Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fernanda Cohen Invites Hively to Speak to SVA Class


It was the beginning of a rainy Monday morning as a trudged off to meet Fernanda Cohen's class at the School of Visual Arts. Much too early for me, but then I had agreed to come and Fernanda had promised a super large cup of coffee so off I went. The classroom was on East 21st on the seventh floor and I arrived much earlier than I'm noted for. Expecting Fernanda to be right on time I purposefully made sure I was early. But due to unexpected train traffic Fernanda was late but before I had a chance to doze off there she was--perky but a bit frazzled bearing an extra-large cup of coffee. After taking care of briefing her students on the next assignment--a very detailed explanation for each student--I was impressed. She then turned the floor over to me and I spoke a bit about our tiny magazine empire, answered a few questions about the state and future of illustration and then we begin the critique of the current assignment. A very ambitious one I might add. Each student presented their interpretation of either a cityscape or amusement park, you can see the scale in the photo above. I was impressed by many of these pieces especially given that this is a sophomore class. To be sure there were some very weak pieces but the strong pieces showed a high level of skill, not only in the drawing but also the concept. Each student was introduced, gave a brief description of their project and then it was turned over to their fellow students for comments and suggestions. Then I was asked to critique the work, followed by an even more thorough critique by Fernanda. I was very impressed at the level of her criticisms and suggestions, she gave careful attention to every detail, making sure the student understood the strength and weakness to each piece. Time flew and before I knew the three hour class was over, just proves time flies when you're having a good time.

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