Prattfolio Spring/Summer 2019

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Pratt folio

Spring/ Summer 2019

The Magazine of Pratt Institute

Partner ship

8 BUILDING BRIDGES Pratt Students Work with Local Partner to Address the Experience of Undocumented People

4 CRIT A conversation with Sarah Strauss, Visiting Associate Professor of Interior Design, and students in Music, Media, Feminism

16 BRILLIANT ASSEMBLAGE Pratt Practitioners and Students Help Restore Louise Nevelson’s New York City Landmark

6 SOLVED Alumni Vruti Desai and Avinash Sharma create a sculpture that interacts with the ecosystem

24 PARTICIPATION IN PLACE Four Pratt Center Taconic Fellowship Projects Foster Collaboration and Community in New York City

34 NEWS The inauguration of President Frances Bronet, and more



1 IN CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT Speaking of partnership with Provost Kirk E. Pillow 2 PRACTICE A visit to the gallery of Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish

Prattfolio, the magazine of Pratt Institute, is published by Pratt Communications and Marketing. ©2019 Pratt Institute 200 Willoughby Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205 Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @prattalumni; @prattinstitute

Vice President for Communications and Marketing Jim Kempster Senior Editor Jean Hartig Creative Director Mats Håkansson Associate Creative Director Megan Feehan Graphic Designer Dan Romanoski Contributing Designers Gracia Echeverria ’17, Jin Kim, Kyu Lee ’19, Youngeun Sohn, Keith Wright ’19, Huating Yu ’19


Photographer Daniel Terna Copy Editor Brandhi Williamson Staff Contributors Holly Graves ’15 Marion Hammon Jolene Travis Editorial Assistant Lexi Anderson ’21 Project Management Stephanie Greenberg Charlotte Savidge Assistant Director, Traffic and Production David Dupont

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Daphne Halpern Executive Director for Alumni Engagement Sherri Jones For address changes and obituary notices, please contact or call 718.399.4447.

Speaking of Partnership Every time we approach a project that reaches into the world, we have to consider: Who are our partners? It is fitting that this, the Partnership issue of Prattfolio, debuts a conversational approach to the opening message. In this first installment, Provost Kirk E. Pillow and I discuss opportunities to encourage and amplify connections that power meaningful work, the kind you—members of our vibrant, collaborative Pratt community—create and inspire every day. — Frances Bronet, President

FRANCES BRONET: As we think about ways to grow our culture of partnerships at Pratt, let’s consider what is already burgeoning. KIRK E. PILLOW: There are numerous partnerships pursued regularly by faculty, departments, our Education Abroad office, and Pratt’s research centers. For example, the Consortium for Research and Robotics’ work with institutional and industrial partners on technology-focused initiatives, and the Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative’s data, mapping, and design projects with community organizations. There’s Pratt Creative Xchange, which engages Pratt students and local partners in Kingston, New York, in design education for the community. Partnerships are such a priority at Pratt that in 2017, we welcomed Allison Druin as our inaugural Associate Provost for Research and Strategic Partnerships. FB: We have 1,100 faculty members, many of whom have their own practices, already connected to the world at large and bringing it here when they teach. One question we’re thinking about is how to support and magnify these connections. KP: We can make the creative activity that calls for partnership with other people and organizations more visible. For example, the Pratt Research Open House on March 30 featured more than 70 projects on display all over campus, many of which could spark the interest of partners who would invest in taking the projects further. FB: If we want to have the richest, most diverse environment, anchored in excellence, it is critical to build these strategic and ambitious alliances. How can we add value? KP: Many of the themes of our gestating strategic plan—modes of interdisciplinarity distinctive to art and design education and research; student well-being and flourishing in our studio culture; diversity, equity, and inclusion; enhancing our international reach and relevance; civic literacy and civic action—also have great potential to attract inspired partners to work with Pratt. FB: Building coalitions generously opens venues for multiple modes of engagement—for both team and individual investigations. We are creating a landscape for connectors, in order to make an impact on the world.

In Conversation with the President



From Hotel Art Pavilion, the gallery of Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish, both MFA ’13, Visiting Faculty Brooklyn, New York


While they were students at Pratt, Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish joined forces to consider alternative ways for art to meet the world, beyond the gallery-show model, and build connections with people outside of the Institute community. Inspired by the access offered by platforms like Contemporary Art Daily, the website and feed that highlights work being exhibited around the world, they created Hotel Art.

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Founded in 2012, Hotel Art was about “playing with documentation as a medium”— the model was “stage the art, document, deploy,” using settings such as hotel rooms, an ATM vestibule, and the parking lot of Dodger Stadium to install and the internet to disseminate. Shows were up just long enough to photograph, video, or make record of otherwise. Hotel Art responded to something Abrams and Stanish


observed about the presentday art-viewing experience: It often wasn’t at an exhibition but after that work was really seen, on a screen. Nevertheless, the IRL show could spark another kind of engagement—with a community. The next phase of their project, Hotel Art Pavilion, now in its third season, bridged the physical and the digital. A generous backyard in Bushwick (pictured above) hosts openings for exhibitions


in a freestanding gallery space— which Abrams and Stanish constructed. The emphasis is on two-person shows featuring artists in dialogue with one another—echoing Abrams and Stanish’s own collaborative artistic practice—primarily sculpture, created by both digital and traditional means, and conceptually conceived through a feminist lens. Back at Pratt as educators, Abrams and Stanish thread

the themes of conversation, collaboration, and community through their new course, After the Internet. One of the interdisciplinary Pratt Integrative Courses launched last fall for third-year students, the class examines “how the contemporary art world works, and the problems and opportunities that emerging artists face within it,” with media theory and postinternet discourse informing the discussion.

Abrams and Stanish ask their students to explore how they as artists and creative workers can be the generators of opportunities, through novel projects and platforms akin to Hotel Art, so they come away able to present work to public audiences. In December, the first class put ideas into practice, organizing a group show at the Pfizer Building—complete with an online presence, of course.



Sarah Strauss Visiting Associate Professor of Interior Design

Angela Bouton MFA Interior Design ’19 Ritika Saraf MFA Interior Design ’19 Ziqian Wang MFA Interior Design ’19

In architect and drummer Sarah Strauss’s interior design studio Music, Media, Feminism, students explored personal experiences and ideas about feminism in a collaborative zine, then—with women and gender nonconforming musicians as their muses—reimagined the standard drum set for more bodies before designing multiuse-space concepts for a feminist drumming magazine. SARAH STRAUSS: As I was writing this class, I had this idea: I’m going to get 12 women to all play the drums—make noise, be rowdy and loud, and show their power. That was not just a symbolic act, but a real definitive taking-over-space. I wanted them to have a fearlessness about making noise, and doing so unapologetically. ANGELA BOUTON: Going into my drum design, I was analyzing these old ads in fashion magazines. They were always like, Your husband would love you in this. Why can’t she just wear it because she likes it? I got the idea of designing a drum set that looked like handbags, which you could take out of your closet and assemble and bang on—she’s fabulous, her drum set is fabulous, and she’s not apologetic, she owns it. RITIKA SARAF: My idea was to make something very light, very transportable, and you can assemble it easily. I wanted to make this triangular form so all the parts come closer to your body and it’s easier to hit them.


ZIQIAN WANG: I wanted to design a drum that is flattened, so it can be easy to [carry]. This is a silkscreen frame, and I used tape to cover it. Because we can tape or color it whatever [way] we want, we can show our personalities. And the sound can change when you add more layers. SS: This studio moved from the personal to physical, then to the conceptual: How do we actually make feminist space? Everybody took some direction from the early projects and then did research to figure out what it is about our existing culture that makes us feel hedged in, that we’re not necessarily in control of it. AB: I went off of my idea of domesticity and started analyzing quilting through different cultures, different time periods. Around the world, a way that [women] get out their grievances is through quilting—they make activist quilts. I went with the idea of tessellations and made an extruded quilt in the floor plan. As part of the program, we had to design a performance space, so I designed this tessellated backdrop that could be combined or flattened, and you could change the acoustics of the room. RS: I was inspired by the zines that we made—so many stories, and I felt like there were so many things that women have struggled through. I wanted to make a space which could be really dominant and call out: I am a feminist space, I exist here. I used this idea of cloud and lightning: the “lightning” was an urban

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street in my space which connected the outdoor to the indoor, and the “cloud” was acoustical elements that could create different atmospheres for the performance space. ZW: My idea came from fashion trends of women’s wear. In the past, lots of women were forced to wear uncomfortable clothes. My concept came from [the idea that] people have the right to choose their appearance, be whatever they want. I chose a curtain system that would create public space or private space—and it also has acoustic effects. SS: You did this great poster on clothes as a form of control—then took clothing and used it as a design element, and changed that function. It was exciting to see all of the ideas happen, and for everyone to understand that the world is not just as it is—we are here to change the world. RS: The studio gave us this sense of confidence and empowerment. There are people who think like you and there is a way to make a difference. AB: I also found it was good to experiment. Test things out, see what happens, be messy. Which also ties into the idea of do what you want, be a feminist, be who you want. ZW: Try whatever we can and don’t be afraid to fail. Just be free. To view more Music, Media, Feminism work by Angela, Ritika, and Ziqian, visit





Vruti Desai, MS Arch ’18 Avinash Sharma, MS Arch ’18

Vruti Desai and Avinash Sharma The idea: teamed up in an MS Architecture “Our thesis was based mainly on studio to research and design the relation of nature and a sculptural work that could architecture—where they are two appear in the bucolic outdoor separate approaches, and how setting of Art Omi in Ghent, they grow and evolve into one New York. Their concept, titled idea,” say Desai and Sharma. Carapace, was selected by “We wanted to design a pavilion Graduate Architecture and Urban that sits on the landscape like Design faculty and an Art Omi an alien object with no reference jury to be built and installed in to its origin and foundation,” the arts center’s Architecture but that over time would “incor­Fields last summer. po­rate itself with the nature


around it and find its place in the landscape.” The “alien” would also be minimally invasive: a freestanding structure—that is, with no foundational incursions in the ground—that would allow for flexibility of orientation and site placement. The details: The designers considered how local flora and fauna might connect with the piece as much

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as human visitors. A mesh “skin” would welcome small creatures to inhabit the structure, and its toothlike edges would allow plants to latch on and grow. Meanwhile, hollow and transparent areas would expose the natural characteristics of its materials and invite viewers to touch, enter, listen, and observe. The critical challenge: While the entire process involved


Carapace is on view at Art Omi through January 2020.

rigorous material, aesthetic, formal, and functional experimentation, the construction stage presented particular hurdles “as it battled between theories and practicality.” Another major undertaking: CNC—or computer numerical controlled—milling nearly 100 pieces of plywood and gluing each piece to create the structure’s individual frames, which took around 120 hours, under time constraints. Add to


that the race against the sun to assemble the structure at its field site, out of proximity to electricity but well within reach of all manner of insects—which made for an unforgettable experience. The finishing touch: One significant design change along the way was the introduction of a sapling inside the structure—hence the work’s title, Carapace (in reference to

an exoskeleton or shell)—with the idea that it would grow through the piece, wrapping it and lifting it to ultimately create a reversal: The carapace becomes contained by the tree. The discovery: “Many times we don’t realize the scale and power of other living creatures around us. We have advanced a lot over centuries and have a habit to control

everything around us, but sometimes the best thing to do is to not interfere.” The design process encouraged Desai and Sharma to consider not only the relationship of user to structure and the spatial experience they create as architects but also the importance of balance, from minute details to expansive environmental context.



Subversion Stickers, Alex Thompson, MID ’20; images courtesy of Alex Thompson

Pratt Students Work with Local Partner to Address the Experience of Undocumented People

How do designers design toward the right questions? In the case of students in Pratt’s industrial design studio Undocumented Design, zoning in on problems they could tackle—nested within a complex and far-reaching issue— meant connecting directly with those on the front lines. Taught by Alex Schweder, BArch ’93, Adjunct Associate Professor of Industrial Design and Interior Design, Undocumented Design centers on developing products that address needs of, provide support to, and challenge perceptions of those struggling to obtain legal status in the US. To understand the real human experiences that would drive this work has meant being present—at demonstrations and in courthouses, side by side and face to face with individuals seeking legal status, advocacy workers, volunteers, and immigration agents. Running for the third semester this spring, the studio partners with New Sanctuary Coalition—a New York City-based interfaith network of congregations that stands in solidarity with families and communities resisting detention and deportation to stay together—a collaboration that makes this kind of deep and nuanced research possible. The students’ pursuit of inquiry starts with observation and continues with empathy, both honed out in the world, feet on the ground. “What would you do in their shoes? What would you want people to do for you if you were in that position? That’s why it’s important, the presence,” says Judith Sanchez of New Sanctuary Coalition, who has met with Schweder and the students throughout the phases of their design process and provided critical feedback.



book that contained subtle messages about the experience of undocumented people, an example also, Schweder says, “of how the utterly familiar can become intelligently strange.” Over the semesters Schweder has taught this studio, his students’ concepts have been focused in three areas—the emotional or empathetic, the logistical or practical, and the activist or perception-changing—but, as he sees it, these facets of design aren’t so discrete. In fact, Schweder has developed his own practice around “artistically cultivating questions with the hopes that logistical, emotional, and activist dimensions of a project are understood as contingent upon one another.” He adds, “Emotion and activism are ‘useful’ in the ways they allow questions to be asked and designs to be evaluated. . . . The emotional objects are less about the thing as an end but the shifts in subjectivity that might arise from interacting with it. Similarly, activist objects might be thought of as useful in the ways that they initiate intersubjective changes.” Objects imbued with a message can signify solidarity but also act as sites of contemplation and learning. Alex Thompson, MID ’20, took inspiration from grocery store produce labels for her design of eye-catching alternative stickers that demonstrate the close connection between the buyer and the laborer who harvested the crop, and raise questions for the viewer to consider. Shaya AlArfaj, MID ’19, designed a water bottle that could fit in a chain-link fence, with the idea that a grouping of them could create a graphic message (such as the logo for New Sanctuary Coalition) while each individual bottle could hold pamphlets with awarenessraising information. Just as students have sought out ways to assist the partner organization in thinking creatively about how to serve its constituency, the experience has been an opportunity for them to enrich their understanding of the ethics and sensitivities surrounding others’ experiences—which could have a ripple effect in other communities they come to work in. Not only are students coming away with a richer understanding of design practice but an additional layer of learning that touches on social responsibility. “Ultimately, the courses I have taught that are premised upon a topic of social import are aimed at teaching students to be flexible thinkers, to find ways of using their design skills in situations where design might not be the obvious address to its problems,” says Schweder, who also recently led a studio focused on design for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. When it comes to the intricate challenges organizations like New Sanctuary Coalition grapple with, “The change needs to come from every angle,” Sanchez says, and designers can serve as catalysts for transformation. For her organization’s constituents, “It’s a long journey, and in that journey they suffer so many traumas,” and the Undocumented Design students, “through their developments, through their art . . . are willing to fix these anxieties, these traumas, this sense of not belonging. . . . All the art they did was with a purpose, for people to see it, for people to ask, what is this about, what can I do?”

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Images courtesy of, clockwise from top: Shaya AlArfaj; Josh Bird; and Martin Sombathy

Early in each semester, every student comes up with 20 design proposals to present to Sanchez and Zac Mosley of Judson Church, a New Sanctuary Coalition member congregation perhaps best known for its practice of offering inclusive space to the community for art and social justice activities. Taking into account Sanchez’s and Mosley’s responses to the initial concepts, each student selects two designs to develop for the remainder of the semester, in consultation with the partner critics. “Judith’s voice I heard in almost every product,” Schweder says of the past two semesters’ designs. “Not in its shape but at the more fundamental level of its legitimacy. Her feedback shapes the questions that students come to ask, rather than the answers that they offer.” Among the lines of inquiry students have applied to their concepts is how experiences could be documented, producing concrete data about interactions and events using accessible, inexpensive technology. Josh Bird, MID ’19, considered the question of how to certify US birth when a child is not delivered in a hospital setting. He designed an umbilical-cord clamp that registers the location of a child’s birth, pinpointing its GPS coordinates, while also collecting a DNA sample. Last spring, Alejandro Moyano, MID ’19, looked for ways to clarify—through visual record—questions that arise around violation of rights and use of force during interactions with the authorities. He created a small video camera that could be worn on a lapel; with the pull of a tab, the camera would activate and stream footage to the wearer’s Facebook page. Some objects considered the external and internal stresses that can take a toll on individuals’ emotional well-being. Martin Sombathy, MID ’20, created an object that responds to how difficult it can be for someone seeking legal status to maintain a sense of self-assurance. He devised a transitional mirror that would introduce an affirmative phrase, a sort of mantra, on a matte screen; over time, as the mantra is internalized, the message screen fades to reveal the mirror’s full reflectivity and the viewer’s face. As Sanchez puts it, the mirror reaffirms a message that is vital for many people her organization serves: “When I see you, I see a human being.” More than solving for a single, tangible need, the students’ work has taken shape around opening up a conversation and rethinking established narratives—also presenting an opportunity to scrutinize their own internal biases. Doing their research directly within the community revealed what designers might take for granted or simply not have considered when it comes to how others want to be treated. In turn, much of their work attempted to cultivate compassion and awareness in others based on those observations. When Chiara Treglia visited the courthouse as a volunteer accompanying people going through the process to obtain legal status, she noticed that immigration and customs enforcement agents had a lot of downtime and weren’t permitted to use their phones to occupy themselves. Considering how an analog form of entertainment might be an opportunity to encourage reflection, she developed a concept for a puzzle

JustICE Water, Shaya AlArfaj, MID ’19

Bottles can help share information tucked inside or, installed together, convey a graphic message.

Mantra Mirror, Martin Sombathy, MID ’20

Citizen Umbilical Clamp, Josh Bird, MID ’19

A mirror affirms a viewer’s inner and outer beauty.

This clamp records location of birth and a newborn’s DNA.

Building Bridges


Photos courtesy of Alejandro Moyano and Garrett Benisch (opposite)

ILLUMINA, Alejandro Moyano, MID ’19

The wearer can activate this lapel camera by pulling a tab and stream video to social media.


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Ice Dropper, Garrett Benisch, MID ’19

A vessel to cultivate plant species well-known in but nonnative to the US envisions growth from the disappearance of ice.

Building Bridges


Photos courtesy of Alex Thompson and Oya Tekbulut (opposite)

Subversion Stickers, Alex Thompson, MID ’20

Using the visual language of produce stickers, this work proposes a line of alternative messaging.


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ICE Lollie, Oya Tekbulut, MID ’19

This confection addresses the force of a powerful signifier.

Building Bridges




Pratt Practitioners and Students Help Restore Louise Nevelson’s New York City Landmark by Clinton Krute



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Brilliant Assemblage


Nevelson Chapel is more than a religious space, more even than a work of art— it represents a determined spirit of community.


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Behind every lasting artistic achievement is an intersection of practices—the sort of collaboration across disciplines that is central to the work of Pratt students, graduates, and faculty. Every artist, architect, and designer knows just how important it is to understand the chemical properties of paint, the physics of a curtain wall, or the science of mind and culture that underlie an aesthetic decision—and exploring how art and science intersect, and how to work in partnership with experts from other disciplines, is especially important for members of the Pratt community taking part in the care of historical artworks. Over the past five years, Pratt chemistry professor Cindie Kehlet, conservator Sarah Nunberg—whose teaching at Pratt introduces topics that relate to conservation, such as materials degradation—and Pratt students, most recently Lauryl Sandman, BA History of Art and Design ’19, have worked on a project that has required partnership across a range of fields and practices, and among​ specialized practitioners and community leadership: the restoration of Louise Nevelson’s Chapel of the Good Shepherd, the artist’s immersive sculptural work at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan. Nunberg, Kehlet, and Sandman have helped in the effort to painstakingly peel back the accumulated years from the 42-year-old Nevelson Chapel, as it is known today, to reveal and preserve Nevelson’s visionary installation, while Pratt alumna Jane Greenwood, BArch ’87, Principal of Kostow Greenwood Architects, has led renovations to the architecture of the space. Partnering with Saint Peter’s to conserve this major piece of American public art, Pratt community members have participated in a collaboration greater than the sum of its parts, linking art history and cutting-edge technology, technical precision and aesthetic resonance, an artist’s singular vision, and a space of refuge open to all.

Since its dedication in 1977, Nevelson Chapel has been a space of spiritual solace for many—open to the general public, located alongside the church structure at Lexington Avenue and 54th Street, where it is integral to Citigroup Center as a privately owned public art space. Nevelson envisioned the chapel as a “quiet place” in the heart of the bustling city; within it, her austere white sculptures—abstract assemblages of precise, custom cut-wood shapes—envelop


visitors and evoke a sense of serenity. Nevelson designed the site as an anchor of sorts. She herself had come to the US as a child after fleeing the pogroms in Ukraine with her family. They eventually settled in Rockland, Maine, where Nevelson spent her formative years before ultimately striking out for the melting pot of New York City. In a way, her work speaks both to the immigrant experience in the United States, as well as to the spiritual condition of all humans. Her sculptures—often constructed from found, discarded objects—reflect her own rootlessness while simultaneously conveying a sense of weight and groundedness, the sense that one might build a home from what others consider insignificant. When Nevelson, whose family was Jewish, took on the chapel project in the mid-1970s, she expressed a more universal spiritual belief system, noting that she saw “no distinction between a church and a synagogue. If you go deep enough into any religion, you arrive at the same point of harmony.” Nevelson Chapel—its original design the result of a partnership between the artist and the architects of the soaring tower above it, built to house Citibank’s headquarters—has since been a place of reflection and quietude, a “point of harmony” between religions, people, and the often dissonant urban environment. Over the decades since the chapel opened, the cut wood sculptures, covered with white alkyd paint, that Nevelson constructed to encompass the space have degraded badly. The humidity and temperature of the space fluctuated over the years and, making matters more difficult, the sculptural objects were repainted and touched up with a different type of paint several times since the 1980s. Sarah Nunberg, who in addition to her work in the Mathematics and Science Department at Pratt is principal of the Objects Conservation Studio, LLC, suggested a different approach when she began working on


Brilliant Assemblage


the project in 2012: Nunberg hoped to reveal the artist’s vision by removing the accumulated restoration paint and exposing the original paint. This would require “first researching the piece and understanding how Nevelson worked and how her other pieces had been treated,” Nunberg says. “Through those discussions, we began a multiphase project.” As research proceeded, it became clear to Nunberg that she would need to develop a deeper understanding of the chemistry of the paint in order to identify “what the newer paint was, what the original paint was, and how they were interacting.” This is how Pratt’s Mathematics and Science Department became involved. Nunberg explained that she “ended up talking to a professor at Pratt, Cindie Kehlet, who studies the properties of art materials and their degradation.” Kehlet is now also one of the directors, along with Professor Eleonora del Federico, of the department’s newly opened Center for Research of Art and Design Materials, which houses the Licio Isolani Study Archive for which Nunberg is the conservator. “Starting in 2012, she came on to the project and we just worked together really well,” says Nunberg. “So we put together a class for two students of Cindie’s who were interested in this project. Then it just grew from there.” Pratt student Lauryl Sandman, an art history major who joined the project last year, worked extensively with Nunberg and Kehlet on the investigative and hands-on work of restoration. In the process, Sandman learned the ins and outs of the conservation process, from the rigorous chemical analysis to the delicate, detailed manual practices involved. She discovered that the process is time-consuming, requiring conservators to very carefully remove the water-soluble PVA overpaint to reveal Nevelson’s original alkyd paint using a special cleaning gel created at and imported from the University of Florence. As Sandman tells it, “over the summer, we did one sculpture, working full-time. They’re big sculptures that cover most of the walls, and that was one of the smaller ones. And it still took us the entire summer!” Sandman found the multidisciplinary work fascinating, and she’s excited to apply the wide range of skills she’s acquired in a career as a conservator, utilizing her knowledge base in chemistry and science as well as in the humanities. For Sandman, the skills she’s found most useful are flexibility and an openness to continual learning: “I’ve learned not only how to use this specific


system, but also how much research goes into what we’re doing, and how much we’re constantly evolving treatment. It’s not one set thing we’re doing every day; it changes every time we learn new things about the objects.” Nunberg stressed that the conservation work, central as it may be, is only one aspect of a complex effort to ensure that the chapel is preserved for the foreseeable future. Pratt alumna architect Jane Greenwood has been focused on restoring the environment itself, creating a space that will facilitate the preservation of the restored sculptures while staying true to the artist’s vision for the chapel. In addition to installing a dedicated HVAC and humidification system, this work also entails the construction of a new environmental and acoustical envelope and a new lighting system with smart technology. Greenwood, through her firm, Kostow Greenwood Architects, joined the project in 2017; she leads a team of engineers and lighting designers assembled by Saint Peter’s Church whose work aligns with the art conservation effort the church engaged Nunberg to carry out. As an architect, Greenwood has worked extensively on sacred and public spaces, and notes that her firm’s role in Nevelson Chapel’s restoration has evolved considerably since beginning work: “We started out with a more limited mission, which was to bring the space up to a level that would, at the bare minimum, stop the decay of the art. But if you just address the humidity, you have to address the artificial lighting, and then the natural lighting. It just becomes a domino.” Greenwood credits her experience at Pratt as being crucial to her development as an architect and collaborator: “I had always wanted to work on urban projects: residential, commercial, preservation, restoration, and civic design. What better place to learn than New York City? Pratt fulfilled the desire I had to understand architecture from an urbanist perspective.” Those lessons, in turn, prepared her for partnership, managing the many threads of the Nevelson Chapel project, from lighting design to environmental control to structural engineering, while maintaining perspective on the bigger picture of preservation of what is in its entirety a comprehensive historic space. For Greenwood, the restoration of Nevelson Chapel has special significance: “This is such a jewel of a project and reminds me of my mission and goals as a young architect—to contribute to the built environment in a positive way that enhances

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everyone’s experience. As architects in the public realm, we have a responsibility to create good design, and when we do, it’s amazing. It’s the best feel-good moment in the end.” Greenwood and Nunberg highlighted the commitment and passion that Pastor Jared R. Stahler, who has served at Saint Peter’s Church since 2005, has brought to the project. For Stahler, as for the conservator, the chemist, and the architect, Nevelson Chapel is more than a religious space, more even than a work of art—it represents a determined spirit of community: “You go back and read [Nevelson’s] words, and she is saying, I’m not doing something for some narrow religious purpose, I’m doing this for the public, I’m doing this for humanity. She called it her ‘gift to the universe.’” With members of the Pratt community marshaling their skills and knowledge to conserve this gift for the city, the art and environmental restoration of Nevelson Chapel is expected to be completed in December. An inaugural year of programming is planned to begin in January 2020.

Images Opening page: Louise Nevelson, “Cross of the Resurrection.” This sculptural element began treatment in summer 2018 and is now the only element in Nevelson Chapel with Nevelson’s original paint as the presentation surface. Credit: @Thomas Magno Photography 1 Sarah Nunberg (right) and Pratt student Lauryl Sandman treat overpainted wood surfaces with an innovative cleaning system developed in Florence, revealing Nevelson’s original paint for the first time in decades. Credit: Leslie dela Vega/Nevelson Chapel 2 The Chapel’s altar table is set with silver liturgical items by Lella and Massimo Vignelli. Credit: @Thomas Magno Photography 3 View of entrance with Nevelson’s “Grapes and Wheat” lintel over the door. Partially in view is Nevelson’s “Sky Vestment” at right. Credit: @Thomas Magno Photography 4 Nevelson’s “Sky Vestment” includes an abstract presentation of New York City’s skyline and a quotation of Matisse’s vestment for Matisse Chapel in Vence, France. Credit: @Thomas Magno Photography



Brilliant Assemblage


Par­tic­i­ pa­tion In Place Four Pratt Center Taconic Fellowship Projects Foster Collaboration and Community in New York City Prattfolio

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Participation in Place


Photo courtesy of The Landfill Project

Bridging the expertise of Pratt students and faculty with communities beyond the gates begins with strong partnerships. For six years, the Taconic Fellowship, a program of the Pratt Center for Community Development, has supported projects driven by faculty, students, and staff working together with a variety of community organizations in New York City. The fellowships, funded by an endowment from the Taconic Foundation, are emblematic of Pratt Center’s mission to promote a just, equitable, and sustainable city for all New Yorkers. In the 55 years since its founding, Pratt Center has advanced meaningful community participation in public decision-making and has tirelessly offered technical assistance and policy research in support of affordable housing, environmental sustainability, and equitable economic opportunity. Its three fellowship programs (the Graduate Planning, Made in NYC, and Taconic fellowships) offer

financial support to Pratt faculty, students, and staff who seek to engage in community-building work in partnership with community organizations across New York City. Taconic Fellows partner with community organizations and work with them to shape projects that address local needs. Pratt Center staff members provide administrative support and project oversight to ensure that each Taconic project is implemented in a way that best leverages the creativity, talent, and skills of the Pratt community. Prattfolio looks at some recent projects—from reimagining public space for sustainable use, to bringing therapeutic benefits of art-making to individuals who have experienced trauma, to illuminating the stories and hopes of those with deep roots in the city—that have made an impact on Pratt’s neighboring communities.

Jewels of Hope An Arts Therapy Graduate Helps Inspire Courage Through Creative Practice

For Crystal Chen, MPS Creative Arts Therapy ’17, jewelry has more than aesthetic resonance. A piece of adornment can contain facets of compassion, healing, and empowerment. Through a partnership with Garden of Hope, a Queens-based organization serving Chinese-speaking people who have experienced abuse, Chen brought together her therapeutic training and her understanding of the power of art making to create space for reflection and self-care. Chen first came to Garden of Hope as an intern—the first art therapy intern for the organization, which focuses primarily on case management and counseling—during her time studying at Pratt. Over the course of her art therapy sessions with women there, she noticed an opportunity to introduce a project that might have both emotional and practical significance for the women she was helping to serve. With the support of Dina Schapiro, MPS ’98, Assistant Chair of Creative Arts Therapy and a professor in the program, Chen developed Garden of Gems, a weekly jewelry-making workshop program that would offer participants a framework to process their feelings and a community to create with. Through the Taconic Fellowship, Chen was able to establish the project partnership with Garden of Hope and lay the groundwork for a program that ultimately served 20 women. Chen sourced materials, set up a space, brought in a local jewelry artist for skill sharing, and even hired someone to help with childcare for mothers who participated. “I sought to make the groups a safe and comfortable space where the women could temporarily release their outside responsibilities, labels, and struggles, and be able to be in the moment,” she says. “For many of these women, to have a space where they could be creative and tune into their own needs was a rare occurrence in their weekly routines.” Along with the project support, which ensured the program would be consistent and equipped with the necessary resources, Professor Schapiro’s guidance as a partnering faculty member helped Chen establish a foundation of trust with the workshop participants. “Dina’s support helped me to navigate, understand, and better serve the individual needs of the participants,” says Chen.


Throughout the project, Chen also considered how jewelry making could benefit participants in a practical way, providing a sense of economic empowerment as pieces were completed. She and the participants did jewelry tabling in Queens, including at Garden of Hope’s annual gala, with the funds from each piece going directly to each artist, and Chen was heartened by how many people were inspired by the women’s stories and work and were eager to support their efforts. The value of the work came to transcend monetary figures, however. The participants discovered that their creations were imbued with the stories they would share, the relationships that grew among the group, and the milestones they celebrated together. “I had originally thought many of them would choose to sell their jewelry pieces at the end,” says Chen. “However, many of them opted to keep their pieces because of what the pieces meant to them. The women found that through jewelry they could share their struggles and wear them proudly as a part of them.” The pieces became talismans of a new personal story. “Part of the project is all about rewriting our narrative,” says Chen, who now holds a full-time position with Garden of Hope and is working with the organization to develop more creative arts therapy groups. “Many of the women have experienced abandonment and rejection, so with Garden of Gems, we seek to change this truth to one of renewal and focus on intrinsic value.” For Chen, working with a community partner opened up conversations she might not have otherwise had, beyond the classroom and even beyond the workshop. Last year, Chen was invited to present on Garden of Gems at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and she spoke at this year’s conference, representing Garden of Hope. “Engaging with the community challenges students to push their creativity to address real issues,” she says. “I feel like some of the most innovative ideas develop on college campuses and it is amazing when they are able to pass the border of the campus into the community.”

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Participation in Place


Photo courtesy of Crystal Chen












Photos courtesy of The Landfill Project. Bottom photo by Giles Ashford



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Reimagining Place Together Planners, Artists, and Rockaway Residents Connect to Envision a Landfill’s Future

Engineering, ethics, and emotions. All of these components, some more subtle than others, have their part in shaping the design of public space. For Sonya Gimon, MS Sustainable Environmental Systems ’18, and those she partnered with on a project to reimagine a New York City landfill, clarifying the considerations around a new design meant bringing a village of voices to the table—and making room for a community to dream. Edgemere Landfill, on the north shore of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, has been decommissioned for nearly 30 years. In its days as an active municipal dump, from 1938 to 1991, it received an estimated 1,200 tons of waste every day before it was capped, then underwent a remediation process to restore the land. Today, how exactly the land will be used remains an open question, creating an opportunity for a host of possible futures to emerge, and the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance (RWA), a community organization serving residents of the Rockaways, has been a hub for that conversation. Gimon was introduced to RWA while working at Franklin Furnace, an arts organization fostering avant-garde art, housed at Pratt since 2014. Martha Wilson, Visiting Associate Professor of History of Art and Design and founder and director of Franklin Furnace, brought Gimon on to a prospective project that artist Agnes Denes was conceiving for the Edgemere site, and the seeds of a partnership with RWA were planted. To Gimon, the research and interest around the potential of the landfill pointed to the fact that imagining a future for the site would have broad resonance—and to do this effectively, it would be critical to involve local residents, artists, and experts alike. The Taconic Fellowship helped solidify a partnership that would enable the insights of community members and of professionals to come together. “This site is very complex from both an engineering and ethical perspective,” says Gimon, hence the importance of having experts and artists at the table. “Moreover, as the site is so complex, it would have been unfair to organize a simple workshop with residents and expect to get substantial results. I felt this was true for many even less-complex sites, and I wanted this project to be a test for a more meaningful community visioning process.” To create an opportunity for residents to gain richer understanding of the site and create more informed proposals, Gimon and others organized an exhibition at RWA’s RISE Center. (RISE stands for Rockaway Institute for a Sustainable

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Environment.) This approach to community workshopping opened up the potential for intellectual as well as emotional and intuitive consideration and responses. With the fellowship’s financial support, Gimon was able to assemble a team and create a framework for this multifaceted workshopping project. Those who contributed along the way brought perspectives from a variety of practices: Alejandra Gomez Bolivar, MS Urban Placemaking and Management ’18, co-led a series of workshops with high school students at RWA, guiding them as they created innovative proposals for the site. Ruyun Xiao, MFA Communications Design ’18, helped design and curate the Landfill Project exhibition. Isil Akgul, MS Sustainable Environmental Systems ’19, is working on a book, What If Not a Park?, that conceptualizes the results of the project around one of the pivotal questions that came up in the workshops. Meanwhile, Pratt faculty played an important role in defining the project as a whole, at all stages of its development. Elliott Maltby, Adjunct Associate Professor of Graduate Architecture and Urban Design; Simon Kates, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Graduate Center for Planning; and Wilson met with Gimon regularly to brainstorm and formulate next steps. The faculty members also co-led workshops and invited artists and experts to join the conversation, and Kates played an important role in setting up the exhibition. The Landfill Project team was, at the time of this writing, working on a final report to illustrate the results of the visioning sessions and exploring ways to develop the project further, centering on four focuses that came out of the sessions: environmental restoration, disaster relief, recreation, and energy. Ultimately, with the input of more than 60 participants, the project generated “proposals that look at public space beyond recreation and at the public design process beyond informational sessions.” For Gimon, one partnership paved the way for a web of connections and greater insight into what makes community outreach effective and essential. “Particularly among kids and young adults, who were among the most active participants of the project, there was a sense of importance of this site for the future of the neighborhood, which is currently facing multiple challenges, including flooding and lack of resources,” Gimon says. “This project created a space not only to remember the landfill but to add a new positive meaning to it.”


Many Hands A Cast of Pratt Educators, Artists, and Designers Collaborate with a Community to Share Stories in Sound and Clay

Opportunities to share our strengths and touch others’ lives are often closer than we think. A few years ago, Theodora Skipitares, Associate Professor of Art and Design Education, learned about Gibb Mansion, a supportive-housing campus in Bedford-Stuyvesant, from visiting faculty member Jonathan Bogarin when they were developing a course in community engagement through the arts. In Gibb, which provides residential and social services for formerly homeless people and is run by IMPACCT Brooklyn (formerly known as the Pratt Area Community Council), Skipitares saw an opportunity to build a bridge with students at Pratt. She began exploring with the residence’s staff how Pratt talent might further enrich the experience of the community at what she describes as “a beautiful place to be.” “I’ve always been interested in education in alternative settings, and in those circumstances I’ve seen how an individual can really help someone in a very tangible way,” she says—and the bond stretches both ways: “Participating in community work like this is really meaningful and life changing for students.” With the support of the Taconic Fellowship, she was able to engage students in the conceptualization and realization of two related projects that would enable Gibb Mansion residents to explore their personal narratives. Spurred by her interest in creating space for oral histories, Skipitares first planned a series of storytelling sessions that could eventually give participants a platform beyond the workshop. She envisioned a “listening bench” where residents could sit, press a button, and hear someone’s story. “It would become an enduring kind of artifact, or archive,” she says. From start to finish, the process was a team effort. Students majoring in art and design education and industrial design— Emmett Miller and Theodore Atuluku, BID ’16—joined Skipitares to lead the initial 10 workshops. When it came time to create the physical object, Anita Cooney, Dean of the School of Design, made an instrumental introduction between Skipitares and Joseph Morris, Visiting Instructor and Lecturer in Industrial Design and Form and Tech Lab Manager; Morris came on board to troubleshoot design and install the technology that made the bench function. Heather Lewis, Chair of Art and Design Education, also provided constant support of the projects through the years. Meanwhile, Sharon Haberer, Gibb Mansion’s director of social services, was a steady force among the Gibb community and a dynamic partner in making the project possible. “She’s very realistic, but also very optimistic and willing to try a lot of experiments,” says Skipitares.


The listening bench was just the beginning. Skipitares emphasizes how important continuity is in a setting where building trust is crucial to making a difference, and even after the initial workshops ended, she kept going back. This also allowed her to work with staff to think about what resources the campus had that could be utilized for added benefit to the residents. For one, there was a fairly new kiln that one of Skipitares’s former students, Alexandra Cochran, BFA Fine Arts; MS Art and Design Education ’11—who went on to work at Gibb for several years as an activities director—had purchased for residents to practice clay making. “I thought, Pratt has got so many great resources. Let me go to the ceramics department and see if there’s a student who would like to join in on a project,” says Skipitares. That student was Michelle Wen, BFA ’18, who helped launch Stories in Clay, a series of ceramics workshops that added another layer to Skipitares’s storytelling initiative. Angelica Croker, a student in Art and Design Education, also joined the project. “I thought the project was a lovely way to preserve the legacy of Brooklyn’s history in its residents,” says Croker, noting the positive effects that resonated both ways. “It was a really beautiful relationship that formed. . . . Not only did we spend a lot of time making artwork and sharing stories and poems and song lyrics but we really got a chance to know each other.” Wen, who continues to teach weekly workshops to a dedicated group of 12 to 15 participants, shares a similar sentiment about the project: “It has opened my eyes to the significance of working locally, within the community, to share art with those who may have otherwise never had the opportunity to have an art class.” Over time, participants have learned a range of techniques, from hand-building to wheel-throwing, in addition to delving into the more personal, expressive side of art practice. Marking a milestone for Stories in Clay, workshop participants’ artworks, stories, and portraits were collected in a limited edition book this past January. For today’s students looking to make a meaningful impact beyond Pratt’s gates, Wen offers these words of encouragement: “Reach out to real people, become an integral part of their lives, as we are all sharing the same community and therefore we must enrich it, protect it, and help it prosper.”

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Participation in Place


Photo courtesy of Theodora Skipitares


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Images from BARC Sidewalk Science courtesy of Bushwick Action Research Collective

Community Science Researchers, Students, and Youth Activists Explore the Needs of a Neighborhood with Bushwick Residents

What happens when residents take the helm in imagining the future of the place where they live? When an opportunity to launch a community school arose for the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, Caitlin Cahill, Associate Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies, working with young people, organizers, and other community-based researchers, asked: How might we center the perspectives of students in planning their own school? How might we engage community members in the process and allow a conversation spanning disciplines, backgrounds, and generations to unfold? In partnership with Make the Road New York’s Youth Power Project and the Bushwick Action Research Collective, Cahill helped unite Pratt students and youth activists in using participatory research methods that can help communities examine, understand, and shape their worlds. The participatory social research central to Cahill’s work— predominantly involving young people and communities around concerns such as gentrification, immigration, and policing—emphasizes cooperation and collective action. “It’s a humble praxis of working with communities and realizing we’re not the experts, but really centering the wisdom of the communities,” she says. “Doing community-based research for the students at Pratt is about connecting to where we live, where we go to school, where we play. From a design perspective, from a research perspective, from a planning perspective, thinking, what do we need to know to be able to do what we do in a way that’s attuned?” Cahill’s research had connected her with Make the Road New York, an organization that advocates for Latinx and working-class communities in the city, specifically their Youth Power Project that brings together young people growing up in Brooklyn. After Make the Road was selected by the Mayor’s Office to sponsor a community school—a site for learning as well as for local residents to access services and congregate— in Bushwick, Cahill initiated a Taconic Fellowship-supported interdisciplinary project that would engage young activists from the Youth Power Project as research collaborators and involve Pratt students in progressing their work. The project group coalesced as the Bushwick Action Research Collective (BARC), also including some of Cahill’s colleagues from the Public Science Project, a research center focused on participatory action research based at the City University of New York. BARC’s research started around questions of discipline in schools, deriving from the Youth Power Project’s work around issues of policing, but shifted— following the young people’s lead—to imagining a school culture that would support their success. BARC also sought to learn about the community’s concerns and desires while educating residents about how a community school could respond to their needs, with a body of research that could support continued action. As part of the BARC project, youth activist-researchers held focus groups with fellow young people, interviewed neighbors, documented the

Participation in Place

environment of their neighborhood, and came up with creative ways to communicate their findings in public spaces in their community, through what the Public Science Project calls “sidewalk science.” Documentation of their community-based research can be found on their website (bushwickaction, which includes videos, a digital “photo wall,” and a bilingual (English-Spanish) fact sheet. The work of Pratt students—including Candice Chantalou, BA Critical and Visual Studies ’16, who transcribed the video interviews that were collected as part of the research, and Tania Lili Santamaria, MS Communications Design ’15, who was instrumental in developing the BARC logo and bilingual website—was guided by the youth researchers as much as it supported their efforts. “Tania Lili’s logo was a huge deal for us,” Cahill says, describing the design featuring a colorful, architecturally diverse streetscape with birds taking flight above it. “It feels relevant. It feels responsive to the aesthetics of the young people and the community.” As BARC’s project entered a new phase that focused on young people’s concerns around gentrification, Pratt students in graduate planning and undergraduate architecture also came on to lead workshops with the young people and help develop educational materials that could support their organizing efforts. A second Taconic Fellowship supported an archiving initiative—driven by Cynthia Tobar, faculty in the School of Information, and Christopher Neville, faculty in the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment— which is still in development. Several Pratt students have been involved, as well, including Sofia Pardillo, BFA Interactive Arts ’19, who trained youth activists in video interviewing and website development. “Each project keeps on building and developing in different ways,” says Cahill. “That was a huge contribution of the Taconic Fellowship. It has supported the sustainability of the partnership with the Youth Power Project organizers at Make the Road, and the relationship has now been going on for years.” For Cahill, the experience that results from that partnership has the potential to leave a lasting effect on her students as well, regardless of the fields they pursue: “It brings a new learning to life, and it brings more accountability and responsibility in terms of the kind of work students are doing,” she says. “It’s important for cultural producers, designers, and scholars to consider different ways of being in the world and different ways in which their work can be made meaningful.” Coda: Since 2014, 40 Taconic Fellowships have been awarded, engaging 127 fellows from 18 departments in projects with 37 partner organizations throughout the city. To learn more about the fellowship, visit



The Inauguration of President Frances Bronet The Pratt community gathered in force to celebrate the inauguration of Frances Bronet as its 12th president on November 2, 2018. The inauguration ceremony, which attracted a packed audience to Memorial Hall and was livestreamed on Pratt’s website, was the culmination of a week of exciting inaugurationrelated events. The ceremony connected Pratt’s past and present with a bold look into its future under the leadership of its new president. “Here, belonging is the easy part. We speak a similar language of inquiry,” President Bronet said about becoming an integral member of the Pratt community last year. “Pratt is home to some of the most remarkable big thinkers I’ve ever met. The things I’ve been dreaming about doing for decades? They’re already happening right here.”

environment of four walls but in the neighborhoods that call Brooklyn home,” he said. “When you look at this great place, at the [new] president of St. Francis College and now [at] the president of Pratt, we are building a collective unity and family.” Dr. Barbara K. Altmann, President of Franklin & Marshall College, shared stories from her many years as both a friend and a colleague of President Bronet. “In her physical being, lightning-quick intelligence, in her multiple competencies, Frances represents for me the notion of embodied leadership,” Altmann said. “She brings total authenticity and focus to the job at hand, which in this case, here at Pratt, is nothing less than all the challenges she loves best.” Bruce J. Gitlin, Chair of Pratt’s Board of Trustees, led the investiture portion of the ceremony. He presented President Bronet with the official symbols of leadership—the Institute’s mace and the President’s Medal, which Greetings and Investiture was created specifically for President The inauguration ceremony began with Bronet’s inauguration by a team of Pratt a rousing processional led by the jewelers with a design that symbolizes Brooklyn public school students of the fluidity and discovery in education. Soul Tigers Marching Band and opening remarks by Pratt Provost Kirk E. Pillow Shaping Pratt’s Future and featured greetings and speeches In her inaugural address, President from representatives of all areas of the Bronet spoke of Pratt’s tremendous rePratt community and beyond. Pratt cord of accomplishment and its enviable President Emeritus Thomas F. Schutte position today as a top-ranked center of and his wife, Tess Schutte, and members academic excellence. She thanked the of the Pratt family were among the dig- predecessors who have led the Institute nitaries in attendance, along with lead- to this exciting moment, including ers from higher education and the President Emeritus Schutte, as well as Brooklyn community. current and past faculty and students. Brooklyn Borough President Eric “Pratt has never been stronger,” she Adams spoke of the opportunities for said. “Our charge, now, is to push learning and connection in Brooklyn. ourselves further, to wander into the “The classroom is not in the sterilized same unfamiliar, uncomfortable terri-


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tory we ask our courageous students to explore every single day. . . . What will be our moonshot?” President Bronet stressed that art and design education has a critical role to play in tackling the complex local and global challenges ahead. She presented four questions central to shaping Pratt’s future as the Institute maps out its next Strategic Plan: How will we keep our academic programs relevant in the midst of an uncertain future? How do we leverage accessibility and diversity to enhance a thriving intellectual community? What impact will we have on our community? How will we foster a global education for our students? Moving Forward Together Emphasizing that the new era for higher education is about collaboration, President Bronet called for partnership and participation: “As we build our vision for the future of Pratt, we want every member of our growing community to participate and contribute.” She continued, “Now is our time to claim the mantle of multiple modes of engagement, for all levels of the academy, from industry to critical citizenship, from gallery to practice, and share more of what we—our faculty and our students—are doing with the world. This is our collective challenge— and our charge together.” Read the full text of President Bronet’s inauguration speech at /InauguralAddress.


‘Our charge, now, is to push ourselves further, to wander into the same unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory we ask our courageous students to explore every single day. . . . What will be our moonshot?’ —President Frances Bronet

Kicking off inauguration week, a President’s Lecture Series event featured President Frances Bronet in conversation with scholar Cathy N. Davidson on the future of higher education.



Daphne Halpern; photo by Daniel Terna. James J. Kempster; photo by Ron Hester Photography

James Ludwig, Vice President, Global Design and Product Engineering for Steelcase; Pratt President Frances Bronet; and alumnus William T. Williams, BFA ’66, at Legends 2018

Pratt Appoints New Leadership Daphne Halpern, a highly accomplished nonprofit leader with more than 25 years of experience in fund-raising and executive management, was named the Institute’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Her appointment began on February 4. Halpern will be responsible for creating and implementing a strategic advancement program designed to increase Pratt’s profile and philanthropic support. She will lead in developing efforts to enhance financial support for the Institute, endowment and scholarship funds, and revenue, as well as secure transformational gifts. James J. Kempster was named the Institute’s first Vice President for Communications and Marketing. His appointment began on February 4. In this role, Kempster will lead a newly created communications and marketing operation to support the Institute and its mission. Kempster’s new role as Vice President follows his six months’ service as Pratt’s Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement. He joined the Institute in January 2018 as Executive Director of Communications, after 30 years in communications and marketing for secondary and higher education. Legends Gala Honors Alumnus William T. Williams and Steelcase Last October, Pratt presented Legends 2018, the annual scholarship benefit supporting Pratt students and honoring creative icons whose works have helped shape the cultural landscape. Hosted at Weylin in Brooklyn, the event raised vital funds for undergraduate scholarships, as approximately 80 percent of Pratt students receive financial aid to pursue their education. The gala honored furniture company Steelcase and artist and Pratt alumnus William T. Williams, each presented an award created by student designer Pierce Reed, BID ’19. Blue Week Addresses Issues from Pollution to Climate Change Pratt Institute’s fourth annual Blue Week, held in October, brought together community members, local officials, and subject experts to promote initiatives surrounding water, climate change, and zero waste. Programs included beach cleanups, a Water Expo, and a panel on plastic pollution. At the Water Expo, members of Leaders of Environmental Advocacy at Pratt (LEAP) constructed “Blue Wave,” a structure made entirely from one


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day’s worth of plastic waste from campus buildings. Conversations around plastic consumption continued at “Changing the Tide on Plastic Pollution,” a panel event that brought together New York City councilman, former Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, and Pratt alumnus Brad Lander; writer and sociologist Rebecca Altman; and legal expert Jennie Romer. Blue Week occurs each fall as a complement to the long-standing Green Week held in the spring. Last year’s programs and events were supported by the Pratt Sustainability Coalition, a group of Pratt faculty, administrators, and staff focused on integrating ecological practices throughout curricula, operations, and programs on campus. Participation and planning from student organizations including LEAP, Envirolutions, and more were also central to the week’s success. Pratt Programs Rank Among Top in the Nation Film: The Hollywood Reporter ranked Pratt #23 in its 2018 list of “The Top 25 American Film Schools.” Interior Design: DesignIntelligence ranked Pratt’s graduate Interior Design program #1 in the country and the undergraduate Interior Design program #2. Both programs ranked in the top 10 of all Twelve Key Focus Areas. Architecture: DesignIntelligence ranked Pratt’s undergraduate Architecture program #7 in the country and placed it in the top 10 of the Twelve Key Focus Areas in five categories. The graduate Architecture program was ranked #17. Pratt Participates in Symposium on Public Space David Burney, founder and head of Pratt’s Urban Placemaking and Management (UPM) program; John Bezemes, MS UPM ’18; and Kristin Brown, MS UPM ’19, gave presentations at a symposium titled “Past Present and Future of Public Space. Knowledge sharing toward implementation of the New Urban Agenda” at the 2018 Venice Biennale Architecture in September. Burney’s presentation on Pratt’s Placemaking program provided an overview of the department. Bezemes and Brown gave presentations that highlighted the Placemaking program’s focus on community engagement. Bezemes’s research presentation featured his case studies of public spaces


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1 Beauty Stefan Sagmeister, MS Communications Design ’89, and Jessica Walsh $39.95 Dynamic design duo Sagmeister and Walsh explore the concept of beauty and its influence on our lives in their recently published book. Drawing from science, philos­ophy, and history, the two designers embark on a visual journey seeking to understand how beauty draws us in and how it can change the world. Available at and wherever books are sold.


2 Bookends by Fruitsuper Sallyann Corn, BID ’08, and Joe Kent, BID ’08 $32 for a pair Set up your summer reading in style with these recently released bookends from Fruitsuper, the studio of design partners Sallyann Corn and Joe Kent. Made of steel and angled for stability, these bookends can secure a few volumes or a full shelf. Three color variations—coral, sage, and yellow—add a playful touch to any modern library. Available at

3 Beyond the Pink Tide Macarena Gomez-Barris, Chairperson of Social Science and Cultural Studies $18.95 paperback

4 Costa Bottle 3 by Franca Jazmin de la Guardia, BFA Printmaking ’14, and Sierra Yip-Bannicq, BID ’13 $72

Macarena Gomez-Barris emphasizes the power of art activisms and the questions of queer, feminist, and Indigenous justice in her latest book, which redefines political and social change. Written for students, activists, and artists alike, the book includes an annotated table of contents and glossary offering access to a range of readerships so, as Gomez-Barris says, “we can imagine alternative futures.” Available at

Handmade in the Brooklyn ceramics studio of inter­ disciplinary design partners Jazmin de la Guardia and Sierra Yip-Bannicq, this earthenware vessel makes a handsome home for springtime blooms. Available in a range of warm glazes, from blush to a deep sienna (pictured here in tawny), along with three other size and shape variations, at






5 Henry Clock by Brad Ascalon, MID ’06 $650

6 Joyful Ingrid Fetell Lee, MID ’09 $28

Designer Brad Ascalon reimagines the beloved grandfather clock in minimalist powder-coated steel and solid wood, earning a spot as an Interior Design Best of Year Award finalist for 2018. Ascalon created this sleek, versatile piece in collaboration with Most Modest, a California-based design and manufacturing brand. The clock was designed as a tribute to his grandfather, Henry. Available in five colors at www

Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee’s debut book investigates how aesthetic elements of our surroundings can create a gateway to a happy, thriving state of mind. Woven with psychological insights and chock full of tips and tricks, Joyful provides inspiration and guidance for transforming one’s world into one of vibrancy and warmth. Available as hardcover, ebook, and audiobook at aestheticsofjoy .com and wherever books are sold.


7 Unicorn Onesie by Dear Valentine Samantha Pleet, BFA Fashion Design ’06 $60 Whimsy meets function in Samantha Pleet’s one-piece playsuit from her growing children’s line, replete with echoes of her playful-chic womenswear. Featuring Pleet’s signature unicorn print, the onesie is 100 percent cotton with snap leg closures and a baby-tee neckline for easy on and off. Available at

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8 Everyday Face Moisturizer by Alder New York David J. Krause, BFA Fashion Design ’10, and Nina Zilka, BFA Fashion Design ’10 $32 This vegan, cruelty-free moisturizer by Nina Zilka and David J. Krause, founders of holistic personal care brand Alder New York, gets top marks from users and snagged one of mindbodygreen’s 2018 Beauty Awards, for gender-neutral skin care. The formula includes a stable form of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid as its main active ingredients, plus aloe vera, oatmeal extract, and sunflower oil. Available at www


in Boston and New York that serve the needs of gay men. Brown presented the work she had undertaken as part of a team of Pratt professors and students who were invited to assist the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation in developing a “Vision Plan” for the space beneath the Brooklyn Bridge approach ramp. Black Dress: Salon Celebrates Achievement in Black Fashion In February, Adrienne Jones, Professor of Fashion Design, together with Rachelle Etienne-Robinson, BFA Fashion Design ’01, presented Black Dress: Salon. The evening highlighted contributions made by Black men and women in the fashion industry—as well as the challenges and opportunities for exposure and preservation of Black fashion. Timed with Black History Month and New York Fashion Week, the event featured a conversation with designer and 2014 Pratt Fashion Visionary Award recipient Byron Lars, who discussed his foray into the fashion industry publicly for the first time, as well as the lack of diversity in fashion. The event is the latest in a series for Black Dress, a platform of achievement of Black fashion industry professionals, which launched in 2014 with a trailblazing exhibition of contemporary Black fashion designers at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, curated by Jones, who developed the

Black Dress concept, with cocurator Paula Coleman. Black Dress: Salon was supported by the Pratt Fashion Department; the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; the Black Alumni of Pratt; and Pratt Black Lives Matter. Pratt Participates in New York Fashion Week 2018 In September, 18 recent graduates from Pratt’s Fashion Department presented work from their 2018 thesis collections during a special New York Fashion Week showcase at Ralph Pucci International in Manhattan. This marks the fourth annual Ralph Pucci New York Fashion Week exhibition in collaboration with Pratt, and the first time it featured the work of more than one recent graduate, to present the best in class. The exhibition, titled Diversiform, was on view at the Ralph Pucci Showroom. In addition, Pratt’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA), a hub for sustainable entrepreneurship, presented a free public showcase of work by eight apparel brands from the BF+DA, each of which has a unique story and business model that promotes sustainability and ethical practices in the apparel industry. Wear the Future Here–Conscious Fashion for a Better Life was exhibited in partnership with 360 Wellness and The Shops at Columbus Circle.

Fine Arts Participates in UNTITLED Art Fair Pratt Fine Arts showcased the work of alumni and launched Pratt Institute Editions (PIE) at the 2018 UNTITLED Art Fair in Miami Beach, Florida. This celebrated, annual, curated fair of contemporary art was held in December during Art Basel Miami Beach. Artwork by 42 Pratt alumni participants was exhibited in Pratt’s booth, including work by Derrick Adams, Lisa Corinne Davis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Duke Riley, Swoon, Mickalene Thomas, Deborah Willis, and Robert Wilson. Two alumni curators, Kelly Worman and Caroline Taylor, selected the works. A portion of the proceeds from artwork sales support a new Pratt Fine Arts MFA scholarship fund. Established last year, PIE invites professional artists to Pratt Fine Arts’ Printshop to produce limited editions. Pratt Fine Arts exhibited two PIE projects at UNTITLED: an inaugural limited edition print by alumna Trudy Benson, MFA ’10, and X-Ghost, a collaborative print project by four invited artists: Geoff Chadsey; Angela Dufresne; Lisa Sanditz, MFA ’10; and Kristyn Mckinney, MFA ’18. The prints on view at UNTITLED provided a window into the art of printmaking and asserted the value of collaborative processes.

Professor Adrienne Jones and designer Byron Lars present at Black Dress: Salon. Photo by Armon Burton, MSIXD ’20



16th Annual LGBTQA College Leadership Conference Held at Pratt Students, faculty, staff, and community members from Pratt and other area colleges came together for the 16th annual LGBTQA College Leadership Conference on the Institute’s Brooklyn campus. This year’s theme was “Breaking Out: Visibility and Inclusion in Leadership Spaces.” The one-day event last fall brought together participants from colleges across the tristate area to amplify the voices of the LGBTQA community and provide students (both identifying and allies) with leadership skills that provide resilience to address pressing issues of the day. In addition, in honor of LGBTQ+ History Month in October, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day, the Philadelphia Pride flag was raised on Pratt’s campus for the first time. Student Union Reopens with a Redesign The Student Union on the Brooklyn campus reopened this past fall after undergoing renovations to enhance the facility and improve the environment for student club meetings and community gatherings, as well as provide needed office space. Pratt alumnus Juan C. Matiz, BArch ’94, founder of Matiz Architecture & Design, served as the principal architect on the project. In order to ensure that the new Student Union would adequately meet the diverse needs of Pratt’s student body, the Student Government Association (SGA) held a campuswide design charrette in 2013. Matthew Kipel, BArch ’13, who served on the SGA during that period commented on the finished project: “It’s exciting to see how the completed renovation incorporates many of those ideas. It creates a variety of flexible, collaborative spaces for creative and social interaction that will benefit the entire Pratt community.” Library of Congress Digital Preservation Program Moves to Pratt The Library of Congress announced that Pratt Institute, in collaboration with the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, will oversee the Library’s Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) Program. Under its new leadership, DPOE will continue to enhance understanding of digital preservation by providing training opportunities in the long-term manage-


ment and dissemination of cultural heritage materials in digital formats. Together, Pratt and NYU MIAP will seek funding to continue the important work of developing and supporting the DPOE Program into the future. This partnership plans to expand how digital preservationists are educated, manage the ongoing responsibilities of this initiative, enhance the outreach efforts, and broaden the training curriculum. Pratt and NYU MIAP also plan to strengthen and promote existing networks of digital preservation education opportunities for current and emerging cultural heritage professionals.

with Giorgio Cavaglieri. An obituary published in The Architect’s Newspaper noted, “Students have always said he was incredibly tough—but that they appreciated that toughness, and what he taught them launched their careers.” In Memoriam Gertrude Adair, Merchandising & Fashion Management ’46 Phyllis Fairweather Agard, Interior Design ’40 William P. Cicio, Electrical Engineering Ron Cook, Architecture Richard “Dick” Eddy Emil Ferencik, Certificate, Interior Design ’49 R. Bruce Flowers, MFA ’84 George Gardner, BID ’52 Joseph F. Gross, BCE ’53 Shirley Harrison Howard David Jay, Architecture Glenn Kipp, BFA Visual Communication ’62 Arthur Klonoski, BME ’43 Christopher Koep, MFA ’82 William Lacy, Electrical Engineering ’38 Ralph Lewis Mann, Leather and Tanning Technology’49 Anthony Menichelli, BFA Illustration ’55 Joseph Morale, MEng ’69 Joseph Ossoff, Leather and Tanning Technology ’49 Roy Pneuman, BChE ’49 Robert Raphael, BEE ’44 Roxie Remley, MFA Art Education ’62 Anthony Rosseiello, MSLIS ’69 Katherine Rosseiello, MSLIS ’70 Frances Scerbo, Food Science & Management ’44 Leslie Sokol, BFA Interior Design ’59 Ruth Andron Spielman, Home Economics ’43 Joanne Sugura, MFA ’82 Frank Tomaino, BArch ’63 Donald L. Tripp, BID ’56 Susan Lodico Trott, BFA Advertising Design ’69 Gilars Zarins, BArch ’75

Remembering Beloved Faculty Haroun Mahrous, longtime faculty member of the School of Engineering, passed away on November 9, 2018, at the age of 97. Mahrous, who was born and grew up in Egypt and studied in Switzerland, was Professor of Engineering at Pratt from 1954 until his retirement in 1988. During his 34-year tenure, he also served as Chair of Electrical Engineering and Director of Graduate Studies and the Co-op Program, and he spearheaded the use of computers in Pratt’s curriculum. A my Brook Snider, Professor Emerita, Art and Design Education, passed away on December 17, 2018, at the age of 78. Snider joined the Pratt faculty in 1979, and served as Chair of the Art and Design Education Department from 1982 to 2012 while also working as a consultant in arts education. As chair, she developed and received funding for a number of programs for middle school, high school, and incarcerated students, including the Summer Design program, the precursor to the Summer Scholars program; and the Design Initiative for Community Empowerment (DICE), which serves more than 100 high school students each year. To read more, please visit Warren Gran, longtime faculty For more on these stories member of the School of Architecture, and the latest updates from Pratt, passed away on February 17, at the age visit of 85. Gran, who earned his master’s in Planning from Pratt, taught architecture and urban design at the Institute from 1967 to 2003, also serving as Chair of the graduate program in urban design and the Acting Dean of the School of Architecture. A practicing architect in New York City for 60 years, Gran also worked in historic preservation, with projects including the restoration of the Pratt Institute Library, in collaboration

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Class Notes We want to know what you’re up to, and so do your fellow Pratt alumni. See page 52 for Class Notes submission guidelines.

1940s Eugenia Dukas, BFA Costume Design ’47, was highlighted in a letter from her granddaughter, Emily Poulis, BFA Writing ’15, who wrote with news about her grandmother’s long career in doll design. For more than 40 years, Dukas worked for Effanbee Dolls, releasing her own line for the company. Dukas began designing dolls after working as a costume designer on Broadway, and she went on to create likenesses of such theatrical luminaries as Lucille Ball, Louis Armstrong, Mae West, and Liberace, as well as the popular Suzie Sunshine and Pun’kin dolls. Over the years, Dukas’s work has appeared in Dolls, The Dollmaker, and other enthusiasts’ magazines. She remains, according to her granddaughter, “a lifelong Pratt Cat!” Seymour Nussenbaum, BA Illustration ’48, spoke last fall about his service in the “Ghost Army,” featured in a PBS documentary, at the East Brunswick Library in New Jersey. Nussenbaum recounted how in World War II the Ghost Army used visual, sonic, and radio deception to mislead the German Army. Soldiers in this division were mostly artists, including Nussenbaum, who was trained in camouflage at Pratt before going off to serve (he returned to finish his degree after the war) and sketched constantly during his time in active duty. Today, he is on the advisory board of the Ghost Army Legacy Project (ghostarmy

design work with a famous designer in West Nyack, New York, which was mentioned in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue’s Class Notes: That designer was the late Clare Potter, who had also attended Pratt, in the 1920s. Potter’s designs are now frequently shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yeiser writes, “We became friends when she moved her business to West Nyack and I was able to coordinate with her.” Yeiser also notes that she married Charles Yeiser, who went to Pratt as well and later owned the FAR Gallery on Madison Avenue.


Henry Sanoff, BArch ’57; MArch ’62, has a new book, Participatory Environmental Design, published by Amazon. The book, which has also been translated into Russian and Polish, represents the author’s projects in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, illustrating a variety of community-participation methods that can be adapted for use in different environmental settings.


A Nixon Library exhibit featuring world leaders; courtesy of Robert Nazareth Marona

Robert Nazareth Marona, BID ’54; MID ’57, Pratt Design Instructor (1956– 1957) and founder of deMartin-MaronaCranstoun-Downes, Inc. (1962), describes his evolution as a sculptor during a design and entertainment career that took him around the world: “During 38 years of creating thrill rides and live shows at Universal Studios and science Adele (Simola) Yeiser, Costume museums internationally, producing epic Design ’48, wrote with details on her 70mm films for six World’s Fair pavilions,

Class Notes

and, possible only through the collaboration of my talented Pratt design team, creating three presidential libraries—for LBJ, Nixon, and G. H. W. Bush—my concepts were simply extensions of my creative beliefs. They were 3-D ‘sculptures’ that visitors would actually enter, view, and explore from within!” His work can be viewed at

Theoharis David, FAIA, BArch ’61, Professor of Architecture, will be marking his 50th year of teaching and learning in the School of Architecture. Professor David was appointed a member of the full time faculty in 1969, has held numerous


positions in the School and Institute, including Chair of Graduate Architecture, and was honored as Distinguished Teacher in 2013. This spring, the School of Architecture held an exhibition of Professor David’s architectural drawings on the occasion of his anniversary.

rently provides more than 20 different management training programs to organizations of all types through his company, the Alliance Training Group, and management consulting services through his company, the Alliance Marketing Group. He is also an adjunct professor of business and management at Barry University in Miami and a training con Lester Macklin, ME ’61, published sultant for client management programs Celebrate Around the Calendar in 2007 at Florida International University. and has personally sold more than 400 copies. He writes, “This unique book is a perfect gift and useful in many ways: as a conversation piece, cookbook, and a place to record important annual events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and remembrances. As a retired engineer, I enjoyed researching the events featured in this 366-page ‘calendar,’ and as one who likes to cook, trying many of the included recipes. Copies can be ordered online from me at:” Robert Adzema, BID ’66, recently completed a commission for a six-foot Helaine (Rosenthaler) Soller, BFA square bronze sundial for the Van Vleck Advertising Design ’62, artist-in-resi- Observatory at Wesleyan University. dence at Weir Farm National Historic His watercolor landscapes and sunSite, presented her Weir Farm series dials can be seen on his website, of paintings and drawings at the AIR Artist’s Talk, exhibition, and reception sponsored by the Weir Farm Art Center and the Wilton Library in Wilton, Tony Costello, FAIA, BArch ’66, the Connecticut. Soller exhibits her expres- Irving Distinguished Professor Emeritus sive environmental artwork nationally of Architecture at Ball State Univerand internationally. Her work is in the sity and Principal of C+A Costello + collections of the Library of Congress, Associates in Muncie, Indiana, presented the National Museum of Women in the Planning, Design and Research and Arts archives, and corporations. In April, Development in Developing Countries Soller curated her third Women in the Arts in Miami Beach, Florida, on December Foundation ( exhibition at the 12, 2018, as part of the AIA/Architect WSAC Broadway Mall Gallery in New Magazine R+D Awards presentation seYork City. She previously curated at ries. The presentation focused on the CitiGroup, New York and Long Island City. award-winning research and development project Improving Concrete Masonry Construction that Costello’s Edward C. Vollmer, BFA Advertising firm and Ball State student associates Design ’62, writes of his latest project, have worked on in Haiti since 2010. in conjunction with his research on the Silvermine Group of Artists, an art colony that existed in Silvermine, Connecticut—encompassing the towns of New Canaan, Norwalk, and Wilton— in the early 20th century. He and his associate hope to finish research by the end of the year, with a book to follow. They also produced an exhibition about this group of artists, A New Deal for the Arts: The Federal Art Project Era 1933– 1943, with some of the artists’ WPA murals, which ran this spring at the New Leslie Peltz, Triple Silos, Gaston, Oregon, 2017 Canaan Museum and Historical Society.

through May at the Washington County Museum. The photos are part of an ongoing series featuring silos, grain bins, and grain elevators in the US and Italy taken with a Holga, a medium-format plastic film camera. Peltz and her husband, Robert, have lived in Oregon since 1973. She belongs to The Portland Darkroom, a collective dedicated to black-and-white film photography. Barry Halpern, BS Food Science and Management ’68, writes, “At Pratt I took a class in personnel administration, and that inspired me to begin a lifelong human resources career. In 1969, I married my high school sweetheart (she is still my wife). In the early 1970s I served in the army. After that I was lucky to be able, through my work, to have a positive impact on the lives of the people I worked with. I have a son and four grandchildren, I teach college, and among my volunteerism, I give blood regularly. In fact, I was ‘Mr. October’ in the Blood Center’s 2012 calendar.” Dan Nelken, Graphic Arts ’69, had a photograph from his project HeadStrong: The Women of Rural Uganda selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, which ran from October through January of this year. A total of 57 portraits from 49 artists were selected for display. The images were selected from 4,462 submissions entered by 1,973 photographers from 70 countries. The exhibition will travel to several museums throughout the United Kingdom for the next two years. Nelken’s website is

Lorna Ritz, Whole Sky into Which to Fly, 2018, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches

Lorna Ritz, BFA Painting ’69, exhibited her work in a group show at Anita Shapolsky Gallery in New York City and a solo show at Smith College’s Oresman Leslie Peltz, BFA Fashion ’66, has 20 Gallery at the Brown Fine Arts Center. Bill Corsover, BChE ’65, retired as photographs of silos and grain bins in She was also awarded an Individual president and CEO of a small high-tech Washington County, Oregon, included Esther & Adolph Gottlieb Foundation advanced materials company. He cur- in the exhibition AgriCulture, which runs Individual Support Grant. Her paintings


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Last year, Simone Kurtz, BFA Communications Design ’15, worked with the Somers Historical Society in Westchester County, New York, to bring together regional Pratt alumni residents for a group exhibition. The show, Fellow Artists, highlighted the artists’ Pratt connection and their link to Somers history—the exhibition was held on the former estate of Caroline Wright Reis, a 1902 Pratt graduate in costume design, champion for women’s education, and local political powerhouse. The show commemorated the 50th anniversary of Reis’s bequest of her farm to the town. Luigi Badia, MFA ’85; Laura Birdsall, BFA Communications Design ’13; Fernande Lipton, BFA Advertising Design ’62; Jan McEvoy ’61; Tony Parillo, BFA Sculpture ’75; and Kurtz displayed a range of work—from lush watercolor studies, to hyperrealistic sculpture, to allegorical illustration in collage—alongside Caroline, a permanent exhibition of Reis’s work curated by Kurtz. At the time of this writing, a follow-up exhibition at an area gallery was in the works.

are in the collections of Johnson and Johnson, Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital, and University of Michigan’s Contemporary Art Museum. Her work can be viewed at


Anne Dushanko Dobek, MS ’70, exhibited Parallel Migrations XX in SCULPTURENOW’s 14th annual exhibition at the Edith Wharton Estate last summer. Parallel Migrations is Dobek’s decade-long series of outdoor installations referencing the perilous journeys of migrants, immigrants, and refugees as they cross borders in search of sanctuary and safety. A lifelong interest in entomology inspired her to print thousands of silkscreened images of monarch butter-

Class Notes

flies, which she uses as trail markers leading visitors through forests, parks, or French villages. Parallel Migrations has been supported by grants from the Puffin Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

ful, educational, tough, and historic. In the past, Churchward was designer and author of books on art director Alexander Liberman and photographer Herb Ritts as well as creator of many books for Vogue. Formerly, Churchward was Design Director of Vanity Fair and Vogue and worked also for The New York Times Sunday Magazine and Ms., Mademoiselle, and House & Garden magazines. His website is

Robert “Bob” Shaw’s photograph of Andy Warhol, in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art

Charles Churchward, BFA Commu­ nications Design ’71, art directed and edited a new book, A Peculiar Paradise, a look at images by photographer Nathan Benn originally taken for, but never published in, National Geographic magazine, of Florida, circa 1981. Surprisingly, they could all have been taken today—beauti-

Robert “Bob” Shaw, BID ’71, has been photographing for almost 50 years now and lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas. His million-selling 1977 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Poster has come alive again as a permanent part of the Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute. Shaw’s photographic work is also featured in collections at MoMA, the


Kimbell Art Museum, the Dallas 40 years, doing graphic design and Museum, the Arkansas Art Center, and building the Printing and Graphics the Art Museum of South Texas. Department, of which he is currently Director, as well as serving on the exhibition and artist-in-residence commit Mel Leipzig, MFA ’72, had an exhitees. He writes, “We are a small junior bition, Octogenarian: Recent Paintings, college in Ulster County but blessed with this past fall at the Rider University having the highest artist-per-capita ratio Art Gallery. Featured in the collection in New York State outside the metropolwere an array of Leipzig’s distinctly itan area.” In fact, one of his mentors, colored and detailed portraits of peoPratt Professor Emeritus Gillian Jagger, ple in their own environments and lives nearby. Meanwhile, Johnson coninterior spaces. tinues to paint and draw, with recent work exhibited at SUNY Ulster’s Muroff Kotler Saberah (Hafeez) Malik, MID ’72, Visual Arts Gallery. used her understanding of the intrinsic nature of fiber and cloth to develop a process of forming three-dimensional objects. She writes, “The early work expressed the simple joy of discovery, the exuberance of an individual creative surprise at the paradoxical intricacy, and precision of capturing the gesture and simple roughness of unhewn stone, or the smooth symmetric geometry of a glass bottle. Utilizing ethereal, fragile fabric to construct large structural works satisfied a tactile sensitivity and passion for textiles, as well as an intuitive sensibility to form, space, color, pattern, and rhythms of filtered light.” Her website is Homer Layne, BFA Fashion Design ’73, published a book, Charles James: The Couture Secrets of Shape (Spector Books 2019), with professor Dorothea Mink and texts by Dr. Valerie Steele and fashion designer Rick Owens. The book highlights British American designer Charles James (1906–1978), America’s first couturier, known for his elegant evening gowns from the 1930s through the 1950s. w s h, 2017, industrial wool felt hand stitched James is regarded as a visionary thinker with silk thread, 47.5 x 74 inches in the world of fashion, having introduced lasting innovations regarding both tech Cyrilla Mozenter, MFA ’72, and re- nique and methodology. The editors extired faculty of Pratt’s Graduate Fine Art amine James’s productive life in the Department (1985–2015), has her second Chelsea Hotel artist community of the solo exhibition, See Why, at Lesley Heller 1960s and 1970s. Layne met Charles Gallery, 54 Orchard Street in New York James at Pratt when James gave a seminar City, from May 29 through June 30. She in 1970. Layne was James’s last assistant, will be showing both wall and freestand- from 1970 to 1978. ing pieces of industrial wool felt hand stitched with silk thread, along with Sarah A. Pletts, BFA ’73, re-created related works on handmade paper in her dance to Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to which there is a play with language and Life” at SunCave Gardens outside Rome, tensions between two and three dimenItaly, in January with singer Tosi Poleri. sions. Mozenter uses letters, words, and Their performance was previously pictogram-like shapes, symbolic lanbroadcast on Rai 2, a television channel guage not to be read, but to evoke sight in Europe. Pletts also produced Henri’s and sound. Mozenter’s website is Letters, a dance/theatre work at the Stella Adler Studio in Manhattan. This play linked her Pratt painting instructor— B. Robert Johnson, BFA Painting ’73, Franklin Faust—to the paintings of Henri has been at SUNY Ulster for more than Matisse and his lifelong friendship with


Spring/Summer 2019

Sarah Stein (Gertrude’s sister-in-law). Pletts also studied dance with Pauline Tisch and produced international multimedia events expressing passion for sustaining beauty. She currently paints and exhibits watercolors.

Pat Cummings, BFA Commu­ nications Design ’74, Adjunct Associate Professor of Communications Design, creator of 40 picture books, published her debut middle-grade novel, Trace, in April with HarperCollins Publishers. The story is set largely in Brooklyn and based on two actual events that occurred more than 150 years apart. The book received a starred review from School Library Journal, which called it “an absorbing, multi-layered novel; an excellent choice for all middle school collections.” Cliff Olsen, BS Computer Science ’74, wrote of his time studying in the School of Engineering and Science and how he misses Pratt’s radio station, WPIR; dorm life; and fellow staff of the newspaper—all part of “a great beginning to life’s journey.” He sends an update: “Post days of the Philco 2000 computer era, and the excellent prep from the engineering school and CS department, I am comfortably retired in Pennsylvania with the cows and Amish, but with a deep-rooted need to learn the whereabouts of the students who cut the wires on the 552 switchboard in the Main Building during the tuition strike of ’72.” Robert Solomon, BFA Painting ’74, has been researching the professional life and work of former Pratt instructor Joe Stapleton (1921–1994) for a biography. In 2014, Solomon was provided exclusive access to the Stapleton Drawings Collection, consisting of 5,500 never


exhibited drawings. In August 2017, he was appointed right holder to the entire collection. ARTSTOR availability to the Stapleton Collection will begin with 300 Stapleton self-portraits this spring. Solomon lectures about Stapleton and presented at the Art Students League in October 2017. He is currently curating an exhibition of Stapleton’s unique-to-hisperiod text-infused self-portraits created between 1974 and 1989. Solomon’s website is

ing for an exhibition at Jo Fleming Contemporary Art in the spring of 2019 to include both her paintings and prints. Her website is

exhibit and will be in the Florida Artist Group Annual Exhibition at Ringling College of Art and Design later this spring. She writes, “Life is good.”

Mavis Wiggins, BFA ’75, Managing Executive, TPG Architecture, was honored with the Leadership Award at the International Interior Design Association Leaders Breakfast last May.

Joe Burns, BFA Painting ’76, who graduated from Pratt’s painting program C Bangs, MFA ’75, is working with at the age of 38, has since continued to live Martina Mrongovius, Artistic Director of a life dedicated to painting and poetry the Center for the Holographic Arts, and that Pratt inspired him to lead. With solo Mason Peck, Professor of Aerospace exhibitions at the National Academy of Engineering at Cornell University, to affix Arts and yearly exhibitions at the six of her holograms to Cornell’s Alpha Manhattan Arts and Antiques Center, 1U CubeSat, a nanosatellite that will be Burns has developed a loyal following and launched this year into low Earth orbit. built a body of work that challenges our The holograms depict sculptures under notions of figurative art with his own three inches of figures of people, animals, unique brand of hyperrealism. His work insects, and DNA. Three lasers are angled can be seen on his Instagram account, so that the retroreflective light will be @joeburnsart. visible from Earth. Beyond the potential stabilization and propulsion applications, holograms are a way of sending messages Mark Lefkowitz, BFA Drawing and from Earth into the wider universe. Printmaking ’76, is President of Mark Lefkowitz Biomedical Visuals, a studio providing medical and biological illustration, animation, and creative services to a diverse range of clients including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies; advertising agencies; and publishers. More recently, having discovered his love for sharing his knowledge and skills through teaching, he developed and teaches a variety of anatomy courses for artists at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His website is and his fine Stan Smokler, Evolution, 2018, 18 x 18 x 16 inches art website is

Bennett Harris Horowitz, Canyon Sunset

Bennett Harris Horowitz, BFA Drawing ’77, had two solo shows of landscape paintings in 2018. In February, North American Travels at the Arts Society of Kingston, New York, featured 20 paintings. When the show was repeated last autumn at the Woodstock Art Exchange, Horowitz included new paintings from his painting expedition to the Grand Canyon in May. Horowitz maintains a painting studio in Woodstock, New York; he retired from teaching art at Manhattan’s High School of Art and Design in 2015.

Marjorie Williams-Smith, MFA Printmaking ’77, has been awarded the 2019 Individual Artist Award from the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Awards committee. The awards recognize outstanding achievements and contributions to the arts in the state of Arkansas. Marjorie is a nationally known silverpoint artist who has shown in many solo and group silverpoint exhibitions. Also, she created the design for the Congressional Medal Stan Smokler, MFA ’75, had two exof Honor awarded to the Little Rock Nine hibitions this spring showcasing his Sara (Glantzman) Stites, MFA ’76, in 1999. The Governor’s Arts Awards welded sculptures at the Delaware lives in Miami Beach, Florida, and ceremony was held in March. Contemporary in Wilmington, curated Thomaston, Maine. She maintains by Kathrine Page, and at InLiquid at Park studios in both places and showed at Towne Place in Philadelphia, curated the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland in 2017. Her website is by Susanna Gold. Sigrid Hollace Trumpy, MFA Printmaking ’75, recently attended the artist residency program at Castle Hill Center for the Arts at Edgewood Farm in Truro, Massachusetts, for two months in the spring of 2018, and is currently an artist in residence at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Maryland. She will participate in a residency at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Virginia, in 2019. She is prepar-

Class Notes

Susan Kinder Turconi, MFA Printmaking ’76, is happy to report that she became an octogenarian in February of this year and is still in the classroom at State College of Florida teaching Mariella Bisson, The Sound of Trees, 2018, mixed media on linen, 30 x 40 inches Art History I and II. Turconi became a Floridian in 1993 and has been with the college since then. She also is the monitor Mariella Bisson, BFA Drawing ’78, for Open Studio Monoprint at Venice Art will have a solo show, Time on the Center. She continues to make art and Mountain, at Momentum Gallery in


Asheville, North Carolina, opening on June 27, following an exhibition last fall. The gallery is producing a catalog with an essay by Charlotta Kotik, Curator Emerita for Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Bisson’s website is Carrie Devorah, AOS Illustration ’78, is cross-credentialed as a certified crime information analyst, master private investigator, and dispute resolution specialist with the LA County Bar Association, formerly with the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. She was active in building the first discrete site crime analysis lab on a college campus on the continent, and her illustration skills have produced drawn record of court proceedings. The SEC asked her to be their whistleblower investment client, which led to the conviction of a criminal. She also developed a model for exposing Wall Street fraud. Devorah recently launched a podcast at

a practicing artist. Recent BCB ART exhibitions include Happinessisthespace betweensorrows, a showcase of work by artist Richard Butler, also known as the singer-songwriter for the rock band The Psychedelic Furs. Bergmann also shows artwork by music film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg and Rodney Alan Greenblat, among others.

Portion of the supergraphic featuring Michael Gerbino’s photography. Photo by Raphael Senzamici

Michael Gerbino, BFA Commu­ nications Design ’82, Adjunct Professor of Communications Design at Pratt, recently had his photographs, which depict New York City during the changing of the millennium, transformed into a supergraphic spanning several hundred feet at the New York office of global insurance broker and advisory company Willis Towers Watson. Archigrafika, the design firm that he founded, creates similar thematic office spaces across the US and abroad.

Patricia Miller Uchello, MFA Painting ’78, recently showed 100 oil paintings in a one-woman show at River Farm, in Alexandria, Virginia, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. The exhibition, her fourth one-woman show there, was based on horticulture. Her website is Mary Rieser Heintjes, BFA ’79; MFA ’85, had an exhibition of nine works of welded steel fused with glass art at Carter Burden Gallery in December 2018. A video of the opening can be viewed at https:// and the work can be viewed at and on

Lori Nozick’s collaborative work Masts and Anchors

Lori Nozick, MFA Fine Arts ’82, recently returned from a residency in Mexico. She created a site-specific earthwork, Masts and Anchors, at La Coyoteria Taller Estudio in Umecuaro, Michoacan, among a group of international artists. The piece evokes an archaeological site, with most of the elements still buried, 1980s other elements emerging from the earth and water. The anchors were cast in Bruce C Bergmann, MFA Print­ molds dug directly into the hillside, made making ’81, is the owner of BCB ART of dirt and cement participants mixed by gallery in Hudson, New York, and is also stepping with their feet. The masts were


Spring/Summer 2019

dead logs from the forest, the stones chipped out of a local hillside, and the rope of natural fibers. Nozick’s website is Jim McAuliffe, BArch ’83, joined the USA Architects Planners + Interior Designers team in 2017 after managing McAuliffe + Carroll Architects for 10 years. McAuliffe was recently elevated to Associate and Director of USA’s Philadelphia office, located in the Fishtown neighborhood of the city, where he leads a team presently renovating the iconic Philadelphia Inquirer Building into the new headquarters for the Philadelphia Police Department and Medical Examiner’s office, scheduled for completion in 2020. Other projects include the just-completed corporate headquarters for United States Cold Storage in Camden, New Jersey, and the master plan for Variety Philadelphia’s 60-acre campus in Worcester, Pennsylvania. Goulda Downer, BS Nutrition and Dietetics ’84, was elected last November to a second term as chair for the Caribbean American Political Action Committee, a political advocacy group for the Caribbean American community in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Dr. Downer is also the director for the HIV Telehealth Training Center at Howard University College of Medicine, where she has successfully positioned the Center to be a premier trainer for culturally competent clinical HIV healthcare. She was recently awarded a $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to integrate the National HIV Curriculum into the training curricula of health profession institutions nationwide. Mark P. Wilson, RA NCARB, BArch ’85, developed Curvware. The eating utensils were originally conceived and designed to be the most comfortable in the world. Recognized for this by a leading ergonomist, they were recommended to the director of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, where they are in the permanent collection and have been displayed in numerous exhibitions. The Curvware System includes washing racks and pedestals that solve two of the biggest problems in the food service industry, labor and hygiene, and as a result the utensils are being relaunched as a sustainable alternative to flatware and chopsticks.


Swati Ramanathan, AICP, MS Interior Design ’95, who has combined design expertise and social entrepreneur­ ship to improve quality of life in India’s cities, was most recently awarded a 2017–2018 HUDCO Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment for TENDER S.U.R.E. (Specifications for Urban Utilities and Road Execution). Developed by Ramanathan through one of her nonprofit organizations, Jana Urban Space Foundation, the TENDER S.U.R.E. initiative creates a more inclusive, sustainable model for road design across India. Since Ramanathan returned to India in 1998 to devote her career to transforming the country’s urban experience, she has worked alongside the government and citizenry on a multitude of urban design and urban planning projects, including preparation of the Jaipur Master Plan 2025 and the 2018 Smart City Proposal Bid for Bengaluru City. She is currently undertaking the masterplanning of three heritage towns in Tamil Nadu using principles of form-based zoning: the renovation of a historic market in Bengaluru, an affordable housing project in Pune, and a mobility hub in central Bengaluru.

Johannes Knoops, BArch ’87, released his new book, In Search of Aldus Pius Manutius, in October. Aldus Pius Manutius (Aldo Manuzio) was a humanist, educator, and publisher who revolutionized the world of printing and is considered the father of the modern paperback. Knoops’s book examines the evidence surrounding the site of Aldus’s first printing press in order to rightfully celebrate its historic location.


Simon Pearce and a visiting professor of Graduate Design Management at Pratt, had a new group of products he designed with Simon Pearce come out in 2018–2019 in soapstone and glass. The New York Times featured the collection’s whiskey glass cradled in a soapstone base in a story for its Front Burner column last summer. Among soapstone’s notable properties, Murray writes, “is that it can stay cold or hot for a long time,” making it an ideal chilling companion for a cool drink, without watering down your beverage with ice. An additional item, a pair of whiskey glasses on a soapstone base, launches this spring.

Maya Kopytman, MFA Computer Graphics ’95, a partner at creative studio C&G Partners, art directed Historic Hudson Valley’s new website, which sheds light on the often-overlooked history of slavery in the colonial North, focusing on individual stories as a means to personalize the past. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, C&G designed and developed the project from the discovery phase to prototyping, user testing, and final production. The website was conceptualized as an interactive documentary, including multiple short videos— featuring scholars who provide the narrative for several historical topics and stories of enslaved individuals—and digital features focused on the project’s humanities themes.

Andy Baker, MPS Art Therapy ’94, had his first book, The Inspired Student: How to Motivate Students in Today’s Learning Environment, published in 2018. He has lived in the Netherlands since 2004 and has been a teacher since 2006, giving classes and workshops, in the schools, at the corporate level, and for diverse organizations. This book is the amalgamation of compelling research, actual experience, and the love of teach James Murray, BID ’90; MPS Design ing. Baker is an author, speaker, and Management ’97, Senior Vice President trainer. His website is www.theinspired Stephen Turbek, BID ’95, is designer of Design and Product Development at of the Bubble Calendar, which

Class Notes


celebrated 10 years as an independ­- Travis Huggett, BFA Photography ent product company in Brooklyn ’99, had a series of photographs, titled ( Railfan, highlighted in a New York Times story, “For Autistic Boys, the Subway Is Actually Soothing.” The piece showcas Rob Zinn, BID ’96, celebrates the 15th es photographs Huggett made of boys anniversary of blankblank, the Califoron the autism spectrum riding the subnia-based design firm he founded and ways after he discovered that train leads as creative director. To mark the transport was calming and fascinating occasion, blankblank is releasing a pair for his own son. of new sconces to add to its Heliocentric collection, which debuted to acclaim at the International Contemporary Megan Huntz, BID ’99, opened a Furniture Fair in 2004 and has since been brick-and-mortar shop for her eponypurchased, exhibited, and sold around mous brand of made-in-Atlanta the world. The complete blankblank womenswear. The storefront is located collection includes furniture, lighting, in the shops at Highland Row in Atlanta’s and accessories designed by Zinn and Poncey-Highland neighborhood. fellow Pratt alumni Mark Goetz, BID ’86, and Tim Richartz, BID ’86, as well as Mike & Maaike and Russell Ooms.

Todd Bradway, BFA Painting ’98, researched, edited, and produced Landscape Painting Now (D.A.P. and Thames & Hudson), which was published in April. This nearly 400-page survey is the first to focus on the genre, and features paintings by more than 80 contemporary artists, born over seven decades and from 25 countries. It includes an extensive essay by The Nation art critic Barry Schwabsky and further contributions by art historians Susan A. Van Scoy, Robert R. Shane, and Louise Sørensen. Bradway was formerly Direc­ tor of Title Acquisitions at D.A.P., where he worked for more than 20 years, and more recently Director of Publishing at David Zwirner Books. Diane Dreyfus, MS Arch ’99, is currently working as Guatemala’s country coordinator for the Integrative Health Project, a New York City–based nongovernmental organization that provides training and treatments in Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, to underserved communities in Puerto Rico and Guatemala.


Takayo Seto, Soundless

emotion. Her residency concludes with a commissioned work that becomes part of the museum’s collection. More information is available on the museum’s blog: /artist-in-residence. Chris Arabadjis, MFA Painting ’01, showed work in two shows this winter: Indra’s Net at Caldwell University’s Mueller Gallery, curated by Suzanne Kammin, and Accidental Degeneracies in the Pratt Art and Design Education Department’s Nancy Ross Project Space. Arabadjis’s work has recently been reproduced on the cover of poet Willa Carroll’s first book, Nerve Chorus, published by The Word Works (September 2018); on the cover of International Authors’ literary anthology Emanations: Chorus Pleiades (December 2018); and accompanying the article “Hidden Worlds of Fundamental Particles” in the September 2018 issue of the Japanese physical science journal Parity. Jared Deery, BFA Painting ’01, has been exhibiting paintings and drawings in the US and Europe over the last 10 years. Deery was represented by Boccanera Gallery at Artissima art fair in Turin last November, followed by a solo exhibition at Boccanera Gallery in Trento, Italy. Deery’s work can be viewed at and on Instagram at @jareddeery.

Takayo Seto, MFA ’99, continued her creative activities in Brooklyn after graduating from Pratt and before returning to her hometown in Japan in 2014. Since then, Seto has launched an online store for her digital prints,

2000s Rachelle Etienne-Robinson, BFA Fashion Design ’01, and Stan “Substantial” Robinson, Commu­ nications Design, began dating during their sophomore year and married in 2004. In 2017, the two joined forces and founded Substantial Art & Music, LLC (SAM), an organization focused on pro Julia Rymer, MFA Painting ’00, is viding design and consulting services to the Winter 2019 artist-in-residence at emerging and established artists and the Children’s Museum in Denver, small businesses. They provide art and Colorado, where she works with visiting music programming and arts advocacy children and their grown-ups to explore and facilitate workshops nationwide capainting and drawing techniques and tered to creatives and entrepreneurs eager learn the connection between color and to learn more about social media market-

Spring/Summer 2019


ing, grants, and crowdfunding. Their website is Do you have a Pratt love story to share? Email with the subject line “Pratt Pairs.” Chelsea Minola, BFA Interior Design ’02, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Grain, her Bainbridge Island, Washington–based design studio, which is focused on socially and environmentally responsible design. In celebration, Minola and her partner, James, hosted a show, Doing and Being: Ten Years of Creative Collaboration at Grain, at the New York City interior design gallery Colony.

Will Day, MArch ’04, completed a documentary about his work on a tribute painting of legendary football player Peyton Manning. Of the painting, Day says, “My intention was to capture Peyton’s legacy on the field by combining physical form with my abstract, layered, textural style. . . . My goals with the finished piece are twofold: first, to invite Peyton’s fans into his shoes so they can experience the timeless moment I chose to represent his career: clock ticking, adversaries approaching, crowd roaring, and pressure building. Finding clarity in the chaos is something we can all aspire to, whether in helmets and pads or in your chosen daily uniform.”

Alison Kowalski, BFA Fashion Design ’07, a design historian and instructor, published an article in the November 2018 issue of Journal of Design History called “The Pursuit of Art and Professionalism: Dressmaking , Millinery, and Costume Design at Pratt Institute, 1888–1904.” The article is on the Department of Domestic Art, the forebear of today’s Fashion Design Department. Kowalski writes about the social and gender tensions between “craft” and “art” that impacted the development of dressmaking education during Pratt’s formative years. An open-access link to the article can be found on Kowalski’s website,

Chrissy Angliker, BID ’06, displayed her most current artwork during LES Art Week in October at Anna Sheffield Jewelry in Manhattan. The paintings on display were selections from a larger body of work shown at Stalla Madulain in Switzerland over the winter in a solo exhibition titled A History of Yearning. On the occasion of the show, Angliker was the subject of a feature in Bolero, a Swiss culture and fashion magazine. Her work can be viewed on her website, Jimmy Rau, BFA Graphic Design ’07,, and Instagram at recently launched his brand PARS UNUM (, a highly personal proj@chrissyangliker. ect. He writes, “After several years working as a designer in NYC, I found it difficult to find the right bag—something that I could bring with me from meeting to gym to airport.” He went on to work with craftsmen in Italy to construct a bag using high-quality lambskin that was functional and also would “allow the wearer to experience and express them Michele (Marino) Kelly, BFA Fine selves fully through wear and use.” Arts; MS Art Education ’03, a middle school teacher at a K–8 school in Marine Park, Brooklyn, was the recipient of the 2018 NYCATA/UFT Middle School Photo by Suraj Katra Teacher of the Year Award. She married her childhood sweetheart, Sean Kelly, Aubrey Roemer, BFA Painting ’06 in July 2005. Together they have three and current MFA candidate, led a collabdaughters, Victoria, age 12; Elizabeth, orative art project with I Was a Sari, an age 9; and Meaghan, age 5. organization that creates economic opportunities for women in Mumbai Diana Gallazzini Mandt, MS Com­ through upcycling saris. Roemer’s mu­nications Design ’03, of Gallazzini Tarpaulin Tapestries project, which was Graphics is working with Write Brain centered on community collaboration to Na Suen, BID ’07, inspired by her Books, based in Los Angeles. Write Brain make functional artwork, saw the artist quandary of trying to eat, drink, and Books develops literacy programs in the work alongside a group of women artisans mingle at parties, presented Mngl, a highly creative art of children’s book to create multicolored weatherproof modern form of cocktail plate. Her republishing. Prior to this, Gallazzini Mandt tarps that could be used to cover tent cently developed product holds both a was working within the organic foods homes in the city, culminating in a public wine glass and hors d’oeuvres while industry as a packaging designer. art installation in December. At the time freeing hands and easing conversation. She lives in Los Angeles with her hus- of this writing, a fashion line using It is a reflection of  her decade-long career band and two daughters and enjoys the Tarpaulin Tapestries was set to debut at in dinnerware design that has focused Pratt Los Angeles alumni events at the Mumbai Fashion Week, and another in- on integrating form and function. Mngl SoHo House and Hollyhock House. stallation was set for March. is made of melamine and infused with

Class Notes


Courtesy of New York Public Library

Michelle Lee, MSILS ’14, launched a new lending pro­ gram, NYPL Grow Up Work Fashion Library, last August at the Riverside branch of the New York Public Library. The program, originally proposed by Lee in 2016 for the library’s Innovation Project, is one of many provided by the library meant to support young adults and job seekers in their professional careers. After holding employment-finding workshops for those just entering or reentering the workforce, Lee noticed a key problem expressed by many of the workshop participants: feeling like they didn’t have the tools to present their very best at interview time. Lee came up with an idea for a transformational solution: now, anyone with a library card can rent items such as handbags, briefcases, and ties for up to three weeks, just like a book.


bamboo fiber, making the plate lightweight, durable, reusable, and dishwasher safe. More information can be foundat or on social media at @topsoilhome. Jason M. Wells, MLS ’07, has been named Books Marketing Director for the American Psychological Association’s APA Publishing imprints APA Books, Life Tools, and Magination Press children’s books. He was previously Associ­ ate Publisher, Director of Children’s Marketing and Publicity at Rodale Kids. Before that, he ran campaigns for the number-one best-selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. He relocated from New York City to Washington, DC, for the new role.

Still from Brix’s video for “Just A Girl”

Brix (Sophie Dupin), BFA Commu­ nications Design ’09, had her cover of No Doubt’s song “Just A Girl” featured in the official trailer for the recent Disney movie The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Dupin’s stripped-down version of the classic 90s song was spotlighted in Hello Giggles, Bustle, Teen Vogue, and The Revelist. After the buzz the trailer generated, Brix created a music video for the song with director Ben Tedesco, aimed at empowering young women and Vicky Chan, BArch ’08, was elected inspiring a movement of positive change. to become the American Institute of The trailer and video can be viewed at Architects Hong Kong President in 2020. His tenure begins as a vice president this year. His vision is to engage fellow Alaina Claire Feldman, BFA Critical architect members with at-risk commu- and Visual Studies ’09, became the direcnities, encouraging them to give their tor of the Mishkin Gallery at CUNY professional knowledge and time to help Baruch last summer. She previously people in need. served as director of exhibitions at

Marna Chester, MPS Arts and Cultural Management ’10, is a Brooklynbased visual artist, yoga instructor, and Core Energetics practitioner-in-training. The common thread among all of her practices is exploration of the spiritual, physical, and psychological. Her work has been exhibited at Wave Hill, Gitler & Gallery, and the Voelker Orth Museum, among others, and recently appeared in The Los Angeles Press. Her commercial work has appeared on the Netfilx series Friends from College and Fox’s TV series Gotham, in Bergdorf Goodman window displays, and more. She is participating in a group show, Nature in Black & White, sponsored by the NYC Parks Department, at Arsenal Gallery through May 31.

Independent Curators International.


Spring/Summer 2019


Maria Cristina Gallegos, MPS Arts and Cultural Management ’10, has been recognized at the national and international level for implementing an arts and conservation project together with indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Last year, she received two awards for Awakkuna, a project she comanaged in the Ecuadorian Amazon focused on knitting for conservation. Gallegos won the Intercultural Innovation Award from UN Alliance of Civilizations and a national award in Ecuador from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Teresa von Kerckerinck, MPS Art Therapy and Creativity Development ’10, writes that she “is busting a move to Almeria, Spain, on the coast of Andalucia to launch the Holistic Health & Healing Retreat Day Spa, which will offer participants various mind-body skills and techniques to maximize efficient forms of self-care, promote deep introspection, and raise overall awareness with ongoing mindfulness practices. The holistic retreat will encourage the individual and teach him or her to maintain an ongoing practice of optimal self-care, strengthen the connection between mind, body, human spirit, and Spirit to foster healing, on all levels.” Dr. Kerckerinck’s website is Eric Moed, BArch ’12, is currently enrolled in the Masters in Design program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). He was recently awarded the inaugural Wendy Evens Joseph Community Service Fellowship and accepted into the Sandbox Innovation incubation program at MIT to further develop a rapidly deployable structural system he designed at the GSD.

Singularity-S-002 from the exhibition Hypervirtuality

Gallery in Long Island City; at ACM SIGGRAPH Asia in Tokyo; and in The Urgency of Reality in a Hyper-Connected Age, which can be viewed indefinitely at Park also had works showing at AFA Gallery in SoHo through March.

Caryn Cast, AOS Illustration ’13, created a 10 x 16-foot mural for television host Rachael Ray’s studio, depicting an older Sicilian woman enjoying a family meal with all of her pets, including Rachael Ray’s dog Isaboo. Cast, a muralist, painter, chalkboard artist, and illustrator, celebrates ordinary hardworking women, often with a humorous twist, in her artwork. She is the second of four female artists to participate in Ray’s project titled Walls by Women (#wallsbywomen), which highlights female artists living and working in New York City. Her website is and she can be found on Instagram at @caryncast. Annaliese Soden, MS History of Art and Design ’13, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations at the Cleveland Museum of Art, was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business as one of 40 Under 40 to watch. She was highlighted among other honorees chosen for their contributions to Northeast Ohio and their dedication to the region’s future.

Hsiao-Han Chen, MS Packaging Design ’14, is a multidisciplined freelance designer focusing on packaging and Taezoo Park, MFA Digital Arts ’12, graphic design and has been practicing had work featured in several exhibitions lettering intuitively herself. Her profesaround the world and online last winter. sional and personal works have been well Works from Park’s Digital Being series recognized by international design were shown in Hypervirtuality at Radiator awards and featured prominently in

Class Notes

blogs, magazines, and books such as The Dieline, Packaging of the World, Graphic Design USA, Beauty Packaging, and more. Her lettering work was recently featured in Ascenders Volume 1, Leaders in Contemporary Lettering, published by Capsules Book in Australia. Her website is Krista LaBella, MFA ’14, had an exhibition, Fleshy Fruit, presented by Random Access Gallery at Syracuse University last fall. The show, which included a collection of digital and instant photographic nude self-portraits from her I Am Venus series and Pearl Necklace and Other Objects project, drew inspiration from classical painting, porn culture, fertility figures, and fat fetishism as a means for LaBella to retake authority over her own body. LaBella was also interviewed by Headlining Humans for #whyicreate on YouTube. Lucus Landers, BFA Photography ’14, was recently profiled by a number of photography and tech media outlets, including Gizmodo and Fast Company, where he spoke about his creative design process building homemade cameras. Landers, now on his eighth camera with the lightweight point-and-shoot Landers AL6 Mark II, employs minimalist design and aesthetics in his builds. Among his future goals, leveling up in complexity, are crafting a 35mm camera and making his own shutter mechanism.

Emma Ricupero, AOS Graphic Design ’15, recently moved to northeastern Ohio and has had her work accepted into the Carroll County Arts Center and Gallery. Here she will have the opportunity to hold shows at the gallery and teach art classes of h er choosing.


She has already sold several prints of her fashion-illustration work, which incorporates illustration and graphic design, and she is continuing to produce more work. She looks forward to where her work will take her and her bright future ahead. To view her work, visit or follow her on Instagram at @emmaricupero. Jared Weitzman, BFA Digital Arts ’15, won an Emmy Award from the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the commercial campaign he directed, produced, and edited for the Mets-Yankees 2017 season. (He won his first Emmy for the 2016 Mets-Yankees campaign.) Weitzman and his company, RUSE Studios, also took home a 2018 PromaxBDA Gold Award for their “Two Teams, One Station” campaign. The PromaxBDA awards honor promotion, design, and marketing by a company or individual that is broadcast, published, or released in their respective markets. Weitzman’s website is Grace Ahlbom, BFA Photography ’16, created a short movie for Swedish brand Acne Studios, which was highlighted in Paper and i-D. The film, reminiscent of late eighties and early nineties VHS-shot music videos, takes the brand’s Manhattan sneakers on a ramble around New York City. Also recently spotlighted in Vice and i-D was Ahlbom’s ongoing zine series, published by Dashwood Books. To view Ahlbom’s work, visit

Fehr created the concept for this stable-shaped board book that features two spines and 26 lift-the-flaps. Horse Tales is the first book in Chronicle’s new series Double Booked, all inspired by Fehr’s original concept. Fehr continues to work as a book designer at HarperCollins Publishers and freelance illustrates mostly for the publishing industry. Her website is

Gamal M. Osman, Assoc. AIA, BArch ’16, is a designer at Thornton Tomasetti, Renewal department. Osman is working on restoration projects such as the Guggenheim Museum and the New York Supreme Court Building at 60 Centre Street. Prior to joining the Renewal team, he worked with the structure-engineering department for more than 18 months, where he managed BIM coordination work on projects such as the MOT twisted tower, a 560-foot-tall office tower in Baku, Azerbaijan. He also founded Via Regionalism, an architecture firm that focuses on interior commercial and residential design, and just finished design for Villa Corner El-Sahel, which will be located in Egypt. Lillian Ismail, BFA Jewelry ’17, was profiled in Vogue Arabia as Saudi Arabia’s “youngest jewelry designer.” She started her jewelry career back in high school, establishing her brand in 2013 at the age of 17 and working on it while she was a student at Pratt. Her latest collection, Falak, was unveiled during Riyadh Design Week. Inspired by centuries-old Islamic astronomical manuscripts, Ismail has created bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, and more that feature geometric shapes, natural green stones, and celestial-inspired names.

Maryam Turkey, BID ’17, won WantedDesign’s 2018 Launch Pad competition for furniture/decor. She Molly Fehr, BFA Communications created a terra-cotta drinking fountain/ Design ’16, recently wrote and illustrat- water cooler with planter, a concept ed her first children’s book, titled Horse inspired by traditional water-storage Tales, published last fall by Chronicle vessels that she used growing up in Iraq. Books. During her time as a Chronicle Handcrafted of porous terra-cotta, the Books design fellow after graduation, vessels were naturally able to keep water


Spring/Summer 2019

cool through evaporation on their surface and even allowed some liquid to escape—a feature that, in the case of Turkey’s design, lends added functionality, allowing the vessel to double as a plant-watering device. To see more of her work, visit

Portrait of Bill Cunningham by Jeremy Martin

Jeremy Martin, MPS Art Therapy ’18, was spotlighted in Teen Vogue for his iPad-created portraiture and fashion illustrations. After cutting his teeth in fashion media and then coming to Pratt to study art therapy, Martin discovered his penchant for art making on the tablet. His work—which includes a commissioned portrait of Bill Cunningham for the documentary The Times of Bill—has gained him a following on Instagram (@jeremymartinofficial) and led him to teach live art workshops at Apple. Meanwhile, as programming specialist and art therapist at Housing Works, he is using his art therapy training to support LGBTQ youth.

Submission Guidelines: Send submissions of 100 words or less to Please include your full name, degree or program, and graduation year. All submissions will be edited for length, clarity, and style. Image submissions should be high-resolution (300 dpi at 5 x 7 inches).


Networks New alumni connections blossom abroad as the 12 US networks grow.

The launch of the Regional Network in China brought alumni together at ideaPod, a space founded by Bingqing Liu, MS Interior Design ’15, in Beijing (top). New York City–area alumni connected at a winter happy hour at A/D/O, a creative hub in Brooklyn; photo by Samuel Herrera, BFA Photography ’20.


This past fall and winter saw festivities around two international alumni networks, in South Korea and China. The vibrant alumni group in South Korea came together in Seoul last November for their annual reunion, with a special visit from Pratt President Frances Bronet, who delivered remarks at the event. In December, the Regional Network in China held its launch, with alumni gathering in Beijing to mingle with fellow Pratt graduates living and working in and around the city. The inaugural event, spearheaded by Stan Li, BArch ’15, took place at ideaPod, a coworking space and creative environment founded by alumna Bingqing Liu, MS Interior Design ’15. Meanwhile, alumni in the 12 US Regional Networks continued to strengthen their connections among one another and back to Pratt. President Bronet visited networks in Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, where alumni had an opportunity to engage in the Institute’s strategic planning process. Gatherings were held across the cities to celebrate the holidays and connect amid local culture, and in New York City, alumni joined Pratt faculty, staff, and students at a special reception during the College Art Association’s Annual Conference in February. To learn more about the Regional Networks and get connected, visit www or contact


“For me, Pratt was foundational and expansive. It gave me a sense of belonging and, at the age of 19, allowed me to become more in tune with my environment and the world around me. Sixty years later, I still feel connected to Pratt and am proud to have been part of the Pratt story.” —Virginia Chakejian, BFA Fashion ′62; MA Art Therapy ′78

Pratt gave alumna Virginia Chakejian the skills and approaches for a lifetime of growth and fulfillment, and the opportunity to find her place in the world. Now, through a generous bequest, she’s helping the Institute do the same for future generations. And you can, too. Including Pratt in your will is an easy way to support the Institute and its students for years to come. Your gift could support a scholarship, sponsor faculty research, or fund future technology needs within a specific school or throughout the Institute. The choice is yours. To learn more about making a bequest to Pratt, or other gift planning options that can benefit you and your heirs as well as the Institute, contact Jessica Tallman, Executive Director for Development, at 718.687.5765 or



718.399.4486 LEGENDS@PRAT T.EDU

#PrattGradAdvice We asked Pratt alumni what encouraging words they had for new graduates, and this is just a sampling of the wisdom they shared. Help welcome the class of 2019 with your #PrattGradAdvice—find @PrattAlumni on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Crea te a co and grow mpass iona th. te co mmu nity for in spira tion

. a yes o t n i no urn a t o t way ative e r c a Find Keep true to your aesthetic. We are all on our own journey and yours will not be the same as those you see out in the world. Learn to ada pt and thrive. r ve anothe a h r e v e n l s if you’l repared a p e b s y a Alw le. ls. . Be humb y l it n i tu r o p k op rs u yo g n i d an p ex Don’t b p e afraid e to ask e k for wha s t you’re y a worth. w l A rs sso e f o r us p o l e rv ma r u yo !!! ank ations h t l ays atu Alw ongr C att. r Wear sunscreen. P at


Spring/Summer 2019

Be bol d, e njo y th e jo urn ey.


Advice by, clockwise from top: Jennifer Lepke, MPS Art Therapy and Creative Development ’11; Ellen Crimi-Trent, BFA ’89; Eileen McNinnie, BArch ’82; Crimi-Trent; Chris Goutos, BFA Communications Design ’87; Alice Harvey Brette, BFA ’92; Kirsten Grünberg, MSILS ’16; Anna Rivkin Hayes, BFA Communications Design ’04; Dublin Durller-Wilson, BFA ’02; Shari Levine-Silverman, BFA ’81


FfP.0419 “Receiving a scholarship to attend Pratt made me feel like my dream of being a working artist was coming true.”—Jamaal Peterman, MFA Fine Arts ’19 Jamaal applied to Pratt because he wanted to be surrounded by people who would push his ideas and artwork. Now, thanks in large part to The Fund for Pratt, he’s graduating and has the confidence and connections to build a successful career as a working artist.

their dreams and become a part of the amazing Pratt community. Every individual student plays a part in making Pratt such a special place, just like every contribution to The Fund for Pratt helps support the education Pratt provides.

Every year, contributions to The Fund for Pratt give students like Jamaal the means and encouragement to take a chance on

Make your contribution to The Fund for Pratt today at

Pratt Institute Communications and Marketing 200 Willoughby Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205 Electronic Service Requested

About the cover Installed on the floor of the Pratt Photography Gallery in March, as part of Katie Abbott Ladner’s series I ask that you look, this piece challenged viewers to engage with and look at a photograph in an unconventional way. Those who chose to walk on rather than around the piece participated in its continuous making. Katie Abbott Ladner, BFA Photography ’19, Pratt Edition, 2019, inkjet print, 66 x 44 inches

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