Founded in 1947 as the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, the School of Visual Arts (SVA) has grown to educate over 3,000 students a year in fine art, design, interior design, photography, and a variety of other creative fields. The massive creative output of its student body, faculty, and alumni is on display in rotating exhibitions in one of three galleries scattered across the school's Manhattan campus. Exhibitions are experimental, engaging and an excellent preview of trends in contemporary art and design.
What You Will See
Gallery space in each of the locations is limited, but when combined, the art on display between the Gramercy, Flatiron, and Chelsea spaces makes up one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary art in the city. Exhibitions vary significantly--from experimental design to illustration to studies in new media. While often the exhibits feature student work, the quality is always high and visitors may find it difficult to distinguish between student artists and esteemed professionals.
Why You Should Go
SVA is one of the most vibrant and energetic schools in Manhattan, and the galleries capture that energy. Located in buildings with active classes and faculty studios, the stream of students passing through adds to the gallery experience. Do not be deterred by the student artists--SVA is one of the top design schools in the country and educates some of the most talented future creatives. You may rarely recognize an artist--but there is a good chance you are seeing the work of a future star.