SVA’s creative reach will extend to Athens, Greece this summer with the “Philanthropy Poster Project,” an exhibition of posters by SVA students addressing the topic of philanthropic giving. Curated by BFA Design and MFA Illustration as Visual Essay faculty member Viktor Koen, the exhibition will be on view during the Third Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy on June 26 and 27. Afterwards, the posters move to the new visitor’s center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, where they will be on view July 2 – 26.
“Having worked with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation on developing the design aspect of the International Conference on Philanthropy for the last two years, I realized the need for a visual compliment to this unparalleled event,” Koen explains. “Translating that need into an opportunity didn’t take long to form. A didactic exercise with results we could exhibit as a contribution to the conference experience but also share with the public seemed like a win-win.”
Koen’s students in BFA Design, MFA Illustration, Editorial Illustration Professional Studies and participants of the summer residency in Illustration and Visual Storytelling were invited to choose a quote by historical, political and literary figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Audrey Hepburn and George Eliot, and work with Koen to develop a visual interpretation for a poster. “The discussions around what philanthropy is and its reflection in famous (and less famous) quotes…created a unique opportunity to educate future image makers and communicators on a subject that often escapes students unless explicitly addressed in a tangible way through experience or as part of their school curriculum,” Koen writes in the exhibition catalog.
With a segment of the two-day conference devoted to the social and economic importance of arts and culture, the posters on view are an integral addition to the program. “The posters will be the center of attention at the conference with close to 1,000 attendees and a prestigious group of speakers from around the world,” says Koen.