Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 SVA Alumni Scholarship

Congratulations to Julianne Nash and Johnnie Chatman for being selected as recipients of the Alumni Scholarships Awards; and to Naixin Xu for the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award. Reviewed and rated by an alumni panel, the Alumni Society Board of Directors awards aid to the completion of final projects. The Society manages 26 annual scholarships that provide merit based support earmarked for specific academic programs and need based support. The assortment of scholarships allows the Society to provide assistance across majors, programs and class years -- touching more students lives every year. The Society’s flagship scholarship program is the annual Alumni Scholarship Awards program. In 2017, 78 projects were funded a total of $83,400.

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Agglomeration, by Julianne Nash, is at once an immensely personal project in regards to loss, trauma, and personal mortality; while at the same time references the breakdown of human and logarithmic computer vision. Within this series I contend with my fears of inheriting a degenerative form of vision loss by utilizing computerized image stacking algorithms to create digitally manipulated images that are difficult to visually comprehend. I intentionally confuse the patterns that the computer relies on to create a cohesive image by using tools made to blend images based on similarities to force them to blend on differences thus causing the computer to fail in the manner in which it is “supposed” to see.

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 I Forgot Where We Were; is here, by Johnnie Chatman, acts a meeting place for two bodies of work, I Forgot Where We Were… and where we were is here. Together the elements within the series use constructs and idioms of the West and western landscape photography as allegorical elements to facilitate a conversation on black identity as it reconfigures itself against media, historical, and transglobal narratives. The work opens up a dialogue on selfhood and place through the creation of an ambiguous space where a seemingly romantic fascination is met with a critical examination of the past and present through representations of history, time and the landscape.

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Naixin Xu is the recipient of the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award Fund which was established in 2003 in memory of Thomas Reiss (MFA 1993 Photography and Related Media) by his brother, Richard M. Reiss. An avid environmentalist, Tom passed away in August 2002 in a boating accident in Thailand. This annual award is designated to support a thesis project by a final-year MFA Photography, Video and Related Media major whose project addresses a humanitarian issue.


The Westbound Journey (working title) is an 1-1.5 hour long observational and photographic non-narrative film, focusing on a cross-country journey of commodities, which are transported to Tibet by a truck driver, from a small trade city in southeast China to Tibet. The aim is to present, from an observer’s view, a fluid subtle status of the culture itself, struggling between the old and the new. 

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SVA Alumni Society, Inc. is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation which works to provide support for SVA’s most promising students.The Society works in conjunction with the Alumni Affairs and Development office at the School of Visual Arts serving as the vehicle for granting student scholarships and soliciting donations to fund the scholarships. Due to support from the School of Visual Arts, 100% of all donations to the Alumni Society go directly to the education and financial needs of current SVA students.