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Underground Images: School of Visual Arts Subway Posters, 1947 to the Present

  • ROW DTLA - Audio Lab 777 Alameda Street Los Angeles, CA, 90021 United States (map)

School of Visual Arts, in association with AIGA Los Angeles, presents “Underground Images: School of Visual Arts Subway Posters, 1947 to the Present.” This special guest exhibition will take place during LA’s Design Festival, honoring the city’s rich design culture. “Underground Images” brings together more than 25 of the myriad posters created at SVA for display in the vast New York City subway system, offering a glimpse of the history of the College and the collective talent of its acclaimed design and illustration faculty. Curated by SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes, who has served as creative director for the posters since 2007, the exhibition will be on view at ROW DTLA, 777 Alameda Street, Los Angeles, California.

Beginning in the mid-1950s, SVA was in the vanguard of academic institutions in the U.S. to recognize the need for alternative marketing strategies to attract new students. SVA took to the platforms of New York City’s subway system with advertising posters that were both thought-provoking and eye-catching, featuring the work of legendary artists like Ivan Chermayeff, Milton Glaser and George Tscherny. All practicing professionals on the faculty at SVA, they used the poster commission to explore what it means to be an artist and to hone their own artistic voice. Like the College itself, the SVA subway posters have become in some way inseparable from the city as incitements to creativity and risk-taking.


This exhibition presents highlights from a wide array of posters produced by the School of Visual Arts. Among the current and former faculty members who have designed the full 62 poster series are Gail Anderson, Marshall Arisman, Gene Case, Ivan Chermayeff, Paul Davis, Sal DeVito, Stephen Doyle, Louise Fili, Audrey Flack, Nathan Fox, Bob Gill, Robert Giusti, Milton Glaser, Phil Hays, Steven Heller, Mirko Ilić, Viktor Koen, Stephen Kroninger, Marvin Mattelson, James McMullan, Jerry Moriarty, Tony Palladino, Edel Rodriguez, Stefan Sagmeister, David Sandlin, Paula Scher, Eve Sonneman, George Tscherny, James Victore and Robert Weaver.

“Underground Images” is organized by SVA faculty member Mirko Ilić and Francis DiTommaso, director of SVA Galleries. For more information about the exhibition and its full list of contributors, visit:

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 32 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit

“Underground Images” is brought to you by AIGA Los Angeles

This exhibition is free and open to the public, June 9 & 10 from 11am to 5pm in LA Design Festival's Audio Lab at ROW DTLA. 

Special thanks to AIGA Los Angeles for making this event possible.

Earlier Event: June 9
Lenita by Grita Pop-Up Shop
Later Event: June 9
LA Original Pop-Up Shop