Our state of the art facilities enable to the most diverse approaches to sculpture, including ceramics, plaster, metal, wood , digital and 3D printing as well as bio art or new media installations. Students have the freedom to experiment with a variety of forms, technologies, and materials both in and out of class time. Our highly skilled Faculty and Staff provide insightful instruction by working one-on-one with our students ensuring that both safe practices and ambitious goals are met.
Among the first artists were shamans, mystics who created some of the earliest art to explore visionary experiences and our human relationship with the natural world. This course will look at art’s ancient roots in shamanic rituals, and see how these practices can enhance our creative and visionary skills today. Grounded in a relationship with the living world, shamans explore the mystical universe by acquiring a deeper knowledge of the self to help heal the self and society. This approach remains deeply embedded in the human psyche and continues to inspire artists. We’ll look at global indigenous traditions of shamanic art and modern art influenced by these insights. We’ll discuss related concepts such as social sculpture, research on psychology, and dreams and consciousness. And we’ll learn to create our own symbolic images, objects, installations and performance/ rituals, developing our own vocabulary of self-expression in an exploration of the personal process and visionary traditions in art. Projects can take the form of 2D, 3D and time-based media, performance and video. It will also include field trips to museums, a forest and outdoor projects at natural sites to connect with the living energies of nature.
Body casting is the art of replicating the human form in a plaster casting. Students will make body castings from live models, that will then be corrected to match the live subject. Other techniques will involve using oil-based clay to create a “skin” for the plaster. Silicone rubber will be explored for mold-making and as a casting material. Discussions will include commercial applications for body cast products, special-effects makeup, specialty costuming, animatronic characters, three-dimensional commercial sculptures and holiday event mask-making.
This course is an intensive production-based course focusing on the creation of mixed-media installations using ceramic as the starting medium. The course will be divided into two sections. The first will cover different aspects of plaster mold production and the use of liquid clay (slip) in order to produce duplicates of an object. The second section will focus on the students’ project ideas through the review of work of artists producing installation art; group and individual critiques and exhibition reviews. Once a basic knowledge of mold-making and slip casting is established, students will propose a series of projects of which some will be selected during group critiques for full production. Specific analysis of mixed media use for each student’s project will be reviewed and organized in terms of production and aesthetics during group session. Attention will be given to the context in which the installation is placed and viewed and its impact on the physical and cultural environment of society. Homework will be extensive in order to acquire an independent work ethic.
This course is an intensive production-based course focusing on the creation of mixed media installations using ceramic as the starting medium. The course will be divided into two sections. The first will cover the different aspects of plaster mold production and the use of liquid clay (slip) in order to produce duplicates of an object. The second section will focus on the students’ specific project ideas through the review of work of artists producing installation art; group and individ- ual critiques, and exhibition reviews. Once a basic knowledge of mold making and slip casting is established, students will propose a series of projects of which some will be selected during group critiques for full production. Specific analysis of mixed media use for each student’s project will be reviewed and organized in terms of production and aesthetics during group session. Attention will be given to the context in which the installation is placed and viewed and its impact on the physical and cultural environment of society. Homework will be extensive in order to enable the student to acquire an independent work ethic.
Ceramics is one of the oldest of all art forms with a fascinating history that reflects
the development of human civilization culturally, artistically and technologically.
In the mid-20th century ceramics experienced a profound shift of status from
traditional craft to an expressive fine art material. Contemporary ceramic artists
are employing ancient techniques and cutting-edge technology to create powerful,
innovative artworks. In this studio-based course we will unearth the processes
and origins behind these ceramic techniques with a focus on both sculpture and
vessel making. Each student will create a unique body of ceramic work by developing
personal concepts and a distinct artistic voice. Students will explore various
forming methods, including slab construction, coil, extended pinch and throwing
on the wheel. Tools such as the slab roller, extruder and the pottery wheel will be
introduced. There will be glaze workshops with demonstrations of low-fire glazes,
underglazes, china paints, slips, mason stains, decals and luster surfaces. Students
will learn to operate the kiln and participate in loading and firing. Critiques,
presentations, short readings, discussions and viewing exhibitions will be woven
into the structure of the course.
Collaborative Practices examines the role, and its challenges, of collective art-making. Students will look to art historical antecedents to observe how collaborative practices have progressed throughout art history. We will discuss and define distinctions between collectivism and collaboration, and identify key concerns of contemporary art groups/collaborations. Issues surrounding authorship, altruism, social and economic divides, relational aesthetics, studio output and internships will be emphasized. All projects will be collaboratively made and will investigate the invisible administrative labor behind studio practice, as well as tactile material processes as handled by various par ties. Key to this course will be active discussion and a willingness to let go of the artist’s hand.
Digital fabrication practices have revolutionized design and manufacturing, and are reshaping the world around us. Increasingly these tools are being employed by artist to create works previously impossible or impractical to make. This course will be an exploration of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) based fabrication and its integration into contemporary art- and object-making. It will emphasize technology such as the CNC laser cutter, CNC router and CNC plasma, and discuss various fabrication methods and refine skillsets. We will also examine how this technology affects our understanding of space and material, modes of production, and other considerations.
This course introduces methods and concepts in sculpture using state-of-the-art technology. Students will work collaboratively on sculptural installations using CNC (computer numerically controlled) and rapid prototyping machines. Each project will focus on generating a component-based system where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The final, full-scale installation will include new spatial concepts and novel materials. Software and equipment instructions will be provided. Guest lectures and studio visits are included. Note: No previous experience with digital design or advanced machining is required.
Studying the human form as a medium for making art in three-dimensional, sculptural modes is the focus of this course. The representation of the human body through traditional and nontraditional sculptural approaches will be emphasized. Projects will explore technical, aesthetic and conceptual aspects of the human figure.
You are what you eat—or are you? Do you know what is in your food? From farm to fork what happens in between? Is what the food producer tells you true? FOOD: Projects in Bio Art focuses on how food production, industrial farming and GMOs have become part of our daily life. Projects will consists of growing plants hydroponically, DNA analysis of local food, and time-lapse photography and microscopic imaging of foodstuffs. In addition, we will explore the cultural differences, taboos and evolution of eating practices.
We will look at culinary styles around the world, and their social, economic and political ramifications. We will examine urban farming, molecular cuisine, digital gastronomy, as well as pesticides and contaminates. Part forensic and part horticulture in practice, we will gather plants to extract pigments for watercolor; design food sculptures, including stencils for cakes; and use spices in novel ways. We will explore the effect microorganisms have on food— from cheese to e-coli to yogurt. From the good, the bad and the ugly, how has genetic engineering affected our lives? What effect is global warming having on food sources? Performance, painting, sculpture, public art, photography, illustration and cartooning, as well as community-based projects are welcome.
From anatomical studies to landscape painting to the biomorphism of surrealism, the biological realm historically provided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, Bio Art has become a term referring to intersecting domains of the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in Bio Art is to summon awareness of the ways in which advancing biotechnologies alter social, ethical and cultural values in society.
This interdisciplinary residency will take place in the new SVA Bio Art Laboratory located in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea gallery district. The SVA Bio Art Lab houses microscopes for photo and video, skeleton and specimen collections, a herbarium, an aquarium as well as a library.
Each student resident is awarded a private studio space. The residency culminates in a public exhibition. Visit http://bioart.sva.edu for additional information.
Demonstrations include microscopy, plant tissue engineering, molecular cuisine and the production of micro ecosystems. Students may work in any media, including the performing arts.
The residency will be led by artist Suzanne Anker, Chair of the BFA Fine Arts Department, and Joseph DeGiorgis, marine biologist. Faculty and former visiting speakers include artists, scientists and museum professionals such as Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Giovanni Frazzetto, Francois-Joseph Lapointe and Nurit Bar-Shai, among others.
NOTE: A portfolio is required for review and acceptance to this program. Early application by April 1 is highly recommended.
About Bio Art
From anatomical studies, to landscape painting, to the biomorphism of surrealism, the biological realm historically provided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, Bio Art has become a term referring to intersecting domains of the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in Bio Art is to summon awareness of the ways in which advancing biotechnologies alter social, ethical and cultural values in society.
Coming to the fore in the early 1990s, Bio Art is neither media-specific nor locally bounded. It is an international movement with practitioners in such regions as Europe, the U.S., Russia, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Several sub-genres of Bio Art exist within this overarching term:
- Artists who employ the iconography of the 20th- and 21st-century sciences, including molecular and cellular genetics, transgenically altered living matter, reproductive technologies and neurosciences. All traditional media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing are employed to convey novel ways of representing life forms.
- Artists who utilize computer software, systems theory and simulations to investigate aspects of the biological sciences such as evolution, artificial life and robotics through digital sculpture and new media installations.
- Artists employing biological matter itself as their medium, including processes such as tissue engineering, plant breeding, transgenics and ecological reclamation.
About SVA’s Summer Residency Programs
SVA’s Summer Residencies in New York City offer artists, designers and creative thinkers time, space and a supportive community in which to develop ideas and focus on their artistic direction. In addition to our time-honored studio residencies, a variety of innovative professional immersion programs provide opportunities for artists to explore new areas of social and technological practice and engage critically within their field. A unique combination of creative and professional resources provides a rich environment for growth and opportunity in the current, vibrant art scene.
About SVA BFA Fine Arts
The SVA BFA Fine Arts Department offers concentrations in all art forms, from Painting to Bio Art. Our state-of-the-art facilities allow students to experiment in a wide variety of projects and media, such as digital and 3D printing, textiles or wood.
As in the past, artists today look to the history of art for inspiration. But we also want our work to communicate with more diverse audiences outside of the art world. So we appropriate the ideas and practices of disciplines that were not previously considered within the realm of art. Our projects in this course will explore these “alien” methodologies. We’ll repurpose techniques of mass production to modulate the scale and adaptability of our work. We’ll utilize film techniques to deal with issues of time compression, psychological space and storytelling. We’ll adapt developments in science to conjure the invisible or to actualize the unimaginable. We’ll investigate how the Internet and social media sites have reconfigured old notions of public and private and we’ll exploit this new virtual space in our art. The world as we know it is more complex and nuanced than it was just a generation ago. The goal of this course is to discover how art has evolved in this new environment. Students may also develop other areas of interest as a focus of their work. All practices are allowed. The course will include readings, film screenings, and other activities that relate to our studio projects.
This course is designed to give students an introductory look into creating Augmented and Virtual realities, specifically with a focus on freeform interaction. As a survey class to new technologies, students will draw parallels between being at the forefront of the technology, and how to utilize these tools into their own contemporary art practice. The class will look into AR builders, 3D object and asset libraries, open source applications, SDK (software development kits), as well as other collaborative elements of production. This course is meant for beginners with very little AR/VR/coding experience as well as more advanced students looking to expand their current practice. As a secondary element to this class, students will be posed with questions of the historical foundation of new technologies, as well as dealing with theory and practice of visual communication in an augmented realm. They’ll interact with experimental storytelling, the internet as a visual tool, post-photography, and post-internet thematics, and also the implications of introducing a 3D Digital Imaging platform like AR/VR to artistic practice. Students will present their work within a digital space and be asked to consider how their work functions from both a traditionally formal and conceptual aspect, as well as how that translates into contemporary media. From photorealism to hyper-stylization, and working with everything from texturing, lighting, rendering, photographic vantage points, topology, and more, students will learn about the wide ranges of possibilities in this new and fascinating technology, while developing their own artistic voice using these new mediums.
Prerequisite: FID-2020, Sophomore Seminar or FID-3446/7, Digital Sculpting, or instructor’s permission. Note: Open to students from all departments.
The goal of this course is to enable students to work in metal for creating sculpture. Practical assignments will cover the fundamentals of welding, including MIG and TIG. We will explore techniques for shaping metal bars, sheets and plates (by machine and by hand), as well as how to grind, polish and finish metal, and then combine these techniques into finished projects. Students will be introduced to the computer-driven plasma cutter, which can cut steel up to a half inch in thickness.
As an introduction to the material world, this course explores diverse media and their potentialities to create volume, line and mass. Ranging from the ethereal to the fabricated, materials such as clay, plaster, cardboard, wood, resin and wire will be investigated by exercises in casting, mold-making, installation and site-specific work. Discussion will include concepts of space, gravity and light, among others, as they pertain to three-dimensional form.
This course is designed as a series of projects to encourage students to solve problems and discover working processes. Each project will begin with a discussion of contemporary artists, as well as current museum and gallery exhibitions. Various materials will be explored, from woodworking to mold-making, welding to video. We will meet for group critiques.
This workshop takes a worldview of the sculpture-making process and will show how different cultures and art forms have impacted today’s sculpture. Students will not only draw on their own personal/cultural pasts to develop ideas and make sculpture, but also to challenge or ally those ideas with different information and influences. A wide range of materials and fabrication methods are available in this course. Through critiques and slide discussions, issues of form, content and context will be examined and interpreted. The use of language as applied to sculpture is of particular interest. A partial listing of the current vernacular that we will be cataloging and assessing for our use includes: architectonic, socially concerned, outsider art, site-specific, randomness and objectness. We’ll attend exhibitions, films, lectures or performances that relate to our activities. There will also be required reading.
Sculpture without limits. Every kind of sculpture can be investigated. Every type of material can be used. Welding, building, carving, modeling, site-specific and mixed-media assemblage will be taught. Hands-on instruction and strong technical skills enable each sculptor to realize his or her own thoughts. Weekly critiques will discuss work done in class. The idea comes first and then the sculpture. Where it came from, what it means, how it got there. Visits to museums, galleries and studios will be assigned. Slide lectures will augment discussion.
Housed in SVA’s state-of-the-art facility, this residency gives traditional sculptors and new media artists an opportunity to experiment with the latest in digital technology in an environment that is conducive to inter-media exploration and critical dialogue. The program is intended for serious artists who work in sculpture and installation, as well those engaging in digital video, digital sculpture, rapid prototyping, 3D graphics, and other new media.
Our sculpture facilities allow for working with wood, plaster, ceramics, metal, plastics and custom electronics, et al. Those artists whose interests are in digital art can opt to work with high-end digital photography, video, 3D graphics and sound production equipment. In addition, access to rapid prototyping, laser and CNC routing technologies is available. Integrated computer workstations allow artists to create 3D models for output and edit high-definition videos and profes- sional quality soundtracks. The facility is designed for fluid movement between digital and traditional media and is well equipped to support inter-media installation and performance work including multi-channel audio and video installations
and performance using interactive media and video. Artists who are interested in hybrid forms and new media in two, three and four dimensions will find the environment conducive to an experimental approach to art-making.
Located in the heart of New York City’s Chelsea gallery district, participants have their own studio space where they meet with faculty for individual critiques. The program includes seminars, equipment demonstrations, lectures, site visits, gallery walks and dialogue with participants of the various residency programs. Residents are suggested to have some basic skill sets. Technical and safety work- shops are mandatory and will be held at the beginning of each residency. Staff technicians are on site for consultation only, not fabrication of artwork.
Guest lecturers include artists, critics, curators and gallery directors. Faculty members are selected for their diverse perspectives and professional experience. The critiques and lectures complement the studio work to form an intensive program of hard work, learning and personal development. The program culminates in an open studio exhibition, which enables participants to present their work to the public.
Faculty and guest lecturers have included Suzanne Anker, Ofri Cnaani, Steve DeFrank, Kate Gilmore, Michael Joaquin Grey, Alois Kronschläger, Saul Ostrow, Michael Rees and Jerry Saltz.
Note: A portfolio is required for review and acceptance to this program. Residents who wish to borrow equipment from the Fine Arts Digital Lab are required to provide proof of insurance with rental endorsement, listing SVA as a co-insured. Participants will be held responsible for payment of any loss, theft or damage incurred to the equipment. SVA provides information on affordable insurance plans.
This advanced course will combine silkscreen printing with sculptural concerns to create large scale or three-dimensional mixed-media works. Concepts, fabrication, and sculptural edition problems will be tested and solved. We will explore tools, materials and methods, along with curating and documentation, and printing on a variety of different substrates such as plastic, metal, textiles and ceramics. Find out about decals, heat forming, embossing, pochoir and 3D printing. Get studio tips and logic. Learn about jigs for cutting and drilling. This course is a “hands-on make anything” tour de force. Field trips and guests artists are included. Note: A working knowledge of silkscreen is recommended.
This studio course will focus on basic metalworking for creating jewelry. Techniques covered will include: soldering and annealing, metal construction and forming, polishing and stone setting, as well as decorative finishes for surface treatment of metals, such as texturing, patinas, antiquing and stamping. Each student will begin with designing and creating a ring set with a stone, followed by personal projects that employ the areas covered in class. There will be time for experimentation. Individual instruction on additional techniques such as making chains, jump rings, clasps and hooks will be given for projects that require these techniques. Assignments vary each semester and students are welcome to continue their projects from a previous course. Note: Previous design or metal experience not required.
Artists as diverse as Claes Oldenburg and Louise Bourgeois have employed soft sculpture to investigate the whimsical as well as the darker aspects of identity and the human psyche. This course is designed to integrate various processes of traditional soft sculpture with contemporary applications that utilize digital technologies. A series of demonstrations that explore 2D and 3D surfaces will introduce students to the traditional methods of sewing, felting, dyeing, knotting, and weaving. Digital demonstrations will explore pattern design for laser cutting, digital embroidery and textile design that can be outsourced to print. Students are invited to create work using these applications in isolation or in combination.
Through exploration and invention, and by embracing all media, students will engage in a critical discourse about what is happening in real time in the visual arts now, through their work. A fully mixed-media orientation is receptive to all students, including those who are primarily painters, photographers or video-makers, performers, etc., and to all approaches. The emphasis is on enabling students to experiment with a full range of traditional, unconventional and exotic materials, techniques and ideas: digital fabrication, audio, electricity, fluids, mechanical parts, photomontage, optics, metal, paper, wood. The development of student concepts and personal interests will be strongly supported. Our thinking will be placed in contemporary and historical context through presentations of visual and textual resources: slide shows, video, articles, Web-based online materials and a weekly update on current exhibitions. Among the many ideas that will be explored are: perception, transformation, performance, the body and language, as well as the environmental, political and site-specific in art. Resources will be discussed and extensive technical help will be provided. There will be group critiques. Instruction will be on an individual basis.
From low-tech projection to high-tech immersive environments, video installation has become a dominant medium for contemporary artists. Drawing from the history of film and video art, the students will explore some of the different techniques of analog and digital media in their work in the digital lab. This course will focus on developing students’ knowledge of video installation and encourage experimentation with a variety of approaches to the projected image. Students will generate four projects throughout the semester. We will meet regularly as a group and on a one-on-one basis to discuss current exhibitions, readings and student projects, and screen film/video work by some of the major figures in the field. The remaining time will be spent in the studio/lab. Students are encouraged to incorporate their personal interests and perspectives into their work. Projects will relate to ideas and forms of light projection from conception and production to display and distribution; creative relationships between visual and audio; the physicality of light; narrative and non-narrative structure; original and appropriated material; public and private exhibition; interaction with performance and objects/sculpture. The course will touch on issues of gender, social and political activism, and the history of media communication.
Video mapping (or spatial augmented reality) is an exciting projection medium that
can turn almost any surface, regardless of its shape and size, into a dynamic video
display. This course is intended for students who want to move into this powerful,
creative medium and will focus on exploring popular video mapping software
and hardware technology. Students will create a video-mapping project that will
be featured on an architectural space in Manhattan. Note: Open to students from
This course is a continuation of FID-3634, Video Mapping Art. Having explored the techniques of basic video mapping, students will proceed into advanced augmented reality theory and practice. This course will examine techniques in spatial scanning, multi-projector systems, projecting in moving objects, Kinect-based augmented reality installations, Colossal outdoors video projections and multiplatform performance environments. In addition, students will be introduced to specialized digital tools for video mapping such as TouchDesigner, HeavyM, Z Vector, DynaMapper (for iPad), TorsionSoft, Millumin, VPT (Video Projection Tools), LPMT (Little Projecting-Mapping Tool), Resolume Arena 4, Arkaos GrandVJ XT and Visution Mapio 2 Pro. Students will complete a project based in video mapping, which integrates course material in interesting and meaningful ways. To this end, at least half of the class time will be allocated for working on these projects with guidance from the instructor.
This course will explore fashion as conceptual art on the canvas of the body. We will explore how to design and create clothing and costumes; how to adapt and design patterns; sew and construct garments and accessories; decorate with paint and dye, printed photos, appliqué, embroidery, beadwork, neon wire, quilting and stuffing; and explore experimental and soft sculpture techniques. Students may also work with props and backdrops, special effects makeup, and other elements to create a complete look. Art fashion can be exhibited as art, or used to create characters for performance, photographs and videos, or to develop your own iconic look and become a living work of art.