DISPATCH - JAN 4, 2013 (4:11 p.m.)

NEW YORK, NY-

The School of Visual Arts has a tradition that begins after graduation. After receiving their SVA MFA, the artists head to the studio to make new work. When 239 days have passed, they gather together to present one final group show as fellow artist students. Time is up and tonight, the exhibition "239 Days: Works from School of Visual Arts MFA Fine Arts Class of 2012" opens at Allegra LaViola Gallery on the Lower East Side of New York City.

An opening reception will be held tonight (Friday) from 6 to 9 p.m. The show continues through Jan 12, 2013.

On view is a diverse range of art and mediums, said Stephen Maine, the show's curator. Maine is an artist, art critic and SVA instructor. The exhibition includes altered photography, video art, installation, sound, painting, sculpture and a wall artwork. There's even a ceiling-based installation featuring pink plastic flamingos.

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Eric Mistretta installs "We Talked, We're Fine Now," a work consisting of 52 plastic lawn flamingos, while SVA advisors look on for the "239 Days" exhibition at Allegra LaViola Gallery. Photo courtesy Stephen Maine.

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The diversity of art captures the exuberance and uniqueness of the recent MFA graduates and the SVA’s emphasis on encouraging whatever art direction is most dear to the students in the program. This philosophy mirrors SVA’s commitment in assisting students develop their vision without adhering to a school-prescribed philosophy of art.

"The exhibition is as multi-faceted and agonistic as the Class of 2012 itself," stated Maine in an exhibition release. "It attests to the continued vitality and innovativeness of Graduate Fine Arts at SVA and to the creative achievement of the program’s recent graduates."

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David Ostro installing the wall drawing/sculpture "Artifacts" at Allegra LaViola Gallery for the "239 Days" exhibition. Photo courtesy Stephen Maine.

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"239 Days" is a tradition for graduates of SVA's MFA program, said Maine. The concept is simple--after graduating with an MFA, students immediately embark on creating new artworks. These works form the creative pool for the curated "239 Days" exhibition.

The show includes all SVA MFA graduates from the 2012 class. All the works were made after graduation. Today (Jan 4) is the 239th day since the SVA 2012 MFA class graduated.

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Chie Araki with "Rebirth #2" at "239 Days" exhibited at Allegra LaViola Gallery. Photo courtesy Stephen Maine.

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Exhibiting artists are Chie Araki, Nick Bakita, Victoria Batey, Eleni Beristianou, Andrew Brischler, Steven Chapman, Eli Gabriel Halpern, Herhsuan Hsieh, Elan Jurado, Eun Jung Kim, Hyun Soon Kim, Sharon Kirby, Jonas Lara, Kacie Lees, Amelia Midori Miller, Eric Mistretta, Augustus Nazzaro, Peter Neu, David Ostro, Jenny Santos, Hee Won Seo, Kim Smith, Hunter Speagle, Miryana Todorova, Ken Wahl, Christina Wang, Rebecca Ward, James Brendan Williams.

Exhibitors are a mix of artists with professional exhibition credits and those beginning their careers.

The venue for the "239 Days" exhibition changes each time and is based on availability. Allegra LaViola Gallery had a lull between shows and offered the two-floor gallery for the MFA show, said Maine. Allegra LaViola is a supporter of SVA and hosting the SVA MFA exhibition for her was a natural, said Maine.

While diversity manifested through art is one thread that ties the works together, an undertone of comedy is another. So is a steadfast refusal for the artists to be "bound to anything," as individuals or collectively, according to Maine. These tendrils join with themes that include the deadly serious and borderline tragic, said Maine.

Following are a few artworks included in the exhibition:

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"One Simple Gesture" by Elan Jurado, 2012. Video (5:54), Edition of 5.

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"Sandy" by Amelia Midori Miller, 2012. Oil and spray paint on canvas, 52 x 38 inches.

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"Fugitive VII" by Augustus Nazzaro, 2012. Acrylic on panel, 56 x 44 inches.

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BASIC FACTS: "239 Days: Works from School of Visual Arts MFA Fine Arts Class of 2012" is on view from Jan 4 to 12, 2013 at Allegra LaViola Gallery, 179 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002. www.allegralaviola.com

School of Visual Arts (SVA) is New York City-based college offering undergraduate and graduate programs in art and design. The renowned art school is known for its innovative and experimental program philosophies. Classes are taught by a faculty of professional artists. The school is located at 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994  www.sva.edu

When not hosting the SVA MFA exhibition, Allegra LaViola Gallery exhibits established and emerging artists, with an emphasis on painting, installation and performance-related work. The gallery aims to present a full vision of the artist. They have hosted a variety of conceptual projects and installations, including performance series and one-night events, according to the gallery's website. www.allegralaviola.com

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© 2013 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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