Press Release

Pace University Art Gallery Presents "Journey Illustrated": A Comic Arts Exhibition

February 1, 2024
Artist Sija Hong's 2018 digital drawing titled "Yesterday's Acheron.

Journey Illustrated Exhibit Explores the Ways Comics Tell Stories of Everyday Heroism

Pace University Art Gallery is pleased to present Journey Illustrated, a comic arts exhibition curated by Prof. Tommy Nguyen and Anna Zhang ’24. The exhibit opens with a reception on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

The Journey Illustrated exhibit highlights seven cartoonists, graphic novelists, and illustrators who create deeply personal stories of identity that recast the mundane as heroic and celebrate the essence of the city. The artists, Tanya Dorph-Mankey, Sija Hong, Kuri Huang, June Kim, Jesse Lambert, Barbara Slate, and Ronald Wimberly skillfully combine graphic motifs and illustration techniques from their cultures of origin with commercial comic forms from the United States to invite audiences to explore intersections between cultural identities and aspects of everyday life that are often overlooked.

Artist Kuri Huang's 2018 digital drawing titled "Stray Birds Series; Fortress." (Courtesy of Kuri Huang)
Artist Kuri Huang's 2018 digital drawing titled "Stray Birds Series; Fortress." (Courtesy of Kuri Huang)

Nguyen, who teaches on graphic novels, says, “Images can tell a story, and a story can be told in images. In the comic arts, the flourishes, technique, characters, words, choices, style, and design come together wholly to tell the story with either bravado or humbleness."

Together Nguyen and Zhang received the Provost's Student-Faculty Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Award from Pace’s Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences to collaboratively conduct research culminating in the Journey Illustrated exhibition. Zhang says, “This experience allows me to delve into the varied voices within comic arts, examining how each artist skillfully weaves personal narratives into their work. By intertwining life experiences and artistic expression, we are celebrating unique voices in comic art and the power of visual storytelling that connects everyone.”

During the exhibit, each artist will present a talk about their comic-related artistic practice or give a workshop on techniques used in graphic novel creation including lettering and narrative plotting. The gallery also received support from Pace’s Experiential Learning Network to host comic veteran Barbara Slate for a multi-day practitioner-in-residence program from February 28 through March 1. All of the gallery’s exhibits and events are free and open to the public, including workshops.

  • February 15, 6:30 p.m.: lettering workshop with Jesse Lambert, in the gallery
  • TBD: artist talk by Ronald Wimberly, in the gallery
  • February 28–30: practitioner–In-residence with Barbara Slate, in the gallery
    • February 28, 10:30 a.m.: reading of Mirror Test: The Cassidy Hutchinson Story comic book
    • February 29, 6:15 p.m.–8:15 p.m.: narrative plotting by color code workshop
    • March 1, 1:30 p.m.: “My Life in Comics” talk
  • March 7, 8:00 p.m.: panel discussion with Sija Hong and Kuri Huang facilitated by Barbara Slate, Zoom, with English and Mandarin captioning
  • March 14, 630 p.m.: June Kim, in the gallery
  • March 21, 6:30 p.m.: artist talk by Tanya Dorph-Mankey

This exhibit, which remains on view through Saturday, March 16, 2024, is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The gallery is located in Lower Manhattan at 41 Park Row. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 12:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m., Thursdays until 7:00 p.m., and by appointment. Please check gallery Instagram for university holiday closures.

Image Credits (all courtesy of the artists):

  • Kuri Huang, “Stray Birds Series; Fortress,” 2018, digital drawing
  • Sija Hong, “Yesterday’s Acheron,” 2018, digital drawing

About the Artists:

  • Tanya Dorph-Mankey is an artist and illustrator based in New York. Dorph-Mankey graduated from SUNY University at Buffalo in 2014, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Print Media. Dorph-Mankey uses narrative illustration and comics to create work about sexuality, gender, and the human experience of connecting with others through love.
  • Sija Hong, a freelance illustrator born in Changsha, China, and currently based in New York City, earned her MFA from Syracuse University in 2018. A distinguished member of the Society of Illustrators, Hong has garnered numerous awards, including recognition in American Illustration, Communication Arts, World Illustration Award, Spectrum, 3x3 Illustration Show, and the China Illustration Biennial. She has also been honored by the Art Directors Club and won the Student Creative Quarterly 52/54 award. Hong’s artistic scope encompasses book covers, game illustrations, app designs, product artwork, murals, and magazines. Her exhibitions, spanning from 2017 to 2022, have left their mark in New York, London, and several cities across China.
  • Kuri Huang, originally from Chengdu, China, is a freelance artist now based in New York. Specializing in digital illustration, Huang creates captivating pieces for book covers, games, posters, and various projects. She has collaborated with prominent companies like NetEase and Onmyoji, as well as renowned publishing houses such as Penguin Random House, Tor, and Guomai Culture Media Co., Ltd. By drawing inspiration from Art Nouveau and Japanese Nihonga, Huang seamlessly integrates these influences into her artwork. Her distinctive style involves a harmonious blend of digital and traditional techniques, creating a dynamic interplay of textures, shapes, and colors that define her unique artistic perspective.
  • June Kim is a graphic novel artist and illustrator originally from Korea, now based in Brooklyn, New York. During her youth, Kim was surrounded by pocket-sized comic books, inspiring her to weave her own stories into the comic art form. She studied cartooning in the United States at the School of Visual Arts and became fluent in both American and Manga comic styles. She has self-published two nonfiction food comic series, "Sporks!" and "Egg Show," and her debut comic novel, "12 Days," earned a nomination for the Stonewall Book Award. Beyond her work in comics, June also shares her expertise by teaching cartooning at the School of Visual Arts. Currently, Kim continues on her path of creating short comics, with a particular focus on integrating her life experiences into relaxing and brief narratives.
  • Jesse Lambert is an artist based in Queens, New York. He makes nonfiction comics about art, politics, public health, travel, and his unconventional childhood. Lambert has published his comics in Hyperallergic and contributed to the nonfiction comics anthologies COVID Chronicles, published by Graphic Mundi, American Cult, published by Paper Rocket Comics/Silver Sprocket, and Clayton: Godfather of the Lower East Side – A Documentary, published by Permuted Press. He will be included in Rescue Party: A Graphic Anthology of COVID Lockdown, coming in May 2024 from Knopf Doubleday. He received a New Work Grant from the Queens Council on the Arts and a NYFA City Artists Corps Grant in 2021. In 2020, he was a finalist for the Creative Capital Awards.
  • Barbara Slate is an American artist, cartoonist, graphic novelist, comic book creator, and writer. She is one of the few female artists who has created, written, and drawn comics for both DC and Marvel Comics. Her textbook, You Can Do a Graphic Novel, was first published in 2010 by Alpha Books (Penguin/Putnam). In 1986, Barbara created Angel Love for DC Comics, an adult-themed series for teenagers. In an exhibition review, The New York Times described her art as "emphatically of our time with its narrative of passion, gun violence, and female assertiveness."
  • Ronald Wimberly is an artist who works primarily in design and story. He is an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist, having designed several graphic novels as well as shorter works for The New Yorker, DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel, Hill and Wang, and Darkhorse. His works include Sentences: The Life of MF Grimm and Prince of Cats. Ronald was the 2016 Columbus Comics resident and two-time resident cartoonist at Angoulême Maison des Auteurs. He is the recipient of the 2008 Glyph Comics Award, and has been nominated for two Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

About the Pace University Art Gallery

Founded with the conviction that art is integral to society, the Pace University Art Gallery is a creative laboratory and exhibition space that supports innovation and exploration for both artists and viewers. Open to students, staff, and faculty from across the Pace campuses and, equally, to the Lower Manhattan community and visitors from around the world, the Art Gallery encourages personal investigation and critical dialogue via thought-provoking contemporary art exhibits and public programming. Enhancing the Art Department's Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, the Art Gallery offers students real-world opportunities to exhibit their own art and to work directly with professional artists to install and promote exhibitions. All exhibits and events are free and open to the public.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College, offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

About Pace University

Since 1906, Pace University has been transforming the lives of its diverse students—academically, professionally, and socioeconomically. With campuses in New York City and Westchester County, Pace offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs to 13,600 students in its College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, Sands College of Performing Arts, School of Education, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

More Press Releases

Press Release

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law is once again ranked #1 in the country for Environmental Law by the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings, released today. Haub Law was also ranked #13 in the nation for its trial advocacy program, placing it impressively among the top 10% of schools nationwide.