Last month, SVA’s traveling exhibition of the College’s historic subway posters, “Underground Images,” was presented at the School of Applied Arts and Design (ŠPUD) in Zagreb, Croatia. This particular stop was special, because MFA Illustration as Visual Essay faculty member Mirko Ilić, who has designed several subway posters, is an alumnus of the high school. In conjunction with the exhibition in Zagreb, SVA offered scholarships to two exceptional ŠPUD students, allowing them to attend the College’s Pre-College Program this summer. Recently, SVA Close Up met with the recipients, Hana Reberski and Ivan Stanišić, to talk with them about their experience.
Reberski graduated from ŠPUD this past spring, with a concentration in architecture and interior design; Stanišić, a graphic design major, has one year to go. Prior to arriving on July 13, neither had been to the U.S. before. Both were excited about the opportunity (“I screamed when I got the phone call,” Reberski says), if a little apprehensive. Manhattan, both say, makes Zagreb seem like a small town.
New York City has been a discovery. The food? Well, it’s okay. But the people? “So friendly!” Reberski says. New Yorkers are also, it seems, more laid back about appearances: Reberski says that, since arriving, she has seen more people out in public with their hair still wet from the shower than she has in her 18 years living in Zagreb. Both Reberski and Stanišić are staying in the New Residence, and enjoying residence-hall life and its opportunities for one-on-one cultural exchange: Stanišić’s roommate is from Boston; Reberski’s from Istanbul.
At SVA, Reberski enrolled in graphic design and 3D design courses, while Stanišić took drawing and printmaking, with an emphasis on etching and lino-cut. Both will attend and show their work from the past three weeks at the Pre-College Program’s end-of-program exhibition, which is on view at the SVA Gramercy Gallery today, August 1—the two students’ last night in New York City before returning home.
Image: Ivan Stanišić, You Are What City Makes of You. Courtesy of artist.