Wilde Mind, Wilde Years: The Richard Wilde Exhibition at SVA

Experience “Wilde Mind” on view through Saturday, December 9th, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City, or explore his vision in Wilde Years, available now at 20% savings with promo code: Wilde20.

“For the past 50 years, I have created conditions for the possibility of students to move from a reactive, automatic, predictable way of problem-solving to a state where free thought is available,” Wilde says. “This exhibition speaks of my journey confronting that challenging condition.”

In a grand homage to a visionary who shaped the contours of visual education, the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City celebrates the 50-year tenure of Richard Wilde, a paragon of design and pedagogy. The exhibition, “Wilde Mind,” unfolds the vibrant tapestry of Wilde’s journey from a Brooklyn upbringing to his defining presence at SVA.

As chair emeritus of the BFA Advertising and BFA Design departments, Wilde’s influence ripples through the lives of over 10,000 students and the faculty stars he assembled. His legacy is a beacon of innovative teaching that inspired the creation of comprehensive textbooks and transformed visual literacy education.

“Wilde Mind” is an exploration of creative evolution. Childhood sketches, vintage toys, and a mural by Timothy Goodman pay tribute to Wilde’s ceaseless curiosity. The gallery space is divided into narrative chapters, each a testament to phases of Wilde’s life and work. The exhibit is a narrative in objects and memories from his Brooklyn Dodgers fandom to his expansive personal collections.

Wilde’s educational philosophy emerges powerfully throughout the show. He championed an experimental approach, pushing students beyond conventional problem-solving to embrace play and curiosity. This philosophy bred a culture of inquiry and innovation that permeated the SVA community, embodied in Wilde’s Visual Literacy course and collaborative teaching methods.

The tale of the green lima bean encapsulates Wilde’s philosophy. A simple kindergarten project sparked a lifelong fascination with growth, transformation, and the vibrant hue of green that would come to symbolize Wilde’s developmental ethos. His dyslexia, once a hurdle, became a unique vantage point from which he cultivated a visual learning style that challenged the academic status quo.

Wilde credits his mother’s fairy tales, his father’s riddles, and his high school art teacher, Leon Friend, for shaping his inquisitive spirit. This spirit permeated his partnership with his wife, Judith, with whom he authored seminal design textbooks and explored creative frontiers.

“Wilde Mind” celebrates the wonder of learning, teaching artistry, and visual communication’s transformative power. Richard Wilde’s story, as told through the exhibition and book, vividly illustrates how one man’s dedication to the creative process can inspire generations.

In his 300-page book “Wilde Years,” we step into the powerfully visual world of Richard Wilde, a tribute to the man who has been a cornerstone of design and advertising education transformation. In this lavishly produced volume, celebrate 50 years of Wilde’s illustrious tenure at the School of Visual Arts, a journey of innovation, inspiration, and unparalleled success. Each page is an homage to Wilde’s profound teaching philosophies and the indelible mark they left on his students. Through exquisite imagery and Wilde’s own narratives, this book is an essential piece for educators, professionals, and aspiring creatives alike, offering a glimpse into the mind of a visionary who has redefined the contours of visual education.

Author: Graphis