The Mentors program was established by the BFA Photography
Department at SVA in 1992 to introduce new talent to the New York City arts community and to cultivate relationships between established and emerging artists. Stephen Frailey, chair of the department says, "Our mentors are from every corner of the arts community—they help inspire our students to examine and improve their work and to grow as professional photographers." Under this program, selected BFA Photography students are paired with a mentor that best suits their needs, personality and the type of work they produce. This year, more than 70 students were included in the program; mentors included Waris Ahluwalia, jewelry designer; photographers Tina Barney and Anthony Goicolea; writer and critic Philip Gefter; Yossi Milo, of the Yossi Milo Gallery; and Jodi Peckman, director of photography at Rolling Stone. The process of matching student to mentor is long and arduous, but has resulted in many successes, including landing work for students.
Each spring, the Mentors program culminates with an exhibition at the Visual Arts Gallery of work created during the partnerships; many different types of photography are always on display—fine art, commercial (including fashion and portraiture) and experimental. A selection of work by students involved in the program appears on the following pages, along with explanations from Frailey as to why each student was paired with his or her particular mentor.
Nir Arieli, Mentor: Tracy Dole, executive creative director, Box Studios
Arieli is interested in moving from still to moving images, and placing his work in a 'commercial context'; this is a specialty of Box Studios.
Samuel Dole, Mentor: Dan Estabrook, photographer
Both Dole and Estabrook are interested in antiquated photographic processes, historical pictorial and portrait references.
May Lin Le Goff, Mentor: Jimmy Moffat, partner, Art + Commerce
Le Goff is creating some of the most playful and experimental fashion work being done in a year.
Sara Mayko, Mentor: Doug Dubois, photographer
As a photographer, Dubois is interested in portraiture that mines the emotional and psychological layering of family.
Sean Muller, Mentor: Neil Labute, playwright
Both share an urgent language and voice.
Chloe Beck, Mentor: Kathy Ryan, photo editor, New York Times Magazine
Beck's work involves references to silent film, theater and history; Ryan is interested in complex narratives.