Meet Leman Akpınar, This Year’s First Virtual Awardee for the SVA Artist Residency Project!

About The School of Visual Arts (SVA)

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) was founded in 1947 in New York City. It seeks to educate students through undergraduate degree programs, which prepare them for professions in visual arts.


The SVA Artist Residency Project 

Since 2004, the American Turkish Society has been awarding Turkish artists to attend SVA’s Summer Residency Program. Following a competitive selection process, SVA rewards one Turkish artist to benefit from a tuition fee waiver and ATS provides funding for the artist’s visa, travel, housing, living costs as well as funds needed to participate in the program. However, due to the recent rise of COVID-19, SVA’s on-campus fine arts Residency Programs have been replaced with The Artist Residency Project. The Artist Residency Project is a new, fully online residency program that has been designed for fine artists working across discipline, medium and platform. Working with SVA’s distinguished faculty, participants will be encouraged to develop their practice without regard to limitations of location or the necessity for travel. The goal of the program is to create an inclusive online space where artists can thrive, nurture their practice and build an active, engaged community across borders.  Faculty will conduct remote studio visits and discuss each participant’s work on an individual basis, as well as facilitate group critiques and reading groups. Alongside these visits, daily activities and ways to connect will keep participants engaged with their community of artists, and a cohort of professional mentors spanning the fields of art, design and contemporary practice. Special lectures by guest artists, critics and gallery directors will provide further insight into the realities of the working artist in the present moment.


This Year’s First Virtual Awardee: Leman Akpinar 

Istanbul based artist, Leman Akpınar has been honing her skills of oil painting since 2009. She examines the complex nature of being human and the effect of society on individuals in her artwork. Originally an oil painter, Leman blended her paint materials with her sculptures. As a result, she up-cycled her used up oil paint tubes and created sculptures with them. Leman had her first solo show, “Psychic Desert” at PG Art Gallery’s PG Basement space in December 2019. This was a show inspired by her nomadic experience of living in a red Chevy Astro and traveling the cross country that started from The Mojave Desert in California and ended in NYC.