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BFA Visual & Critical Studies is a multidisciplinary studio program designed to engage and challenge ambitious students in areas beyond a single medium of expression and creation. This dynamic course of study reflects our rapidly expanding visual culture and the increasing urgency to educate students about all aspects of visual experience. BFA Visual & Critical Studies students shape their own multidimensional art education through a guided combination of studio courses and academic offerings focusing on myriad forms and venues of contemporary visual life.

The first year provides a solid foundation in basic drawing, photography, literature and writing skills and presents the opportunity to begin discovering a personal artistic voice. In the second and third years, students further explore multiple studio disciplines while simultaneously delving into critical reading and writing on philosophy, history and theory. The program culminates in a thesis project, which takes the form of a studio project with a complementary written component. The BFA Visual & Critical Studies curriculum integrates the academic and studio offerings, with course credits evenly divided between the two throughout the program.

2016 – 2017 student population

64 matriculated students

Department chair

Tom Huhn (philosopher and critic)

Some notable faculty members

Connie Beckley, Joseph Bradshaw, Jennifer Cohen, Steve DeFrank, Devi Dumbadze, Peter Hristoff, Isabel Taube, Ezra Tessler, Bo Wang, Amy Wilson

Some notable alumni

Ranya Asmar, Elektra KB, Shellyne Rodriguez, Olena Shmahalo

Student exhibitions

BFA Visual & Critical Studies curates and coordinates the Flatiron Project Space, a unique exhibition space on campus that showcases the work of the department's students and alumni throughout the year. Graduating BFA Visual & Critical Studies students present an annual exhibition in one of SVA's galleries, marking the culmination of their thesis work. Each spring the department hosts an open studio in which all students have the opportunity to share their work with the public. Students gain experience in selecting and preparing art for installation and receive valuable feedback from fellow artists, critics, collectors, dealers and other members of the art community. Students are offered additional opportunities to exhibit work at one of SVA's galleries in juried shows that are held throughout the year.

More information

SVA Admissions: 212.592.2100 | [email protected]

Media requests

SVA Communication: 212.592.2010 | [email protected] 


209 East 23 Street, New York, NY 10010-3994 | Tel 212.592.2000 | sva.edu

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587