Founded in 2013, the MFA Visual Narrative program at the School of Visual Arts places equal importance on creative writing and visual expression, a combination rarely found in academia. The flexible low-residency program is supported by a curriculum designed to accommodate students who are working, with three eight-week summer sessions in New York City that bookend online-only classes for two academic years.

During their first spring semester, students create an original digital short story as both author and artist. The results are on display at the annual show Digital Short Story: Small Bytes / Big Fiction, at SVA’s Flatiron Gallery. Among the wide variety of stories are a reimagined tale from the Bible that viewers navigate via an app, a dark, gritty narrative of contemporary adolescence and an action-packed sci-fi saga. Each is displayed on an iPad in the exhibition alongside related physical artifacts and posters, and can be found online at mfavn.sva.edu.

The show was curated by faculty members Jim Rugg and Mark Sable, who helped plan the original curriculum. Like most of the faculty, they have separate careers that inform the coursework — Rugg is a writer and illustrator and Sable is a screenwriter and author.

“This group of students demonstrated a shared value in design,” says Rugg. “They also maintained a high-level of spontaneity throughout the process that made each weekly project update exciting.”

Digital Short Story: Small Bytes / Big Fiction

SVA’s Flatiron Gallery

133/141 West 21 Street, NYC

On view through June 11

A reception will be held on Friday, June 3 from 6-8pm. Please RSVP here.

Participating students include Christina Mattison Ebert, Liz Enright, Mary Georgescu, Cady Juarez, Michelle Nahmad, Jie Ren, Ella Romero, and Thomas Slattery.

Contact the MFA Visual Narrative program at mfavn@sva.edu.

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