Beginning in the summer of 2013, SVA will offer an MFA in Visual Narrative. Built on an innovative approach to storytelling—the education of the “artist as author”—the MFA puts equal emphasis on creative writing and visual expression. This flexible, low-residency 60-credit program is designed for working professionals and recent graduates from all creative disciplines who are interested in incorporating visual narrative into their art practice.
The program will be chaired by editorial illustrator and comic book artist Nathan Fox, who graduated from SVA in 2002 with an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay. Fox announced the program’s launch during his presentation at this year’s Heroes Convention (HeroesCon 2012) in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Great visual storytellers challenge our notions of self and truth, engaging an audience to its core,” Fox said beforehand. “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.”
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; Benjamin Marra, comic book writer and artist, founder and publisher of Traditional Comics; Dan Nadel, author and owner of PictureBox, Inc.; Matt Rota, illustrator; and Ben Zackheim, senior product manager and director for AOL Games.
More information about the MFA Visual Narrative Department can be found at sva.edu/mfavisualnarrative.