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SVA offers a low-residency MFA program in visual narrative with two years online and three summers in NYC.

  • Offers a distinctive and evolutionary approach to storytelling on a graduate level by placing equal emphasis on both creative writing and visual expression across all mediums
  • Focuses on the growing need for original content creators in advertising, video games, picture books, graphic novels, film, photography, sequential arts, illustration and animation to name a few
  • Prepares artists and authors to become innovators in the ever-evolving art of visual storytelling

Summer 2017 applications are open! Candidates are encouraged to submit applications by February 1 to be considered for first-round reviews and scholarships. The second round review deadline is March 1. Remaining admissions and awards continue on a rolling-deadline basis as space allows. 

The MFA Visual Narrative program is proud to now offer an Educator's Scholarship award for instructors currently teaching two or more classes at an accredited university or college with at least two years experience. Online and international classes are eligible. MFAVN will award up to three scholarships annually, each covering 10-50% of tuition.

Detailed application guides for both standard and Educator’s Scholarship applications are available here.


Story Visualized: The Artist as Author

Great visual storytellers come from all walks of life, professions and art forms. They are the unique few who function as both author and artist—entertaining and influencing our imaginations through creations of art and literature. Their films can direct and redefine history or tell of our future, their books can set our imagination to flight in the palm of our hands, and their words can ignite our emotions and empower an audience to action. Great visual storytellers challenge our notions of self and truth, engaging an audience to its core. That level of visual narrative becomes an experience, a moment not soon forgotten, a memory forever cherished. These works have withstood the test of time, becoming part of our history and cultural identities. 

This groundbreaking low-residency program is an innovative approach to visual narrative. Equal emphasis is paid to the art of creative writing and the craft of visual arts, fostering a truly revolutionary methodology of storytelling through the education of the “Artist as Author.”

During three summer residencies in New York City, participants will undertake an intensive exploration of the visual and structural components of story, integrating the dual roles of writer and visual communicator. Through workshops, guest lectures and studies in professional practice, we will explore and challenge the notions of design, storytelling and authorship. Participants maintain their professional and individual lifestyles as they work online with faculty, as well as mentors who join them during the second fall and spring semesters.

This is a period devoted to synthesizing the skills and crafts presented in the summer on-site intensives.

Through critical study, lectures and tutorials in the summer workshops, the MFA in Visual Narrative examines contemporary delivery systems of narrative art. As visual communication technologies advance in such areas as eBooks, interactive websites, podcasts, social media outlets and mobile devices, the program responds by preparing students for the challenges and opportunities in the digital marketplace. The faculty—chosen for its diversity of storytelling genres—includes animators, designers, illustrators, art historians, painters, printmakers, writers and graphic novelists.

In all forms of advertising, fine arts, game design, picture books, graphic novels, film, illustration and animation, there is a growing demand for talented and original content creators. The MFA Visual Narrative program fills that need—regardless of medium or style—enabling students to become creative, responsible arbiters of visual storytelling, able to shape their own identities, artistic voices and narrative art. 

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MFA Visual Narrative

136 West 21 Street »

11th floor

Tel: 212.592.2388

Fax: 212.592.2391

Joan McCabe, director of operations

mfavisualnarrative@sva.edu

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