School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents Mentors, an exhibition of works by 56 graduating photography students inspired by their year-long mentorship with leaders in the visual arts. Drawn from the ranks of New York City’s best-known photographers, curators, art directors, publishers, art dealers, critics and writers, SVA’s mentors are carefully paired with students based upon their area of expertise and the student’s concentration. The 2005-2006 mentors include New York Times Magazine Photo Editor Kathy Ryan, Visionaire Founding Editor Cecilia Dean, author and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor A.M. Homes, Art + Commerce Partner James Moffat, and photographers Gregory Crewdson, Jack Pierson and Joel Sternfeld.
SVA established the Mentors program in 1992 to introduce new talent to the New York City arts community. Stephen Frailey, chair of the BFA Photography Department and curator of the exhibition, says, “Students at SVA learn from professionals on a daily basis, but Mentors goes even further. This is a unique opportunity to take their work to a new level and reach a new audience. In a sense, students know the city is watching, and it shows.”
At the School of Visual Arts, students are offered a full range of photography: commercial, fine art, fashion and documentary. In the past five years the department has been vastly improved with new technical facilities; nearly 100 faculty members, including not only working photographers but photo editors, critics, publishers and photography dealers; and a curriculum that integrates photographic genres, identities and ambitions, removing the traditional barriers between “art photography” and “commercial photography.” SVA’s diversity in curriculum and the faculty’s wealth of professional experience offer students the freedom and support to explore different directions in photography and to make wise career choices.