Updates on the 2020-2021 Academic Year
SVA continues remote instruction, with select facilities accessible by appointment. Click below for updates.
Presented by MFA Illustration as Visual Essay

The Book Show

Dec 12, 2020 - Jan 16, 2021
A watercolor painting of animals from various parts of the world are shown in a forest setting, most looking toward the viewer, as various signs of humanity encroach, including a plastic bag in a pigeon's beak and a rat eating pizza.
Credit: Yichin Chen

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “The Book Show,” an exhibition of books by MFA Illustration as Visual Essay students. Curated by program chair Marshall Arisman and faculty member Anna Raff (MFA 2009 Illustration as Visual Essay), the exhibition will be on view from Saturday, December 12, 2020, through Saturday, January 16, 2021, at galleries.www.api-cnc.com.


In “The Book Show,” an annual exhibition, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay students explore the question: “What defines a book?” This year, they also consider whether a book’s impact is dependent upon a reader holding it in their hands. Redefining “The Book Show” in a virtual space during the current global pandemic became the task for this year’s degree candidates. And they have met the moment—delivering the resplendent, diverse and thought-provoking bodies of work presented here. 


Featured artists are Oliver Allison, Flora Bai, Yichin Chen, Emilia Chin, Abanti Deb Chowdhury, Karlotta Freier, Carles Garcia O’Dowd, Taarika Ravi John, Carly Larsson, Sarah K. Myers, Sanika Phawde, Arif Qazi, John Rego, Millie von Platen, Simiao Wang, Nadia Xu, Zhilin Yang, Danlin Zhang and Qinyu Zheng.


Highlights from the exhibition include:


Oliver Allison’s “Amazing Grace,” follows the biographical story of John Newton, author of the world’s most famous hymn. 

“After the Storm” is a personal essay by Carly Larsson about her journey through anger as a response to social injustice and sexual violence.


Nadia Xu’s book, Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How They Kiss, explores scenes of kissing. She was inspired when she saw two people pulling their masks down and kissing beside a trash bin in the subway station during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay at SVA is designed to maximize students’ opportunities as figurative artists, from the conventional gallery wall to the full range of 21st-century media. The program fuses the development of creative thinking with technical and communication skills. Additional focus is placed on best practices in navigating the visual-art marketplace while empowering students to choose making art as a way of life.