The School of Visual Arts
), is an art school
in Manhattan, New York City
and is one of the nation's leading independent colleges
of art and design. It was established in 1947 by co-founders Silas H. Rhodes
and Burne Hogarth
as the Cartoonists and Illustrators School
and was renamed in 1956. SVA is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design
(AICAD), a consortium of 35 leading art schools in the United States.
SVA is a fully accredited college that requires the completion of a four-year, 120 credit
course for a Bachelor of Fine Arts
degree. This includes 72 accumulated credits' worth of studio classes (where the curriculum
requires the creation of some type of art), 30 accumulated credits of Humanities and Sciences
courses, 12 accumulated credits of art history
courses, and six discretionary credits.
The Master of Fine Arts and Master of Professional Studies degrees require completion of 60 credits and a thesis project.
The MAT degree requires the completion of 36 credits and a thesis project.
As of 2006, the undergraduate degrees offered at SVA are Advertising, Animation, Cartooning, Computer art, Film & Video, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, and Visual & Critical Studies.
In 1983, the school introduced its first graduate offering, a Master of Fine Arts program in painting, drawing and sculpture. Since then, SVA has added nine more graduate programs: Art Education; Art Criticism & Writing; Art Therapy; Computer art; Design; Design Criticism, Digital Photography; Illustration as Visual Essay; and Photography, Social Documentary Film, Video and Related Media.
There are also non-degree departments offering courses in Art History and Humanities & Sciences, and a Continuing Education Division that offers non-credit courses from most SVA departments.
Location and campus
The school has two Manhattan
locations: in the Gramercy Park
neighborhood, on the East Side; and in the Chelsea
neighborhood, on the West Side, with a number of buildings catering to classes in different departments.
The Main Building is located at 209 East 23rd Street, between Second Avenue and Third Avenue, and features classrooms, administrative offices, a cafeteria and an amphitheater. The upper floors are mostly designated for film and video courses, and the building features an amphitheater. The building’s lobby and an adjoining room also serve as a museum space for exhibits and public events.
Second Avenue Building
The school does not own this entire building, which is located at 380 Second Avenue, but only three of its floors, including the second, where the school’s library and some classrooms are located, the fifth floor, where undergraduate animation studios and the graduate design department are located, and the eighth floor, where administrative offices, the school's computer store and classrooms designated for Humanities and Sciences classes are located.
Located at 214 East 21st Street, this building is where classrooms and studios used for undergraduate and graduate Photography classes are located, as well as the school’s radio station, WSVA, and some administrative offices.
West Side Building
This building, located from 133-141 West 21st Street, between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, contains most of the studios serving drawing and painting classes, particularly for freshmen. It also features classrooms for courses in interior design, printmaking, BFA & MFA computer art, and art history. The lower level also features an art gallery and a cafeteria.
SVA also owns the building across the street, at 132 West 21st Street, which has offices, classrooms and studios for undergraduate Cartooning & Illustration, and graduate Illustration as Visual Essay, Computer Art, Art Education, Art Therapy, Art criticism and Writing.
Located at 30 West 17th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, this building is used for sculpture classes on the ground floor and lower level
SVA has three gallery spaces: the Visual Arts Gallery, at 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor; the Westside Gallery, at 141 West 21st Street; and the SVA Gallery/Visual Arts Museum, at 209 East 23rd Street. The galleries show a mix of student and professional art.
There are several dorms for students at SVA. The George Washington Residence (formerly the George Washington Hotel), the New Residence and the Gramercy Women's Residence all offer housing near the college's East Side Manhattan campus. A new dorm opened in Fall 2007 at 10th Street and 3rd Avenue, and a residence hall on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan is scheduled to open in the 2008-09 academic year.
- Ray DiPalma: poet and visual artist.
- James McMullan: illustrator and designer.
- Robert Weaver: pioneering American illustrator from the '50s.
- George Woodbridge: American illustrator known for his exhaustive research and historical accuracy, with exacting expertise in drawing military uniforms.
- Roy Frumkes: screenwriter and independent filmmaker.
- Chris Newman: sound engineer, three-time Academy Award winner and five-time nominee, sound mixer/director. Film credits include The Godfather, Amadeus, The Exorcist, The Silence of the Lambs, and The English Patient.
- Amy Taubin: curator, film critic and filmmaker (Film Comment, Millennium Film Journal, Artforum, Premiere, L.A. Weekly, Sight and Sound, The Village Voice)
- Peter Bagge, underground cartoonist. Attended SVA in the 70s but did not graduate.
- Kyle Baker, graphic novelist and animator. Attended SVA in the 80s but dropped out before graduation.
- Chris Batista, comic book artist. Attended SVA in the 80s. Worked on Legion of Superheroes and 52.
- Dennis Detwiller, comic book artist, Collectible card game illustrator (Magic: The Gathering) and video game designer (Scarface: The World is Yours). Attended SVA in the 90s on scholarship.
- Steve Ditko, Co-creator of Spider-Man, creator of The Question and others.
- John R. Dilworth, Director and creator of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
- Bob Fingerman, alternative/underground cartoonist and creator of White Like She.
- Archie Goodwin, longtime editor and writer for Marvel and DC.
- John Holmstrom, founder of PUNK magazine, co-founder of Comical Funnies with Peter Bagge, and creator of Bosko, "America's Least Favorite Cartoon Character.
- James Jean, award-winning illustrator and DC Comics cover artist.
- Phil Jimenez, DC Comics writer/artist for Wonder Woman; artist for Infinite Crisis.
- John Paul Leon, comic book illustrator, known for work on Earth X, Static, The Winter Men, began drawing professionally while in his second year at SVA. He graduated in 1994 with a BFA.
- Carlos Saldanha, director and co-director of the films Ice Age, Robots and Ice Age 2.
- Joe Sinnott, legendary longtime Marvel Comics inker.
- Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, artist of The Breakfast Monkey and author of The Umbrella Academy.
Film and video
- Chantal Claret: Founding member and lead singer of Morningwood, wife of Jimmy Urine, founding member and lead singer of Mindless Self Indulgence.
- Michael Cuesta, Director of L.I.E.
- Michael Giacchino (1967-), film composer.
- Jared Leto, film actor (Requiem for a Dream, Lord of War, Fight Club) attended SVA for a BFA in Film and Video; during which time he directed and starred in a short film entitled; "Crying Joy". He has also directed 2 music videos for his band 30 Seconds to Mars, The Kill and From Yesterday, under the alias of Bartholomew Cubbins.
- Jesse Richards, painter, Remodernist filmmaker and founder of U.S. Stuckism center attended SVA but left after a nervous breakdown.
- Harris Savides, graduated with a degree in photography and film. He is the cinematographer of the films Last Days, Elephant, and Gerry, and Zodiac.
- Bryan Singer , film director, attended SVA for two years before transferring to the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles.
- Dante Tomaselli, film director of Anchor Bay Entertainment's Satan's Playground. Currently in preproduction on The Ocean.
- Trevor Moore, comedian and founding member of the sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U' Know.
- Sam Brown, comedian and founding member of the sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U' Know.
- Zach Cregger, comedian and member of the sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U' Know.
- Ti West the director of the horror comedy The Roost and Cabin Fever 2.
- Ei Arakawa, performance artist.
- Samuel Bayer, Popular music video and commercial director. He has directed many music videos for bands such as Nirvana, Green Day, The Offspring, Blink-182, The Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Metallica, and My Chemical Romance, as well as Green Day's concert film Bullet in a Bible. He has also directed many commercials for companies such as Coca-Cola, Toyota, Nike, and several commercials for the United States Army "Army Strong" campaign. He graduated from SVA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1987.
- Tom Burr, installation artist.
- Robin Byrd, pornagraphic actress who took art and sketching classes at SVA. To help pay for classes she did life form modeling.
- Gregory Edwards(1981-2007), New York City and Frankfurt, Germany painter/artist conceptual artist.
- Inka Essenhigh, painter.
- Neck Face, graffiti artist.
- Andrea Fraser, performance artist.
- Barnaby Furnas, painter.
- Keith Haring attended SVA, but was expelled when he used the interior of an SVA building as a canvas for graffiti in a project with Jean-Michel Basquiat.
- James Jaxxa, multimedia artist, living and working in New York City.
- Reverend Jen, aka Jen Miller, performance artist.
- Joseph Kosuth, conceptual artist.
- Dinh Q Lê (1968-), fine arts photographer.
- Steve Mumford, painter.
- Sol LeWitt, American artist working in multiple mediums. Studied at SVA in the 1950s.
- Elizabeth Peyton Painter, studied at sVA in the mid 1980s.
- Solomon Rabinowitsch Art Restoration
- Sarah Sze, sculptor and MacArthur Fellows Program ("Genius Grant") recipient.
- Charlie White, artist, working primarily in photography.
- Deborah Adler, designer (notable designer of Target's ClearRx pill bottle)
- Peter Buchanan-Smith, contemporary designer based in NYC.
- Todd Radom, designer of logos for professional sports teams and leagues.
- Cojo, Art Juggernaut fine artist, commercial artist, cartoonist.
- Noah Kalina, 2003 Graduate - Art and Editorial Photographer. Internet Meme.
- Sean Siegel, (1984-) 2006 Graduate - NYC based Editorial Celebrity/Fashion Photographer