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Talent show
School of Visual Arts Collection: Continuing Education Bulletin, Fall 1974. Illustration by Marshall Arisman, design by Richard Wilde.
May 06, 2014

Talent show

By: bethkleber

SVA’s subway posters established the school’s graphic presence by using abstract concepts to convey a deeply pragmatic message. Silas Rhodes supplied hand-picked artists with a tag line, in this case “Having a talent isn’t worth much unless you know what to do with it “ (a line written by longtime SVA copywriter Dee Ito). The artists were given free reign to interpret the text as they saw fit. The results were distinctive because they generally didn’t reference art in an overt way, and if they did, the treatment was so fanciful that it still forced the viewer to stop and consider the nature of that particular gift. If you were, say, blessed with the ability to lay a golden egg, or levitate, or suppose you were a monkey with a very special talent, SVA might be just the place for you to channel your inner ape into a pursuit that would sustain you in the real world.


Many of the subway poster images were used on the covers of the school’s continuing education bulletins; a few, as far as I can tell, were never produced in poster format and appeared exclusively on the bulletins.


A cover of a booklet for School of Visual Arts. Color Illustration of a pencil bent into a circle against a white background next to it is Palladino's signature. Above it in thin black text, "Having a talent isn't worth much unless you know what to do with it".


 
School of Visual Arts Collection: Continuing Education Bulletin, Fall 1978. Illustration and design by Tony Palladino.

A page from the booklet; A watercolor painting of a baseball player standing at bat. Above it in bold text "Having a talent isn't worth much unless you know what to do with it"


 
School of Visual Arts Collection: Continuing Education Bulletin, Spring 1977. Illustration by James McMullan, design by Richard Wilde.

A poster. A Detailed illustration of a goose having laid a golden egg in straw. Below in bold white text " Having a talent isn't worth much unless you know what to do with it"


 
School of Visual Arts Collection: Continuing Education Bulletin, Spring 1976. Illustration by Charles Lilly, design by Richard Wilde.

A page from the booklet; A Surreal color illustration of a man in bed with a doppelganger floating above him in a tiny room with a colorful wallpaper. Above in bold black text "Having a talent isn't worth much unless you know what to do with it"


 
School of Visual Arts Collection: Continuing Education Bulletin, Spring 1978. Illustration and design by Milton Glaser.

A page from the booklet; a Black and white illustration of a sad cat in water looking at a catfish swimming. Above in bold black text "Having a talent isn't worth much unless you know what to do with it"


 
School of Visual Arts Collection: Continuing Education Bulletin, Fall 1976.