THE MAGAZINE OF PRATT INSTITUTE
BROOKLYN ARts + CuLtuRe PRAtt + COmmuNitY CONeY isLANd ARtists + WRiteRs ALumNi OBseRve + RememBeR
Fall/ Winter 2010
Enrico Miguel Thomas (B.F.A. ’06), The G Train, 2009, acrylic and ink on paper, 18 x 24 inches
De pa r t me n t s
10 Brooklyn’s Cultural vanguard Pratt grads enliven the arts scene
16 GIVING BACK Pratt in the community
28 LITERARY BROOKLYN Pratt’s writing program 30 BROOKLYN OBSERVED The legendary borough as captured in alumni artwork
3 President’s Letter 4 Pratt People Fashion retailer Alec Stuart; illustrator Elke Reva Sudin; quilt artist Sandy Benjamin-Hannibal; urban planner John Shapiro; punk rockers Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino; and Brooklyn developer Samy Brahimy
22 WE ASKED, YOU ANSWERED Pratt alumni share memories of Brooklyn 26 THE WONDERS OF CONEY ISLAND Photographs of the beach, boardwalk, and amusement park, taken by Pratt alumni
48 Corporate Partnerships West Elm, Cabot Wrenn, Nachtmann, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Colgate-Palmolive 50 Pratt Exhibitions 52 Supporting Pratt Trustee Profile: David Walentas; Jane’s Carousel; adjunct professor Bill Hilson reveals why he gives to Pratt
38 New and Noteworthy
54 Special Events
44 Ryerson Walk SILS wins grant to digitize historic Brooklyn photos; GCPE honored; four new department chairs named; Catherine Malandrino honored at 2010 Pratt Fashion Show; alumna designs Braille game; and more
56 Alumni News 59 Class Notes 63 Obituaries
About the Cover Hipster Family, a painting by Elke Reva Sudin (B.F.A. ’09), is part of her colorful series Hipsters and Hassids. The 22 paintings illustrate the parallel lives of the two communities who live side-by-side and sustain a sometimes anxious accord in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The artist sees herself as sympathetic to both communities, though not fully part of either one, a duality reflected in her work. (See interview, p. 5.) Sudin hails from the greater Springfield, Massachusetts area. Now a resident of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, she based this series on her Pratt senior thesis. The series was first shown at the Workman’s Circle Building in Murray Hill, Manhattan and later at the Aish Center in New York City. Elke Reva Sudin (B.F.A. ’09), Hipster Family, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 40 inches 1
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The Magazine of Pratt Institute fall/ Winter 2010
Global Perspectives Spring/Summer 2010 spring/summer 2010
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teir, Sunspots II, oil on canvas, 7, 127 1/4 x 109 1/4 inches. te collection, Omaha, Nebraska. gLOBAL PeRsPeCTIVes
PErsPECtivEs Korean Network World-Changing Design Passport to Creativity Empathy for Culture Pratt Worldwide
A very beautiful and most interesting issue. Most impressive is John Pai’s work; he was a distinguished faculty member and colleague. I stand in awe admiring his work. Arnold Friedmann B.F.A. ’53, M.S. ’60 I would like to see information on Pratt individuals from areas other than well-known environments. For example, I directed the 1% For Art Program in Utah for 11 years, which is now the Public Art program. During the past 20 years, I have designed several projects, produced a body of sculpture work, and taught at two universities. The publication would be better served if alumni from a broader spectrum were included. David Holz 1978-1980
A very well-done publication; I’d expect nothing less from a premier design school. Jake’s was our go-to design supply store well before your new, chic Prattstore. Vivid memories purchasing basswood, miniature people, cars, and trees for our model building —alas no photos. Norman Rosenfeld Architecture ’56 My old classmate, Norma Masters Greider, and I both agreed that every page of the last issue was bursting with creativity, and we loved seeing how much our alma mater had expanded in the years since we graduated. World War II greatly affected our lives: Our graduating class was almost devoid of men. Jean Goldfarb Sapin Art Education ’44 I have enjoyed reading this issue, especially the article “Koreans at Pratt.” Nearly half of all the foreign students are from Korea—WOW! I think that is great! The influence of Pratt around the world is also fascinating. Charles P. Schock Industrial Design ’50
©2010 Pratt Institute Pratt Institute 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205 www.pratt.edu Vice President for Institutional Advancement Todd Michael Galitz Executive Director of Communications Mara McGinnis
ratt Institute and Brooklyn—few colleges and communities are so inextricably linked or enjoy such a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Our connections grew out of the close ties that Charles Pratt, the Institute’s founder, had to Clinton Hill, where he built homes for his family as well as a number of the brownstones and mansions that border the Brooklyn campus and give the neighborhood its distinctive character. In the borough at large, Charles Pratt was known as a leading philanthropist and visionary. Today, with more than 3,500 alumni in Brooklyn, Pratt’s influence can be felt in almost every neighborhood and sector of the borough. From graduates who have helped make this one of the most culturally and artistically vibrant places in the world, to faculty, staff, and students who devote their time and talents to enriching the lives of local youth and developing sustainable resources for the community, Pratt, like its founder, has left an indelible mark on Brooklyn. At the same time, Brooklyn remains a constant source of inspiration for the Pratt community. Alumni draw on their memories and experiences to capture the distinctive character and spirit of Brooklyn. The borough’s industrial past, the Red Hook waterfront, historic mansions and majestic churches, and familiar neighborhood scenes—all make Brooklyn a timeless subject for artists in every genre. This issue of Prattfolio is particularly meaningful to me. I’ve personally watched Brooklyn and the neighborhood surrounding Pratt transform over the past 16 years, since I became president of the Institute. It’s been gratifying for me, as chair of the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Corporation (MARP), to see Myrtle Avenue become a vibrant commercial thoroughfare and an attractive place for students and faculty to shop, dine, and live. If you have not been back to the area for a while, you will be amazed. The stories and images on the following pages provide a glimpse of how the Pratt-Brooklyn connection continues to enrich the educational experience at Pratt and the lives of thousands throughout New York City. I hope that they move and inspire you, and that you’ll come see for yourself how much we have both grown.
Editorial Manager Abigail Beshkin Creative Director Christine Peterson Senior Designer Anna Ostrovsky Multimedia Designer Josh Graver Designer Tracy Wargo Editor Adrienne Gyongy Senior Production Manager Jennifer Ashlock Photo Manager Diana Pau Editorial Assistants Matthew Putrino Kate Ünver Contributors Janet Kashuba Amber Myers Charlotte Savidge Photography Amy Aronoff Sigrid Estrada Diana Pau
Tess Schutte Jessica Tallman
Submit address changes to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-399-4211. Send Mailbox letters to email@example.com or mail to Mara McGinnis, Executive Director, Office of Communications, Pratt Institute, 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205.
Sincerely photo: sigrid estrada
I was impressed with the quality of the issue. It created a kind of practice-what-you-teach feeling about the school and its history. Good, stylish, up-to-date design themes. It makes one proud to be an alumnus of Pratt. Larry Matthews Communications Design ’79
I found the entire magazine and features very interesting. I especially liked the following sections: Pratt People interviews (short and direct); “Beginning at Pratt: Lab on a chip”; New and Noteworthy; “Where In the World is Pratt?” (interesting demographics); and Class Notes (it’s always interesting to learn where alumni plant their roots). Mike Santo B.I.D. ’85
Prattfolio is published by the Office of Communications in the Division of Institutional Advancement for the alumni and friends of Pratt Institute.
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Thomas F. Schutte
elke reva sudin B.f.A. ’09
illustrator and graphic designer, created the series of paintings Hipsters and Hassids. Photographed blowing the shofar, in honor of the Jewish new year, at her studio in Boerum Hill.
let’s start With a primer on Who exaCtly “hipsters” anD “hassiDs” are. Williamsburg, Brooklyn is separated by two predominant communities: to the south, a community of Ultra-Orthodox Hassidic Jews from the Satmar sect. This community secludes itself from outside influences and holds strictly to its traditions. They wear the clothing of Polish royalty—fur hats and long black silk coats—and speak Yiddish as a first language. Hipsters in north Williamsburg are the young artists and creative types. By many definitions, they also wear funny hats and clothes, and lead unusual lifestyles. Even though they seem to be about freedom of expression, often times, their vintage clothing and other styles seem like more of a uniform than an expression of individuality.
alec stuart B.f.A. fashion Design ’05 owner of the fort Greene boutique Stuart & Wright. Photographed at his store.
Do you Design any oF your oWn pieCes? I design a small collection every season and source or produce
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hoW DiD you settle on your loCation? It all happened by chance: My dry cleaner closed suddenly (it had been in the same building for 40 years—a landmark in the neighborhood); it took me six months to track the owners down —and another six to convince them to let us do a gut renovation. A hustle—but well worth the chase. have you seen Fort greene Change sinCe you openeD in 2006? Fort Greene has changed, but New York as a whole has also changed. We opened out here to be under the radar, but recently we have become a destination shop for greater New York City. Do you oFFer a pratt DisCount? Yes.
What sparkeD the iDea For the Hipsters and Hassids series? My illustration professor Veronica Lawlor challenged me to do a thesis that drew on my Jewish background. Originally, I was going to explore the secluded community of Satmar women in Williamsburg, whom I feel connected to because as a religious Jew, I also cover my hair. phoTo: diAnA pAu
Do you sell any pieCes by loCal or pratt Designers? We have a few that rotate in and out. Currently we carry a small line by alumna Mina Stone (B.F.A. ’04), who hand paints and treats a lot of her own fabrics (see page 39). She’s been an inspiration since I was an underclassman with her at Pratt. We also carry an amazing line of shoes from Ariana Bohling (B.F.A. ’05), who handcrafts every pair in her Clinton Hill studio.
in the Course oF Doing these paintings, DiD you learn anything that surpriseD you? I learned that the Hassids appreciate art, even if their appreciation is limited to traditional Jewish subject matter. While doing drawings on location, Hassidic women would stop and look at what I was doing. I also learned how much the hipster scene is fascinated by the Hassidic Jews. They love to walk through south Williamsburg because it’s such an out-of-this-time-andplace experience. I found myself sympathetic to the Hassidic community, because they are people who have high standards for what life should be like on this earth. I am sympathetic to the hipsters because as a young artist, I know what it’s like to want to live the urban artist lifestyle.
everything in New York. I have an advantage in having this store in that I can make whatever I’m feeling inspired to make and not have to rely on the regimented fashion production calendar.
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hoW DiD you go From maJoring in Fashion Design to Fashion retail? It’s all in the same vein of interest. What makes Stuart & Wright strong, and helps us hold a sense of integrity, is that I’m a designer before a retailer. I lucked out with a fantastic business partner who keeps me reeled in when concept overtakes reality.
What are you Working on noW? My husband Saul (B.F.A. Film ’06) and I are publishing an annual anthology of contemporary Jewish art. More information can be found at www.SUDINmagazine.com.
John shapiro M.S. ’79
Chair of Pratt’s Graduate Center for Planning and the environment (GCPe), which just celebrated 50 years and won a key recognition from the American Planning Association’s New York Metro Chapter. Photographed at the Columbia Waterfront in Brooklyn.
What WoulD you say is gCpe’s biggest aCComplishment in its 50 years? GCPE led a sea change that saw successful urban vitalization not simply through the “hard power” of government urban renewal and real estate development, but through the “soft power” of civic engagement. Plus, we have turned out more than 500 graduates, ranging from the staff of community-based organizations to the deputy mayor of New York City.
sandy benjamin-hannibal Pratt Staff 1968–2010
Nationally recognized quilt artist and textile designer; former assistant to the chair, Pratt Department of foundation Arts, and longtime Brooklyn resident. Photographed teaching her quilting class in New York City.
hoW DiD you FinD time to pursue quilting While employeD Full-time at pratt? When I realized quilt making was my passion, finding time for it became second nature. I’d squeeze it in wherever I
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Where have your quilts been exhibiteD? Many places, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Newark Museum, the Museum of Fine Art at Spelman College, Williams College, Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Vermont Quilt Festival. hoW Does it Feel to be a nationally reCognizeD artist With a sCholarship establisheD in your name? It's an honor so big I don’t know how to describe it. I am most grateful to Bonnie Cashin Fund board members David Baum and Henry Grady for making this scholarship possible. I have always had a deep love for education. I remember days when we children would be kept home from school to work on the farm. I would ask my dad for permission to go anyway, because I did not ever want to miss a class. Permission was always granted. Since age 5, there have been no more than three years when I was not in school — either as a student or an employee.
Do you see a Future When it Comes to green builDing? Yes—but the real impact of new green buildings will be what they inspire vis-à-vis the retro-greening of the existing built environment. I am excited by the ideas being explored at GCPE: agriculture on the roofs and walls of warehouses; vacuum-transported waste; and wetlands for the treatment of sewage—to name a few.
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Were you traineD as an artist beFore you took up quilting? No. I studied business administration in college. “Artist” was not even in my vocabulary as a profession until I started working at Pratt. The discovery of myself as an artist happened in part because the late Professor Mary L. Buckley and Professor Herbert Beerman often made positive comments about the way I wore color. Everyone I worked with in Foundation was encouraging and nurturing.
What Was the most reWarDing planning proJeCt you personally ever WorkeD on? Six neighborhood plans, during the early 1990s, for the South Bronx. I worked with passionate neighborhood residents and leaders on plans for West Farms, the Mid-Bronx, Crotona Park East, and the Grand Concourse, and I learned the full value of collaborating with the community. I never did planning the same after, and it is why I came to GCPE.
could. I remember deciding I would give some time to it every day even if it was just skimming through a quilt book.
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What are the most striking Changes you’ve seen at pratt in your 42 years With the institute? The grounds have changed: the beauty of the campus is astounding year-round. The faculty and administration were predominantly male when I started. Now women are deans, vice presidents, and other high-level positions. Black Alumni at Pratt was founded and has flourished.
given the Current eConomiC Climate, is it DiFFiCult For the urban planning proFession to maintain a Commitment to sustainability? Just the opposite. Sustainability is not just fanciful ideas for foldable cars. It is a new outlook that depends on recognizing that the most sustainable thing is to reuse everything you can. Frugality born of necessity may help us realize a better form of consumerism. Our enrollment has doubled, largely due to students who want to commit to an urban sustainability movement.
samy brahimy B. Arch. ’80
Co-owner iBeC Building Corp., a Brooklyn-based residential development and management company. Photographed at the Clermont Armory towers, a mixed-use apartment building in fort Greene, owned by iBeC.
What potential DiD you see in Fort greene anD Clinton hill When you began buying real estate there in the 1980s? I saw beautiful historic buildings in a newly designated Landmark District. There was an active community of urban pioneers determined to restore dignity to a neighborhood that had declined dramatically in the 1950s and 1960s. Property prices made economic sense, and there was a reasonable chance that property would increase in value. What Was the very First builDing you purChaseD in the Fort greene/Clinton hill neighborhooD? The building was a former Masonic lodge (built circa 1874) at 165 Clermont Avenue that was fire-damaged, abandoned, and in a state of disrepair. I fell in love with the top-floor meeting room, which was one large space with an 18-foot ceiling and a large (missing) skylight.
matt & kim
matt Johnson, B.f.A. film ’04, kim schifino, B.f.A. illustration ’02 Keyboardist/vocalist and drummer/vocalist, respectively, of the Brooklyn-based band Matt + Kim, known for its distinctive brand of dance punk rock. Photographed at the Siren Music festival on Coney island.
What proJeCt are you most prouD oF? The adaptive reuse of the former Clermont Avenue Armory. My partners and I converted this National Guard Armory (built in 1873), which was in a state of neglect and disrepair, into a thriving residential building. We were able to preserve three of the tremendous wrought-iron trusses that spanned the main drill hall.
Why the shiFt From art to musiC? [Matt] It’s not much of a shift. Music was always my first love, ever since I first got a bass when I was 14. [Kim] Being creative is being creative; the more you understand how to compose in any art form—drawing, photography, or whatever—the better you can compose a song.
is there anything you learneD at pratt that has inFluenCeD your Career? Pratt taught me to be self-motivated, to think outside the box, and to adapt to change.
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Where Do you see the next areas oF groWth in brooklyn real estate? As land prices in the more established neighborhoods have become prohibitive, outlying neighborhoods such as Red Hook and the Gowanus Canal area show upward potential. However, growth in those areas will need to be preceded by investment in infrastructure, transportation, and environmental remediation by the public sector. Given the budget crisis, that is unlikely in the near future.
Why DiD you name your seConD album Grand ? For the street we live on in Brooklyn. It kept coming up in lyrics as we were writing the album, so it seemed only fitting to call it that. What is it about brooklyn that keeps you here? We love being surrounded by so many creative people doing awesome things that make us want to do awesome things, too. We call it “art school competitiveness.”
hoW Do you get suCh lively album anD CD Covers? Kim has made our two album covers, also our demo cover and a seven-inch sleeve. She finds working on band-related art (T-shirts, stickers, and buttons) to be the only time she gets to work on art at all! What's the most important lesson you learneD at pratt? The ability to tell when something isn’t working—because then you can keep reworking it until it does. What's your FonDest memory oF pratt? [Kim] My senior art show. My dad came up to help with the installation and my friends, the band Japanther, played at the opening, which turned into a sweet final party.
BROOKLYNS CULTURAL VANGUARD pratt grads enliven the arts scene
by Abigail Beshkin
At left, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch at Grand Army Plaza, the main entrance to Prospect Park. At right, the Brooklyn Museum.
In October 1983, The New York Times real estate section carried an article with the headline “Brooklyn Rents Lure Artists.” The piece went on to say “colonies [of working artists] are developing in Crown Heights, Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and Williamsburg.” That was the beginning, when waves of artists and creative professionals began moving to Brooklyn. (Many were attending or had attended Pratt.) As Manhattan rents rose, more artists followed. Now, almost 30 years later, Brooklyn is in the thick of a cultural renaissance that appears certain to keep expanding, with Pratt and many of its graduates playing a large role. Name any major cultural institution in Brooklyn—the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Academy of Music—and chances are several Pratt graduates work there. Pass a mural on a building, visit an art gallery, a boutique, even a restaurant—and there’s a good chance you are experiencing the work of a Pratt graduate. Not only that, but with programs and grants that send Pratt students and professors to work directly with Brooklyn’s arts organizations, the Institute itself is helping continue the growth of the borough’s cultural and artistic communities.
Prospect Park is one of Brooklyn’s most iconic locations, and while the 580 acres in the heart of the borough is a place to walk, run, picnic, and enjoy nature, in the last 30 years it has also become a major arts center, especially in the summer. That’s thanks to Tupper Thomas (M.S. ’79), who has served as the Prospect Park administrator since 1980, and is widely credited with transforming the park. When Thomas first started her job, she says, “Nobody used the park. People were terrified of it.” Thomas assisted the park’s renaissance in 1987 by creating the Prospect Park Alliance, a publicprivate partnership responsible for securing both private donations and public funding for the park. Her degree in urban planning helped her with community outreach, political outreach, and using the arts as a way to increase visitation to the park. In addition, through an emphasis on safety, and through marketing, Prospect Park now draws almost 10 million visitors a year to view, among other things, the park’s 19 monuments, many of which were created by world-famous artists. Thomas says the lessons she learned at Pratt helped her approach the turnaround of Prospect Park. “Pratt opened my mind to other ways of thinking about how people participate in their environment,” Thomas says. “I learned to ask ‘How do you see a much larger picture of the park in relation to the community?’ This was a philosophy that was being talked about at Pratt in the late 1970s.”
the Brooklyn Public Library At the north end of Prospect Park is the Brooklyn Public Library’s central branch, the heart of the 10
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photos: diana pau (grand army plaza, brooklyn museum)
country’s fifth-largest library system. The central library and the system’s 59 branches employ dozens of graduates of Pratt’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS). Among them is Mary Graham (M.S. ’78). As deputy director for public service for the Brooklyn Public Library system, Graham is in charge of day-to-day operations for the library, overseeing a staff of 700. Graham has spent almost her entire career working for the Brooklyn Public Library. She took a job there soon after college, and when her boss asked if she would consider studying library science (back then, Brooklyn Public Library paid the tuition!), she enrolled at Pratt. “It was great, very convenient. I’d go to Pratt and take classes in the evenings, and work in between.” Graham says the lessons she learned at Pratt are, in these difficult economic times, serving her well. “The management courses I took developed an awareness in me of the need to plan for the future,” she says. At the same time, she adds “so many of the professors I had at Pratt built an awareness in me that community is the focus, and we have to meet the demands of the community.” In June, Pratt’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) received a grant in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Historical Society to work on meeting community needs for cultural enrichment, while preparing students to become digital information managers. Using the almost $1 million grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), SILS will implement the
“There’s an energy, a history here. Even the architecture and the neighborhoods, the character of the borough—it’s all conducive to fostering the kind of independent thinking that artists generally seek.” Audrey Frank Anastasi, owner, Tabla Rasa gallery in Sunset Park Cultural Heritage Access Research and Technology Program (CHART). Through CHART, over the next three years, 18 library science students will receive scholarships to pursue a focused curriculum that prepares them to be digital managers for cultural institutions. They will also spend two semesters interning at the library, museum, and historical society, where they will digitize photos and create descriptions, then make the images publicly accessible via a Web portal hosted by the Brooklyn Museum. The rich collections of photos—about 15,000 of them—document almost two centuries of Brooklyn communities. They show images of early immigrant neighborhoods, subway construction, and scenes from the 1977 blackout—to name just a few. “It opens up a world of opportunities for developing a cutting-edge curriculum in digital management for cultural heritage institutions, that will prepare our students to assume leadership roles in advancing the digital landscape for museums, libraries, and archives,” says SILS Dean Tula Giannini. Also, she says “This grant means all three
institutions will be able to use these valuable digital assets for exhibitions, education, and outreach.” For Deirdre Lawrence (M.S. ’74), principal librarian at the Brooklyn Museum, the opportunity to offer Brooklyn’s historic photographs to a wider audience via the Internet is unparalleled. “This collaboration with Pratt means greater access to rare historical photographs of Brooklyn for the cultural community of Brooklyn and all of New York City—not to mention national and international audiences,” Lawrence says. She says this collaboration adds to an already strong relationship the Brooklyn Museum has with Pratt. “We’re in the third successful year of another IMLS grant that allows SILS students to catalog and make available a full range of research materials from the Brooklyn Museum’s libraries and archives and to digitize images from the museum’s collections. Thanks to the students and this collaboration, large groups of collections are now more accessible for research.”
A LIVELIER NEIGHBORHOOD And while Pratt Institute and its graduates are playing a leading role in Brooklyn’s artistic resurgence, the borough’s cultural renaissance has also significantly benefitted Pratt. “All this artistic energy happening in Brooklyn has raised our desirability,” says Provost Peter Barna (M.I.D. ’83), “and our ability to attract excellent faculty members. The neighborhood is now a wonderful, viable place to live and work.” 11 11
Because the neighborhood has become livelier, Barna says, recruiting students is easier, especially students from overseas, further contributing to both campus and neighborhood diversity. As Brooklyn has changed, he says the boundaries between Pratt and its surrounding community have been blurred. “Pratt has gone from being an enclave to being a community. That transparency and permeable membrane means the campus is not just a commuter campus.” And that, he says, has impacted the work students and faculty are creating. “Artists are attracted to places that aren’t proscribed,” he says. “And it has an effect on their art. The art has an edge, like the work of the artists who came up in SoHo.”
THE BAM CULTURAL DISTRICT
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photos: Diana pau (Urbanglass)
At left, UrbanGlass, in the BAM Cultral District, which rents out the highly-specialized ovens needed for glass art. At right, L-R: Laurie Korowitz-Coutu (B.F.A. ’97), Miguel Unson (M.S. ’08), Kristin Solomon (M.P.S. ’10) at UrbanGlass. Korowitz-Coutu and Unson are glass artists; Unson and Solomon are also employed by UrbanGlass managing programs and operations.
photos: iStock (dumbo), Diana pau (BAM)
Top, DUMBO is one of the hottest arts areas of Brooklyn, and is home to dozens of galleries, artists studios, and art and design businesses. Bottom, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is the gateway to the BAM Cultural District, which includes several cultural organizations.
There are many great places to escape the New York City summer heat, but the UrbanGlass studio, with its flaming blow-torches and 2,000-degree furnaces, is not one of them. Yet, on a sweltering day this past summer, the Fort Greene organization was bustling with glass artists. Using long metal poles called blowpipes, they carefully pulled glowing red bulbs of glass from the high-temperature chambers known as gloryholes, and began coaxing them into sculptures, vases, or lighting fixtures. UrbanGlass is one of the only non-profit glasswork studios in the country, and the artists who rent the gloryholes and annealers (used for heating and cooling glass) consider it one of the country’s premier glass workspaces. The organization also offers training in glasswork for low-income women through The Bead Project, and holds public seminars on this highly specialized art. “Most people working in glass in Brooklyn have learned it here,” explains UrbanGlass Associate Director Becki Melchione (M.P.S. ’08). “Then they show and sell their work in Brooklyn, adding to the economy here.” Countless glass artists who rent space by the hour at UrbanGlass studied at Pratt, as did four of the center’s nine full-time staff members, including Melchione, who will help oversee UrbanGlass’s planned expansion. UrbanGlass is part of what’s known as the BAM Cultural District. It sits down the street from the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), which is the centerpiece of an ambitious plan to grow a cultural district in downtown Brooklyn. BAM’s visual art curator and sales manager is David Harper (M.A. ’06). While BAM is mostly a performing arts venue, Harper curates
the art that hangs in the lobby and other areas of the academy. He says the majority of the artists he chooses live and work in Brooklyn. “Saying you’re mostly going to hang work by Brooklyn artists is one of the least restrictive things you can say,” Harper says. “You could spend the rest of your life doing exhibitions of artists in Brooklyn and never run out.” Harper says Pratt provided the foundation for his curatorial work. “I loved being surrounded by artists while I was studying art history. I think it provided a good base of people whose work I was looking at and got to know. Many of the artists we’ve shown have been Pratt grads, including Fay Ku (M.F.A. ’06), Greg Lindquist (M.F.A. ’08), and Jean Shin (B.F.A. ’94, M.S. Art History ’96).” The BAM Cultural District’s expansion has been widely lauded. Yet, it would be dishonest not to at least mention what every artist in New York City knows: that once artists move into an area, it is only a matter of time before the artists who first gave the neighborhood its charm can no longer afford to live there. Melchione credits her organization as being one of the first to draw artists to the then-relatively inexpensive Fort Greene when UrbanGlass opened in 1990. Fort Greene, which also borders Pratt, is now one of the most desirable—and expensive—neighborhoods in Brooklyn. “Few of our artists can afford to live here,” she says. “It’s bittersweet, because I like to see the neighborhood progressing. I like to see the cultural institutions and more amenities. But it’s frustrating when you see rents have gone up at least 100 percent compared to 10 years ago.”
“You could spend the rest of your life doing exhibitions of artists in Brooklyn and never run out.” David Harper, visual art curator, Brooklyn Academy of Music
OFF THE BEATEN PATH It is not only the older, more established, Brooklyn cultural institutions that give the borough its reputation as an enclave for artists and creative professionals. If anything, it is the newer endeavors— everything from galleries that now rival Manhattan galleries as serious art spaces, to boutiques carrying clothing by local designers—that give Brooklyn its identity as the borough of creativity. “There’s an energy, a history here,” says Audrey Frank Anastasi (M.F.A. ’73) owner of Tabla Rasa gallery in Sunset Park. “Even the architecture and the neighborhoods, the character of the borough—it’s all conducive to fostering the kind of independent thinking that artists generally seek.” Anastasi and her husband, Joseph, opened their gallery in Sunset Park in 2005—the first gallery in the neighborhood and an example of the shift from Manhattan to Brooklyn for serious art viewing and collecting. Creative types have been moving to Sunset Park ever since, but when Tabla Rasa started, the neighborhood was in many ways a clean slate—hence the gallery’s name.
“It was a clean start in an untapped area, just as every artist starts with a blank canvas, a clean slate.” Being able to arrive at a clean slate and be one of the “first” in an area is part of the draw of Brooklyn. Just a few years ago, DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) was one such clean slate, with empty warehouse buildings lining cobblestone streets. The area has since become a haven for artists, thanks in large part to Pratt trustee David Walentas, whose management firm Two Trees has offered below-market rents to artists and arts organizations (see page 52). The area is home to many Pratt graduates’ businesses and studios, such as architecture firm Future Pace Design, owned by Manfred St. Julien (B. Arch. ’87) and artists Sean Mellyn (B.F.A. ’87), and Carol Quint (B.F.A. ’62). DUMBO may be developed now, but there are still neighborhoods in Brooklyn where relatively inexpensive workspace and apartments can be found; that is part of the borough’s appeal. “It feels like a place where you can be a pioneer, in a way,” says Emily Elsen (B.F.A. ’03), one of the co-founders of Gowanus Studio Space, with Pratt classmate Ben Cohen (B.I.D. ’03), a nonprofit design and art studio where artists rent use of workspace and equipment. And while Brooklyn may be your borough if you are an artist, it is also most certainly the place for you if you are a foodie, since it houses the kitchens of everything from artisan cheese makers and small-batch picklers to coffee roasters and chocolatiers. 13
So it makes sense that Elsen, a sculpturemajor-turned-studio-space-entrepreneur, has now become a successful baker. She and her sister recently opened a pie shop, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, down the street from the Gowanus Studio Space. The shop is already popular and has been featured by several media outlets, including Martha Stewart Living magazine and the Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats. Elsen says, these days, she finds pie-baking as satisfying as making art. “There’s this immediate gratification, because you’re providing something that gives people sustenance, and is also a thing of beauty. The pies are beautiful, they serve a purpose,
and they are also special.” However, she says she regularly applies skills learned at Pratt to her baking. “With sculpture, you are always problemsolving, figuring out how to make a piece work physically, be it a joint or a weld or a video production issue,” she says. “That’s true in making pies too.” Elsen grew up in Hecla, South Dakota, which has a population of just 300. Yet she remembers vividly the first time she came to New York to look at colleges. She started in Manhattan before heading to Brooklyn. “I will never forget coming over the bridge for the first time,” she says. “I just knew this was where I would stay.” P
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The Brooklyn Bridge
SWEET SOUND OF SUCCESS PRATT STYLE by Kaomi Goetz
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“Steps and process are a very important part of how we make music. All those things were programmed into us at Pratt.” Amanda Tannen, bassist and singer, stellastar* Plus, says Japanther’s Vanek, there are not as many distinctions between art and music as people believe. He says art and music are like “animals” that live and breathe. “Caging them in galleries, venues, and bars is a near criminal bore.” Japanther came together at Pratt in 2001, when singer/drummer Vanek and singer/guitarist Reilly started sharing mix tapes and playing mainly out of boredom. Vanek also had a work-study job at Imaging Services. He and his boss, Rob Barber (now one-half of the indie band High Places), spent many late hours there playing music. “We told the guards it was just a project for school,” Vanek recalls. Japanther had its first show at a bar on Kent and Broadway, booked by Vanek’s then-roommate. Stellastarr* bassist and singer Amanda Tannen met lead singer Shawn Christensen, and the pair began playing in the Pratt dorms along with others under the name “Ghistor,” a
humorous nod to a beginning-level typography class where the professor required students to handwrite the combination of letters G-H-I-S-T-O-R. “When we initially got together it was a like a group art project,” she says, which was a nice counterpoint to her mostly independent coursework. The band broke up; its members graduated. But in 2000, Tannen ran into Christensen and Kremer on the street. Christensen suggested they start playing again. “At that time I was doing graphic design, a 9-5 desk job, and I was not happy about it,” Tannen recalls. “I needed something more creatively fulfilling.” The trio was joined by guitarist Michael Jurin, whom they call their “honorary Pratt alumnus.” They named themselves stellastarr*—the asterisk a no-brainer for the visual artists, who liked the way the symbol looked with their name. All three bands say they still regularly use their visual arts training from Pratt. Japanther’s Vanek and Reilly are collaborating with artists Dan Graham and Raymond Pettibon on a skate pavilion in Mexico and ink and brush drawings, respectively. Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls creates all of the band’s album cover art and T-shirts. And Amanda Tannen of stellastarr* says her training at Pratt informs almost everything the musicians do. “We design all of our own T-shirts, advertisements, and art direct all the photographs. With our look we always think about packaging and presentation. And also steps and process are a very important part of how we make music. All those things were programmed into us at Pratt.” P
i n v e s t i n g i n c r e at i v i t y
Pratt Institute is proud to recognize its most g e n e r o u s a n d l oy a l s u p p o r t e r s t h r o u g h i t s n e w Leadership Societies. The talent of tomorrow needs leaders like you today! There are many ways you can join Madeline and take the lead by giving to The Fund for Pratt at a leadership level:
Charles Pratt Society Elite leaders who strengthen Pratt’s tradition of academic excellence and lay the foundation for The Fund for Pratt through their generous annual investment of $5,000+.
Chairman’s Council Pacesetting contributors who further the goals of the Institute annually with gifts of $2,500–$4,999 to The Fund for Pratt.
President’s Circle Principal supporters who affirm their belief in Pratt’s mission annually with a gift of $1,000–$2,499 to The Fund for Pratt. Undergraduate alumni during their first 10 years out of Pratt will qualify for the President’s Circle with gifts that correspond to the number of years since they graduated ($100–$999).
Gatekeeper Society Dedicated donors with five or more years of consecutive giving to The Fund for Pratt.
Contact us to learn more photo: Diana pau
observes, because so many bands are based here. In fact, New York’s indie music world has been shifting from the East Village and other downtown neighborhoods, to Bushwick, Williamsburg, and other parts of Brooklyn over the last 10 years.
photo: Diana pau
It is not just Pratt-educated visual artists, curators, and librarians who contribute to Brooklyn’s arts world. There are also many musical groups that formed at Pratt, or have at least one Pratt member, gaining serious attention on the indie music scene. This may seem surprising. The Institute does not offer a music program, and most students arrive planning to graduate as, say, architects or graphic designers. But rock stars? One of the earliest and most commercially successful examples of a Pratt graduate making it on the music scene is They Might Be Giants, an alt-rock band co-founded in 1982 by John Flansburgh (B.F.A. Printmaking ’84). But recently there has been a string of up-andcomers: There is Vivian Girls, whose guitarist and vocalist Cassie Grzymkowski (B.F.A. Illustration ’08), commonly known as Cassie Ramone, went to Pratt. There is the alt-rock duo Matt + Kim; Matt Johnson (B.F.A. Film ’04) and Kim Schifino (B.F.A. Illustration ’02) met at Pratt and, during a recent concert at Coney Island, waxed nostalgic about their shows in Bushwick and Clinton Hill (see page 9 for a Q&A with Johnson and Schifino). Ian Vanek (B.A. Comm-Design ’02) and Matt Reilly (B.A. Comm-Design ’02) of the punk rock duo Japanther met at Pratt, as did Amanda Tannen (B.F.A. Art Direction ’98), Shawn Christensen (B.F.A. Illustration ’97), and Arthur Kremer (B.F.A. Computer Graphics ’98), who make up threequarters of the shoegaze rock band stellastarr*. Ramone of the Vivian Girls, an all-girl band of angsty, lo-fi surf punk, says Pratt’s creative community and the Brooklyn environs are perfect incubators for a band. “The bar is set higher here than in many other cities,” Ramone
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Madeline Burke-Vigeland, AIA, B. Arch. ’81 Chairman’s Council donor
Throughout Pratt’s history, positive town-gown relations have benefited both the Institute and the surrounding population of Brooklyn. The city and Pratt coexist peacefully, not only because so many alumni have settled in the immediate vicinity and beautified the neighborhood, but also due to the school’s efforts over the years to reach out to the community and offer programs, education, and assistance to Pratt’s neighbors. Compiled by Adrienne Gyongy Photos by Diana Pau
Saturday Art School Pratt’s tradition of service to the community is nearly as old as the Institute itself. In 1897, only a decade after its founding, Pratt became one of the 19th-century originators of Saturday morning art classes for children and adults, offering local youngsters opportunities to develop their potential as creative individuals. For more than a century since, Pratt has welcomed community residents to the on-campus program to develop their artistic abilities. On Saturday, when they are free of other concerns, children,
adolescents, and even the parents of those enrolled may take classes exploring a variety of media and use the same materials and tools employed by professional artists, architects, and designers. Classes are taught by Pratt graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in Art and Design Education and are supervised by Pratt faculty. As such, the program serves both as a teaching laboratory for future art teachers and as a neighborhood resource offering quality art instruction in the outstanding
facilities of a renowned institution. With its modest fee structure and available scholarship support, the Saturday Art School attracts more than 300 students a year, ages 3–18. It serves its participants well, whether or not they later pursue careers in the arts. According to Art and Design Education Chair Amy Brook Snider, “The program also provides us with compelling evidence that developing art ability enhances the learning and quality of work in other subjects.”
Pratt Art and Design Education graduate student Eileen Hillery (center) teaches an Art Foundations class for 8-year-olds during Pratt’s Saturday Art School in South Hall. 16
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Pratt Center: Cypress Hills
America Reads/Counts is a federal program that addresses the problem of falling literacy scores in the nation’s schools by offering tutoring. Launched in 1997, the initiative was established at Pratt in 2000 and differs in creative ways from the programs administered by the other 1,400 participating colleges. Today, Pratt’s program provides service learning opportunities to about 70 Pratt students who tutor about 5,000 children a week in reading and math, at 40 schools and community-based sites, including day-care centers, Head Start programs, and schools that provide specialized services to students who are visually and hearing impaired. In addition, about 150 children attend a monthly Saturday School at Pratt’s Brooklyn campus. In keeping with Pratt’s tradition as a leader in arts education, the program’s coordinator, Peggy West-Barton-Feagin, has expanded service options to include creative and unique enhancements that support the learning needs of young schoolaged children. These include an annual Costumed Read-Out in Pratt’s gym hosting over 1,300 children; the Black Cowboys history show; American Sign Language for tutors and children; and foreign language instruction taught to children by Pratt student-tutors.
For more than four decades the urban planners and architects of the Pratt Center for Community Development have been collaborating with community groups and local residents to help them improve their neighborhoods. So when East Brooklyn residents wanted to expand their local shopping options and bring more life to neighborhood streets, the Cypress Hills Local Economic Development Studio turned to the Pratt Center. As director of economic development programs for Cypress Hills LDC, Mildred Keel-Williams valued the Pratt Center for its expertise in analyzing economic and land-use data as part of neighborhood
Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte reading to children in a costumed session of America Reads/Counts, a nationwide program that Pratt has brought to the Brooklyn community in imaginative variations.
Director of Economic Development Programs Mildred Keel-Williams of the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation talks with business owner Leonard Roberts, who renamed and refurbished a barber shop that had been in the neighborhood for 40 years.
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improvement projects. Visiting Leonard Roberts’ vividly repainted barbershop, Keel-Williams reassured him he would not be scammed if he availed himself of the services Cypress Hills LDC offers. “In this part of the neighborhood,” she says, “there’s no structure or organization owners can relate to, so we hope to bridge that gap to work with them hand-in-hand to really bring this area up.” In Cypress Hills, the Pratt Center and Pratt planning students surveyed the retail landscape on Pitkin and Liberty avenues, assessed the shopping needs and habits of residents, and made recommendations for attracting new retailers and appealing to
customers who might otherwise choose to shop elsewhere. The resulting study, which concluded in June, generated recommendations for preserving the useful retail establishments, while strategizing how to identify opportunities for new businesses. “There’s a lot of opportunity in East Brooklyn,” Keel-Williams says, “but what is Cypress Hills known for now outside of cemeteries? I have faith that things will come up. The improvements in this barber shop alone and the day-care center next door are encouraging, and we hope the Pratt study will help us attract a viable use for the buildings alongside them.”
Design Corps For seniors and juniors ready to take what they are learning in class and apply it to real community needs, Pratt has offered Design Corps since 2005 in the undergraduate Department of Communications Design. Under the direction of Adjunct Associate Professors Michael Kelly (B.F.A. ’96) and David Frisco, the course simulates the work of a design firm in servicing a real client: students work individually and as teams, gaining valuable industry experience, while providing a nonprofit organization with high-quality work at no cost. In spring 2010, Design Corps came to the aid of Recycle-A-Bicycle, an organization that has been selling refurbished bikes to support its youth programs since 1995. With storefronts in DUMBO (pictured here), and the East Village, the group now recycles 1,200 donated bikes annually.
Pratt Center: Sustainable Houses of Worship “Recycle-A-Bicycle has evolved tremendously,” explains Pasqualina Azzarello, executive director, “but our website had pictures of kids who have now graduated from college. It was high time to redevelop our website to better communicate with our community, and Design Corps seemed like a perfect fit.” After viewing class efforts, Azzarello chose a design by [then senior] David Chapman, which she felt best maintained the nonprofit’s personality and spirit while putting forward its changes and growth. “I think what Design Corps brings to the students’ education is this idea of giving back,” says Kelly. “A website is pretty standard for us, but working with the community is really important, because the intention of Pratt is to prepare students for going out and dealing with the larger world.”
Former Design Corps student David Chapman (B.F.A. ’10) makes last-minute changes to the website he designed for the client Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB) under the watchful eyes of Adjunct Associate Professors Michael Kelly (B.F.A. ’96) and David Frisco, as RAB Executive Director Pasqualina Azzarello looks on. 20
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Many of Brooklyn's 1,000 houses of worship are beloved historic buildings, centerpieces of their communities. Yet, many suffer from years of deferred maintenance, and their physical deterioration can sharply undermine the churches’ religious, social service, and educational missions. Aware of this problem, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) is providing a $50,000 state grant for a Pratt Center pilot project to offer technical support to three churches in Bedford-Stuyvesant: Siloam Presbyterian, Friendship Baptist, and Mt. Pisgah Baptist. “For each we will conduct a basic shell assessment, space utilization survey, and energy audit,” explains Pratt Center lead architect Michael Kriegh, who heads the project. “The energy conservation piece of the puzzle is the one Mt. Pisgah congregants
decided to focus on most directly.” Under its dynamic pastor, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Mt. Pisgah is seeing a resurgence of membership even as it is experiencing problems with its physical plant: The sanctuary is too cold; the adjacent school is too hot. Such inconsistent heating pointed to boiler problems in the 127-year-old Italianate structure. As a result, Mt. Pisgah congregants have focused on energy conservation. Anita Alexander, Mt. Pisgah’s director of social justice ministry, has been a church member for over 50 years. “Now with this program,” she says happily, “we’ll be able to divide and separate the controls of the boiler into one for the school and one for the church. And we’re so grateful for the contractor the Pratt Center suggested, because the fee is very reasonable.”
An energy assessment arranged through the Pratt Center recommended changing to energy-efficient lighting fixtures, so Kriegh connected Mt. Pisgah to a Con Edison program that changes or modifies light fixtures for 70 percent of the installed cost. Next, Kriegh plans to organize training sessions for church maintenance personnel. This will be accomplished under an $85,000 federal grant from Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-Brooklyn), which will also be used by the Pratt Center to launch a new initiative: the Green Community Career and Business Training Center. That center will build upon the Sustainable Houses of Worship effort to develop a certificate program for non-professionals, skilled, and semi-skilled workers to work in churches. P
Anita Alexander, director of social justice ministry at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant, raises energy conservation concerns with Pratt Center lead architect Michael Kriegh. 21
Ashley Benson, B.F.A. Film ’06, Phoenix, Arizona
B.F.A. Painting ’65, Ontario, Canada
B.F.A. Fashion Design ’60, New York
One year, I worked on the committee welcoming new students. It so happened that the filming of The Good Shepherd,
When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Novem-
I enjoyed the neighborhoods around Pratt. There was
featuring Robert De Niro as the director and Matt Damon as one of the actors, was happening just outside campus.
ber 1963, someone rushed into the painting studio and
lots of great Italian food and neighborhood bars and
While resting with some of the other students on the welcoming committee, we had the pleasure of meeting Matt
announced what had happened, which stunned
movie theaters—though there was one that we nick-
Damon and, without realizing it, found ourselves sitting on the curb directly in front of Robert De Niro‘s trailer. It was
everyone. The instructor, who always seemed to know
named “the itch” because it wasn’t all that clean—but
also De Niro’s birthday and he was spending the evening celebrating with his children.
exactly what to say to inspire creativity and make
it was cheap.
We found out he had ordered a massive strawberry shortcake for his crew, and we snuck on to the set pretending to be
constructive criticisms, encouraged the class to “Just
I also worked at the Sears Restaurant on Church Street
part of it and stole some of Robert De Niro’s birthday cake. I don’t condone stealing, but it was the best cake I’ve ever
keep painting. There is nothing else that one can
and kept myself and a number of other students eating
had. Afterward, we felt bad and gathered up our pennies and dollars and bought him a Pratt cap. We all signed our
respond to that would be meaningful.”
well on the food I brought from the restaurant.
names in silver marker and presented it to the bodyguard to give to Robert De Niro with our thanks and best wishes.
Every Pratt student is, or once was, part of the fabric of Brooklyn. So we asked: What are your memories of
your time spent at Pratt and in Brooklyn? What stands out in your mind about your years here?
Maybe you loved Brooklyn so much you decided to stay? We wanted to know your favorite things about
Brooklyn, and why the borough continues to inspire you. Here’s what you told us.
M.S. City Planning ’75, Pratt Trustee, New York
B.I.D. ’77, New York
B.F.A. Communications Design ’65, Fort Worth, Texas
B.I.D. ’74, New York
First arriving on the Pratt Campus back in the mid-
living in Greenwich Village. With Pratt as the heart of
I remember Myrtle Avenue when the El still rumbled
Brooklyn from Germany and opened three bars by the
1970s was really the beginning of a love affair with
the neighborhood, the area was filled with artists,
above and left the street in a permanent state of
time he was 26.
Brooklyn that has survived until this day. I came to
writers, architects, dancers, and other creative and
semi-darkness. In a small storefront was the Romulo E
My grandfather, August Viemeister, grew up in the
Pratt to become a city planner and Brooklyn enabled
free-spirited individuals. Evenings and weekends
Remo Social Club with its windows heavily covered
neighborhood of Pratt and became an architect.
me to understand that “place” is of essential impor-
were filled with my studies and with the sharing of
with curtains. Lord! How I tried to get a glimpse of what
(Working with Emory Roth, he designed the Ritz Tower
new ideas and concepts with many free thinkers.
went on in there.
on 59th Street and the Beresford on 81st Street.)
tance to individual identity, and is also a motivator for people to organize themselves to bring about collective change, trumping the usual boundaries of class,
During the 1970s, living in Clinton Hill was similar to
I remember that on the corner of Willoughby right
across from Pratt were the two art supply stores, Jake’s,
Pratt Trustee, New York
and Charlie's right around the corner.
community development, philanthropy, and banking
Living in Brooklyn for the last 20 years hasn’t exactly
If you walked about four blocks down Willoughby
for more than 35 years.
inspired my work as much as enabled it. I love living in
Avenue you could get a brew or two…or six at our
New York City, but I also need a certain amount of
favorite watering hole, Erik's Bar and Grill. I forget their
small-townish peace and quiet in order to write
names but the two bartenders were fraternal twins who
productively. Thus, Brooklyn.
looked like ex-prizefighters...no bouncers needed.
race, ethnicity, and sexual identity. It’s a great lesson to have been taught early, guiding my work in
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My great-grandfather Ludwig Viemeister moved to
My dad commuted to Pratt from Long Island (Class of ’43)—his first job was with two of his teachers: Donald Dohner and Gordon Lippincott. When I went to Pratt, I felt all this history—especially when I carried my wire problems to class with some of the same ID teachers my dad had!
Leslie (Kleinrock) Peltz
B.F.A. Fashion ’66, Portland, Oregon
Painting ’44, Spencertown, New York
I first attended Pratt as a junior high school student
In 1942, when I was a student at Pratt, it was wonder-
taking Saturday classes. Pratt was my one and only
ful to be in Brooklyn. I loved the area—the streets lined
choice for college when I graduated from Erasmus
with trees, walking to Prospect Park, the Brooklyn
Hall High School in Flatbush. When I attended Pratt,
Museum, the Botanical Garden, and the library. In the
I was a commuter student taking three buses to get to
’60s when I was living at Coenties Slip at the end of
school each morning, and the DeKalb Avenue bus
Manhattan, a quick subway ride took me to Brooklyn,
and the BMT to get home at night.
where I would visit friends and all of the sites above.
It was a turbulent period. The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred at the beginning of my freshman year. President Kennedy was assassinated the following year while friends and I played “toss the keys” on the lawn by the library. In summer 1964, racial upheaval led to race riots in Harlem that spread to BedfordStuyvesant. And in 1965, the Northeast Blackout occurred as I was waiting for a bus to go home. Classmates and I walked in the dark to Flatbush
It was there at Pratt that I began to draw, and I had excellent teachers. This page: Brooklyn Cafe, 1942 Gouache, 7 7/8 x 6 3/8 inches Opposite page: Willoughby Avenue, 1942 Gouache, 8 7/8 x 7 1/8 inches The gouaches depict the corner where Kelly lived and a café on the same corner.
Avenue, and then I joined the multitude of people walking home.
All images are courtesy of the artist © Ellsworth Kelly.
Berryl Schiffer B.F.A. Sculpture ’71, New York By far the most memorable bit of history was the citywide student protest immediately following the Kent State massacre. Pratt students gathered in front of Main Building, marched down DeKalb to join a contingent of students from Long Island University, crossing over the (closed) Manhattan Bridge and eventually joining students from NYU and other downtown schools, and ultimately meeting up with students coming south from Columbia and Hunter to protest at the funeral of one of the victims. At the time Sixth Avenue in Manhattan was under construction and construction workers generally were very pro-war. The crowd of students was dispersed several times as the workers sent down debris and small items that burst in the air over our heads. It was one of the most terrifying times of my life.
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Robert Bindler (B.F.A. ’88), Wonderwheel and Cyclone, 1987, black and white photograph (Courtesy Robert Bindler)
The wonders of
Compiled by Abigail Beshkin
There is no limit to the creativity Coney Island inspires. For more than a century, artists have been sketching, painting, and photographing scenes of the beach, the boardwalk, and the famed amusement rides.
Leslie Peltz (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’66), Shoot the Freak, 2006, silver and gelatin print, 11 x 14 inches (Courtesy Leslie Peltz)
What says “Coney Island” better than the Cyclone and the Wonderwheel? The Cyclone roller coaster opened in 1927 and has operated almost continuously since. The Wonderwheel is 90 years old and 150 feet high.
With all the funnel cake and stomach-lurching rides, it is easy to forget that Coney Island’s almost three-mile stretch of beach is a place to relax and go for a swim.
Elaine Norman (M.F.A. ’72), Coney Ice Cream 1996, black and white photograph (Courtesy Elaine Norman)
What would Coney Island be without its sideshow performers who juggle chainsaws, swallow fire, and charm snakes? Today’s freak show may be slightly less ghoulish than those of 100 years ago. But the feats still make people shiver with delight and horror.
Strolling along the famed boardwalk, generations of visitors have fueled themselves with cotton candy, ice cream, fried dough, and other delicacies.
Peter Kayafas (adjunct associate professor, Media Arts) Left to right: Coney Island, 1991; Coney Island, 2002; Coney Island, 1996; silver and gelatin prints, 16 x 20 inches (Courtesy Sasha Wolf Gallery)
see more images of
Coney island alumni.pratt.edu
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Literary BrookLyn: L Lyn: new avenues of inspiration By Abigail Deutsch In recent years, Brooklyn’s identity as a writing enclave has both gained attention and prompted tension. A 2008 article from The New York Observer printed a list of Brooklyn’s top 100 literati, divided by neighborhood (Fort Greene and Park Slope tied with 19 apiece). At about the same time, Colson Whitehead, tired of the fuss over literary Brooklyn, wrote in The New York Times Book Review: “I get invited to do panels with other Brooklyn writers to discuss what it’s like to be a writer in Brooklyn. I expect it’s like writing in Manhattan, but there aren’t as many tourists walking very slowly in front of you when you step out for coffee.” Over the last decade, Pratt has begun to play its own role in Brooklyn’s literary scene, building a B.F.A. program in creative writing to complement the Institute’s older programs in graphic design, illustration, and other arts. Writing majors hone their crafts through workshops and literature classes, ultimately producing a book-length work of poetry or prose. Alternatively, their final work might be in a hybrid form, melding word and image, or combining multiple literary genres. For many students, Pratt’s Brooklyn location prompts a nuanced relationship with New York. Some benefits—such as access to agents, editors, and fellow writers—may be obvious. “You could run into your future agent at a party or a bar and chat him up for an hour in a way you simply couldn’t do if you’re not in New York,” notes Thad Ziolkowski, the program’s director and a 2008 Guggenheim fellow in fiction. Now that digitization is reforming the literary landscape, Ziolkowski finds it more advantageous than
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ever for a young writer to live in a publishing center like New York if he or she hopes to get a foot in the door. “Insofar as there’s a door at all, the door will be here in New York,” he says—even as, paradoxically, the Internet now enables writers to work from anywhere. Being in Brooklyn also guarantees a roster of excellent faculty for which Ziolkowski hardly needs to advertise. Pratt “organically attracts all of these ambitious writers with degrees from Iowa and Harvard and Yale,” he says. “In terms of the bounty of talented Brooklynite writer-teachers from whom to draw for my faculty, it’s truly the easiest thing in the world to run a program like this one.” Teachers in the writing program include Samantha Hunt, whose novel The Invention of Everything Else (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008) was a finalist for the Orange Prize for fiction in 2009; Christian Hawkey, prizewinning author of several books of poetry and former editor of jubilat; James Hannaham, critic and author of God Says No (McSweeney’s Books, 2009); and several others. In addition, such authors as Nick Flynn, Sasha Frere-Jones, and Joshua Ferris speak regularly at writing program events. Proximity to the New York writing industry also enables a variety of professional opportunities for students. The program requires majors to secure internships their junior year. Students tend to work at New York–based publishers and publications, ranging from smaller institutions (such as Soft Skull Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, The Brooklyn Rail, and A Public Space) to larger ones (such as Grove, Bloomsbury, Rolling Stone, and Maxim).
Anna Moschovakis, internship coordinator for the writing program and an editor at Ugly Duckling, has students attend events related to other students’ internships. Often, she notes, “the ones that are most attended are readings, book parties, or performances located in Brooklyn. Not only do the students get exposed to the range of literary endeavors currently housed in the borough, they also see the more DIY [do-it-yourself ] ethos of Brooklyn-based culture workers and the relative accessibility of venues (and audiences) in Brooklyn neighborhoods.” That distinction between Brooklyn and Manhattan looms large for the program. Ziolkowski emphasizes not only the campus’s proximity to Manhattan, but also its distance from Manhattan—physically and psychologically. Unlike much of Manhattan, leafy, languid Clinton Hill “works at a tempo conducive to reading,” he observes, and offers the space necessary for writing. Just as importantly, even as Pratt’s location enables students to participate in the New York literary scene, it also enables them to avoid its potential distractions. One alumnus, who graduated in 2009 with a writing degree and who publishes under the name Lonely Christopher, notes that exposure to the Manhattan publishing industry can leave people feeling “punch-
uses Pratt’s neighborhood as a teaching tool. Hawkey sometimes requires students to walk through the neighborhood. Afterward, they write about their experiences. The exercise, Hawkey says, teaches students “to think of writing as a way of moving forward, step by step, or as a way of not moving ‘forward’ but sideways, backwards, retracing one’s steps, then moving forward again.” In her course about Brooklyn, Samantha Hunt moves far beyond Clinton Hill. While exploring Brooklyn-based writing, art, and films (including On the Waterfront and Saturday Night Fever), her students embark on trips to Red Hook, Green-Wood Cemetery, Gowanus, the Brooklyn Bridge, Weeksville, and other Brooklyn destinations. Each venture leads to a new piece of writing. “We talk about ghosts and geology,” Hunt says. “We visit Brooklyn's terminal moraine and discuss the effect of landscape on a writer.” The writing program finds itself not only in the literary hub of Brooklyn, but also in the creative hub of an art school. Hawkey notes that writing teachers and students have found inspiration in Pratt’s general focus on the visual arts, pursuing interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. For instance, two recent alumni, Alaska McFadden (B.F.A. ’08) and Jessica Elsaesser (B.F.A. ’07),
Pratt “organically attracts all of these ambitious writers with degrees from Iowa and Harvard and Yale.” –Thad Ziolkowski drunk,” and critiques the scene as “pseudo-glamour…The real grassroots stuff, where the exciting poetry and experimental fiction (which the industry has no truck with these days), is happening mostly here in Brooklyn.” An engaged, encouraging audience is in Brooklyn, too, notes another student, Ian McKenzie (B.F.A. expected 2012). “People pay attention here, people want art and culture here,” he says. “In Brooklyn, more so than anywhere else I’ve been, there’s a voice speaking to you, saying ‘Keep going.’” McKenzie feels energized not only by Brooklyn’s gifts, but also by its challenges, and he finds the stresses of Brooklyn, positive or negative, important for writing. “It’s hard to be bored in Brooklyn, and I think that’s incredibly important for artists. No good work—no good life, even— comes from boredom.” He goes on to quote Henry Miller, who evidently found Myrtle Avenue not at all boring: “But I saw a street called Myrtle Avenue, which runs from Borough Hall to Fresh Pond Road, and down this street no saint ever walked (else it would have crumbled), down this street no miracle ever passed, nor any poet, nor any species of human genius, nor did any flower ever grow there, nor did the sun strike it squarely, nor did the rain ever wash it.” Down this street, however, walk Pratt writing students, during both free time and class time. Seeing writing as a metaphor for walking, and vice-versa, Christian Hawkey
founded A Wrecked Tangle Press, which produces poetry books that could double as art objects. Being at Pratt also means the writing classes—like courses in industrial design or architecture—tend to focus on practice more than on theory. Ziolkowski, who holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale, emphasizes reading as a necessary counterpart to writing, but adds: “As much as I want [students] to know periods and major writers, I primarily want them to have epiphanies about writing that will move them to aspire to write at the highest level.” He hopes poetry students at Pratt will learn about meter, he says, but if they don’t—and, in the end, they want to write poetry—he is still happy. “It’s more important to me that they be converted to poetry than that they be systematically conversant with major poets and periods in the tradition of the English major.” Students like McKenzie share this perspective. “I’d love to be able to talk Chaucer all day but I’d love more to have people talk about me when I’m dead,” he says, “the avenues I opened instead of the avenues I reused.” En route to those avenues, he and other students will find themselves wandering down Myrtle and Classon and Clinton and Lafayette, and perhaps far beyond. As Thomas Wolfe wrote in his local short story masterpiece “Only the Dead Know Brooklyn”: “It’d take a guy a lifetime to know Brooklyn t’roo an’ t’roo. An’ even den, yuh wouldn’t know it all.” P
Brooklyn Gilbert Ford, B.F.A. Communications Design ’00 A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Ford is a Brooklyn resident by choice. He lives on Washington Avenue, not far from Pratt. Ford’s silkscreens are inspired by Fort Greene Park, where he spends much of his free time during the summer watching the passing scene and recording it in his personal work. A freelance illustrator and author, Ford works in a converted pencil factory in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which houses many creative professionals. He also teaches for the nonprofit organization, Publicolor, teaching low-income children to use computers to create designs for screen printing. The summer program is housed at Pratt, where the Institute has donated its computer labs and screen-printing studio for the students’ use. Ford is glad to have witnessed the transformation of both Pratt and Clinton Hill into beautiful and safe places to live.
Capturing the essence of the legendary borough in artwork Compiled by Adrienne Gyongy
It’s little wonder that Pratt’s location—the borough of Brooklyn—should invite the curiosity of Pratt students in their young and formative years and sustain the interest of alumni throughout their lives. Rarely has there been a place that so excites the popular imagination. As seen in the artwork here, Pratt alumni find in Brooklyn both a catalyst for creativity and a place that remains indelibly in their hearts and minds. In essence, alumni are inspired by Brooklyn’s magnificent cityscape; its magical light, ancient trees, and flowering gardens; its vast parks and beautiful bridges; its historic brownstones and eclectic eateries; its vibrant communities and dynamic commerce; its striving population and deep respect for education.
Gunnar Hand, Brooklyn Borough Hall, ink on paper, 8.5 x 11 inches
Gilbert Ford, Fort Greene Market (from the series Park Life), 2010, silkscreen, 26 x 19 inches
images courtesy of artists
Gunnar Hand, AICP, M.S. City and Regional Planning ’06
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When he attended Pratt as a graduate student, Hand made many sketches of the city just for fun, a habit that helped him observe the built environment. At Pratt, he also met his future wife, Ashley Connor Zarella (M. Arch. ’06). Formerly a city planner for the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, Hand is a contributing writer for the New York–based The Architect’s Newspaper. Though he recently relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, Hand continues to be the executive director and board member of railLA, a nonprofit organization that is working to bring a high-speed rail system to Los Angeles.
Brooklyn Mel Alexenberg, former chair, Fine Arts (1985–1990) While Alexenberg taught at Pratt, his wife Miriam Benjamin Alexenberg (M.F.A. ’87) earned an advanced degree. Coming from Israel to Brooklyn, she was intrigued by the many storefronts with Hebrew letters and encouraged her husband to photograph them. When Alexenberg invited the sculptor Louise Nevelson to speak at Pratt’s commencement, she told him to notice “subtle bits of beauty” that would “jump out, even on Brooklyn streets.” One Sunday morning, while he was out buying fresh bagels, Alexenberg noticed neon Hebrew words dancing above the food-filled windows of a kosher food shop. Famous Sefirot was painted after his photograph of this Brooklyn storefront; he added 10 circles with Hebrew letters representing the 10 sefirot (emanations of divine light) according to the Jewish mystical book, the Kabbalah. He then repeated the shop window in reverse as an afterimage to symbolize the material world being transformed into a spiritual one by a perceptual shift. Today, Alexenberg heads the School of the Arts of Emuna College in Jerusalem. His artworks exploring digital technologies and global systems are in the collections of more than 40 museums worldwide.
Mel Alexenberg, Famous Sefirot, 1986, acrylic on panel, 18 x 25 inches
Liz Goldberg, M.F.A. Painting and Drawing ’79
Liz Goldberg-Johnson, Vaughn and Annabelle Dressed 2, 2010, oil on paper with collage , 30 x 40 inches
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This work is one of the large cells from Goldberg’s animation Faust’s Cocktail Couture, co-produced with Cynthia Golembuski, which is made up of large and small cells of action, hand-drawn and hand-painted, and takes place in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The film begins with the first painting that then progresses through a metamorphosis, with stage sets dropping down, stop motion and puppet-like, until the characters are dressed for cocktails in Brooklyn, as seen here. The artist’s films always explore the flamboyantly uninhibited and personally empowered woman known as the Diva: the “divine” woman or prima donna. Faust’s Cocktail Couture is funded by a faculty mini-grant from Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where Goldberg has taught fashion drawing and illustration for the last three years. The film debuted at “Fashion and Fiction: The Dark Side,” an international symposium at Drexel in October 2010.
Kathleen Vaccaro, Tea Kettle, 2009, charcoal on paper, 24 x 18 inches
Kathleen Vaccaro, M.F.A. Painting and Drawing ’10 Vaccaro’s drawing was made one afternoon on the roof of her apartment building near Pratt. Though the rooftop was officially off-limits to tenants, she found inspiration in the beautiful open view of the skyline visible from its height. Ascending to the roof on a very sunny day, Vacarro thought about how she could use that light with a reflective surface to create different effects, much the way artists such as M.C. Escher, Manet, and Velasquez investigated the visual potential of reflective surfaces. So she placed a teakettle on the ledge to provide a distorted reflection of herself, and proceeded to draw. With a reflective sphere, the mirror image can expand to infinity. Vaccaro’s reflection in a teakettle has this expansive quality. Placing this object up close in the foreground contrasts with the smaller shapes in the two backgrounds and emphasizes the deep space both in front of and behind the artist. Vacarro is an intern at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn.
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Bernard Springsteel, The Parlor, 1999, watercolor, dimensions unavailable
Margaret (Weaver) Cusack, Golden Opportunity, 1986, stitched artwork made with fabric and thread, 16 x 15 inches
Bernard Springsteel, B.F.A. Illustration ’53
Margaret (Weaver) Cusack, B.F.A. Graphic Design ’68
Springsteel has lived in Brooklyn twice since graduation and each time found in its architecture fresh ideas for his work. As a Pratt student he liked to take the Myrtle Avenue El train and ride it for miles on end, peering into Brooklyn homes along the way and seeing over treetops as the train went around corners. His fascination with Brooklyn homes has never left him. It has inspired many watercolors, such as this painting of a town house near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, called The Parlor because it resembles a house fit for a Henry James novel. Springsteel started painting seriously 20 years ago and has since embarked on a second career as a watercolorist after a successful career as an art director. He is a member of the Brooklyn Watercolor Society and the Salmagundi Club in New York City and resides in Southold, New York.
For 38 years, Cusack has used a zig zag appliqué technique to create realistic images with stitchery and fabric. In this work, commissioned by Consumers Digest for use as an illustration in Money Maker magazine, she depicts a couple’s search for a new home that would be their “golden opportunity.” To portray a typical street in her Brooklyn neighborhood, Cusack photographed these buildings located on the eastern side of Bond Street (between Bergen and Wyckoff streets). Years later, she met a woman at a party who had owned the very building that the couple was considering; the woman later commissioned Cusack to create a print of the image. With her husband Frank Cusack (B.F.A. Advertising/Comm-Design ’68), Cusack lives in an 1840 four-story brownstone in Boerum Hill, where she has been president of the Hoyt Street Association for most of the 37 years they have lived there.
Dennis Bauser, Papacitos Outdoor Mural, 2009, exterior satin enamel paint, 30 x 12 feet
Andrew DeGraff, God Sugar Orphans, 2005, watercolor and ink on watercolor paper, 21 x 13 inches
Dennis Bauser, Communications Design, 2003–2006 Freelance artist Dennis Bauser (a.k.a. SINNED) finds New York City an endless source of urban enchantment. When friends who own the Mexican restaurant Papacitos, in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, asked him to paint a mural in the outdoor patio, he was glad to oblige. They chose as the mural’s theme Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday that celebrates revisiting the souls of the deceased at their gravesites. Using colors that represent festivity, Bauser created a graphic for the name of the restaurant and placed spirits of the departed on each side, rejoicing at the traditional flowers and offerings their loved ones have brought them. With a border of flowers and vines to unify it, Bauser’s mural contributes to the lively ambiance of Papacitos, which means “a hot little daddy.”
Andrew DeGraff, B.F.A. ’01, visiting instructor, Communications Design DeGraff’s painting commemorates disappearing buildings of Brooklyn. While researching Brooklyn’s Victorian architecture on the Internet, he came across the image of a (now defunct) orphanage in Prospect Heights, pictured on the top right of his painting. Slated to be razed, the Domino Sugar Factory is one of his favorite buildings to pass on his daily bike rides over the Williamsburg Bridge. Saddened by the eventual loss of both these fine old structures, DeGraff created a wish fulfillment image showing God’s hands appearing through a great cloud directing the factory to give sugar to the orphanage. In this painterly plea for divine intervention, the factory is shown in iconic Domino colors while radiant light emanates from the orphanage. DeGraff, who lives in Fort Greene, describes Brooklyn as a “modern urban walk-in time capsule” in which he sees something new every day.
Heather Sinclair, M.F.A. Computer Graphics & Interactive Media ’02
Heather Sinclair, Promenade, 2006, hand-painted linoleum print, 3.5 x 5.25 inches
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Having lived in the same apartment near Pratt for the last 10 years, Sinclair feels a strong connection to Brooklyn, which she sees as a peaceful haven in fast-paced New York City. Promenade shows a quiet moment between a nanny and her charge on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Sinclair spent a year as a nanny in Manhattan while attending Pratt, so she identifies with her subject’s situation. Lacking much private space or personal time, the nanny pauses to enjoy the tranquility of the park bench. The print is part of an ongoing series based on reference photographs taken all over the city. Sinclair teaches animation to children, occasionally finding time to do illustration and animation of her own. P
new and noteworthy
New and Noteworthy
D uo Bookshel f Ana Linares, B.I.D. ’07 $160
I te ms in th e m a r ke t p lac e c r e at e d by Pr at t A l u m n i , Facu lt y, an d S t u d ents WE INVITE SUBMISSIONS TO NEW AND NOTEWORTHY FROM ALUMNI, FACULTY, AND STUDENTS. SEND INFORMATION AND IMAGE(S) OF YOUR LATEST CREATION IN THE MARKETPLACE TO AGYONGY@PRATT.EDU.
The Duo bookshelf holds books securely while creating the illusion they are floating; its design reflects the Brooklyn-based designer’s love for creating folding shapes inspired by organic forms in nature and origami. Made in powder-coated steel, Duo comes in black, silver, or bright blue and makes the heaviest books seem light. Duo won honorable mention from DWR Flatiron Studio in New York in its annual MDF competition (Modern + Design + Function) and was shown during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair during New York Design Week 2010. Available at stores in New York City, and through the sites supermarkethq.com and analinaresdesign.com.
M ag i c L an g u ag e Eva Zeisel, Pratt faculty 1939-1953 $425 each, 22 x 30 inches, unframed $550 each, 24 x 32 inches, framed The iconic 103-year-old designer, former Pratt professor Eva Zeisel, designed these limitededition silkscreens in collaboration with James Klein and David Reid of the New York–based design studio KleinReid. Available in a limited edition of 300, the prints are hand-screened on fine Italian paper and signed in pencil by all three artists. Buoyant curves intertwine in a colorful design inspired by a table full of paper silhouettes, cut during a day of designing the trio’s now classic Eva porcelain. Available through kleinreid.com.
Breezy Dres s es Mina Stone, B.F.A. Fashion Design ’04 $400 each After a three-year hiatus in Greece, designer Mina Stone moved back to Brooklyn and relaunched her eponymous label, featuring her inventive draping, ruching, cutouts, and dip-dye coloring. Stone believes dressing should be a one-step process, so she keeps each piece simple yet interesting enough to stand on its own. Her pieces carry easily from day to night and require minimal styling. The hand-dyed purple silk Simione dress exposes both shoulders, while the electric-blue silk Odeon dress exposes only one. The Elsa dress, a draped black wool tunic with shoulder cutouts, features a thin line of pleating above the bust. Available at Steven Alan in Manhattan, Stuart & Wright in Brooklyn, and Frances May in Portland, Oregon.
Place, Race, and Story: Essays on the Past and Future of Historic Preservation. Ned Kaufman, Pratt faculty member $39.95 (Routledge, 2009)
Ci tySh ade Micaéla Birmingham, M.S. Urban Planning ’01 $69 (regular), $79 (organic materials) CityShade was created by Brooklyn-based mother and Pratt alumna Micaéla Birmingham. Fed up with trying to shade her baby during outings, she created a simple attachable shade to keep her baby from the sun. CityShade attaches to the hood of a stroller with Velcro, and features clips that allow parents to open one or both sides, depending on how much sun their little one can handle. CityShade comes in a range of colors, some named after well-known New York City neighborhoods (such as Soho Black and Brooklyn Brownstone), and is compatible with most strollers. Available through citymum.com. 38
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Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer’s deftly drawn cartoons appeared in the Village Voice for 42 years and were syndicated in more than 100 newspapers internationally. In his new memoir, Feiffer explains his evolution into one of the 20th century’s most famous voices of satire and dissent. Feiffer portrays himself as a young man, growing up in an overbearing family, drafted against his will into the army, writing for the Broadway stage, and most of all, cartooning. Available in bookstores.
photos: skye parrott (dresses)
B ac ki n g I n to F o rward Jules Feiffer ’48 $30 (Nan A. Talese–Doubleday, 2010)
In Place, Race, and Story Adjunct Associate Professor Ned Kaufman, who teaches graduate seminars in historic preservation, has collected his own essays to provide a new outline for a progressive preservation movement. Through both big-picture essays considering preservation across time, and descriptions of work on specific sites, the essays in this collection trace the themes of place, race, and story in ways that raise questions, stimulate discussion, and offer a different perspective on these common ideas. Available at bookstores. 39
new and noteworthy
new and noteworthy J u st Ki d s Patti Smith, D.F.A. ’10 (Hon.) $27 (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2010) Patti Smith gave Pratt’s 2010 Commencement address and received an honorary doctorate of fine arts. Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist who has been recognized since the 1970s for her revolutionary mergence of poetry and rock. In Just Kids, Smith tells the moving story of her extraordinary relationship with Pratt alumnus, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (seen on the cover with her at Coney Island), and chronicles the fulfillment of their mutual dream of becoming great artists. Available at bookstores.
S hard Planter Bench Charles Constantine, M.I.D.’09 $3,200 The geometric Shard Planter Bench is more than just a planter or a bench—it is a sculptural piece of art waiting to be adorned with plants. Designed by Charles Constantine for Planterworx’s Element collection, the piece is folded out of a single piece of aluminum. The bench was inspired by a Rockaway Beach jetty and reflects Constantine’s earlier training in sculpture. The bench comes in pewter and white and will handsomely display any plant. Available through dwell.com and planterworx.com.
Anarchy i n a Ja r Laena McCarthy, M.L.S.’07, Pratt faculty member $6-$10 Jams
Wi l son Daniel Clowes, B.F.A. ’84 $15.37 (Drawn & Quarterly, 2010)
In her spare time, Assistant Professor McCarthy, a Pratt librarian, creates jam, jelly, preserves, and chutney in her Clinton Hill apartment, using mostly local, handpicked, organic fruit and artisanal methods. Having learned the art of jam making in upstate New York from her mother, she feeds the insatiable demand in New York City for fresh creatively made food and even makes free bike deliveries on Sundays to customers’ homes in Brooklyn. Available by direct order or mail order, at local markets, and through anarchyinajar.com.
Wilson is an original graphic novel by celebrated comic book artist Daniel Clowes, whose screenplay for the 2006 film Art School Confidential was based on his experience at Pratt. Wilson tells a single, complete story (of the bitterly lonely man named in the title) in a series of one-page gags arranged in the familiar layout of newspaper comics. Clowes offers biting social commentary as he uses a variety of drawing styles to depict Wilson and his world; sometimes he’s highly realistic, other times he’s an Andy Capp-style cartoon, but he's always the same downbeat guy. Available at bookstores.
L aure Luxe Metal Co u tu re & Jew el ry Laurel DeWitt, B.F.A. Fashion Design ’05 Myrtle Earring, $75 Willoughby Silver Earring, $60 Vis co sit y XL Li g h tin g F ixt u r e Rob Zinn, B.I.D ’96 $3,000 Designer Rob Zinn, former visiting instructor in Pratt’s Department of Industrial Design, marvels every time he turns on Viscosity XL and its hidden colors illuminate—because the wall-mounted light fixture looks as good with the light turned off as it does turned on. A dramatic lighting fixture that doubles as artwork, Viscosity XL makes a bold artistic statement in residential or commercial interiors. Made of satin white powder-coated aluminum, its accent colors are applied on the reverse side to reflect colored light on the front of the fixture. Available through blankblank.net. 40
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DeWitt began her work with metal scraps in a Wearable Art class at Pratt. She considers accessories “the icing on the cake of fashion.” Inspired by the local urban art scene in Brooklyn, each eco-friendly piece of DeWitt’s jewelry is meticulously handcrafted and customized to fit the client. Favored by celebrities and fashionistas alike, her edgy designs are created from recycled aluminum geometric-shaped plating and push the limits of metal. The names of these LaureLuxe earrings pay homage to the streets of Brooklyn. Available through laureluxe.com.
The Pratt Library opened in Main Building in 1888. At the wish of founder Charles Pratt, it served the community at large as well as the Pratt student body, an unusual practice at a time when many libraries were private. It was the first free library in New York City. (Since 1941, when the Brooklyn Public Library took over its public role, the library has been exclusive to Pratt.) The current library is a Victorian Renaissance revival structure designed by architect William B. Tubby and built in 1896. The buildingâ€™s elegant interiors, designed by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, include glass block floors that allow light to filter through a two-story book depository, known as the Tiffany stacks. The building was designated a New York City landmark in 1989.
Photo: Diana Pau
new and noteworthy
new and noteworthy
SWOON Swoon (Caledonia Curry), B.F.A. ’02 $35 (Abrams, 2010) This is the first monograph on the street artist Swoon (a.k.a. Caledonia Curry, a painting major at Pratt), whose first works on Brooklyn city walls appeared in 1999. Introduced by famed gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch, the monograph brings the reader to streets around the world to see Swoon’s life-size prints and paper cutouts. It includes striking images from her most recent project, Swimming Cities, and brings readers inside her art collective, Toyshop. Swoon’s captions and essays by her and fellow artists accompany the photographs. Swoon’s work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Tate Modern. Available at bookstores.
L ump Brooches Timothy McMahon, B.F.A. Jewelry ’04 LumpBrC with rainbow moonstone, $1,500 LumpBrD with rose quartz, $1,500 Timothy McMahon, a jewelry technician and visiting instructor in the Department of Fine Arts, uses classical techniques and materials such as copper, brass, lump enamel, pigmented resin, powder coating, and semi-precious stones to create a framework for exploring the surrealistic concept of explosive beauty. In these brooches, organic mounds seem to boil up and present gems to the surface, which are captured and held by brightly colored prongs. The brooches swell and bubble to suggest the unbridled growth of nature, contained within a structured design. McMahon’s sculptural, one-of-kind brooches are available through charonkransenarts.com.
Nebula Lara Knutson, B. Arch. ’99 $65 Alumna architect Lara Knutson is back at Pratt, pursuing a master of industrial design degree, yet she still finds time to design jewelry as well. Her necklace, Nebula, is composed of microscopic glass beads forming a reflective glass fabric that glows when the light is behind the wearer. Like a cloud of stardust, Nebula gives off flashes of luminescence in necklaces of two different sizes (at the same price) and a matching bracelet ($40). The jewelry is spiral knit in a machine and hand assembled. Available at MoMA stores and at The Future Perfect in Manhattan.
Ma za a r , B a za a r: Des ign a n d Vis u a l Cu ltu re in Pa k is ta n Edited and designed by Saima Zaidi, M.S. Communications Design ’00 $66 (Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2010) This encyclopedic effort by Pratt alumna Saima Zaidi provides an overview of the impact of diverse cultures assimilated by this region over several millennia. Mazaar, Bazaar comprises 33 essays by an array of artists, critics, scholars, curators, and important advertising people, including two photo essays and a collection of political cartoons. Divided into five parts, the book covers Pakistan’s popular street iconography, local products and their branding, the creation of a graphic national ideology, typography, and finally a visual history of the country. Zaidi teaches typography and history of design in the Department of Visual Studies, University of Karachi. Available through oup.com.pk.
T h e A rt o f B ei n g a Dad Mark Wagner, B.F.A. Communications Design ’83 $24.95 (Blurb, 2009) The Art of Being a Dad is a creative collaboration between a dad, who is a traditional and digital artist, and his two small children. The illustrated book provides a visual account of their relationship for the first seven years. It also chronicles Wagner’s journey as he navigates the colliding worlds of babies and career; co-parenting and being a man; the restrictions and freedom of parenting; and the awe, beauty, and exhaustion of being a dad. Available through theartofbeingadad.com.
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SBiR Rin gs Sallyann Corn, B.I.D ’09 Joseph Kent, B.I.D ’09 $110 wood, $32 silicone Challenging the definition of jewelry are Seattle-based alumni Sallyann Corn and Joseph Kent, industrial designers who have created SBiR, a jewelry collection of pieces they call “So Big it’s Ridiculous.” Their unusual rings are handmade from non-traditional materials such as scrap hardwoods sliced through with metal. Their rings of colorfully chiseled silicone also offer a bold new style of personal adornment. Available in wood through fruitsuperdesign.com. Available in silicone in stores and through fruitsuperdesign.com by winter 2010.
Ryerson Walk Pratt’s 121st Commencement Exercises Pratt presented approximately 1,500 degrees to its graduating bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates during its 121st Commencement on May 17 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. As part of the ceremonies, Pratt awarded honorary degrees to champion of the arts and New York City landmarks preservation pioneer Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel; award-winning Brooklyn-based author and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Jonathan Lethem; acclaimed international architect Daniel Libeskind; director of The Museum of Modern Art Glenn Lowry; performer, poet, and visual artist Patti Smith; and movie director and producer Steven Soderbergh. Smith also gave the Commencement address and performed at the ceremony.
WILLOUGHBY residence hall ROOM BECOMES LAB FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING
Patti Smith delivers the 2010 Commencement address.
Twenty-two seniors graduating from Pratt’s Fashion Design department presented their thesis collections at the 2010 Pratt Fashion Show at The Altman Building in Manhattan on May 13. The student designers were selected a month earlier by a panel of fashion industry professionals in the department’s first-ever juried review, making this year’s senior Fashion Show one of the most competitive ever. Those students selected showed their work in four categories: sportswear, menswear, costume, and evening and bridal. Notable guests included legendary tastemaker and style icon Iris Apfel, Vogue’s European editor at large Hamish Bowles, and design luminary Ralph Pucci. New York–based French fashion designer Catherine Malandrino was the evening’s honoree, and received Pratt Institute’s Fashion Icon Award. Kim Hastreiter, editor in chief and publisher of PAPER magazine, presented the award.
Pratt School of Architecture Dean Thomas Hanrahan and honorary doctorate recipient architect Daniel Libeskind
The American Planning Association’s New York Metro Chapter has awarded the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE) the 2010 Meritorious Achievement and Service Award. This award recognizes work “of unusual merit or achievement in the planning profession.” Officials with the APA’s Metro Chapter say they wanted to recognize Pratt for its 50 years of community service in planning. GCPE celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. As part of its mission, it works with the Pratt Center for Community Development—and connects graduate students looking to get hands-on planning experience with community organizations seeking solutions for making their neighborhoods more livable and sustainable. Part of the School of Architecture, GCPE oversees Pratt’s City and Regional Planning, Historic Preservation, and Environmental Systems Management programs. It partners with Pratt’s Construction/Facilities Management Programs and Brooklyn Law School to offer opportunities for joint degrees. 44
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An evening gown by Timothy Kuzmeski (B.F.A. ’10), at the Pratt Fashion Show; Kuzmeski’s collection, disquisition., won The Renee Hunter Eveningwear Award.
photos: RenÉ PEREZ (commencement, fashion show)
Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment wins top honor
photos: danielle pecora (braille ball), Julie Torres Moskovitz (“Before” Kitchen), Sean Hemmerle (chairs and “After” Kitchen)
2010 Fashion Show features top designs
A group of Pratt students and faculty, along with staff from the Facilities Management and Residential Life departments, have created an entirely “green” residence hall room in Willoughby Hall to showcase how urban campus living can be made more sustainable. The “1702–Living Laboratory” debuted in August. It includes a kitchen, bathroom, and living area renovated using the three tenets of sustainable design—reinvent, reuse/recycle, and choose environmentally friendly and locally sourced materials. Features include energy control systems, low-VOC paints, and new furniture designs built from existing dorm furniture. By having the students work with a client—in this case, Pratt— students collaborated closely with Pratt’s Facilities Management staff. The students communicated to the facilities experts how students use their rooms; the facilities staff members shared their expertise on maintenance and operations. By teaming up, the group designed a sustainable space that has both the students’ and the facilities’ needs in mind. The Living Lab is ready to be monitored and analyzed. In addition, the room will be on view to the Pratt community and visiting school groups as an exhibition space, and open to current students and campus visitors as a guest room. The Living Lab project was made possible through Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and with partial funding provided by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Anita Cooney, chair of the Interior Design department, oversaw the project with Pratt faculty members Robert Langhorn, Julie Torres Moskovitz, and Corey Yurkovich. The team worked closely with Tony Gelber, director of administrative sustainability, Stephen Brennan, director of maintenance and operations for Facilities Management, and Chris Kasik, director of residential life. Other participants included green consultants Nico Kienzl of Atelier Ten and Anthony Pereira of Alt Power Inc. For more information, please visit csds.pratt.edu.
At left, a typical kitchen in the Willoughby Hall residences; at right, the kitchen in the 1702-Living Laboratory
Wood from older chairs was used to make new, more space-efficient chairs.
ARCHITECTURE alumna WINS international award FOR BRAILLE GAME design
The be-B: Braille Education Ball, designed by Danielle Pecora (M. Arch ’10).
Pratt alumna Danielle Pecora, who graduated with a master’s degree in architecture in May 2010, recently won first place and $2,000 in the DESIGN 21 Game Changers Competition for her be-B: Braille Education Ball design. The competition challenged participants to create a game design that aims to improve lives. The aim of Pecora’s game was to create an interactive learning experience both for children learning Braille, and for sighted children. The ball has 26 magnetically attached pegs; on one side of each peg is a Braille letter, and on the other side is a corresponding Latin letter. The object is to match each Braille peg with its corresponding place on the ball. An electronic device in the ball signals when the Braille and Latin letters have been matched correctly. Pecora’s game was selected out of 90 entries from 29 countries. 45
PRATT INSTITUTE | PLANNED GIVING
Pratt Names Four New Department Chairs
“As a working artist who wanted to express gratitude for my Pratt education,
Four new chairs have been appointed to Pratt, three in the School of Art and Design, and one in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Jean Davis is now chair of the Creative Arts Therapy department. She served as acting chair for two years before being named permanent chair. Author and designer Steve Diskin took over as chair of the Industrial Design department. Diskin has taught in several design programs, including those at Harvard University, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Gregg Horowitz, former associate professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University, took over as chair of the Social Science and Cultural Studies department. Steven Zucker, former dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, will serve as chair of the History of Art and Design department. He is co-creator of the website/web-book and new art historical tool, smarthistory.org.
I found a planned gift to be a great option to significantly contribute in a way that worked for me.”
Your Vision for the Future
— Victor Carnuccio, artist, B.F.A. ’79
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Students who spent July studying architecture in the Pre-College Program show their work at Higgins Hall.
WORK from PRE-COLLEGE PROGRAM DISPLAYED IN GALLERY SHOW For most of July, almost 400 national and international students participated in Pratt’s intensive Pre-College Program, run by the Center for Continuing and Professional studies. Students immersed themselves in college-level courses in dozens of areas, including graphic design, jewelry and metal arts, comic book art, and creative writing. They also took a Foundation course, an art history class, and worked on developing their portfolios. Their weeks of hard work were displayed the last day of the program, July 30, at Steuben Hall, Pratt Studios, and Higgins Hall.
Create a Legacy, Lead the Way
photo: diana pau
The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) received $971,407 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services to prepare students to collaborate with three major Brooklyn cultural institutions to digitize and provide public access to their historic photos. Through Project CHART (Cultural Heritage, Access, Research, and Technology), SILS will accept 18 master’s degree students over the next three years, who will study to be digital information managers. As part of the program, they will intern at the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Museum, where they will create digital archives of historical Brooklyn photographs, including images dating from the late 1800s. The partners will also create a Web portal, hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library, to provide public access to the digital photographic collections of all three institutions. In addition, through Project CHART, SILS will develop a new certificate program in Digital Management that SILS Dean Tula Giannini says will serve as a new model for digital management curricula nationwide. “This grant opens up a world of new opportunities for collaboration and research, as well as for developing a cutting-edge curriculum in digital management for cultural heritage institutions,” says Giannini.
photoS: lorenzo ciniglio (steven zucker), diana pau (other headshots), AMY ARoNOFF (Pre-college)
SILS RECEIVES nearly $1 MILLION TO prepare future DIGITAL MANAGERS
A planned gift to Pratt is an easy way to create opportunities for tomorrow’s visionaries. Your investment in them can benefit you, too. There are many giving options that can help fulfill your charitable and financial goals. Make a planned gift to Pratt today through a bequest or life income plan. 718.399.4296 • www.pratt.edu/planned_giving • email@example.com
Nachtmann Glass Contest Sends Students to europe
From internships to design studios, Pratt corporate partners rely on the Institute’s design expertise and creative problem-solving to address a variety of current challenges. We’re pleased to highlight recent projects that illustrate Pratt’s spirit of innovation and commitment to excellence.
Ten students from the Department of Industrial Design traveled to Germany and Austria in February on an intensive study of the glassware- design industry, thanks to a semester-long competition sponsored by Nachtmann, one of the world’s top crystal manufacturers. As part of the contest, students attended Ambiente, the world’s leading tabletop exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany. They also visited three glass-making factories in Germany and Austria owned by Nachtmann and its parent-company, Riedel. Six students won cash prizes for their designs, which Nachtmann plans to prototype in glass and exhibit at next year’s Ambiente. First prize winners, the team of Mary Khoun and Konrad Giersz (both B.I.D. ’10), won for their design FlipIt; Catherine Merrick (M.I.D. ’11) won second prize for Geode; Alvaro Uribe (B.I.D. ’10) won third prize for his Romance design; Elizabeth New (M.I.D. ’12) won an honoree award for her design Blossom, as did Kyle Solà, (B.I.D. ’10) for Quake. Nachtmann officials said they were thrilled with the results of partnering with Pratt. “The final presentation was like Christmas Eve,” said Nachtmann’s top management. “We got so many fantastic designs. We were really overwhelmed.”
Pieces from the Pratt Home Office collection, created for modern home furnishings retailer West Elm, in collaboration with the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation
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“It was a remarkable collaboration,” said Debera Johnson, director of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. “The results show how Pratt has prepared them for their careers.” The Pratt Office collection is available in West Elm stores, on westelm.com and in the West Elm catalog. The Pratt design team included Alex Binsted (B.I.D. ’09), Gregory Buntain (B.I.D. ’08), Sally Ann Corn (B.I.D. ’09), Evan Dublin (B.I.D. ’09), Sara Ebert (B.I.D. ’09), Rachel Feeser (B.I.D. ’09), Zachary Feltoon (B.I.D. ’08), Joseph Kent (B.I.D. ’09), Brian Persico (B.I.D. ’09), Jason Pfaeffle (B.I.D. ’09), Vanessa Robinson (M.I.D. ’10), Grace Souky (M.I.D. ’09), and David Wright (B.I.D. ’08). The collaboration received coverage in The New York Times, the July issue of Interior Design magazine as well as on the blogs Apartment Therapy, Tree Hugger, and Core77. For more information, visit incubator.pratt.edu/west_elm.
photoS: courtesy of west elm
WEST ELM UNVEILS PRATT HOME OFFICE COLLECTION Modern home furnishings retailer West Elm and Pratt have launched the Pratt Home Office collection, an eco-friendly collection created in collaboration with the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. The centerpiece of the collection is a simple and highly functional desk made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. The collection also includes a chair, file unit, wall shelf and accessories set, and table lamp. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce the Pratt Home Office collection as our latest West Elm collaboration,” said Paulo Kos (M.I.D. ’02), director of furniture design at West Elm and lead designer for the Pratt collaboration. “As a Pratt graduate myself, I am especially excited to see that the Pratt designers were innovative in their process and design. The collection is well-designed, affordable, and sustainable.”
photoS: diana pau (Presentation), alvaro uribe (crystal vase), kyle solÀ (crystal tumbler)
These designs by Alvaro Uribe (B.I.D. ’10) and Kyle Solà (B.ID. ’10) won awards in the Nachtmann glass design competition and will be produced by Nachtmann.
Georg Riedel, owner of Riedel Glass, Nachtmann’s parent company, addresses students during their final presentation for the Nachtmann glass design competition.
PRATT STUDENTS CHALLENGED TO REIMAGINE THE MEETING CHAIR Starwood Hotels & Resorts held an exclusive design competition at Pratt, providing more than 60 industrial design and architecture students the opportunity to create a chair to be used at conferences and meetings. For the “Starwood Meeting Chair Re-imagined” competition, students were charged with creating a seat that was more comfortable than most chairs commonly found in conference centers. The designs also had to address meeting participants’ needs for more control over their space. The winner, the Isthmus meeting chair by Ashley Thorfinnson (M.I.D ’11), was selected by Starwood hospitality design and brand management leaders for its comfort, function, design innovation, and durability. Among the features the chair concept included were a pocket for holding meeting materials and laptops, and a flexible back so users can recline without disturbing people behind them. The chair based on Thorfinnson’s design will be used in hundreds of Sheraton and Westin properties around the world.
STUDENTS CREATE PACKAGING FOR COLGATE-PALMOLIVE Thanks to a collaboration with ColgatePalmolive, students in the graduate industrial design program had the opportunity to design packaging concepts for new personal-care products the company plans to release beginning in 2015. The students in the class, led by visiting associate professor Gary Natsume, conducted research on personal hygiene habits. Throughout the spring 2010 semester, the students worked closely with ColgatePalmolive representatives to refine their designs based on their research outcomes. Colgate-Palmolive officials plan to use the students’ design concepts to help them refine the actual products. Ultimately, Pratt designs may be chosen for the final packaging. This was Pratt’s second partnership with Colgate-Palmolive; in spring 2009 students designed packaging for a shower gel.
To learn more about Pratt corporate partnerships, visit pratt.edu/partnerships or contact Corporate Relations at CorporateRelations@pratt.edu. 49
pratt e XHiBitioNS
pratt manhattan gallery
you are here
the rubelle and norman Schafler gallery The Rubelle and noRman SchafleR GalleRy
Mapping the Psychogeography of New York City
SePtember 24– November 6, 2010 Guest-curated by Katharine Harmon, author of The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009) and You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination (Princeton Architectural Press, 2003)
This innovative, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural exhibition and project, guest-curated by Defne Ayas and Neery Melkonian, will involve artists, writers, historians, and sociologists who aim to facilitate meaningful exchanges among those whose lives have been affected by the historical ruptures and legacies associated with the fall of the Ottoman Empire (1299–1922). For the exhibition portion of “Blind Dates,” the curators have been “matchmaking” artists and architects whose backgrounds represent the estranged cultures to mediate through projects together.
celebrating a quarter century of exhibitionS at the rubelle and norman Schafler gallery and including recent work by alumni and StudentS, thiS Show will alSo highlight Six of the moSt memorable and influential exhibitionS that will be reaSSembled along with recent work by the original participantS. the exhibition iS gueSt-curated by former director of exhibitionS eleanor moretta.
10.7.10 – 1.21.11 crossing disciplines:
Nov. 19, 2010–Feb. 12, 2011
opeNiNg receptioN: thursday, November 18, 6–8 pm
Feb. 25–may may ay 7, 2011
opeNiNg receptioN: thursday, February 24, 6–8 pm
Guest-curated by artist and writer Dave Beech, contributor to Art and Text (Black Dog Publishing, 2009), and fellow artist and writer Paul O'Neill, this exhibition will establish a dialogue between generations as well as draw lines between competing conceptions of the role of text in art.
Feb. 10–march 10, 2011 opeNiNg receptioN: wedNesday, February 9, 4–6 pm
PRaTT manhaTTan GalleRy Pratt manhattan Gallery is a public art gallery affiliated with Pratt Institute. The goals of the program are to present significant innovative and intellectually challenging work in the fields of art, architecture, fashion, and design from around the world and to provide a range of educational initiatives to help viewers relate contemporary art to their lives in a meaningful way. It is located on 144 West 14th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues and is open Tuesday–Saturday, 11 am–6 Pm. Phone: 212-647-7778.
The Rubelle and noRman SchafleR GalleRy The Schafler Gallery presents exhibitions by Pratt Institute faculty members, students, and alumni from all departments. The gallery
An open call to Pratt faculty and students in all departments surrounding the theme of "books."
favors cross-disciplinary topics that reveal how ideas and issues affect our lives from many different perspectives, and provides an open forum for the presentation and discussion of contemporary culture. The Schafler Gallery is located on the first floor of the chemistry building on Pratt’s brooklyn campus and is open monday– friday, 9 am–5 Pm and Saturday 12–5 Pm. Phone: 718-636-3517.
for updates to the schedule, please visit www.pratt.edu/exhibitions. follow pratt manhattan gallery on facebook by searching “Pratt manhattan Gallery” and follow pratt exhibitions on twitter @ “PrattGallery.” 50
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PROFILE DAVID WALENTAS
WHY I GIVE: BILL HILSON
Trustee David Walentas on the roofdeck of his Clock Tower penthouse, a 6,000–square-foot triplex currently on sale for $25 million
Pratt made sense since Jane is an artist and because of our interest in architecture and art.” His generous offers of studio and gallery space have since made a significant impact at Pratt, specifically on the Department of Digital Arts. In 2008, he gave 4,300 square feet at 20 Jay Street to provide space for students studying interactive, imaging, and experimental media in the digital arts department’s graduate degree program, which marked the first time the program’s graduate students would have dedicated studios. Keeping with his and his wife’s dedication to ensuring that DUMBO retains its artistic and cultural base, Walentas lends space for Pratt events and annual shows of student work. “Those students are the future,” he says. “It’s the artists who come first and help make a neighborhood viable for other businesses and residents.”
In 1984, Jane and David Walentas bought a 1920s carousel at auction in Ohio for $385,000. Jane then spent $1 million over the next 22 years in her Brooklyn studio utilizing her artistic vision to painstakingly restore the hand-carved wooden structure horse by horse to its original splendor. “The carvings are exquisite,” Jane noted. “It really was done beautifully when it was made and I wanted to bring it back to life.” While it’s been on display in DUMBO since 2006,
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the carousel is due to be installed in 2011 at the river’s edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park in a glass pavilion created by French architect Jean Nouvel. The design will allow the landmark merry-go-round to be lit up at night so it can be seen from across the East River. By next summer, the Walentas family envisions kids from all over the world coming to Brooklyn to take it for a ride. “It’s going to be fantastic,” says David. “Everybody is going to come to see Jane’s Carousel.”
Bill Hilson, adjunct professor, Graduate Communications/Package Design, photographed at home in New Canaan, Connecticut
photoS: courtesy of bill hilson (bill hilson)
ill Hilson knows the importance of sustainable design as intimately as the typefaces he creates. Through his teaching and his gifts to the Graduate Communications/Package Design department and the Center for Sustainable Design Studies at Pratt, he’s making a tangible difference to the field and its future leaders. An adjunct professor in Pratt’s Graduate Communications/ Package Design department for nearly 20 years, Bill came to Pratt in 1976 to study architecture and, after many fruitful years in the field, went on to become a leader in digital design, imaging, and production, introducing technology to a number of advertising agencies and design studios. In 2001, he brought his expertise to bear on the emerging area of sustainable design, co-founding the Institute for Sustainable Communication, which uses an education-centered approach to bring a practical awareness of sustainability to the communication industry. Bill also considers himself privileged to have been able to serve as his department’s chair for two semesters. “I love teaching,” says Bill. “I get the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping to contribute to the future success of my students. It’s a further honor to be able to participate in the program’s—and Pratt’s—growth by providing financial support for our outstanding students and activities. I’m also proud to play a part in the Institute’s truly pioneering efforts to develop and promote the type of green design thinking and practices that I teach my students and bring to my professional work.” Bill’s gifts through The Hilson Family Fund, which he established at Pratt in 1997, provide essential support for technology in the Graduate Communications/Package Design department as well as scholarships for the program’s most talented and dedicated graduate students. He has also contributed generously to the Don Ariev Term Award, which provides merit-based scholarships to Graduate Communications Design students. His recent gift to the Center for Sustainable Design Studies will support Pratt’s transformative leadership in sustainable design education.
photoS: Diana pau (david walentas), cori nelson (jane walentas)
hen real estate developer David Walentas—the unofficial mayor of Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood—walks around the thriving area that he and his wife, Jane, have revitalized over the last 30 years, he says the two of them feel like “very proud parents.” “DUMBO is our life’s work,” he says of the stretch of waterfront in Brooklyn “down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass,” which has become one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. Walentas began buying property in the 1970s when DUMBO was a deserted industrial district; he now owns about 3 million square feet of space. “We look at DUMBO as our legacy,” says Walentas, noting that his wife and son, Jane and Jed, are his partners in their company Two Trees Management, which is now working on a massive Dock Street complex in the area with residential units and a middle school. “Almost everything we do is to enhance this neighborhood,” he notes—an exception being the new 1-million-square-foot Clinton Park mixed-use tower going up at West 53rd Street in Manhattan that will house a Mercedes-Benz sales/service center. In the 1980s, David and Jane set out to make DUMBO a residential destination by focusing on creating a haven for artists and designers— reminiscent of SoHo, where the two lived in the ’60s and ’70s. They offered free or reduced rents for artists and cultural organizations. “We transformed a whole section of New York City with the city’s most quintessential views,” says Walentas. “What’s remarkable is that it was all already here. Physically, it’s changed very little.” Walentas, who grew up in Rochester, New York, began working on a farm at a young age after his father became ill. But he always knew he wanted to be a real estate developer. After winning an NROTC scholarship and completing a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia, he worked overseas. When he needed to come back, he convinced a Danish ship captain to take him and his VW bug in exchange for work. When he arrived in New York City, he sold a pint of blood for $10 to buy gas. Years later, after completing his M.B.A., he ended up back in New York City and remembers the bank throwing him out when he tried to borrow $10,000 for his first real estate deal. Walentas, whose personal motto—No Guts, No Glory—is embroidered on the sleeve of all his shirts, kept pushing. Walentas joined Pratt’s Board of Trustees in 2003. “Being involved at
Bill Hilson is just one of the many dedicated members of the Pratt community whose generosity and involvement have helped make Pratt one of the leading institutions of its kind. Visit pratt.edu/donor_profiles/ to read about other loyal alumni and friends. Interior Designer Laura Bohn (B.F.A. ’77) is leaving a portion of her estate to Pratt to help provide scholarships for students.
Ashley Zarella Hand (M. Arch. ’06) shows her support for her alma mater by giving to The Fund for Pratt and by having served on the Board of Trustees.
Pratt’s President Thomas F. Schutte with Catherine Malandrino, designer and Pratt Fashion Icon Award recipient
Pratt Fashion Show After Party Honors Catherine Malandrino Grace Hightower De Niro and BAP honoree Lee Daniels
Tenth Annual Brooklyn Building Awards Honors Pratt Institute
May 26, 2010
July 15, 2010
The Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP), under the leadership of Dwight Johnson (B.I.D. ’72), celebrated its 20th anniversary scholarship benefit gala on May 26 at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. Dan and Cynthia Lufkin and Pratt Institute trustee David Walentas and his wife, Jane, chaired the dinner, and Gayle Atkins Perkins and Malaak Compton-Rock served as vice chairs. The Honorable David N. Dinkins and his wife, Joyce, along with Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Casey Ribicoff, Prudence Solomon Inzerillo, and Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder of Four Seasons Restaurant were honorary patrons. ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts and her husband, NBC weatherman Al Roker, served as emcees for the black-tie event, which honored philanthropist Annette de la Renta, wife of renowned designer Oscar de la Renta, with the Distinguished Patron of the Arts Award, which was presented by her husband. Actor, producer, and director Lee Daniels and fashion designer Naeem Khan and his wife, Ranjana, received Creative Spirit Awards honoring creative individuals and humanitarians who have made a mark in their professions. Marisa Acocella Marchetto received the Distinguished Alumni Award and famed artist Peter Max was honored with the Pinnacle Alumni Award. The evening’s award presenters included actress Grace Hightower De Niro, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, philanthropist Cynthia Lufkin, and, via video, former President Bill Clinton. In one of the evening’s most moving tributes, fine jewelry legend Kenneth Jay Lane took to the podium to pledge a $100,000 donation to BAP. Proceeds from the annual dinner support BAP initiatives as well as scholarships for Pratt Institute students of African and Latino descent.
Pratt Institute was honored for the pavilion of the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Tenth Annual Brooklyn Building Awards ceremony held at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The awards recognize construction and renovation projects that enrich the borough’s neighborhoods and economy. The pavilion was designed by School of Architecture Dean Thomas Hanrahan and his firm hanrahanMeyers architects LLP. Funding was provided by a generous gift from Pratt alumna and trustee Juliana Terian Gilbert (B. Arch ’90).
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School of Architecture Dean Thomas Hanrahan and Pratt’s President Thomas F. Schutte accepting the Brooklyn Building Award
photos: ALAN KLEIN (MARC ROSEN), RenÉ PEREZ (STUDENTS), PATRICK MCMULLAN (DR. SCHUTTE AND CATHERINE MALANDRINO)
Black Alumni of Pratt 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Creative Spirit
May 13, 2010
photos: JULIE SKARRETT (BAP 20TH ANNIVERSARY), jill d'amico (brooklyn building awards)
Black Alumni of Pratt President Dwight Johnson with Annette and Oscar de la Renta
Alumnus Marc Rosen and Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances at Coty Prestige, which received the 2010 Art of Packaging Award
Marc Rosen Art of Packaging Award Gala April 27, 2010 Pratt Institute and Luxe Pack came together this spring to pay tribute to Coty Prestige at the 21st annual Art of Packaging Award Gala at the University Club on Fifth Avenue. Nearly 250 leading representatives of New York City’s multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry attended the black-tie event, which raises funds for the Marc Rosen Scholarship that supports students in Pratt’s Graduate Communications and Package Design program. Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances at Coty Prestige, accepted the award on behalf of the company, which has created fragrances for Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Vera Wang, and Marc Jacobs. Award-winning designer, trustee, and alumnus Marc A. Rosen, (M.F.A. Package Design ’70), established the scholarship at Pratt Institute in 1989. A visiting associate professor in Pratt’s Graduate Communications and Package Design program, Rosen teaches the only college course offered in the world on cosmetic and fragrance packaging design.
Several of the fashion and design industry's leading figures came together on May 13 to honor legendary New York–based French fashion designer Catherine Malandrino, who received Pratt Institute’s Fashion Icon Award earlier that day at the 2010 Pratt Fashion Show. Among the guests at the private cocktail reception held at The Standard Hotel were Pratt Institute Trustees Deborah Buck, David Pratt, Mark Stumer and his wife, Susan, and Board of Trustees Chair Mike Pratt and his wife, Carol; Kim Hastreiter, editor of PAPER magazine, who introduced Malandrino at the awards ceremony; Marjorie Kuhn, friend of Pratt and Legends 2010 co-chair; and Theo Spilka, vice president of new business development for the Swiss company Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned fragrance and flavor company. The Pratt Institute Fashion Show After Party benefited Pratt endowed scholarship funds.
Pratt fashion design students A. Stevens, D. Randell, J. Dodd, and M. Barela at the Pratt Fashion Show After Party 55
Pratt City and Regional Planning Program 50th Anniversary reception
Ron Shiffman (B. Arch. ’61) at the City and Regional Planning Program 50th Anniversary symposium
L-R: Hae-Hyeong Cho; Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and his wife,Tess; Insook Kim; Pratt Vice President for Institutional Advancement Todd Galitz, and alum Kitai Park (M.S. Comm-Design ’81) at a private dinner in Korea
Be a part of the Pratt alumni scene. To see a list of upcoming events visit:
Alumni mingling at the Chicago Alumni Cocktail Reception
The Korean Alumni Association reception in Seoul, Korea
L-R: Ashley Thorfinnson (M.I.D. ’11), Mark Goetz (B.I.D. ’86), Alvaro Uribe (B.I.D. ’10), Cabot Wrenn President Ryan Stites, and Tim Richartz (B.I.D. ’86) with the Pratt Institute Chair they designed and produced
Korean Alumni Association Reception
May 14–15, 2010 The Pratt School of Architecture’s City and Regional Planning Program celebrated 50 years of community-based planning with two days of events for planning-program alumni and current students. The festivities began with a cocktail reception in Higgins Hall, where keynote speaker alumnus Mitchell Silver (B. Arch. ’87), newly elected president of the national American Planning Association, addressed more than 300 guests. One of Saturday’s highlights was the presentation of a City Council proclamation by alumni and City Council members Brad Lander (M.S. City and Regional Planning ’98) and Elizabeth Crowley (M.S. City and Regional Planning ’07) commemorating the program’s 50 years. Among the symposium’s speakers was Planning and Architecture Professor Ronald Shiffman (B. Arch. ’61, M.S. ’66), who 56
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provided a historical perspective on Pratt’s involvement with the local community. Another highlight of the symposium was a series of breakout sessions where the 150 attendees discussed urban planning issues in the context of economic development, historic preservation, and sustainability. Sunday concluded with a panel discussion among former planning program chairs on the future of the field.
Chicago Alumni Cocktail Reception June 14, 2010 More than 40 Pratt Institute alumni, students, faculty members, and friends came together at the James Chicago Hotel for a cocktail reception celebrating the Pratt Institute Chair manufactured by Cabot Wrenn and presented at NeoCon 2010, North America’s largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors. In his remarks to the audience, Cabot Wrenn president Ryan Stites shared his enthusiasm about the company’s collaboration with Pratt.
The Korean Alumni Association of Pratt held its largest-ever reception in Seoul, Korea this summer at Maak Holic, a new restaurant owned by Pratt alumnus and parent Tae Boong Jeong. Approximately 150 Korean alumni attended the event, including Pratt Trustee Young Ho Kim (B. Arch. ’71), as well as Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, his wife, Tess, and Todd Galitz, Pratt Vice President for Institutional Advancement.
photos: yung Lee, Dong Kyu Lee (korea)
City and Regional Planning Program 50th Anniversary Celebration
photos: Sara Huneke (city and regional planning), Brian Morrison (chicago)
June 1, 2010
Creative Arts Therapy Symposium May 15, 2010 The Creative Arts Therapy department presented the symposium “The Creative Self: A Conversation Across Disciplines” on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus this spring. Approximately 100 guests attended the day-long conference, which explored ideas about creativity from many different perspectives. The symposium featured a panel discussion with practitioner-educators, as well as experiential workshops that were open to the public.
PrATT insTiTuTe | tHe FunD For Pratt
M o st p e o p l e d o n ' t re a l i ze t h at t u i t i o n a nd fees a cco u n t fo r o n l y a p o r t i o n o f P rat t ' s a n nual b u d g e t . I n fac t , n o t on e st u d e n t g rad u ates wit ho ut s o m e h ow b e i n g a ss i ste d by p r i vate g i v i ng. From st u d y a b ro a d to t h e D i g i t a l A r t s L a b, The Fund fo r P rat t d i re c t l y i m p a c t s st u d e n t s l i ke Steven L an c aste r ( B . F. A . I n te r i or D e s i g n ’ 1 1 ) ever y day.
We welcome news items from all Pratt alumni! To submit your news, notes, and pictures, visit the alumni website at alumni.pratt.edu.
1950s Thomas J. Doyle, B.F.A. Illustration ’55, celebrates his legacy at Pratt Institute with the enrollment of his granddaughter, Lauren W. Doyle, in the Art and Design Education program. Hiroko Nakamoto, Interior Design ’55, has been actively working on the Hiroshima Gateway to Peace project, a memorial complex at the Hiroshima Railway Station in Japan, which commemorates the atomic bomb of August 6, 1945, and engages viewers to work toward world peace. Hiroshima City recently provided land to build this educational monument and plans call for construction to begin on the project this year. Nakamoto also recently completed a major pledge to Pratt Institute to renovate its Grand Avenue walkway.
phoTos: girAldi MEdiA (BoB girAldi), oThErs CourTEsy oF ArTisTs
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Sheila Metzner, B.F.A. Advertising Design ’60, offered a unique student workshop this March concentrating on “photography” as it is often used in conjunction with words. At this Venice Beach event, attendees studied the concept of expressing words with pictures. They were offered a presentation of Metzner’s personal work and given an opportunity to transform their own writings into photographic expressions.
e v e rY D o l l a r m at t e r S a n D e v e rY G I F t m a K e S a D I F F e r e n C e . m a K e a n I m PaC t to DaY.
Class notes Class NoteS
Barbara Nessim, B.F.A. Graphic Art/ Illustration ’60, exhibited “A Current Past” at the Condé Nast building in Times Square. A piece from her series Chronicles of Beauty, a work of art 28 feet in length, was a model for a permanent installation printed on aluminum. Chronicles of Beauty is an extension of The Model Project—it is made up of 13 pieces of Barbara’s work and was recently commissioned for the Eventi Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
gallery presented 40 years of Steir’s work in a survey focusing on her exploration of the vocabulary of drawing. Margaret Cusack, B.F.A. Graphic Arts ’68, presented her traveling retrospective exhibition, a collection of 80 framed stitched artworks, titled “Uncommon Threads: Stitched Artwork by Margaret Cusack,” at the Hansen Museum in Logan, Kansas. Lorna Ritz, B.F.A. Art Education ’69, was a visiting artist critic at the Vermont Studio Center in December 2009. Her work was featured at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, Massachusetts; Julian Scott Memorial Gallery at Johnson State College, Vermont; and the Peabody Historical Society Museum, in Peabody, Massachusetts. In 2010 she exhibited work at the American ambassador’s residence in Caracas, Venezuela, and was nominated to receive the inaugural WFCR Arts and Humanities Award which recognizes the contributions of local talent and brings awareness to the critical role played by musicians, artists, dancers, actors, writers, and teachers in the greater Pioneer Valley. Edmund Rucinski, M.F.A. Art Education ’69, exhibited his collective work in “Transcendental Essence: A Retrospective,” at the Feast Gallery & Meeting Space in Saratoga Springs, New York.
1970s Donald Loggins, B.F.A. Art and Design Education ’73, contributed a chapter to a book on “guerilla” gardening that was recently published in Spain.
Ron Elley, Illustration/CommDesign ’62, was honored by Jerry Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime program, granting his one wish to have three of his artworks framed. At the completion of the project, Elley will donate one of his paintings to be auctioned off by the organization. Pat Steir, B.F.A. Graphic Arts and Illustration ’62, showed her work Drawing Out of Line in an exhibition at the RISD Museum of Art. The
Stanley Smokler, M.F.A. ’75, presented his one-person exhibition, “Steel Currents” at the Delaware
bob giralDi b.F.a. advertising Design ’60, has won countless awards for his work as a director of films, music videos, and commercials—not to mention he owns some of the finest restaurants in New York City. He was one of the first music video directors of the early MtV days, directing, among others, videos for Michael Jackson’s “Beat it,” and Pat Benatar’s “love is a Battlefield.” this fall, Giraldi will become chair of the new live Action Short film Program, part of the Master of Professional Studies graduate degree at the School of Visual Arts, where he is also a faculty member. in october, his latest short film, The Grey Coat, will be screened at the San Diego Asian film festival. Giraldi’s first job after graduating from Pratt was as a graphic designer for General Motors in Detroit. He later returned to New York City to work at the advertising firm Young & rubicam. in 1970, Giraldi joined the advertising agency Dellafemina & Partners, where he began shooting commercials. three years later, he formed his own firm. Giraldi Media has produced and directed close to 3,000 commercials, music videos, and short films. “Short films reflect a culmination of my training in the commercial business. i like the medium and i find it a great challenge to get people emotionally involved in a limited amount of time,” says Giraldi. At the height of his directing career, Giraldi entered the culinary world. in 1995, he co-founded the celebrity cooking website StarChefs.com, and began opening some of the best restaurants in New York, including Patria, Mercer Kitchen, and the highly successful Jean Georges. Giraldi attended Pratt on an athletic scholarship—playing basketball and baseball. “it was a place to test yourself—in all aspects. Here i thought i was a tough kid from Paterson, New Jersey, and then i came to Brooklyn in the ’60s—and realized what ‘rough’ was.” Still, Giraldi took to Pratt. “Being at Pratt was the first time i had lived alone—where i began to find my own voice, falling in love—many times— hanging out in the coffee shops where we would drink coffee and beer and talk, talk, talk.” While at Pratt, Giraldi discovered what resonated with him. “Art, music, words, and pictures arouse emotions in me. i’m not a fine arts guy. i always had a feeling for commercial art.” 59
CLASS notes CLASS notes
Class Notes 1980s Andrew Reach, B. Arch. ’80, had his digital print The Wonder of Bruce selected for the 74th Midyear Exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.
Kathleen Edwards, Illustration ’78, was curator of a gallery talk at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery, which focused on Lil Picard and counterculture New York. The event was offered in conjunction with an exhibition on view at the gallery. Edwards has also published her book Holy Stars: Favorite Deities, Prophets, Saints and Sages from Around the World (Sentient Publications, 2009), a graphic comparative religion book using comic-book style to relate essential information about 27 figures from the world’s wisdom traditions.
Joseph Rosa, B. Arch. ’83, the Art Institute of Chicago’s chief curator of architecture and design, has been appointed the new director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
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Mary Carothers, B.F.A. Photography ’91, was honored by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for her contributions to exposing children to art at St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Louisville, Kentucky. Carothers and Sarah Van Ouwerkerk, M.F.A. ’76, were awarded a grant to photograph the original Pony Express route from Missouri to California for an exhibition at the Frazier Museum in Louisville in September 2010.
Edward Giordano, M.S. CommDesign ’85, exhibited a number of his sculptures at the French Embassy’s Cultural Center.
B. Arch ’02, was thrilled to be one of the 12 artists, architects, and designers selected for the fifth season of HGTV’s show Design Star. She wowed the judges during the first episode when contestants were each challenged to design a room for a person based on only three descriptive words about the client. She lasted until the fifth episode where she participated in a team effort to design a room in a firehouse. “I gave the show 100 percent, and I have no regrets,” said the Brooklynnative Ferrer. Just this year, Ferrer formed her own company after working as an architect and project manager for a high-end retailer. She is presently designing the interior for two projects in Brooklyn—a house and restaurant/ lounge. Ferrer describes herself as a “people person” and prefers doing public projects so she can share her work with others. While studying at the School of Architecture, Ferrer also studied interior design and participated in the Pratt in Tuscany program, where she studied photography and painting. She says being exposed to this range of disciplines was essential to her development as a designer. Ferrer calls attending Pratt a transformative experience. “I always tell people that if I have a child and they want to be an artist they are going to Pratt. All the teachers I had at Pratt were practicing artists—they were living what they taught and I really respected their opinions.” Evelyn Brooks, B.F.A. Sculpture ’87, presented her exhibition “Intuitive Abstract Paintings” at the West Caldwell Library in West Caldwell, New Jersey.
Judy Lew-Loose, B.F.A. Graphic Design ’87, exhibited two selections of her work, Blooming Water Lilies and 100 Tulip Bulbs on the Wall, at the Body & Hearth Gallery and Gathering Place in Sacramento, California, from April through June 2010.
Johnny Poux, B.I.D. ’89, presented the second annual exhibition, “Concrete on Main Street 2010,” featuring the material that made Rosendale, New York, famous in uncommon ways, through reinterpreting the uses of Rosendale cement through his three-dimensional exhibit and retrospective. Poux also provided an exhibit on the town’s history along with pictures and discussion of the now-defunct cement kilns and train trestles that lace the area.
1990s Alisa E. Sloboda-Clark, B.F.A. Art and Design Education ’90, has produced a book to encourage spiritual healing and personal growth, titled Dancing in the Doghouse (Createspace, 2009). The
Joseph Pepe, B.I.D. ’91, celebrated his success as a key character designer on James Cameron’s Avatar. His designs for the film have been published in The Art of Avatar (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2009) and Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide (It Books, 2009). Jean Shin, B.F.A. Painting ’94, M.S. ’96, recently created an installation, Pattern Folds, which was on view at the Calvin Klein Collection on Madison Avenue in New York City.
charity efforts. Michael F. Gormley, M.F.A. Graduate Fine Arts ’95, has been hired as the new editorial director of the American Artist magazine group. Gormley will oversee the publication and editorial staff of American Artist, Drawing, Highlights, Workshop, and Watercolor magazines.
Echo Chernik, B.F.A. Illustration ’95, exhibited a personal collection of fine art at the Art Expo in Manhattan in March 2010. She is launching herself into the professional fine art field with the help of her husband, Lazarus Chernik, B.F.A. Advertising Design ’94, a former creative director turned printmaker. Jean Claude Dominique, B.F.A Painting ’95, exhibited his work as the headliner in a group show featuring nine Haitian artists. The event was a fundraiser for Haitian relief
2000s Christine Finley, B.F.A. Painting ’00, received a wave of publicity surrounding her dumpster decorating in New York City. Finley used donated and found materials, like wallpaper, to create her “polite
Jay Maruszewski, M.I.D. Industrial Design ’95, is working as the IT project manager for design and building of new properties at Standard Chartered Bank. He is currently working on two new buildings in Singapore and Japan. Amy DiGi Yedowitz, B.F.A. Art and Design Education ’96, announced that her painting Coast Guard Oversees Oil Spill has been included in the 2010 Permanent Collection for the United States Coast Guard.
garrison buxton Adam Burkowitz, M.I.D. ’97, president and creative director of the boutique design firm, Equal Design Group, collaborated with Hariri Pontarini Architects and Lord Cultural Resources and Planning to design and plan Ontario House, the province’s official pavilion at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Jason Karolak, B.F.A. Painting ’97, showed his paintings with Kavi Gupta Gallery as part of the Next Art Fair in Chicago, Illinois, this past April.
photos: stephen p. harrington (boyton), others courtesy of artists
Donald Fram, B. Arch. ’81, was one of 134 architects selected nationally to be elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows for 2010. Throughout his career at the Port Authority, he has directed award-winning programs and orchestrated the development of Sustainable Design Guidelines within the agency.
David Jost, B.F.A. ’79, a designer for RandomTechnology, received exclusive licenses for manufacturing and worldwide distribution of his new moiré effect drink coaster. The Moiré Coaster is sold wholesale and online through Kikkerland Design.
Jon Wooten, A.O.S. Illustration ’90, designed helmets for the U.S. athletes competing in the 2010 Olympic Games. A renowned airbrush artist, he has also painted helmets for the 2002 U.S. bobsled team and 2006 luge team.
Beatrice M. Mady, M.F.A. ’78, had a solo exhibition of her Digital Prints and Paintings in March 2010 at the Routunda Gallery in Jersey City, New Jersey. She also exhibited black-and-white photographs in a show, titled “Herstory,” at the Brennan Gallery, also in New Jersey.
Mary Rieser Heintjes, B.F.A. ’79, exhibited a drawing from her sketchbook at the March grand opening of the Art House Gallery Library in Brooklyn. This traveling art show will reach California, Georgia, Boston, and Chicago before returning to the library in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
book includes personal journals and a chronicle of 60 images of artwork that she hopes will help readers to understand the process of art making in a spiritual context.
photos: William Joseph O’Connor (ferrer), others courtesy of artists
Museum of Natural History in Wilmington. His welded steel sculptures inspired by nature and creatures of the ocean were on view June 4 through July 18 and incorporated into an evening of conversation with Liz Shea, Ph.D., on the topic of art versus science.
Mark C. Smith, B.F.A. Painting ’99, director of DesignSeed (a collaboration between Auburn University’s Office of University Outreach, Technical Assistance Center, and Industrial Design program), announced that the Southern Growth Policies Board has named DesignSeed a winner of the 2010 Innovator Award, which highlights creative initiatives that aim to help communities recover from the recession. Chris Wright, M.F.A. ’99, had works featured in an exhibition at the George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles, California.
M.F.A. ’03, is the CEO of Peripheral Media Projects, an art and design studio, and co-founder of Ad Hoc Art, which curates public art projects and promotes the work of artists who challenge the boundaries of a “fine art” isolated from society. Buxton’s work caught the attention of the MetroTech Business Improvement District, which wanted someone to curate exhibits in vacant storefronts on the block of Willoughby Street between Duffield and Bridge streets. The stores had been left empty after businesses were evicted in preparation for a development project that has since stalled. Buxton set up exhibits in the 12 empty storefronts. Known as Willoughby Windows, the project has attracted significant attention and drawn the notice of news outlets internationally, including the BBC. “Art should be publicly accessible, and Willoughby Windows allows us to put art out in a public space,” says Buxton. “It is available 24/7, regardless of what you do or where you’re from.” Buxton curated the initial exhibit in June 2009 and installed a second show in May 2010. Originally from Oklahoma, Buxton moved to New York to attend Pratt, where he studied printmaking and, where he says, he learned how to get things accomplished. “Pratt is a place for people who do not need handholding, who take initiative—like Brooklyn itself.” Over the summer, Ad Hoc Art served as “street artist emissaries” at Central Park’s SummerStage. Buxton and Ad Hoc also created merchandise for SummerStage. This fall, he and his wife, Alison (pictured above), are working with colleges, galleries, and productions across the country to teach screen printing and create public and private art projects. After the cross-country tour, the couple will set up a studio in Vermont at a converted 1850s family home which, coincidentally, had been the home and studio of Harry Shokler, the man considered one of the founders of modern serigraphy, or screen printing. “We will continue to keep a strong relationship with people and projects in Brooklyn,” Buxton says. “Simultaneously, Vermont offers us an amazing space to create. It is more affordable and sustainable; we can give artists a chance to take a break from the city and work on larger projects.” 61
Class Notes Giovanni Jubert Di Montaperto, M.S. Comm-Design ’07, and Brenda McManus, M.S. Comm-Design ’07, were published in Robin Landa’s new book, Graphic Design Solutions, 4th Edition (Wadsworth Publishing, 2011), featuring their collaborative work on a fall 2006 Pratt newsletter.
Tahir Hemphill, M.S. CommDesign ’00, was announced as a recipient of a 2010 Eyebeam Residency. He will receive a five-month residency, which includes a stipend as well as access to Eyebeam’s facilities, equipment, and opportunities to develop new work. One of six new residents, Hemphill was selected from a group of 146 applicants based on his proven ability in spearheading new projects and areas of artistic research.
Greg Lindquist, M.S./M.F.A. Fine Arts and Theory, History, and Criticism of Art, Design, and Architecture ’08, presented “Nonpasts,” an exhibition at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in Manhattan. Other recent accomplishments include a sculpture and painting installation in the Verge Art Fair at the Dylan Hotel in New York, and inclusion in the group exhibition “Gallery Selections” at Ober Gallery in Connecticut. His work was also featured in March 2010 ArtNEWS Critic’s Picks.
Ryan Mrozowski, M.F.A. Fine Arts ’05, celebrated the opening of his second one-person show at Pierogi in Brooklyn. Mrozowski’s works were shown in two galleries, one featuring an exhibition of paintings, Skirmish, The Enthusiasts, and Sharp Shooters, and the second showing his film animations for the first time.
Jee Hyung Hwang, M.F.A. Painting/Drawing ’09, was recognized as the 2009–2010 A.I.R. Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship Artist and presented her first solo show, “I Have Something to Say,” at the A.I.A. Fellowship Gallery in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Susan Ross, M.F.A ’05, and Melissa Staiger, M.F.A ’03, co-curated “Source,” an exhibition made up of seven artists’ work, including Glen Cunningham, M.F.A. ’04, Lori Kirkbride, M.F.A. ’03, and Ben La Rocco, M.F.A. ’05, which featured a panel discussion titled “Resource: Where Abstract Art is (From).” Michael Schall, M.F.A. ’05, was a part of two exhibitions in spring 2010. The first was held at the National Academy Museum as part of the 185th Annual Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, and the second, a solo show, titled “Firefall,” was held at Platform Gallery in Seattle. A series of Schall’s small drawings were recently published in McSweeney’s Issue, No. 32 and The Better of McSweeney’s, Vol 2. Ashley Zarella Hand, M. Arch. ’06, was awarded a 2010 Green Leadership Award by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. Hand launched the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Sustainability Committee to develop a community greening strategy and resource tool kit for downtown Los Angeles. She has been recognized as an individual whose efforts empower her community and society toward ecological restoration and a sustainable future. Andrew Lanset, M.S. Information and Library Science/Archives ’07, received the Archival Achievement Award from the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York in October 2009.
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Elke Reva Sudin, B.F.A.’09, exhibited her paintings Hipsters and Hassids, at The Aish Center and Le Salon D’Art, both in Manhattan. The series celebrates two diverse cultural groups who maintain an uneasy coexistence in the creatively charged neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (see page 5) Christopher Sweeney, B.F.A. Writing for Performance, Publication, and Media ’09, and Robert Snyderman, B.F.A. Writing for Performance, Publication, and Media ’09, were two of only five candidates accepted and enrolled in the M.F.A. in Creative Writing program at Brown University for fall 2010.
Norman A. Cortes Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, 1949
Sungkuk Kim Bachelor of Architecture, 1963
Winifred Shaw Melvin Diploma, Teacher Training in Fine and Applied Arts, 1931
Harold M. Gottheim Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, 1949
William A. Gross Bachelor of Science, Building Science, 1969
Gerhard M. Schouten Advertising Design, 1949
Melvyn Irving Kestenbaum Master of Science, Computer Science, 1969
Virginia Rainbault Meyerson Fashion Illustration, 1934
Paul F. X. Hearns Diploma, Teacher Training in Fine and Applied Arts, 1935
Catherine S. Chambers Interior Design, 1950
Stewart L. Sutcliffe Bachelor of Architecture, 1970
Donald J. Pfundstein Evening School of Science and Technology, Spring 1950
Judge Janice L. Bowman-Windham Master of Science, Planning, 1971
Ardis W. Hughes Pictorial Illustration, 1934
Elizabeth Ostrowe Cleveland Evening School of Fine and Applied Arts, Interior Design, 1938 Jean Zingg Garthwaite School of Household Science and Arts, Institutional Management, 1938
Samuel Botero B.F.A. Interior Design ’68, has repeatedly earned a spot on Architectural Digest’s list of top 100 interior designers for his work in homes around the globe. Now, Botero plans to unveil a line of home accessories, named Botero World—as the working title. Under his leadership, Samuel Botero Associates, Inc., has created colorful, luxurious interiors for a range of homes, including ski chalets in Telluride, estates in Palm Beach, and Fifth Avenue apartments. Botero says his showroom will represent his long and varied design career. “My new showroom will include things I have designed as well as amazing accessories that I have discovered on my travels.” Botero calls the showroom in his East 58th Street offices “a place to come and find surprises.” Botero’s interest in designing began more than 40 years ago when a student from Pratt visited his high school class in Manhattan. Botero listened with rapt attention to the lecture. “I was so impressed by his work and dedication. The Pratt student left an application for a scholarship. I filled it out, met the requirements, and I was accepted.” That presentation laid the foundation for an amazing career for the Colombian-born Botero. “While I was a student at Pratt, the modern, Bauhaus design was taught,” he says. “It was an amazing foundation, but as I started designing I realized that it takes a lot of discipline to live like a modernist—to be that simplistic. Not many people live that way, so I embrace many designs. I use the foundation that I received at Pratt, but I take it in many different directions.” Color is Samuel Botero’s passion and the signature of his design. “Years ago, my first independent project was the interior of a home in Mexico for the fashion designer Ken Scott. I was so impressed by the color in the Mexican culture, that I carried it through my design.” “When I design, I look to please the clients and to bring them to a place in the design of their homes that they would never reach on their own,” Botero says. “Having gone to Pratt was such an incredible foundation. We had top faculty that inspired us. The professors would look at our work, critique us, and not break us down. Pratt was an amazing, amazing experience in my life. I am very proud to have gone to Pratt.”
John S. (Mazurczyk) Merten Industrial Chemical Engineering, 1939 Ferdinand J. Schiavi Evening School of Architecture, Fall 1939
1940s Adriana Corradetti Costume Design, 1940 Burnita Cooksey Hudgins Homemaking, 1940 Estelle VanRoon Dreizin Costume Design, 1941 Robert E. Nitschke Industrial Mechanical Engineering, 1943 Georgiana C. White Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1943 photos: Michael Moran (botero), others courtesy of artists
graffiti” in an attempt to dress up dumpsters around the city. She plans to take the project to Los Angeles and to several cities in Europe and is in talks with executives at Chelsea Sanitation Service about redesigning their dumpsters.
Marvin Stein Evening School of Art and Design, Illustration, Spring 1945 Valeska Hammer Ginouves Industrial Design, 1947 Irene M. German Welling Stoll Illustration, 1947
Rudolph DuBois, Jr. Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, 1951
Robert R. Anderson Master of Fine Arts, 1972
Norman F. Lazarus Bachelor of Fine Arts, Advertising Design, 1955
David S. Brown Illustration, 1956
Lewko Maystrenko Bachelor of Science, Construction Management, 1982
Edward Burns The Evening School, Electrical Technology, Radio and Communications Option, 1956
John C. Schoenherr Bachelor of Fine Arts, Illustration, 1956
Mark Zaininger Master of Industrial Design, 1995
Ernest H. Grauel Interior Design, 1957
Otis Chakaras Johnson Graphic Design, 1998
Robert C. Jennee Bachelor of Industrial Design, 1960
Otis Chakaras Johnson Communications Design, Alumnus
Joseph Paolillo Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, 1960
Abraham Kovner Pratt Center for Continuing and Professional Studies
Charles H. Tomlinson Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design and Illustration, 1960 Master of Science, Art Education, 1963 Lawrence M. Flanagan Associate in Applied Science, Graphic Illustration, 1961
Marilyn E. Lyons Graduate Communications Design Mary Buckley Parriott Professor Emerita; Pratt Institute Distinguished Professor
Pratt Institute mourns the loss of these individuals who have touched the lives of so many, both within our community and beyond. Although we will miss their presence, they leave a permanent mark through their contributions to their fields and to society. Gifts to The Fund for Pratt can be made to honor the memory of a loved one. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at 718-399-4211 for more information. 63
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Alumni Gallery | Swoon
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The Brooklyn-based artist who calls herself Swoon is Pratt grad Caledonia Curry (B.F.A. Painting â€™02) and is best known for pasting life-size prints and paper cutouts on walls in public spaces. This striking figure was left to decay on the outside of a Brooklyn building in 2005. The peeling figure affirms the ephemeral nature of the moment. An internationally recognized artist with major pieces in The Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum, Swoon visited Haiti this year to teach sustainable building styles by helping to build earthquake-resistant community centers and housing as part of the Konbit Shelter project.
ÂŠ Courtesy of Abrams Books
PRATT INSTITUTE 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11205
Swoon, figural paper cut-out pasted on a wall in Brooklyn, 2005; right: same piece, decayed three months later.
Published on Jun 16, 2011
Pratt’s connections with Brooklyn grew out of the close ties that Charles Pratt, the Institute’s founder, had to Clinton Hill, where he buil...