President David Rhodes of the New York School of Visual Arts has announced Viktor Koen as the new department chair of their BFA Illustration and BFA Cartooning programmes, and will succeed Thomas Woodruff, who is retiring after 39 years at SVA.
Viktor Koen himself graduated from the College's MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program in 1992, Koen returned in 2004 as a graduate faculty member before founding the Summer Illustration Residency Program in 2007. Koen also continued to serve as core faculty of SVA's MFA Illustration program. Koen is also creative director of Attic Child Press, which specializes in imaging for the branding of conferences and large cultural events.
The BFA Illustration program at SVA comprises more than 750 students and claims one of the largest illustration faculty of any school in America, representing an multiplicity of style, mediums and approach. The school states that students are taught to conceptualize, structure and produce thematic bodies of work into finished projects ready for publication as well as a professional portfolio reflecting their personal vision. The BFA Cartooning program at SVA comprises more than 150 students, with a faculty consisting of some of those regarded as established masters as well as up and coming creators of the cartooning industry. The curriculum covers styles including adventure comics, experimental graphic novels, autobiographical, Amerimanga and formats from multicultural influences.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to become a more integral part of SVA, an institution whose faculty and graduates are some of the most influential cultural forces I know," said Koen. "This is an exciting time to take the helm of these departments, especially as we shift back toward in-person classes this fall." "We are very fortunate to have Viktor take the helm of two important undergraduate programs," said SVA provost, Dr. Christopher Cyphers. "I have every confidence he will build upon the considerable successes of his predecessor, Tom Woodruff, and I look forward to working with Viktor to help him realize his vision for the Illustration and Cartooning programs."