice; computer art; design; design criticism; design for social innovation; fine arts; illustration as visual essay; interaction design; photography, video and related media; products of design; social documentary film; and visual narrative. SVA also offers the degree of Master of Arts in critical theory and the arts; and the degree of Master of Professional Studies in art therapy; randing; digital photography; fashion photography; and live action short film; and the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching in art education.

School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is an established leader and innovator in the education of artists. From its inception in 1947, the faculty has been comprised of professionals working in the arts and art-related fields. SVA provides an environment that nurtures creativity, inventiveness and experimentation, enabling students to develop a strong sense of identity and a clear direction of purpose.