Prattfolio Spring/Summer 2020

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Pratt folio

Spring/ Summer 2020

The Magazine of Pratt Institute

Ac tion


8 TURN, TURN, TURN 50 Years Ago in May, a Flashpoint of a Volatile Era Unified Young People across the Nation, and for Pratt’s Class of 1970, Punctuated Their Final Days as Students at the Institute 18 ART ACTIVATED Pratt Fine Arts Fosters Open Exchange with Communities on Campus and Beyond 24 VOICES OF A GENERATION Pratt Students Act for the Change They Imagine for the World

4 CRIT A conversation with professor and Assistant Chair of Digital Arts Linda Lauro-Lazin and Holly Adams, BFA Digital Arts ’20 6 SOLVED Fashion Design alumna Margaret Burton is working to end fashion waste, finding new forms for existing garments 42 NEWS 45 NEW AND NOTEWORTHY 49 CLASS NOTES


1 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 2 PRACTICE From Professor Theodora Skipitares’s The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker, on stage at La MaMa

Prattfolio, the magazine of Pratt Institute, is published by Pratt Communications and Marketing. ©2020 Pratt Institute 200 Willoughby Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205 Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @prattalumni; @prattinstitute

Vice President of Communications and Marketing Jim Kempster Senior Editor Jean Hartig Director of Creative Services David Frisco Graphic Designers Eury Kim Robert McConnell

64 SPOTLIGHT 100 Years of Votes for Women

Copy Editor Brandhi Williamson Staff Contributors Marion Hammon Allison Meier Jolene Travis Project Manager Erica Dagley Galea Assistant Director, Traffic and Production David Dupont

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Daphne Halpern For address changes and obituary notices, please contact Alumni Engagement at or 718.399.4447.

Rethinking the Meaning of Action

As I write this, we are entering the final stretch of our spring semester, a time when Pratt’s campuses are usually crackling with energy and activity. This year, with the unimaginable shifts that our community faced as COVID-19 spread, that tremendous spirit has dispersed, though signs of its endurance are still present in the digital spaces where we now come together. But it is undeniable that we are also mourning. We have suffered losses within our community, made all the more heart-wrenching by the loss of the familiar touch points of our daily lives. None of us wanted to leave our amazing campus, to pause indefinitely our face-to-face interactions with one another, or to postpone our much-anticipated year-end celebrations of work well done. When we first discussed an issue of Prattfolio themed around action, we talked about community involvement, socially engaged practice, and civic responsibility. What we couldn’t imagine then was how those concepts would resonate within our community this spring, when we all felt the collective call to action to lessen the impact of a global pandemic. How civic duty would mean sheltering away from those whose lives we care to protect. How social responsibility would mean physically disconnecting, instead turning to screens and phone calls to maintain the fabric of our network. I am so proud of how our students, faculty, staff, and families not only did their best to adapt to a quickly changing situation but did so while showing a tremendous degree of care and concern for their fellow community members. I’m also grateful for all in our community who have stepped forward in service, and to those who have reached out to ask how they could help. To create one pathway to assistance, the Institute has activated the Pratt Student Emergency Fund, with contributions going directly to aid students facing unforeseen hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. For information on how to give, please visit As we reflect back on this year, there is much to appreciate and honor about the incredible work that germinated and came to fruition at Pratt. And we continue to move forward with the creativity and vision of our students and faculty, the dedication of our staff, and the partnership of our community as our guiding forces. It remains our collective charge to take care—to come together, however we can, to shape a more secure and promising future for all. To our extraordinary class of 2020, and to the 50th reunion class of 1970, who were to share the stage at this year’s Commencement, we celebrate your achievements and your resilience. Graduates of 2020, we wish you all the best as you forge bold new paths ahead. To each of you, you are in my thoughts and in my work, and I look forward to being in touch again soon. — Frances Bronet, President

Letter from the President



From Professor Theodora Skipitares’s The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker, on stage at La MaMa East Village, New York


An electrifying marching band, projected animations, towering puppets, dancers with glowing hula hoops, and cosmic strains of electronic music set the tone for a layered history lesson and celebration of one of history’s brilliant scientific minds. In her recent production, The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker, Theodora Skipitares, professor of Art and Design Education, delved into the story of Benjamin Banneker, whose

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life she describes as “the stuff of legends.” “Many of my previous plays confront the social forces guiding technology,” says Skipitares, who has been developing socially and politically engaged performances since her youth in San Francisco. The play casts Banneker’s story against a social fabric that failed to incorporate the contributions of African Americans. A free Black man living in Maryland, Banneker (1731–1806) was a self-taught


Page 2: Scene depicting solar eclipse predicted by Banneker, with shadow dancer. This page: Copernicus puppet (top) and Banneker chorus with heads by Theodora Skipitares. All photos by Theo Cote

astronomer and mathematician, almanac writer, and essayist advocating for civil rights who assisted in surveying the future US capital. Skipitares’s interest in Banneker was piqued after she heard the Soul Tigers, a student marching band, deliver a mighty performance at Pratt President Frances Bronet’s inauguration in 2018. The renowned band hails from Benjamin Banneker Academy, a public high school just


blocks from Pratt that Skipitares soon developed a relationship with, to involve the Soul Tigers in a performance work. A concept for a parade grew into an expansive stage production. Throughout her career, Skipitares has used hundreds of puppets in her work, and this recent production was no exception. Banneker was portrayed as a nearly lifesize puppet figure, and also evoked in voluminous papier-mâché

heads worn by a chorus of dancers (above). Skipitares has remarked that puppet figures have a purity and innocence to their presence, which can help shed light on complex social and political issues, like those embedded in Banneker’s story. As Skipitares has with previous projects, the artist involved Pratt students in the creative process. Supported by a Taconic Fellowship from the Pratt Center, she worked with DeAndra Craig-

man, MA Art and Design Education ’19, who was the scenic painter for the puppets, and Ambria Safford, BFA Art and Design Education ’21, a Banneker Academy after-school instructor who served as a backstage assistant for the show. Also joining the project were Holly Adams, BFA Digital Arts ’20; Trevor Legeret, BFA Film ’21; and Klara Vertes, BFA Painting ’21, who created animations on Banneker’s ancestral history. View more of their work at



Linda Lauro-Lazin, Assistant Chair of Digital Arts, Adjunct Professor CCE

Holly Adams, BFA Digital Arts ’20

time, it’s like a conversation, a telepathic LL: You could formalize that. You could emotional conversation. I made this create a shared experience that was piece to allow myself to consider those more communal, with multiple particemotions and those thoughts very ipants. Let’s talk about form a little bit. honestly, and the score is a set of steps For the installation, you created a kind to do that. of contemplative space for the documentation of the work. It’s almost alLL: Even though it doesn’t have any electar-like. Was that intentional? tronics involved in it, I’m going to call this an algorithmic piece. That gives it HA: Yes, I wanted the score to be the bigan interesting underpinning—but that’s gest thing in the installation. That’s why not all I love about the piece. I also apI printed it on fabric and had it hanging preciate its tenderness, its meditative from the ceiling. I wanted it to be the tone, and its poetic quality. focus more than the book or the photos. It was also important to give the viewers HA: One worry that I had when I was first space to read and consider the score on showing it is that people would see only LINDA LAURO-LAZIN: Why don’t we their own time. the tenderness or see only the romance, start with physicality and the body. especially as I am coming from a place LL: I was curious about the decision you What does physicality have to do with of new media—I don’t know the last made to leave threads of fabric hangtogetherness? time I saw a super-romantic new media ing from the score and the photos on HOLLY ADAMS: For this work, I was artwork. I’m glad that the tenderness is the wall. thinking about how I have depended there but that it doesn’t overshadow the HA: I was thinking a lot about honesty on the idea of being physically with content that I’m trying to put across: that and vulnerability. This piece isn’t supsomeone as the main part of “togetherwe should all consider our dependence posed to be clean. It’s more raw than ness.” But togetherness is really built on on one another and how we need to that. I was trying to show the combinaemotional connection, and even autondepend on ourselves too. tion of how raw it is and how important omy. I was thinking about how I could LL: This performance comes from a perit is to me. construct a set of circumstances where sonal, intimate place, but the work itself two people could be thinking about LL: What’s next for you? is more universal. each other, and be in vaguely similar sitHA: I want to reperform the work— I think uations and spaces but not physically HA: From seeing the installation, I would it’ll always lead me and my partner to together, and how that is “together.” hope that people would want to do it, something different. I want to continue and think about who they would do it LL: Let’s talk about communication, radiwith performance as a medium, thinkwith. Or consider people they know who ating feelings across the night—it seems ing about how that can integrate more are in very tight relationships and how like you’re researching how emotions with my use of technology. I’m thinking this might benefit them. I want people are expressed over time and space. about how to convey things with as little to see how they can reconsider and reas necessary to get my point across, and HA: I try to send positive energy to people contextualize the actions in their life with that simplicity, to allow other if I know they need it. I was thinking and how doing things that you might do people to find something that they need about that emotional telepathy—when, every day, but performatively, in a within the work as well. in the score, we’re considering certain structured way, can allow you to come things at the same time of night and to new conclusions about yourself and performing similar actions at the same the people around you. Together More Together is a silent, audienceless performance based on a score for two people, composed by digital arts student Holly Adams. The piece begins with two people crossing a bridge at sunset, then parting ways and documenting their separate-butsynchronized night with disposable cameras. Adams performed the piece last spring—before the pandemic made togetherness and distance themes of daily life. In the fall, they presented artifacts from the work—fabric prints of photos and the score, and a book of snapshots—in an installation.


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Photo courtesy of Holly Adams, BFA Digital Arts ’20


Margaret Burton BFA Fashion Design ’16

Designer Margaret Burton is a room full of samples working to end fashion waste, with and canceled styles,” she says. a practice of creating new forms “On occasion, they would ask me for existing garments, in a style to cut all the clothes in half she calls “deconstructed tailored so they could throw them away. streetwear.” I was so confused at the time and shocked.” Burton set out to invesThe call to action: tigate fashion’s material footprint, While Burton was a student at eventually traveling to India to Pratt, an internship at a high-end experience the shoddy industry, womenswear brand opened her which manufactures fibers from eyes to a distressing aspect of the discarded garments—the refuse lifecycle of clothing. “They had of high-turnover “fast fashion.”


The goal: During her senior year at Pratt, Burton resolved to make her thesis collection 100 percent recycled. From that seminal collection, centered on deconstructed blue jeans, cotton jerseys, and other sportswear pieces juxtaposed with silks and sheers, all donated or thrifted, Burton’s mission for her practice was clear. She would create reclaimed garments with a level

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of intentionality that would ask viewers and wearers to stop and consider what it takes to make their clothes and question the pace of consumption. The process: Burton honors the detail and individual components that define a piece, making sure those elements remain part of a new garment’s story. “My process starts with seam ripping an entire


garment. Ironing all the patterns flat and brushing away all the leftover threads”—which reveals the ghosts of stitches and creases, marks of the labor of construction. “I want to respect what the garment was, so I still want the viewer to be able to see recognizable pieces like a pocket. ” The opportunity: Burton’s materials tend to find her, via friends, family, and Instagram


followers. By the same route, she recently found another level of meaning in her practice, helping others to manage some of the chaos that follows a loss. “This past year, I had two people on separate occasions approach me about making a garment from clothes left behind by a loved one who had recently passed away. To be able to take memorable clothes from someone’s life and piece them into a garment for

their loved ones to wear, share stories with, and be comforted by has put my work in a new realm.” The message: “I hope my small, time-consuming process of making one-of-a-kind pieces offers one source of sustainability and beauty in the world. I hope it encourages people to invest in clothes that last and also tell stories.”

The vision: Burton already sees progress as “more companies are feeling the pressure to be environmentally conscious and factory conscious” and consumers are building relationships with brands. What does she imagine for the future? “I see more customization happening and more companies investing in recycling techniques. I see us becoming a circular industry.”



, URN ,TURN 50YEARS AGOINMAY: A Flashpoint of a Volatile Era Unified Young People across the Nation, and for Pratt’s Class of 1970, Punctuated Their Final Days as Students at the Institute By Andy P. Smith, BFA Writing ’04

Students across America were incensed. It was Monday, May 4, 1970, a cool, overcast morning on the Pratt Institute campus. Students were reading news reports about the weekend’s university protests: fires, vandalism, and general outrage from Harlem to Long Island in response to President Richard Nixon’s “announcement” of military action in Cambodia four days earlier. The US had been secretly bombing Cambodia under Nixon’s orders since March 1969 and, in many ways, the president’s announcement was a confession. It added fuel to an already blazing fire that ignited a new, unprecedented wave of student activism, nationwide. The 1969–1970 school year had been punctuated by moratorium days, assemblies, and marches urging for peace, with university students at the helm of activating protest. The morning of May 4, editors of student publications at Brown, Bryn Mawr, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Haverford, Princeton, Rutgers, Sarah Lawrence, and the University of Pennsylvania collectively published an editorial calling for an immediate nationwide student strike, and an end to “business-as-usual” until the complete withdrawal of all American troops from Southeast Asia. By noon, UCLA, Stanford, Colgate, Berkeley, and Purdue joined in solidarity. And by 1 PM, Kent State University students Sandra Lee Scheuer, William Knox Schroeder, Allison B. Krause, and Jeffrey Glenn Miller were dead, shot and killed by National Guardsmen who responded with lethal force to a peaceful protest on their college campus in Kent, Ohio, about 40 miles south of Cleveland, 400 miles west of Pratt Institute, and 8,700 miles from Cambodia. “Who would’ve thought on a college campus that the National Guard would use bullets, real bullets,” says Michela Griffo, MFA ’70. “It was unheard of—like, whoa, this is war. This is really war.” Griffo is now sitting at the kitchen table in her fourth-floor loft-studio on East 20th Street and Broadway. She’s an artist—a painter—and a lifelong social justice activist. (Griffo’s art was recently included in the Art After Stonewall, 1969–1989 exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Museum, focused on the LGBTQ civil rights movement.) She currently volunteers as a social worker with Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps, which brings free dental and vision care to some of the poorest areas of the US—she has a master’s in social work from NYU and studied pre-med at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before moving to Brooklyn to earn her MFA at Pratt. Griffo grew up in Rochester, New York, and had been to the city many times over the years with her mother to attend cultural events. The summer she was 16, she accompanied a friend to Harlem so her friend could terminate a pregnancy, which


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Opening page: A peace march across the Brooklyn Bridge during the October 15, 1969, Moratorium for Peace day of demonstrations; published in The Prattler, October 21, 1969. Photo by James P. Stasiak This spread: Headline from the May 5, 1970, edition of The Prattler, which had gone to press before the events at Kent State unfolded (top). Student protests in New York City; published in the consortium paper put out by five Brooklyn college newspapers, including The Prattler, May 7, 1970.

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WELL WE ALL SHINE ON PRATTFOLIO ASKED PRATT’S CLASS OF 1970, MANY OF WHOSE STUDENT EXPERIENCES WERE SHAPED BY ACTIVISM, WHAT ADVICE THEY HAD FOR STUDENTS LOOKING TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE TODAY. HERE ARE JUST SOME OF THE THOUGHTS THEY SHARED. My painting teacher George McNeil marched in protest of the Vietnam War down Fifth Avenue. The next day in class, he had a big bruise on his head where a construction worker had thrown a brick at him. He smiled at us and implied that this was part of being an artist. He changed my life when he said to me, “Do you want to be an artist or a decorator?” —Ruddy Havill, MFA ’70 My advice to students now is to get involved! Work to get folks to vote. Use your art to influence people! Use your art to make climate change issues a priority! We need it more now than ever. —Melanie Roher, BFA Fine Arts ’70 In 1969–1970, those of us in college knew we were in a dangerous time. Now, it may appear more subtle but is no less recognizable. . . . We must be ever alert. We must speak loud and clear when the future is at risk. —Robert Barker, BFA Advertising Design ’70


dents picketed in front of Pratt’s president’s office to protest a laundry list of transgressions. President James B. Donovan called the demonstration “a touch of spring,” belittling the student activists and unknowingly igniting a passionate resistance across campus. “That was so galvanizing,” says Elliott Newcomb, BFA Interior Design ’70. “It just escalated and escalated.” Soon students were wearing pins that read “TOUCH OF SPRING.” They were also organizing, along with the faculty. “We quickly formed all these committees,” David says. “More than you’d want, but still it was better to have committees and talk . . . Ideally you should not have to go on strike to effect change. Articulate the problems clearly, not ambiguously, and you put them up there, and


call Dial-a-Demonstration to hear a recording of who was protesting what in and around town that day. Griffo, who is also one of the founding members of the Gay Liberation Front, the group that organized the first Gay Pride March in New York City, recalls the night of the Stonewall rebellion, June 28, 1969. “All we heard was, ‘Oh, the gays are rioting.’ But everybody was rioting! The Black Panthers, the anti-war movement, the women’s house of detention because Angela Davis was in there . . . And the teachers were just as radical as the students.”

1969, “it was buttoned-down shirts and short hair. But then not so long after, ’69 and ’70 came, and it was totally different. I was raised in one world, a buttoned down, clean-cut kid, thrust into another world.” After graduating from Pratt, David was drafted into the army, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and served two years before then earning his master of architecture degree from Yale University and beginning, in 1969, his teaching career at Pratt. In just seven years, he had come full circle—Pratt architecture student to professor—and was not much older than the students in his classes. He was also “When I was a student at Pratt,” says a newlywed and working for a firm in Theoharis David, BArch ’61, Pratt profes- Manhattan. In March of 1969, David’s sor of undergraduate architecture since first year of teaching, nearly 100 stu-

generate a dynamic alternative. Then you muster everybody in an equitable way— students, faculty, administrators, outsiders, whomever—to dynamically get yourself to be heard and convince certain people that can effect changes.” Professor David also chose service as activism, and involved his students. He describes how, after developing a relationship with the Freedom Quilting Bee cooperative of rural Wilcox County, Alabama, he and his Cypriot wife drove two station wagons of Pratt architecture students to design housing for the community. “That was my way of dealing with the moment,” David says.

dent body’s collective action to initiate structural change, from curriculum overhauls to building the school’s relationship with the surrounding community. “Of prime importance has been the unity of the student body,” The Prattler reported at the time. “All across the board, architects, engineers, designers, painters— all the schools, all the academic years, whether black or white—the political persuasion from right to left, from the SDS to the Young Americans for Freedom, from the pacifist groups to ROTC, have given their support to the ideas behind this movement.” In 1970, that same declaration— STRIKE—was repeated, on the cover of And yet, the April 8, 1969, edition of The the May 5 issue of the newspaper, a spePrattler printed a cover that read STRIKE cial edition published collectively by the in large bold letters, proclaiming the stu- editors of five student papers in Brooklyn,

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This page: Headline from the May 5, 1970, consortium paper published by five Brooklyn college newspapers, including The Prattler. Opposite: Reporting on the October 15, 1969, Moratorium for Peace, The Prattler, October 21, 1969.

was illegal at the time. The procedure nearly took her friend’s life. “That began my interest in things like these early feminist groups,” she says. “And when I moved to New York, I became a Redstocking,” a member of the women’s liberation organization founded in early 1969. “We were the women who stood on the corner of Sheridan Square handing out leaflets, asking that the laws of New York State be changed with regard to abortion,” she says. “And we’re one of the groups that eventually got safe, legal abortions in New York State.” During that time, New York City bars were filled with activists, revolutionaries stood preaching in nearly every park, and the streets were clogged with uprisings and insurgency. Activists in the city could

Looking at US history. . . demonstrates that change doesn’t happen unless the people demand it. And change is more necessary now than ever before . . . not only for the people, but for the environment and the economy. And it’s not going to happen unless a lot of people make a noise. —Dale Kappy, BFA Illustration ’70 Take all your energy and send it where it is going to make a difference. Take it and put it where it is going to do some good for all. Our underpinning mantra, from JFK in January 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” —Gary Belford, BFA Book Arts ’70 Being draft-eligible after school and objecting to the war, I had to be part of protests to get out of Vietnam. . . . I knew that participating was the only way to make your group’s message known. While we didn’t change the world. . . we participated and talked about what could be better or different. I’d tell students today, participate, listen, be involved. —Jeff Hoyt, BID ’70 Go for realistic change. There are great opportunities for Pratt students to work with people in the neighborhood to make things better and be active politically, which is critical given the times we live in. Design can also be a strong catalyst for change. —Don Lasker, BArch ’70

with The Prattler leading the masthead. Students were once again uniting, and this time it extended beyond the Brooklyn campus gates. The daily “confederation” newspaper, which grew to a collaboration among 10 student papers in the city as the national strike gained momentum, was as essential to informing and mobilizing a community as news alerts and social media posts are today—full of recaps of actions at city campuses, rally schedules, and updates on students going to Washington to protest and appeal to Congress. Meanwhile Pratt’s ham radio station, W2NOD, joined a 24-hour college network, a complement to Pratt radio station WPIR’s round-the-clock schedule to deliver the latest news bulletins. Pratt students themselves voted on an all-Institute strike on May 5. Voting

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was almost unanimous. This time the strike was in support of the anti-war movement; freedom for political prisoners, including the Panther 21—members of the Black Panther Party who were accused of planning a series of bombings in New York City—and draft resisters; and “an end to all US university compliance with the government for defense purposes” (i.e., the removal of the ROTC program from campuses, including Pratt’s). The next day, the Pratt Faculty Council voted to support the students’ objectives, and to suspend all remaining classes and discontinue “business-as-usual”—including formal Commencement exercises—for the remainder of the semester. A passing grade of “P” would be given to all students for the semester. On the afternoon of the student vote,

At Pratt, I became a peace marcher (told my friends I majored in graphic design and peace marches!). Advice to students—follow your conscience, but try to attend class at the same time. —Susan Meshberg, BFA Graphic Design ’70 Today’s students can effect positive change if they stay focused, united, and informed. . . The internet makes organizing considerably easier than back in the 1970s Stone Age! But the internet is also rife with misinformation and disinformation. . . . Students today must look at the big picture, look forward, educate themselves, and coordinate for the future. To enable change, students must make sure to VOTE! —James F. Rohrer, BID ’70


Even some students for whom activism was background noise were moved to participate. “The protest was constant,” says Elliott Newcomb of his last years at the Institute. From his Washington Avenue apartment, Newcomb could hear the demonstrations and speeches on campus during his time as a student. But with his family’s financial needs taking precedence, he always remained focused

on his studies and took every opportunity to work, to support himself and his wife and child. Given the responsibilities he carried as an individual, he didn’t consider himself, in his words, “a joiner,” but nevertheless was proud of the ethos that supported student action at Pratt. “I think you’ve probably seen the yearbook with the cannon painted paisley,” says Newcomb, referring to Prattonia 1967. “Well, that was that era, and that was a real trademark to the attitude when you came in . . . I just thought it was one of the coolest things on the planet. Proud of it, proud that I was in a place with people who thought like that and did that”—made a sculpture out of an object of war. When it came to student strikes, Newcomb, who went on to practice interior design, working for two firms for 26 years before running his own business for 20, remembers using the time to work more. “I didn’t hang around and talk to people about why we’re on strike, how we’re going to end this, what are we going to do. The only major event that I joined was blocking that bridge.” He’s talking about a student demonstration on May 7, 1970, the day of Kent State student Jeffrey Miller’s funeral.

I am happy to see that the younger generation today is getting more involved in national and international affairs. They are leading the fight against climate change and for gun regulations, among other things. They should hold on to their ideals and continue to be involved in activities that will produce change for the good. I support their involvement and activism. My final word of advice to students today to bring about change is to vote on election day. Not just the major elections. Every election. —Michael Wallach, BFA Art and Design Education ’70 My advice to students wishing to bring about change is to persevere and accept the fact that significant change is ongoing and collaborative. Think locally. Working within your community will inspire and motivate you as you meet people from different walks of life who share your ideals and vision. Together your commitment and passion will effect change that inspires others to do the same. Activism is action. —Roger Dowd, BFA Graphic Design ’70 Special thanks to all of the Pratt class of 1970 alumni who generously shared their vivid recollections, considered perspectives, and words of wisdom for this story.


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This page: Map of New York City bridges and tunnels to be shut down by city college students on May, 7, 1970, retraced by Elliott Newcomb, BFA Interior Design ’70, from his mimeographed copy; courtesy of Elliott Newcomb. Opposite: Reporting on May 5, 1970, Pratt student actions, The Prattler, May 12, 1970.

about 300 students and faculty left the Pratt campus heading down DeKalb Avenue toward Long Island University, stopping traffic. Along the way, the crowd doubled and picked up a police escort to cross the Manhattan Bridge, marching up the automobile ramp. At Wall Street, they joined a rally of 5,000, according to The Prattler’s report, and moved uptown to a final destination of the United Nations. It was now clear that American students were adamant: ending the war was more important than simply going to class. That week The New Yorker published an article that read: “More than four hundred colleges and universities across the country were closed by student strikes or by faculty decision.”

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it. I don’t know what he said. But that was a major shift in the pressure on that bridge.” The march continued, now with a police escort, heading toward Jeffrey Miller’s funeral at Riverside Chapel on West 76th Street, making its way north on 6th Avenue, picking up groups of demonstrators from other schools along the way, growing to some 4,000 by The Prattler’s report. “There we were in the 20s,” Newcomb says. “And I see flowers. I didn’t know that it was the Flower District and they

sold wholesale. I just went into a store, thinking, you know, let me buy flowers to take to the funeral. And they didn’t sell them, but they handed me some flowers. I came out, and people saw what was going on. More people went in, and the whole Flower District just handed over flowers to the herd . . . Every time I go into the Flower District, I remember that. It’s a great feeling.” Not all the student actions, however, were met with such generous spirit. The next day, in downtown Manhattan, about 1,000 anti-war protestors—most-

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ly college and high school students— held a memorial for the students killed at Kent State. The morning was overcast and gray, but by noon the clouds parted and the sun came out, briefly brightening the somber mood at Broad Street and Wall Street. But the vibe quickly turned as the roar of an approaching mob could be heard. Suddenly, more than 200 union construction workers descended upon the intersection. The thin line of police could not keep the construction workers at bay, and they quickly broke through, rampaging violently into the crowd. Some 70 people were reported injured, including four policemen, and six people were arrested during the event now referred to as the Hard Hat Riot. In the days that followed, construction workers would hold a series of parades through the Manhattan streets in support of Nixon and in protest of Mayor John Lindsay, who had shown support for anti-war sentiments. “Things couldn’t have been more polarized,” says Stephen Mack, BFA Humanities ’70, reflecting on the divisions of the time, which were not only political but generational. “When [Vietnam veterans] came back, they were spit at. The people who really talked them down was their parents’ generation who said, ‘We won our war.’ ” Mack’s brother was drafted, and went to Vietnam, in 1968. He had just been married. “He was 24,” Mack says. “So he was one of the older guys.” The average age of American troops in Vietnam was 19 years old. (The voting age in the US, however, was still 21.) “He was a skinny little guy and he volunteered to be the machine gunner,” Mack says of his brother. “He earned two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars with Valor for his efforts over there. He saw an awful lot,” from hand-to-hand combat to holding a buddy who had been maimed as he passed away. When Mack’s brother returned from Vietnam in December of 1968, Mack had


This page: Cover of the October 21, 1969, issue of The Prattler, which featured coverage of the Moratorium for Peace actions the previous week. Opposite: Hopes for the future from the summer 1970 issue of The Prattler.

The mimeographed map of that event is one of Newcomb’s most treasured possessions. It was to be a day of collective action, coordinated also among students at Pratt Institute, Long Island University, Manhattan Community College, Cooper Union, Hunter College, Columbia University, City College of New York, New York University, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Pace University. Each school had been assigned a city bridge or tunnel to take over and shut down with the goal of completely locking down the island of Manhattan: no traffic in or out. “It was time to get involved, certainly for that event,” Newcomb says. “I didn’t know the whole scheme of things, all I knew was, somebody’s got to make sure Pratt succeeds. And I was very concerned that we would fail. I was concerned that other schools would succeed and this little arts school wouldn’t block the bridge.” He was among the 700 Pratt students who gathered before rush hour that Thursday morning in Memorial Hall, only to learn that the mass action was postponed as rumors had spread that Governor Nelson Rockefeller was to call in federal troops. But Pratt students rallied and decided they would march across the Manhattan Bridge and uptown to Miller’s funeral. Reflecting on the day, Newcomb remembers feeling pride and anxiety. The students had organized to the degree where they could stop traffic, but what would the consequences be? “You had police screaming at you at both ends of that bridge,” he says. “You had commuters getting out of their cars. We were all just long-haired, dirty hippies to the masses. They just saw us as a bunch of rabid liberals. ‘Throw ’em off the bridge!’ ” As tensions rose and the situation escalated on the bridge, Newcomb noticed a tall man among the chaos. “He was connected to the church—Episcopal, Presbyterian . . . I never knew—and somehow he got involved to calm these police down. I don’t know how he did

already decided he would not go to war and was researching options to oppose the draft as a conscientious objector. He’d moved into the vacated apartment of a fellow Pratt student, whose husband had been drafted, prompting the couple to flee to Canada. “It was always like somebody in your midst was doing something more radical than what you were,” he says. “You were trying to feed off of it and decide how you would fit in and what you would do.” Mack was living in that apartment, steps from the Brooklyn campus, on Washington Avenue between Lafayette and DeKalb, when Pratt canceled classes in 1970, and he, like other students, used his home as a gathering place. “Some of us had classes in our apartments, just to keep up with things,” he says. “We continued to meet there,” along with professors. (Mack was no stranger to initiating action through education. As a Pratt student, he was a tutor for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth in Action organization, and he might have been a teacher had he not somewhat stumbled upon a film-editing apprenticeship working on commercials and documentaries, going on to a lifetime career in the field.) As with the strike of 1969, students were mobilized into action in ways that focused the conversation—from forming committees like those Theo David mentioned, to hosting speakers, to holding teach-ins and community meetings. The Prattler reported that a Pratt Educational Center for Peace was organized to study communication between students and alumni and the community. Organizing, dialogue, and community building had

Turn, Turn, Turn

their place along with protest in one of the most turbulent months of a volatile era: In 1968, the world saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. In 1969, law enforcement shot and killed Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton in his home in Chicago. Five months later, the National Guard shot and killed the four students at Kent State. And 11 days after that, city police and state patrolmen in Jackson, Mississippi, shot and killed two students at Jackson State University. When it came to closing out their time at Pratt, members of the senior class organized a teach-in to accompany the modest gatherings that were to replace the canceled full-scale Commencement ceremony, deciding that any graduation proceedings “must be made more relevant.” “This teach-in offers us a unique opportunity to reach a group which most students have been unable to reach—our own parents,” the students wrote in a memo to faculty, who were invited to participate. On June 5, eight faculty members spoke to students’ families on topics from “Morality of Industry” to “Solving the Problems of War Poverty,” and two presented on “The Generation Gap.” Meanwhile, the Institute hosted a small assembly where lawyer and civil rights activist William Kunstler spoke.

over and over again ‘peace,’ even in unpeaceful times. No more dead. And never again war!” Indeed, as students had urged during the strike that May, the ROTC program at Pratt would end the following year, soon after the Panther 21 were acquitted. Though it would take two and a half more years for the US to leave Vietnam, Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords and the draft program ceased, in January 1973. But the work would continue. Even on the one-year anniversary of the events of May 1970, The Prattler warned of the onset of “apathy,” compelling students on the eve of another moratorium, “If you care about stopping the war, about ending the killings, about ending racism and oppression, observe it.” And as recent years have painfully illuminated, injustices and conflict endure, with critique of the institutions and systems that abide these ills remaining important as ever, and students—particularly students of creative and critical practices, students at Pratt, with its history of civic engagement—are uniquely poised to activate these conversations. “We’re having all kinds of discussions now here at Pratt, which is healthy,” says Professor Theo David. “I say, this reminds me of the kinds of discussions we were having back in 1969, ’70 . . . they were just framed in a different way. We didn’t resolve everything . . . I’m glad all What came next, however, was more of this is being revisited. I’m hoping, beuncertain. The summer 1970 issue of cause we’re having similar discussions The Prattler solemnly expressed, “We’re today, that we will evolve into an even finally on our own. . . . Our hope for better place—through not so much revothis coming year will be if the life-ori- lution, but evolution—where the realizaented culture will, somehow, discover tion of very basic rights for all brings us within itself the strength to declare, into a more promising future.”


Pratt Fine Arts Fosters Open Exchange with Communities on Campus and Beyond By Diana McClure

In a one-room art studio, young men gather around a table to make stone carvings—representations of “defense objects” used for physical, emotional, or psychological protection. Across the room, fellow creators record video portraits in front of a backdrop, their movements personifying the chiseled sculptures. The young artists are attendees of an arts workshop of Assembly, a program hosted by the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Recess that brings court-involved youth together to workshop each other’s stories, deconstructing false narratives about themselves and others and discovering pathways to new ones.

The workshop, co-facilitated by Pratt Fine Arts MFA candidate Hannah Celli and the program’s founder, artist Shaun Leonardo, is an outgrowth of Leonardo’s tenure as a Fine Arts Visiting Fellow at Pratt Institute, where he met Celli in the Social Practice course he teaches. The workshop they cocreated—now supported by the Pratt Center’s Taconic Fellowship for community development projects—is an example of how artists can apply their practice to further conversations that transform communities and culture and, with their collaboration’s origins at Pratt, how an institution can create opportunities for those dialogues as well.

Participants take part in Shaun Leonardo’s Assembly Program workshop and performance at the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) in Portland, Maine, 2018. Photo courtesy of PMA.

In the current zeitgeist, businesses, government, and educational organizations must confront the question of what it means to be an ethical, democratic institution. Pratt’s Fine Arts Department is innovating in this area as it supports faculty and student explorations in what is often termed social practice, an art form that prioritizes human interaction and social discourse. Works created

Assembly Program workshop and performance at Recess in Brooklyn, 2017. Photo by Kaz Sakuma. Courtesy of Alloy.

in this mode take shape through collaboration or participation by people, who act as the authors of the work, if not its very medium. Fine Arts Chair Jane South and Leonardo have worked together over the last two years on a vision of social practice at Pratt that intersects with one of the pillars of the Institute’s strategic plan, civic engagement, and reflects a larger movement in the art world and in academia— one of increasing urgency today but with decades of precedent.

Careful to note the nuanced fluidity of the term social practice, Leonardo is mindful of the numerous versions that have preceded it—social sculpture or cooperative art, for example—and a current parallel term, socially engaged art, his preference. “Social practice can involve anything from mural making to design, architecture, or collaborative practices,” he says. “But when you start to really think about and define socially engaged work, it calls up the ways in which a reciprocal exchange is necessary. By placing ‘engagement’ in the framework, it calls into question [an artist’s] responsibility and accountability to a community.” This could mean facilitating dialogue around issues affecting a community, or organizing community members toward a goal that would improve their experience. During his first semester at Pratt, Leonardo produced Long Table, which generated a diverse dialogue around the prompt “safety,” with participants from across the Institute—Pratt students, faculty, staff, and President Frances Bronet. It used a durational performance format developed by artist Lois Weaver, a “dinner party” structure to foster inclusive, non-hierarchical Prattfolio

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conversation. Organized around a central table with a tablecloth for note taking, anyone standing could tap a seated participant and ask to take their place at the table. Participants reflected on the question “what do we mean when we talk about safety?”—bodily, public, legal—revealing complex points of connection among different community members.

Pratt community members have an open dialogue on safety during Shaun Leonardo’s Long Table.

In South’s intimation, the work addressed broader questions of relevance to both society at large and members of the academic community, namely how to nurture students’ skills in communication. “Where is it that we are creating the conditions to have in-depth, nuanced conversations—proposing a model to our students to take into the classroom when things get tense? Because what we see out there [in society] now is a lack of in-depth, nuanced conversation,” she says.

For Long Table, Leonardo prepared by getting to know the community members he hoped to bring together—as he has done with his performances at the New Museum and Guggenheim that explore issues of masculinity, race, and violence through nonverbal, bodybased communication. This practice of relationship building inspired South’s thinking about the importance of bringing practitioner-teachers with a similar skill set into the Pratt Fine Arts fold, which led to the new Fellowship for Civic Engagement, launching in fall 2020. “We need this individual who can surf all of these different strata and who can do it with eyes and ears open, almost as a magnet, as a catalyst, as a facilitator,” she says. Leonardo’s work has led to not only a collaboration with a student, Celli, but also to Art Activated


the facilitation of work between Pratt’s Creative Arts Therapy Department and Recess, Leonardo and Celli’s partner organization.

A participant in Fear as Fuel at Recess holds a “defense object” created as a part of the workshop, co-facilitated by Hannah Celli and Shaun Leonardo.

The workshop Leonardo and Celli conceived for the young men at Recess, titled Fear as Fuel, explores the theme of fear through sculpture and performance in a way that itself has therapeutic purpose. It explores somatics—a field within therapeutic bodywork and movement studies that emphasizes internal physical perception and experience—with young people disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system. For the sculpture component of the workshop, initially the student-participants worked with clay, but moved on to sculpting with stone, a more focused and deliberate process that mirrors the nonlinear quality of self-inquiry. “Stone carving is such a slow process, symbolically chipping away at something,” Celli says. “The reductive process of it is very much a way of accessing more deep-seated memories or emotions, and it takes more time.” Leonardo’s performative exercises with the participants act in a similar fashion, as they recall their stories and reduce them to nonverbal, bodybased narratives. “The conversation we’re often having is, is anger, is violence, a disguise for fear? Or is it an attempt to replace it?” Leonardo says. “And my argument is that the fear never leaves, so by becoming more aware of the sensation of it, how it looks and acts, how can we then take that awareness and then potentially use it toward something else.”

At Pratt, the Fine Arts Department is moving to expand partnerships with other community-based initiatives to facilitate similar conversations. The new Fellowship for Civic Engagement will support the appointed artist in developing Institute-wide and external collaborations Prattfolio

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that address social issues, and the fellow will be working within a vital community of socially engaged practitioners at Pratt. Among them are new faculty member Carlos Motta, whose film, sculpture, print, and photography works create counternarratives that broaden the historical record by highlighting voices that have been deliberately overlooked; Professor Ann Messner, BFA ’74, who leads the Integrated Practices concentration of the MFA program, and whose artistic work engages the inextricable intersection of private life and social experience; and students like Maria Elizabeth Janasz, MFA ’19, whose thesis involved a community discourse on mental health.

Shaun Leonardo’s Testimony #2: Experiences of Stereotyping/Silencing, a workshop and performance at the Whitney Museum, for Whitney Teens: Youth Summit, 2018. Photo by Filip Wolak.

“I see so many more people coming into art school who, when you ask them what they want with their engagement with creativity, they say they want to make change,” says South. One way Pratt Fine Arts is addressing this desire is by emphasizing civic engagement through a network of socially engaged practitioners, artists who have the flexibility to navigate ambiguous spaces and reimagine the structures we live in. “The other fundamental reason to have this kind of practice and this kind of practitioner come into an academic setting is to get something in motion but then to follow wherever that motion leads,” South says, emboldening artists to alchemize the strengths of the institution in support of the broader community while simultaneously modeling an inspirational way forward for the community at Pratt.

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Voices Generation: of a

Pratt Students

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For civically engaged students today, the years surrounding their college careers have held their share of challenges. As they began to chart the course of their lives—as high schoolers, undergraduates, and young professionals preparing to return to school as graduate students—the social and cultural conversation took a turn globally, casting a shadow on the expansiveness, creative progress, and nuanced, inclusive worldview that resonates with art, design, and innovative practice. At the same time, this shift also centered issues that had long been consigned to the margins. This winter, before yet another momentous global phenomenon altered life as they— and we all—know it, Prattfolio spoke with Pratt student leaders, thinkers, artists, and organizers about their participation in these dialogues of change. They spoke about their visions, their worries, their hopes, and how their fellow students can get activated. As they look to the future, though it remains uncertain as ever, the path they see is a shared one, with creativity and critical inquiry acting as forces of understanding, unity, and forward motion. Photographed by Yael Malka, BFA Photography ’12, in the Pratt Student Union and the Center for Equity and Inclusion


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Sarah Kanu and Deanna L. Cepeda reinvigorated the Black Student Union, with a spirit of presence and visibility. “In the past, it was challenging to assemble students together,” says Deanna L. Cepeda, BFA Communications Design ’21, copresident of the Black Student Union (BSU) at Pratt. Fellow copresident Sarah Kanu, BFA Communications Design ’21, adds, “It was disheartening because there seemed to be a desire and need for Black and Brown students to gather on this campus.” But this year, that need has found its champions. “It is genuinely starting to feel like a committed community is forming,” says Sarah. That shift is the result of the two leaders’ efforts—with, as they note, the partnership of Pratt’s Center for Equity and Inclusion and Higher Education Opportunities Program (HEOP) as well as Traci Abbott, BFA Writing ’20, former president of Black Lives Matter Pratt, and Santi Butler, BFA Printmaking ’22, former treasurer of BSU—to establish consistent space and time for Black students to, as Deanna puts it, “bring unification and value to our voice, our presence.”

When did you first feel like a part of a community of action? DC: For me, a community is individuals that are vulnerable to one another. They support and build each other through a shared common experience, for one cause. The first time I felt a part of a community was during my sophomore year at Pratt Institute. The friendships and development made within the HEOP, BSU, and the Latinx Student Alliance brought a sense of engagement. What’s a challenge you see you and your peers facing that you’re addressing with BSU? SK: Representation, presence, and ensuring we utilize our voice to provide Black and Brown students with the best Institute experience as possible.

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What gives you hope and makes you feel like “yes, we can”? SK: People. Presence. Power. When people show up, converse, and support one another. Just having individuals in the room, whether they speak or not, is the most exciting and refreshing part of being a student leader and running a club on campus. DC: People taking action toward a better prospect should be motivation, not hope, to shift a situation. It is exciting to see a burning devotion that ties everyone together. Yet we should not let hope be the end-all to advancement in communities. Planning, engagement, reaction, and response are what really makes us say “yes, we can.” When it comes to imagining and acting toward change, what is the biggest gift you see in your peers? SK: In my peers, I see and honor their insight, awareness of history, and understanding of the intersectional ways in which systems influence our everyday lives, as well as their ability to engage in challenged but respectful discourse. I am frequently humbled and ignited by my peers’ knowledge and drive. DC: That they are eager to help, provide ideas, take action, and stand for one another is what I am blessed to see in them each day. Where to find the Black Student Union: @bsupratt


A viral video activated Maribel Marmolejo to protest unjust policing, and then she picked up her camera. It wasn’t the first time. Since high school, Maribel Marmolejo, BFA Film ’22, has been making films on social issues—before Pratt, she was part of Downtown Community Television Center’s youth filmmaking program in Manhattan, which got her into making documentaries. One of the early pieces she worked on was about March for Our Lives, the 2018 rally for gun reform, which took her to Washington, DC, to film and to lobby. Along with fiction and nonfiction films on themes such as consent and the representation of Latinx communities, her latest project at Pratt observes the recent protests around law enforcement within the MTA system. She became aware of the actions after seeing a video of a subway passenger’s arrest that circulated on social media last fall. “I just fell in love with the unified community that was there,” she says of the demonstrations she has attended and began to document, almost as a reflex. “This was the first time in my life I have seen my people use their power, and it was the first time I was able to have a camera to capture it all.”

What compelled you to join others working toward a cause or mission? What has compelled me is the effect criminalization has on those with many disadvantages and how these problems repeatedly get brushed over. I realized in all of my art, staying away from social or political issues is almost impossible. I have to acknowledge the privilege that comes with speaking up, and I have to use it for those who are silenced with no outlet for them. I have to use it wisely. I just need to use it because I can, even if it gets stepped over. What’s a big challenge you see yourself and those around you facing? It is often hard to get your input heard on such topics, or even acknowledged.


For people like me, that’s the usual challenge we face. We don’t get taken seriously most of the time. How has your art allowed you to express your voice? There are some things I can’t verbally say, so I use the camera to say them. Film is an art form that allows groups of people to understand each other regardless of the language. I think that’s why I grew up liking film—it brings people together. Here at Pratt, the film community is so accepting on almost every single project. They’ve helped me find ways to get my ideas out there, and not be scared. When it comes to imagining and acting toward change, what is the biggest gift you see in your peers? The biggest gift I see in my peers who I am working with is the unquestionable loyalty in helping me achieve my vision. We have similar views on what we want to see on big screens, and therefore, it is just an automatic connection I wouldn’t replace. How does what you’re studying at Pratt relate to the change you want to see? I think films have a large impact on a person and one single film can change a person’s life. Films about real problems finally getting some acknowledgment from larger audiences is the change I want to see.

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Luc Micera hoped he was wrong about feeling a lack of community. His research showed he wasn’t alone. A graduating senior in Communications Design, Luc Micera thinks a lot about hierarchies, formats, and the ways visual design mediates messaging—particularly in a world filled with digital noise, and through the lens of a busy student. How do we know what’s important? How do we all get on the same page? He also thinks a lot about community, what it means to come together and debate, form coalitions, and make change. Among his classmates, he saw critique happening all the time—institutional, social—but didn’t see it plugged in in ways that were organized and visible. A project in his Methods of Cultural Analysis course with Nurhaizatul Jamil, assistant professor of social science and cultural studies, led Luc and a group of his classmates to survey fellow students on student culture, representation, and activism. The results revealed that students were passionate but didn’t feel activated as a collective. Motivated by these findings, Luc made plans to bring the research results and recommendations to the Student Government. Considering his classmates, Luc says, “We have all the tools to make the changes to the world that we want to make, because we’re cultural creators.” It’s now a matter of taking action together.

What’s a big challenge you see your peers facing that you were addressing with your project? The absence of community. Our project initially aimed to better inform students and to strengthen Pratt’s community, but through our research we came to find that there really is no centralized community at Pratt at all, and we think that this is causing or at least aiding a lot of the anxieties and issues felt in the student body. When it comes to imagining and acting toward change, what is the biggest gift you see in your peers?

What worries you about the future? I worry that we’ve wandered too far to change course in time to avoid the next chain of crises. What gives you hope and makes you feel like “yes, we can”? I am constantly comforted by the notion that things have to get worse before they can get better. With our government as an example, every crisis or act is just another way of revealing where the problems lie and motivating all the right people to fix them. How does what you’re studying at Pratt (communications design) relate to the change you want to see? Putting my voice out into the world through my work, and curating it to be one of the many that work toward our better future, our stronger community, and our acceptance of those different from us, by normalizing and supporting the ideals and views that will move us in the right direction—that will help effect the change I would like to see. That means, right now, I’m learning the power of said voice, how to most effectively use it, and the politics behind modes of communication and control of information.

The difference between right and wrong matters to them. If that stays true, I think everything else will follow.

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Ben Matusow, Haley Balcanoff, Sneha Mokha, and Pankti Mehta say there is no time to waste. As members of LEAP, or Leaders of Environmental Advocacy at Pratt, Ben Matusow, Haley Balcanoff, Pankti Mehta, and Sneha Mokha—all MS Sustainable Environmental Systems candidates—work alongside like-minded organizations on campus to push the conversation toward sustainability, compelled by “the urgency of changing our actions to be more consistent with the needs of earth’s ecosystems.” They can be found at Pratt’s Blue Week in the fall and Green Week in the spring, the annual awareness-building event series that focus on education and actions around water and general ecological topics, as well as participating in actions in the larger community such as the Climate March last fall. (They coauthored their responses to this interview.)

When did you first feel like a part of a community of action? As soon as we started classes at Pratt. Everyone in the Sustainable Environmental Systems program brings a passion for action. Whether it’s through our practically applied courses or through LEAP, we’re all attempting to move the world in a more sustainable direction in one way or another. What’s a big challenge you see you and your peers facing that you’re addressing with LEAP? A big challenge we’ve tried to address has been to inspire institutional initiatives and policies that align with what we are studying. Learning about the harmful environmental impacts of plastic manufacturing, for instance, and then observing that plastic use is encouraged in many spots around campus, has created an obvious opportunity for action.


When you imagine the world changing for the better, what does that look like? It looks like more intention and awareness of how our actions impact the earth’s systems. It looks like the general population having basic needs covered so that we can all gradually focus on acting with more intention and awareness. For instance, even if we don’t all immediately stop using internal combustion engines to get around or burning natural gas for electricity, a step in the right direction would be a widespread deep understanding of how burning these fuels affects temperature

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and carbon dioxide and the long-term ability of ecosystems to thrive. What worries you about the future? Too little, too late. In terms of climate change, income inequality, gender inequality—all of it. While we have been moving in the right direction in many ways, it never feels fast enough. How does what you’re studying at Pratt relate to the change you want to see? The Sustainable Environmental Systems program has opened our eyes

Voices of a Generation

to all kinds of ways to make the world a better place, in fields ranging from energy to ecosystems to land ownership, and countless others. A beautiful thing about this program is that it is incredibly well-connected to professionals who are working on these issues in their careers. Access to so many talented and prolific individuals helps us take the first steps, as students and professionals, toward finding solutions to the issues that would otherwise seem very daunting.

Where to find LEAP: @leap.prattinstitute;



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Aliza Pelto and Lexi Anderson give ink to the conversation around campus. The motto of The Prattler, Aliza Pelto, BFA Writing ’21, points out, is “student read and led.” While the voices and formats have changed over the newspaper’s 80 years, its editors’ dedication to amplifying the Pratt student voice remains. Aliza, who has served as editor in chief of The Prattler this year, and managing editor Lexi Anderson, BFA Writing ’21, along with their fellow Prattler staffers, are committed to continuing that tradition. “People love and care about so many things but often, young people especially, don’t have the space to talk about the things they love as in depth as they would like,” says Lexi. “At The Prattler, we try to create a space where students can write freely and without fear, addressing all the different problems and passions they may have.”

What’s a challenge you see your peers and communities around you facing that you’re addressing with your work on The Prattler? LA: Accessibility, representation, climate activism . . . the list goes on. At The Prattler, we have themed issues, so different themes bring out different conversations. Our first issue of the school year was “The Forecast Issue,” so we pushed for things related not only to the future, but to the environment specifically. The next issue was “The Forgotten Issue,” so we were focused on pieces that gave a voice to overlooked/forgotten members and groups in society. For that, we had an article about Weeksville [the historic pre–Civil War Brooklyn neighborhood founded by free African Americans], which was super interesting.

hoping student writers will reflect on this trying year and come up with ways to cope and recover, ways people can care for themselves in the world today and as members of this institution. When it comes to imagining and acting toward change, what is the biggest gift you see in your peers? AP: I think as artists, we have a unique connection to wanting to change the future. While we may not be the people in office who have the power to change things, we have the power to make art about [the issues we care about]. To spread the word. To write, take photographs, and so on. LA: We care so much. The passion I see in everyone around me is incredible. When we see problems, we say something. We’re not afraid to speak up. We’re not afraid to express our opinions. I think a lot of it has to do with us being fed up, which could be seen negatively—but if anything, I think it’s simply a catalyst for change to be done. Essentially, I feel like my peers are not complacent or ignorant. We are a very politically charged, knowledge-seeking group, and I think that is so important considering the time period that we’re in. Where to find The Prattler: @prattler;

AP: Right now, I’m thinking a lot about our fourth and final issue of the year, which is “The Recovery Issue.” We’re

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Jaylen Strong practices a politics of togetherness.

What gives you hope and makes you feel like “yes, we can”?

From his early years growing up outside of Washington, DC, Jaylen Strong, BFA Writing ’21, learned about the elegant ways communities can galvanize and push back against forces of oppression. He cut his teeth in his high school’s poetry club and at Busboys and Poets, the café and gathering place for artists and activists around the capital. “That’s where I learned all these tactics and tools around poetry, writing, and art and also about being together, being vulnerable,” Jaylen says, “thinking a lot about collective tenderness and how that looks—a politics of joy—and representing ourselves when we don’t have other voices to speak for us, especially being youth.” During his time at Pratt, Jaylen drew on those experiences to create A Place to Be, a literary workshop and salon series. Every session focuses dialogue around a topic—from liberation and imagination to eros—for anyone looking for a collaborative space to be vocal or just curious, engaging his writing practice along with “the voice of the people, my community.”

I don’t have hope. I think hope may be useless. Instead, I have courage in the place of hope. I am most courageous when I sit and plan with other people. I work for Playground Coffee Shop [in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn] and our small 501(c)3, Playground Youth, that works as a collaborative art and activism space, and when we all bring ideas into full-scale initiatives it brings that true feeling of “yes, we can,” because we have done it, we do it, and we will continue to do it.

What has compelled you to organize with others toward a cause or mission?

When it comes to imagining and acting toward change, what is the biggest gift you see in your peers?

It is a limb of my personality to be inquisitive about what we can do together. When I have all ten toes to the ground doing street work—protesting—and am disrupting the very fabric of what is socially acceptable, there is a militant joy that occurs. Or when I organize in hub-spaces, like A Place to Be, there is a brand of intimacy between myself and my community that fuels a passion and responsibility to continue toward a mission for social change.

Their ability to think the world anew through innovative and prolific lenses. If not already, their imagination as artists will drive and shift the paradigms that we live in. If it were not for the folks around me constantly being committed to imagining new ways of existing together through their practices, where they invest their activist energy, and how they show love, I would not be the person I am.

What worries you about the future? That we will perpetuate our past.


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Voices of a Generation



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Yessenia Sanchez makes space for Pratt Latinx students to commune. Upon arriving at Pratt as a transfer student from California, Yessenia Sanchez, BFA Film ’21, sought out not only artistic community but also a community of peers that shared similar cultures and traditions. Last year, Yessenia joined forces with now-alumna Emma Vitoria, BFA Communications Design ’19, to form a group from the ground up, making the Latinx Student Alliance (LSA) into an official club and solidifying enthusiastic leadership (Deanna L. Cepeda, page 26, is LSA’s vice president, and Yessenia serves as president). Filmmaking experience prepared Yessenia to organize people, plan activities, and promote the club’s presence to help the LSA gain a foothold. Success has come through consistency— meeting at the same time, same place every week—and cooperation. “I collaborated with other clubs on campus so they could reach out to their people, their connections,” says Yessenia. “Collaboration is one of the biggest ways to get people involved.”

What compelled you to organize with your peers? I didn’t see any Latinx organizations at Pratt that were already formed or active and I wanted a place to meet with people that I could connect with and relate to. I helped build LSA for myself and for people who are looking for that same kind of connection. What’s a challenge you see you and your peers facing that you’re addressing with LSA?

What kinds of conversations are coming up when you come together? We want to make sure there’s enough time for our members to talk about anything they want—how their day was, if they’re excited about anything they’re working on, if they found a really great Latinx food spot they want to share with the rest of us, etc. We also want our members to know if they want to talk about any struggles they may be facing, whether that be within a classroom, at home, in public, etc., we’re a safe space for it all and we’re more than happy to be anything they need us to be. When you imagine the world changing for the better, what does that look like? If comfort, respect, and acceptance had a physical form, it would be that. Anywhere you go, you would see those three components all the time. Where to find the Latinx Student Alliance: @prattlatinx

What we’re addressing with LSA is inclusivity and appreciation for our cultures. We are doing our best to organize events that highlight our heritage, our traditions, and how they represent who we are. We’re proud of where we come from, and we want to share it with our communities. But LSA isn’t just about organized events, it’s a place to hang out with people of the same identities. Voices of a Generation


Katixa Espinoza shares the subversive power of cut-paste-copy publishing. “Women and gender nonconforming/nonbinary people of color have been neglected, marginalized, overshadowed, and erased for too long . . . we feel isolated. We no longer want to feel this way.” So begins the manifesto that opens issue one of Survival, a zine project created by Katixa Espinoza, BFA Writing ’20, during her time at Pratt. Katixa had begun developing her zine-making practice in a Pratt humanities course, Writing as Photography, initially seeing it as a DIY way to get her ideas into the world. What had started as a means to find language around trauma and injustice on a personal level expanded to a way to center others’ experiences too. Survival included poems, collage, and illustration that created “a form of community” united in coping and ultimately healing. This project expanded into workshops in political zine making, in collaboration with Sofia Zabala, BFA Communications Design ’19. Alongside her focus on writing, Katixa is a Social Justice/ Social Practice minor, a program for Pratt students across majors that gives them an opportunity to connect their studio practices with critical thought around equity and justice, preparing them to converse with socially engaged perspectives in their work. The local connections she forged as a result of her minor led her to bring zine workshops to young students in Sunset Park and other communities, making space for them to share their cultural experiences and consider the zines as a vehicle for vocalization and visibility.

What compelled you to organize with others in your zine work? I wanted to focus on creating communities, making spaces for discussions about trauma, spaces to talk about what it’s like to be in a Brown or Black body in America, what it’s like to be an immigrant or child of immigrants, and to foster space for art practices to happen. The point of the zine is to create a conversation— when starting these kinds of conversations, it is less emotionally laborious to hand someone a zine, where the art speaks for itself. But talking’s also important.

How do you see this practice affecting the young people you’ve worked with? The main reason I wanted to bring the zine practice to the students I work with, youth of color, was so that they could open up to say: This is where I stand, and I have some words around it now. The next step would be: Now that I have this language, I know there is a way that I can talk about it in an art practice. I can make art that is political. Maybe I can make zines that create community spaces for these conversations. It is such an accessible practice— creating and collaging things, and then xeroxing and binding with staples—so you as a student can do this and also engage other people in your channels. How has your zine work resonated with your peers? It’s always been an overwhelmingly positive response. My classmates have admired the vulnerability people have had to put artwork in the zines. When it comes to imagining and acting toward change, what is the biggest gift you see in your peers? Watching them create art that is socially engaging and addresses things I could never fully fathom. Their ability to constantly resist and dismantle systemic and institutional powers.



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Voices of a Generation



Pratt Community Rallies Resources to Help with the Challenges of COVID-19 In April, Pratt’s News web page launched Fighting COVID-19, a series exploring how members of the Institute community have been addressing issues around the pandemic. Below are abridged highlights from a selection of stories, which you can read in full—for a vivid picture of the Pratt community’s ingenuity and collaboration—at

Pratt Produces Thousands of Face Shields for Hospitals As COVID-19 escalated in New York City and healthcare systems were overburdened, the unique resources of Pratt were put into action. Identifying that the shortage of personal protective equipment for medical professionals and frontline workers in the local community was a need that Pratt could quickly meet with a significant impact through its resources, equipment, and available supplies, a plan was implemented to unite the strengths of the campus. The initiative—to produce protective face shields for area hospitals—was managed by the Information Technology division with the School of Design and the School of Architecture, working in close coordination with senior academic and administrative leadership. By the second week of April, around 15,000 face shields had been produced at Pratt for distribution to local medical facilities. The shields arrived packaged with this message from Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet: “On behalf of the many creative and talented individuals within the Pratt community who produced this personal protective equipment, we offer it to you with our deepest


gratitude for your tireless efforts during this time when your skills and commitment are desperately needed. Over 130 years ago, our founder, Charles Pratt, said, ‘Be true to your work, and your work will be true to you.’ We at Pratt acknowledge your selflessness and know what being true to your work means to us all.” The Institute Donates Surplus Food and MetroCards to Those in Need After Pratt’s campuses closed at the end of March, school resources were identified that could be redirected to community needs, with a focus on the Brooklyn neighborhoods surrounding Pratt. With the cafeteria and other food facilities closed on the Brooklyn campus, the Institute donated a variety of dairy, protein, bread, and other items to Rethink Food NYC for use in their newly opened Rethink Cafe, a smalld0nation-based cafe located in Clinton Hill. The donated food from Pratt was also used in Rethink’s commissary kitchens, including at Eleven Madison Park, where the group has worked to make free meals for clients of Citymeals on Wheels and for hospital workers. Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership facilitated the connection between Pratt and Rethink. Without students commuting to campus, there was a surplus of 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards that are usually sold at half-price to students who attend Pratt Manhattan and live on the Brooklyn campus. Through an initiative led by the Student Government Association in collaboration with Student Involvement, Pratt donated 100 of these MetroCards to frontline workers at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in Downtown Brooklyn, to support doctors, nurses, and other staff.

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Pratt Community Members Create Essentials to Support Healthcare Workers To meet the needs of healthcare workers and others in need of masks, medical supplies, and other personal protective equipment as resources dwindled, members of the Pratt community adapted their skills to meet this incredible challenge. Clarissa Hurst, BFA Painting ’20, turned her small Brooklyn apartment into a DIY workshop to sew masks for Masks4Medicine, a homemade mask campaign organized by New York City doctors. “As artists and idea makers, and just as people, we have power to make the world a better place,” Hurst said. Designers and artists throughout the Pratt community likewise used their home sewing machines to help with the mask scarcity—such as Jane South, chair of fine arts, who used her studio to sew small orders of pay-what-you-wish masks, with the funds going to the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. Still others brought essential positivity to doctors and nurses in overwhelmed healthcare spaces: Susan Cianciolo, assistant professor of fashion, and Harry Moritz, BFA Sculpture ’15, are among several artists who have contributed inspirational posters to a pop-up gallery in the break room at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. Others used home studios to 3-D print components for face shields. Luba Drozd, BFA Computer Graphics ’06, a former Digital Arts faculty member, came across a 3-D-printed armature for a face shield with a laser-cut acrylic visor and created her first prototype on March 21. In seven days, she had donated 110 shields to health workers in New York


Photo courtesy of Clarissa Hurst, BFA Painting ’20

“As artists and idea makers, and just as people, we have power to make the world a better place.” —Clarissa Hurst, BFA Painting ’20, who used materials in her home to sew masks for Masks4Medicine

Che-Wei Wang, BArch ’03, adjunct assistant professor of undergraduate architecture, worked to design and prototype a respirator alternative with Helpful Engineering. Photo courtesy of Che-Wei Wang



Installation view of Between edge and interior at UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach. Photo by Xavier Lujan

City hospitals and was raising funds to support other groups and individuals doing their own printing. Che-Wei Wang, BArch ’03, adjunct assistant professor of undergraduate architecture, likewise explored how to use prototyping to support healthcare needs through his art and design practice CW&T, developing an open-source, filter media–agnostic respirator alternative with Helpful Engineering, a volunteer group that mobilized to assist in the COVID-19 pandemic. Wang also donated supplies through Mask Crusaders, which has connected artists, designers, arts institutions, and workshops that have extra masks, gloves, or other protective gear to frontline workers who need those supplies. “People are putting their own lives on the line to help others, so I feel like the least we can do is find a way to contribute, even if it’s a small contribution,” Wang said. “I’m hopeful that we’ll all come out of this as better collaborators and a stronger community.” Pratt Daily Hub As the Pratt community has responded to COVID-19 this spring, regular updates from around the Institute have been compiled on Pratt Daily Hub, a special feature on From buoyant moments as students and faculty transitioned to remote learning, to innovative projects launched to support and bolster individuals and the community, the Daily Hub captured the many and various ways Pratt’s diverse body of students, faculty, staff, and alumni have continued to innovate and connect through a time of change and uncertainty.

Pratt alumna and instructor Maria de Los Angeles, BFA Painting ’13, in front of her mural at the Pratt Manhattan campus. Photo by Ryan Bonilla


Mural on Life and Hope Installed at Pratt Manhattan Campus In early October last year, the first-floor windows of the Pratt Manhattan campus were filled with vibrant paintings. The mural was a long-term installation by Maria de Los Angeles, BFA Painting ’13, visiting instructor in Foundation, Associate Degrees, and Continuing and Professional Studies. The New York– based multidisciplinary artist regularly works with unconventional media, creating pieces that reflect on her experiences as an immigrant to encourage dialogue about migration and marginalization in the United States. The piece—“an homage to life, hope, and freedom,” in the words of the artist— engages passersby and visitors in the creative work happening at the Pratt Manhattan campus, which also houses

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the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. “Through this project, Pratt hopes to attract attention to the diverse and inclusive environment of our Manhattan campus,” says Nsombi B. Ricketts, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. “In addition, Maria de Los Angeles’s work exemplifies the Institute’s commitment to social practice and celebration of National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month.” Alumni Push Boundaries of Painting at UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach At UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach last December, Pratt Fine Arts presented an exhibition exploring and challenging conventional boundaries in art and society through the work of seven Pratt Fine Arts alumni, and Pratt Presents produced a panel on social change in art. Between edge and interior was curated by Ashley James, associate curator of contemporary art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, who also moderated the panel, “In the Margins: Shifting Artistic and Curatorial Perspectives in an Age of Social Change.” This was Pratt’s second year participating in UNTITLED. As with 2018, proceeds from artwork sales at the fair were equally shared between the artists and the Fine Arts MFA award fund. The 2019 exhibition and panel joined the many happenings concurrent with Art Basel Miami Beach, a major annual gathering for the art world. Pratt Programs Top National Rankings The interior design and architecture programs at Pratt Institute are ranked among the best in the US, according to “America’s Top-Ranked Architecture & Design Schools” from DesignIntelligence, a monthly architecture and design journal. Pratt’s graduate interior design program was ranked as the second most admired in the country. For the fourth consecutive year, the undergraduate interior design program was ranked second in the nation. Pratt’s undergraduate architecture program was ranked as the seventh most admired in the country for the second year in a row. The graduate architecture program was ranked eighteenth. Pratt is rated one of the country’s top graphic design and illustration colleges in the 2020 rankings published by Animation Career Review, a comprehensive online resource for aspiring professionals in animation, digital art, game design, graphic design, and related fields. Among graphic design schools, Pratt






1 Right to Be Heard Tote Sofia Zabala, BFA Communications Design ’19 $25 Sofia Zabala created the artwork that appears on this tote in the lead-up to the Women’s March on Washington in 2017, responding to a call for poster art by activismfocused design lab Amplifier. The design was recently featured in National Geographic’s Women: A Century of Change issue, among others created for the march and posters from women’s movement history. Zabala is donating a portion of proceeds from sales of the bag to Planned Parenthood. Available at

2 Shameless Feminists: World War 3 Illustrated Issue #50 Edited by Isabella Bannerman, BFA Printmaking ’82; Sabrina Jones, BFA Painting ’82; Sandy Jimenez; and Rebecca Migdal $15 The 50th issue of political comics magazine World War 3, founded in 1979 by Pratt alumni Peter Kuper ’82 and Seth Tobocman, collects feminismcentered stories by more than 30 artists. Among the editors of the anthology-style volume are fellow alumni Isabella Bannerman and Sabrina Jones, whose stories contribute to “a collection full of outrage, humor, and resistance.” Available at

New and Noteworthy

3 Grand Day Tote by SHIN + NA Haeshin Park, MS Interior Design ’12 $86 This canvas tote from Haeshin Park’s brand, SHIN + NA, is made to carry the day, over the shoulder or in the hand. With six pockets to organize contents, the bag is large enough for your office, on the go, or a weekend getaway (and also comes in a smaller size for lighter toting). Conceived as an upgrade on a classic, the structured design uses heavy-duty canvas for durability and features a snap closure. American made and available at

4 Gen Side Table by Armada NY Jason Golob and Cory Watson, both BArch ’11 from $1,550 Traditional joinery meets contemporary CNC manufacturing in the sophisticated lines of this table from Jason Golob and Cory Watson’s brand, Armada. The side table is crafted using domestically sourced solid wood that is engineered with sliding dovetail joints for lasting stability and treated with one of four VOC-free finishes (shown here in oxidized oak). Each piece is made to order. Available at




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5 The Elements of a Home by Amy Azzarito, MSLIS ’03 $19.95

6 Brass Oloid Pat Kim, BID ’09 $120

In her new book, design historian Amy Azzarito uncovers the curious origin stories of everyday household objects. She writes about the napkin’s first incarnations as lumps of dough in ancient Greece, the fork’s origins as an implement of the devil, and Plato’s tea-kettle-style alarm clock used to rouse his students. In this illustrated history, Azzarito pulls back the curtain to reveal the secret histories of more than 60 items of domestic decor, tools, furniture, and more. Available at and wherever books are sold.

Pat Kim’s palm-size kinetic sculpture provides a meditative focus with its graceful wobble when set in motion. The piece is made of brass precision machined into an oloid, a geometric shape, discovered in 1929 by mathematician and sculptor Paul Schatz, formed by two linked disks connected at right angles. With a nudge, it rolls with a smooth, mesmerizing gait, making it a curious desk accessory or contemplative object for restless hands. Available at


7 Banana Bread by Dank Caitlin Makary, BFA Fashion Design ’07 $45 for a dozen Using her design savvy to perfect a vegan take on a classic treat— and build a business around it—Caitlin Makary launched Dank in 2016 as a banana bread purveyor to cafés across New York City. Now the signature 4-ounce loaves are available for delivery by the dozen, with a pumpkin variety recently added to the roster. Available at and at more than 50 coffee shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan (visit the website for location information).

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8 Alphabet Vase Tracy Llewellyn, BID ’06 from $40 Each vase in Tracy Llewellyn’s Alphabet line with UncommonGoods is designed with “perfectly imperfect” detailing, giving each letter distinct character. Llewellyn created the vases to integrate function and beauty into the home through sculptural objects. They can be grouped to spell out words or initials, and put to work as vessels for sprays of flowers or supplies for art making. Made in North Carolina and available at


ranked third, placing it in the top one percent of the more than 700 colleges surveyed. Pratt was second nationally among schools offering a Graphic Design BFA. In the illustration rankings, Pratt was rated sixth out of nearly 150 schools surveyed with illustration programs across the United States. Architecture Students Design Sukkah as Community Sanctuary From October 13 to 23, 2019, visitors to Tribeca Park in Manhattan could enter an architectural space designed as a modern refuge by Pratt students. Timed with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, their sukkah—a temporary structure used during the weeklong festival—was created through the 2019 Sukkah Design Competition organized for Pratt’s Graduate Architecture and Urban Design (GAUD) students by the Jewish Community Project Downtown (JCP). The three competition winners were Matthew Mitchell, MArch ’20; Naomi Ng, MArch ’20; and Parker Wilson, MArch ’20, who worked with faculty coordinators Alexandra Barker, assistant chair of GAUD, and Cristobal Correa, associate professor of GAUD. They received a scholarship from JCP for the design and fabrication of their project, called “INcompass.” Legends 2019 Supports Scholarships That Transform Lives On October 3, 2019, Pratt’s Legends gala was held at Weylin in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The annual event benefits the Legends scholarship endowment, which provides vital support to Pratt students based on need and merit. Approximately 80 percent of Pratt students receive financial aid to pursue their education. “Scholarship donations have the positive and transformative power to alter the course of an entire life,” said Evalina Sundbye, BFA Photography ’20, the Legends 2019 student speaker, in her remarks to attendees. She added that her time on campus led her to find confidence in her artistic voice as well as a community of like-minded creators. “My classmates tackle topics ranging from climate change to virtual reality, New York to sexual assault, religion to AIDS, performance art to Black history. The list goes on and on, a list that continues to amaze me.” The 2019 Legends honorees were Santiago Calatrava, architect, engineer, and artist; Miguel McKelvey, cofounder and chief culture officer of the We Company; and Paula Scher, graphic designer and partner at Pentagram. The


honorees received awards designed by Stacey Chen, BID ’20, who worked with faculty advisor Alvaro Uribe, BID ’10, adjunct associate professor of industrial design. Their design process was showcased in a film by Grace Zhang, BFA Film ’20. Fine Arts Student Collages Magic and Community on Myrtle Avenue This February, illustrated figures cut from colorful paper gathered around glowing objects in the windows of the Pratt Film/Video Building on Myrtle Avenue. Devin M. Alexander, BFA Fine Arts ’20, was reflecting on community and belonging when creating her installation, “Long Live, Magic,” for Some Words: Black Artstory Month 2020 in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. “I’ve been thinking about what kinds of language and what kinds of affirmation we use to connect us in the world right now,” she said. “What interactions have I had when I’ve heard ‘Yas! I see you and you’re Black girl magic!’ when getting complimented on my natural hair? Or chanting ‘Black lives matter’ in response to a crisis? There is a sense of pride in making our presence known. The images that pop into my mind look like vibrant figures admiring each other. This is a type of interaction and language that transcends words, representing something that is no secret but is indeed sacred.” Alexander got involved in creating the installation through the Black Alumni of Pratt, which she explained has been a vital resource since she arrived at Pratt. Organized by the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, the annual Black Artstory Month celebrates the area’s legacy of Black artistry. For more on these stories and the latest updates from Pratt, visit In Memoriam Honoring members of the Pratt community whom we have recently lost. Alfred Adinolfi, attended, Mechanical Engineering Allen Bellman, attended Norma Bunnell, Certificate, Illustration ’43 Robert Paul Carl, BS Building Science ’65 Sandro Carrasco, BArch ’12 Bernadette Covais, MLS ’44 Dorothy Benz Dallas, MFA ’81 Tomie dePaola, BFA ’56

Annie Duffy, MFA ’99 Mary Ann Page Eaton, MSLIS ’71 Mary (Pettit) Funk, attended Marguerite Montalbano Gager, BFA Fine Arts ’53 James Gillis, BEE ’58 M. Louis Goodman, faculty member in the School of Architecture Ernest Haim, BFA Illustration ’56 Mildred (Dowdell) Henderson, MLS ’49 Mamie Lynne (Jones) Howard, BFA Fashion Design ’61 Gillian Jagger, Professor Emerita of Fine Arts Robert Karlowich, former professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences Francis Kelley, attended, Interior Design Margaret Lawton, Certificate, Graphic Design ’47 Enrique Limon, adjunct professor CCE of Undergraduate Architecture Gudmun Lovvoll, BME ’61 Edward Lukasiewicz, BFA Advertising Design ’54 Ellis Marsalis Jr., 2018 honorary degree recipient Robert J. McMahon, BArch ’67 William “Bill” Menking, tenured faculty member in the School of Architecture Martha Negley, BS Home Economics ’51 Hugh M. Neil, attended, Fine Arts Toni Oliviero, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Mark Packo, BFA Graphic Design ’73 Barbara Ann Vesey Brown Reed, MSLIS ’71 Peter M. Rosen, BArch ’71 William “Bill” Ryan, BID ’59 Hazel Siegel, visiting assistant professor of Interior Design Michael Sorkin, former visiting faculty member Leila Tai, former Fine Arts faculty member Gary Trento, BFA Art Education ’67 Harry Wilhelmsen, BID ’52 Rudolph “Rudy” J. Wimberger, BEE ’51 Phyllis H. Wojan, MLS ’71 Stanley Wysocki, BID ’66; MFA ’81, former faculty member of the School of Art and Design and the School of Architecture





EVOLVE & SOLVE Prattfolio

Spring/Summer 2020


Class Notes Pratt alumni, we want to know what you’re up to, and so do your fellow graduates. See page 61 for Class Notes submission guidelines.



Ronald Emmerling, Blue Eyes, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

Ronald Emmerling, BID ’58, who for more than 30 years owned an award-winning consultant design business while cultivating an art practice, recently found new life as an artist through painting. He writes, “Before losing the use of my dominant right hand and arm, I produced sculpture, pen-and-ink drawings, and paper collage. Seven years ago, feeling frustrated by my inability to walk, eat, or work, I started to paint.” His practice and the response to his painting, which others have described as influenced by his graphic arts and industrial design background, have given Emmerling new meaning and hope: “I want others to see that life can be joyful, colorful, and rewarding despite adversity.” His website is

Class Notes

City moved to consolidate all of its public transportation, from trains to bicycles, Barbara Nessim, BFA Illustration ’60, into one system, Wyman was called back will have a solo exhibition from October to design for the project. 15, 2020, to January 9, 2021, at the Malin Gallery in New York City. The exhibition Rosalind (Lipson) Sedacca, BFA will show recent large-scale oil paintings Fashion ’66, divorce coach, author, and based on drawings from her ’70s sketch- founder of the Child-Centered Divorce books as well as the Genetic Synthesis Network, was featured on the podcast pastel heads from ’76 to ’78. Her show of Financially Ever After. Sedacca speaks gouache drawings from ’86 to ’88 was on with the host of the show, Stacy Francis, view at National Arts Club from October about how to do divorce and co-parent 28, 2019, to January 3, 2020. effectively when you have children.

Logos for Mexico City’s Movilidad Integrada, designed by Lance Wyman

Lance Wyman, BID ’60, designed the branding for Movilidad Integrada, the new Mexico City integrated transportation system, which was inaugurated in April 2019. In 1969, following his graphic design work for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Wyman designed the branding and wayfinding system for the Mexico City Metro. The Metro celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, and the wayfinding system is still working well. When Mexico

Everardo Jefferson, BID ’68, has been appointed commissioner at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. As commissioner, he will be responsible for protecting buildings and sites across the city deemed to be architecturally, historically, and culturally significant. Jefferson is a founding principal at Caples Jefferson Architects, known for their award-winning buildings for the Weeksville Heritage Center and Queens Theatre in the Park, and with upcoming designs for the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Africa Center. He looks forward to working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to continue building the architectural and cultural heritage that has inspired him throughout his career. Claire Jeanine Satin, MFA ’68, had an exhibition, From Concept to Creation: The Bookworks and Related Works of Claire Jeanine Satin, on view at the Jaffe Center


for Book Arts at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton this spring. She had a solo show of largescale constructions at Bailey Contemporary Arts in Pompano Beach, Florida, earlier this year. Robert Wolf, PhD, BID ’68; MPS Art Therapy ’73, was awarded the ultimate academic title of professor emeritus after serving on the faculty of the College of New Rochelle Graduate Art Therapy program for 39 years. In August 2019, the college closed due to financial issues, and upon closing, bestowed this honor. Dr. Wolf has since transferred, along with the Graduate Art Therapy program, to the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York. Dr. Wolf also continues his work in private practice as an expressive psychoanalyst, in Manhattan. He can be found online at and @robertirwinwolf on Instagram. William J. Gallo, AIA LEED AP, BArch ’69, is CEO of Gallo Herbert Architects (GHA), in Deerfield Beach, Florida. GHA recently received a design award from American School & University for the design of the Don Taft Dining Facility at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 15,000-squarefoot facility was designed to accommodate the expanded dining-venue choices demanded by incoming students in an upscale environment as part of the new University Center. GHA/William Gallo continues to focus its work on higher education and has received numerous awards for its work. Other award-winning facilities have been designed for Johnson & Wales University, Florida Atlantic University, University of Miami, and Barry University.

band, Kenneth Larson, Interior Design ’69, and their daughter, Sarah Larson. The show, Art in the Family: A Retrospective and Current Work, was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Kenneth’s passing in 1994; the 50th anniversary of Kenneth and Liz’s graduations from Pratt, where they met; and 50-plus years since the beginning of Ken’s work to conserve, illustrate, and share the history of New Britain. The exhibition included artworks by Kenneth in private collections, including works in oils and pastels, as well as current work by Liz and Sarah.

1970s Kristina Lewis, BFA Sculpture ’72; MS Interior Design ’86, went on to earn her master of arts in Christian ministry from the United Theological Seminary in 2015. Lewis worked as an architect and builder in Southampton, New York, for 25 years. Moving to Dayton, Ohio, six years Photo by Sean Russell Photography ago, she has renovated eight houses and is a landlord to the working poor. Recent F. Eric Goshow, FAIA, LEED AP ly, she has returned to painting and had BD+C, ENV SP, MS Urban Design ’70, is her first painting show at the Dayton Sothe proud recipient of the 2019 James ciety of Artists last year. William Kideney Gold Medal Award, recognized as the highest award that AIANYS can bestow on one of its members. Goshow was recognized for a lifetime of sustained community leadership and his advancement of the profession of architecture by making the community a better place to live. As a partner at Goshow Architects in NYC, Goshow was recognized for always living up to the ideals of the prestigious award: to create architecture that inspires people, collaboration, sustainability, and innovation, by building for the public good and designing for the future.

Constance Smith, BFA ’71; MID ’73, was the recipient of an Award of Distinction from the Society of Automotive Historians for her book Damsels in Design: Women Pioneers in the Automotive Industry, 1939–1959 (2018). The book recogniz Liz Winchester-Larson, BFA Interior es the work of early Pratt graduates, Design ’69, had an exhibition of her artstarting with MaryEllen Green-Dohrs and work along with works by her late husMargaret Elizabeth Sauer. It also records


the history of the Pratt Industrial Design Department and recognizes its founders and the work of educators Rowena Reed Kostellow and Alexander Kostellow. Another award at the Society of Automotive Historians ceremony was given to Karl Ludvigsen, a highly decorated writer who studied industrial design at Pratt in the 1950s.

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Frank Verlizzo, BFA Communications Design ’72, shared posters he designed for Night of a Thousand Judys, a special benefit to launch gay pride month, and Tea at Five, which was staged in Boston last summer.


Janet Lipkin, Flamingo Jacket, 1982. Hand-dyed, machine-knitted, and stuffed wool and angora. Promised gift of The Julie Schafler Dale Collection. Photography by Otto Stupakoff ©Julie Schafler Dale

Last November, the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened a major exhibition featuring the art of five Pratt alumnae who shaped the art to wear movement that emerged in the United States in the 1960s. Off the Wall: American Art to Wear, which was to be on view through May 17, includes works by Jean Cacicedo, BFA Sculpture ’70; Marika Contompasis, Industrial Design ’69; Sharron Hedges, BFA Art and Design Education ’70; the late Dina Knapp, Graphic Design ’72; and Janet Lipkin, BFA Painting ’71. While they were students at Pratt, the artists came together to experiment with crochet, creating sculptures that interacted with the body, and went on to teach others crochet techniques for art making, ultimately forming the cornerstone of the movement in New York City. Their work is highlighted in a publication accompanying the show, with a contribution written by Julie Schafler Dale, whose gallery was instrumental in nurturing the work of the “Pratt Five” and their counterparts exploring body-related forms.

Audrey Frank Anastasi, MFA Painting ’73, announces the upcoming publication of ref-u-gee, a limited-edition book with 425 pages, set to release in May 2020. The full-color 14 x 12-inch monograph features over 180 images and an essay by Phyllis Braff. Included is a numbered certificate signed by Audrey Anastasi and Michael Valentine. The original artwork of the ref-u-gee series is scheduled to be shown with the Valentine Museum of Art at Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, until September 1. Anastasi’s website is www

Class Notes

Me & My Neon Box (1972) is included in the newly hung contemporary galleries of the Newark Museum. The Minneapolis Institute of Art exhibition Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, traveling through September 2020, features Venere Alpina (1997). Charles Froelick Gallery in Portland, Oregon, hosted a show of WalkingStick’s recent works this Carlton Tolsdorf Jr., BEE ’73, is re- spring. WalkingStick was selected as an tired following a 45-year professional honoree for this year’s New York Founcareer in engineering with the US govern- dation for the Arts Hall of Fame Benefit, which was postponed until April 2021. ment and in the private sector. Olivia Beens, BFA ’77, had an exhibition from January 10 to February 4 at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. The Storyteller: Olivia Beens through the Decades, was a career retrospective of the artist’s oeuvre from the early 1970s to the present day. Kay WalkingStick, Venere Alpina, 1997, oil on canvas (left), steel mesh over acrylic, wax, and Beens’s dynamic and psychically charged plastic stones (right), 32 × 64 inches work, which spans media and employs a Kay WalkingStick, MFA ’75, Doctor broad range of materials and techniques, of Fine Arts (hon.), has several works in explores questions surrounding the relaexhibitions this year. Her painting April tionships between body and spirituality, Contemplating May (1972) was featured particularly as they relate to female identity in the Whitney’s exhibition Spilling Over. and women’s experiences. Beens’s website is


Steven Bleicher, BFA ’77; MFA ’79, showed graphite and mixed media works at a solo exhibition, Kings Highway, The Father Road, at the Martin Hall Gallery at Mobile University. The exhibition ran from August 9 to September 27, 2019. Bleicher is a professor of visual arts at Coastal Carolina University.

description: “The remote town of Oriska, New York, hasn’t been home for Sydney Lucerno for 13 years. She’s escaped the creeping addictions and long-simmering anger that are as much a part of the landscape as the bitter cold. But when she gets the call that her mother is dying, every secret and fear she left behind is waiting to welcome her back.” Bickford’s website Paul Gildersleeve, BID ’77, and Su- is zie Ho, BFA Communications Design ’77, were married shortly after graduation. After 18 years of ad agency and corporate creative roles, they formed IDAssociatesLLC, an industrial design firm, in La Quinta, California. They are the principals of the firm, servicing consumer and industrial brands on three continents. Ho has also returned to her first love of abstract painting. Mary Rieser Heintjes, BFA ’79; MFA ’85, has had work featured in four shows in 2019–2020. She writes, “Life brings an ongoing search for strength, ideas, sharing through fatigue and injury and wondrous moments. Trying to never stop exploring art, science, and music through it all, especially in the medium of glasswork, welding, painting, flute, and bass clarinet. Exhibiting in a prestigious museum, Belskie Museum of Art and Science, was wonderful, enlightening, and academic.”


his worldwide seed potato company in Holland, being flown around the world at age 23 to design for this company. Among his recent projects are invitations and collateral for charitable organizations’ fund-raising galas, logos and packaging, and greeting card designs sold by MoMA. His firm’s website is www.johnkneapler

Lisa Steinberg, BFA Fashion Design ’81, published Beginners Guide to Sketching Ted DeCagna, BFA ’80, has created a the Fashion Figure (Fairchild Bloomsbury tribute website for Ray Barber, master Publications), a college-level textbook typographer and longtime Pratt professor, that acts as a guide to fashion drawing. with whom Ted DeCagna studied at the This spring, Steinberg is teaching at Pratt Institute. The website showcases Barber’s in the Fashion Design Department as a work “to inspire both young and veteran visiting assistant professor for fashion designers to champion the art of hand illustration. lettering that excites, communicates, and entertains for the next generation.” Also on display is a collection of hand-lettered logotype designs by Barber’s former students of typography, now veteran designers. The website is www.raybarbertribute .com. Ted DeCagna welcomes comments at

Isabella Bannerman, BFA Printmaking ’82, contributed to and edited Shameless Feminists, an issue of the long-running political comic book World War 3 Illustrated, along with Pratt graduates Sabrina Jones, BFA Painting ’82; Peter Kuper ’82; and Seth Tobocman. Dedicated to fem John Kneapler, BFA Communicainism, the issue covers topics such as tions Design ’81, has owned a graphic domestic violence, health care, rape, and design firm in New York City for over 35 war. Bannerman illustrated one of her Susan Alice Bickford, MFA ’80, years. Right out of school, Pratt was his mother’s stories from World War II in published her second thriller, Dread of first client, and he went on to work for his Mussolini’s Italy. The editors presented Winter, in October 2019. From the book roommate’s father designing a logo for


Spring/Summer 2020


stories at the Printed Matter bookstore in Manhattan and at the Easton Book Festival in Pennsylvania last fall, and as of this writing were hoping to present at the Barnard Zine Fest in March.

Charles “Chip” Freeman, BFA Communications Design ’82, began serving as the Roche Bobois Palm Beach showroom manager starting in January. A career in 2-D graphic design eventually grew into a fulfilling 3-D design career with successful projects in residential and commercial interiors design, exhibit, and lighting design, as well as museum exhibit design. Freeman has been with Roche Bobois since 2014 and continues as a lead producer in custom furnishings sales and interior design. Roche Bobois, started in 1960 and based in Paris, continues to be the world’s leading supplier of custom, high-end home furnishings. Susan Togut, MFA New Forms ’83, a public artist, educator, therapeutic facilitator, and curator, has created her own art while simultaneously facilitating people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities in the creation of individual and collaborative art. For 36 years, her public and gallery art grew from a deeply personal perspective, as well as a community-based and worldly consciousness. Inspired by the cycles of nature, it focuses on life’s fragilities, uncertainty, metamorphosis, regeneration, and ascension, often manifesting as contemplative environments. Awarded a Gottlieb Foundation Fellowship in 2019, in recognition of mature work, she is creating a long-term sanctuary on her own property.

Class Notes

and is an action-packed mix of baseball and slapstick comedy. Gurney teaches illustration at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and at Hollins University in Virginia.

Goulda Downer, PhD, FAND, LN/ RD, BS Nutrition and Dietetics ’84, associate professor, College of Medicine, Howard University, recently graduated from the US National Emergency Management Advanced Academy. The academy is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flagship program for emergency-management advanced skills, using a whole-community approach. The academy is designed to enhance participants’ skills to successfully impact important emergency management public policies by working collaboratively with the whole community. Dr. Downer has expanded her professional HIV and nutrition portfolio to include emergency management. She authored the chapter “How Climate Change Directly Affects Food and Nutrition Security” in the 2019/2020 Caribbean/Latin America Disaster Readiness Manual.

Whether we’re on Twitter, Yelp, or Rotten Tomatoes, we are all, now, critics — of just about everything. Everyone’s a Critic celebrates the art of the critique with 133 cartoons by some of the world’s greatest cartoonists.

Janine Manheim, Communications Design ’84, an egg-tempera artist, completed a five-and-a-half-foot-tall triptych of Our Lady of Guadalupe flanked by Dominican saints for the Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer in New York City. Manheim follows traditional techniques when creating her pieces, including working on solid basswood, making her own gesso, and using 23K gold leaf when water gilding. Manheim has been painting in egg tempera for more than 20 years, and she teaches and lectures across the country. She writes that her training in commercial art provides an excellent foundation to analyze past masterpieces and compose new pieces faithful to the tradition.

Bob Eckstein, editor


David Borchart · Pat Byrnes · Roz Chast · Frank Cotham · Matt Diffee · Liza Donnelly · Nick Downes · Bob Eckstein · Liana Finck · Mort Gerberg · Alex Gregory · Sam Gross · William Haefeli · Sid Harris · Bruce Eric Kaplan · Edward Koren · Ken Krimstein · Robert Leighton · Bob Mankoff · Patricia Marx · Michael Maslin · The Surreal McCoy · Steve McGinn · Paul Noth · John O’Brien · Teresa Burns Parkhurst · Danny Shanahan · Michael Shaw · Barbara Smaller · Edward Steed · Mick Stevens · Julia Suits · Mark Thompson · P. C. Vey · Kim Warp · Christopher Weyant · Jack Ziegler

BOB ECKSTEIN is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, and contributor to the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Mad magazine. He is the author and editor of many books, including Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores and The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons.

Princeton Architectural Press |

ISBN 978-1-61689-853-3 US $19.95 / UK £14.99


by the 9 781616 898533

World’s Greatest Cartoonists Bob Eckstein, editor

John Steven Gurney, BFA Illustration ’84, had his book, RBI Robots, published in May by Papercutz. It is the third in his Bob Eckstein, BFA CommunicaFuzzy Baseball graphic novel series for tions Design ’85, published Everyone’s young readers. Each book features the A Critic: The Ultimate Cartoon Book by exploits of the Fernwood Valley Fuzzies


the World’s Greatest Cartoonists (Princeton Architectural Press) at the end of 2019. He is now teaching writing and drawing at New York University. His website is Janet Neuhauser, MFA Photography ’85, wrote while on a monthlong fellowship in Civita di Bagnoregio to shoot pinhole images. “I am a full-time pinhole photographer, using several different types of cameras with both film and paper. I maintain two websites with blogs: for my film (and other) fine art work and for the 3,000+ image makers who have made pinhole exposures.”

Advertising Annual Awards and also a second award in the Health and Wellness Design Award from Graphic Design USA for his “We Can Be the Life Support” promotion. For three decades, Talarczyk has been a leader in graphic design, nationally and internationally, for his work on branding, promotion, advertising, logo design, packaging, photography, TV, animation, and film. His design consultancy is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Christopher Mark Reid Yates, BID ’85, is a client service analyst at Boston Medical Center, one of the major safety-net hospitals in the country. At the onset, clients were a diverse group of hospital personnel, other network or database administrators, and Boston University School of Medicine students, residents, and physicians. Yates and his team have now taken over the management of two other not-for-profit organizations providing care to the underserved of Massachusetts and New Hampshire: BMC HealthNet Plan and Well Sense Health Plan. With the three organizations now sharing a common network, databases run more efficiently and data transfers are more secure.

Michael Santoro, BID ’87, created the livery designs for the national championship–winning, Vista, California–based motorsports team Desert Flight Racing for their pair of Audi RS3 race cars. The designs were inspired by the idea that “at speed, all colors blur” combined with a palette mirroring the desert sunset. Santoro has been a multiple award winner for his three production-car designs for Mark Schimmel, BFA Art and De- Chrysler and he has been an acting consign ’86, recently directed Seattle Sea- sultant for the supercar maker Vector. hawk quarterback Russell Wilson for a This was his first foray into race car livBanfield Foundation PSA commercial ery design. To view Santoro’s work, visit campaign against domestic violence. In addition, Schimmel coproduced the second unit for The Now, a new minise Peter Wadsworth, BFA Communiries by the Farrelly brothers (Greenbook cations Design ’87, had a piece selected and There’s Something About Mary). for American Illustration 38 in 2019. Schimmel’s musical short film featuring Wadsworth drew the piece as part of a violinist Anne Harris, The Musician, reportage series documenting a real continues to gather festival laurels cancer patient’s treatment journey at around the globe. Schimmel’s website is NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York City. Wadsworth writes, “It was an honor to be Robert Talarczyk, MS Communica- trusted to come into that space and retions Design ’86, of Darkhorse Design, cord what I saw in an image. Truly an LLC, won a Gold in the 2020 Graphis unforgettable experience. Along the


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way, I got to know an unbelievable patient, life-changing doctors, and wonderful staff people and was able to create many images for a fascinating story.” Mara Feigelson-Szalajda, MFA Painting and Art History ’88, had artwork featured in two shows this winter. Her work was part of the National Association of Women Artists’ Joyous Light exhibition at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Edward Williams Gallery and Harvest of Artists 2019 at B. J. Spoke Gallery in Huntington, New York.

Nicholas Battis, Threads, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 47.5 x 39.75 inches

Nicholas Battis, MFA ’89, had a solo show at Court Tree Collective in Industry City, Brooklyn, this winter. Threads featured paintings that “reference our natural world and our technological age of interconnectedness experienced through the web, social media, and virtual reality.” The exhibition catalog includes an essay by Jason Stopa, MFA ’10, visiting assistant professor of fine arts.

Stacie Hernandez, MFA Fine Art ’89, is an artist, educator, and gallery owner based in Dallas, Texas. Hernandez’s paintings have been influenced by her past relationship with master painter


George McNeil. Since graduating from Pratt, she has opened two art schools, one located in New Jersey in the early 1990s, and after moving to Florida in the mid-90s, another in Saint Augustine. Having recently moved to Texas, she has opened her own gallery in the heart of the Dallas Design District. Hernandez has collectors across the country. For more information, please visit www.stacieher, or find her on Instagram at @staciehernandezfineart. Rachelle Krieger, BFA Communications Design/Art Direction ’89, had her painting Near Collision, III included in the exhibition Energy: The Power of Art at the Nassau County Museum of Art. The exhibition, which ran from July 20 to November 3, 2019, brought together art and science, connecting major painting and sculpture with Einstein, Tesla, and the Brookhaven National Laboratory. An abstract painter based in Port Washington, New York, Krieger’s studio practice is described as an intellectual adventure that marries science with philosophy, drawing on her passion for the play of energy across the natural world.

1990s John Lynch, City and Regional Planning ’90, writes, “I am happy to report that I am a married consulting city planner with an office in Westchester County. I have worked closely with the City of Peekskill since 2002, and have been in private practice since 1996. I would love to hear from fellow nighttime students who attended Pratt in the late 1980s.” He can be reached online at

store, in Philadelphia. Murray says, “The shop’s warm, contemporary interior and displays take a cue from our flagship location in Vermont; by referencing that historic building and vibrant makerspace, we hope to bring the spirit of handcraftsmanship to our newest location.”

Remnants, in October. The book is a collection of visual surreal fables for grown-ups accompanied by short prose written and illustrated by Tierce. The book is available on Amazon and on Tierce’s website, www.nathalietierce. com. Tierce frequently exhibits in galleries in the Greater Los Angeles area and maintains a studio in Glendale, California, where she lives with her sculptor husband, and son.

Sook Jin Jo, MFA ’91, was invited to be a master artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, along with Joy Harjo, the 23rd United States poet laureate, and Larry Mitchell, Grammy Award–winning producer. During a three-week residency, from October 13 to November 2, 2019, Jo worked with seven associate artists from diverse disciplines—a composer, a video artist, a choreographer, and visual artists— and developed a collaborative multi Andrew Quirk, BArch ’90, has joined media theatrical piece titled Nocturne building contractor Suffolk in the comin Process. The piece was presented at pany’s Boston headquarters as chief the Joan James Harris Theater during operating officer for healthcare and the INsideOUT event at the Atlantic science and technology. In this position, Center for the Arts. he will oversee the planning, design, and construction of high-quality, energy-ef Peter Wachtel, MID ’92, was the ficient facilities for Suffolk’s healthcare, second-place winner of the Harbor science, and technology clients nationFreight Tools for Schools Prize for wide. Quirk has 29 years of experience Teaching Excellence, a national award in healthcare design and construction, for teachers of vocational and technical most recently as senior vice president skills. Wachtel teaches architecture and and national director of Skanska’s Cenproduct innovation at Adolfo Camarillo ters of Excellence. He is a registered High School in Camarillo, California. architect, a licensed contractor, and a He told the Ventura County Star that he fellow of the Health Facilities Institute. plans to use the funds from the award to upgrade his classroom’s technology and tools and take students on field trips to connect them with practitioners in creative technical industries. Wachtel is also offering three scholarships to seniors to further their education after high school.

James Murray, BID ’90; MPS Design Management ’97, visiting assistant professor of design management and senior vice president of product development and design at handcrafted-glass company Simon Pearce, collaborated with the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, to show glass sculptures inspired by the elements of fire, wood, and water. Murray also led Nathalie Tierce, BFA Painting ’90, the interior design of Simon Pearce’s 11th published her first book, Fairy Tale

Class Notes


with transliteration, as well as a colorful album, Jubilee Pushkiniana, published in 2005, are highlighted by the Library of Congress and deposited into libraries all over the world. Tsyrulnikov designed the magazines Arzamas, Green Lamp, Still from Elizabeth Withstandley’s and the Pushkin Medals, as well as Searching for the Miraculous numerous buttons, envelopes, etc. for the events conducted by the Interna Elizabeth Withstandley, BFA Photional Pushkin Society. As president, tography ’93, is exhibiting her new video she is responsible for conducting the installation Searching for the Miraculous international poetry competition Pushat the AC Institute in New York City; at kinskaya Lira, now in its 28th year. VisArts in Rockville, Maryland; at ExGirlfriend in Berlin, Germany; and at Govan Project Space in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2020. The project is a trilogy of video works stemming from Bas Jan Ader’s project “In Search of the Miraculous” from 1975. In the project, she worked with the musician Joran Lee from the band Mutual Benefit, creating a connected experience during the Yunjo Lee, BFA Fine Arts ’98, and transatlantic journey. Her website is Henry Kim, MFA ’98, launched their jewelry brand, Henry and Hodu, in Bernard (Bernie) Langs, MSLIS ’95, has worked in fundraising since graduating from Pratt. He writes a monthly arts column for the online newsletter Natural Selections and maintains a SoundCloud page for his original and cover-song music and a YouTube page for the artistic videos he produces for his songs. Langs has published over 20 novellas on the Amazon Kindle Store and just completed his book The Plot. More information about his books can be found on his Amazon author page. Joan Giordano, MFA ’97, had a solo exhibition in June Kelly Gallery’s booth at the ADAA Art Show 2020. Her wall sculpture Epoch, which was displayed at Pratt in the President’s Office and conference room, was featured in the exhibition, held at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City from February 27 to March 1. Valentina Tsyrulnikov, MSLIS ’97, is president of the International Pushkin Society, founded in New York in 1990. Her childhood remembrance “FOREVER or MY FIRST JOURNEY TO THE LIBRARY,” in 13 languages


Approach to Design, Systems Thinking and Social Innovation (Routledge, 2019). The book is intended to help practicing designers and design students better understand the opportunities and challenges of engaging in design for social impact. Featuring insights from interviews with design practitioners, it proposes a new set of design competences that emphasize a deeper mindfulness in our practice. Graphic visualizations are used to articulate connections between social science theories and design. Boylston is the graduate coordinator of the Design for Sustainability program at Savannah College of Art and Design.

2019. Among the pieces debuted last year are the UFO Ring, featured in Harper’s Bazaar Germany and British Vogue. Most recently, the brand has introduced the Vermeer Ring, a black onyx and pearl piece inspired by the paintings of the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. The brand’s website is www Alexander Eisenschmidt, PhD, MArch ’00, an architect, writer, and professor of architecture based in Chicago, has published his newest book under 2000s the title The Good Metropolis: From Urban Formlessness to Metropolitan Architecture (Berlin: Birkhäuser, 2019). Funded by the Graham Foundation and the Getty Foundation, the book interrogates the productive tension between the modern city and architectural form. For upcoming lectures, exhibitions, or publications, see or follow on Twitter at @EisenschmidtA or Instagram at @eisenschmidt_a. C. Finley, BFA Painting ’00, organized the third iteration of the Every Woman Biennial last spring. The exhibition, originally known as the Whitney Houston Biennial, launched in 2014 as a Scott Boylston, MS Communications celebration of women artists coinciding Design ’00, published his fourth book, with the Whitney Biennial, expanded Designing with Society: A Capabilities last year to show in both New York City

Spring/Summer 2020


Photo by Francesca Magnani

When Elisa Shankle, BFA Interior Design ’09, opened HealHaus, a health and wellness studio and café located between Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant, the goal was accessibility. Shankle and her business partner, Darian Hall, sought to establish a space that would be welcoming to everyone in the community, from wellness enthusiasts to newcomers to practices that include yoga, meditation, therapy, and acupuncture. Shankle drew on her interior design expertise to create an inclusive environment that would encourage comfort and belonging, beginning with an inviting storefront café and extending into colorful studios and a vibrant outdoor area. “When I designed HealHaus, I wanted to have a lot of color and textures to allow for people to bring their greatest healing offerings,” Shankle told Forbes, which ran a story on the space last October. “We wanted people to feel free to come as they are.” HealHaus, which moved its offerings into the virtual space during the statewide shutdown beginning in March, celebrated its second anniversary this spring.

and Los Angeles. The biennial, which was highlighted in a New York Times story, featured work by more than 600 women and gender-nonbinary artists “making work from a divine feminine place.” For more information, visit Chris Arabadjis, MFA Painting ’01, participated in two shows: Making Time at the Index Art Center in Newark, New Jersey, curated by Wavelength, from May 18 to June 14, 2019, and Indra’s Net at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in Manhattan, curated by Suzanne Kammin, from January 9 to February 15, 2020. Arabadjis’s work was featured in Steven Baris’s blog as part of the Expanded Diagram Project and the Picks page in the online magazine The Ballpointer. In December 2019, Arabadjis was featured in SciArt Initiative’s Colloquium interview series.

a project to redesign rather than demolish turn any situation from ordinary to exand rebuild a residential building, intro- traordinary. It’s Pony began airing interducing a more cost-effective solution to nationally in April. update the structure. The central feature is a green roof complete with terrace spaces for residents to enjoy the outdoors among plant life.

Jason Oliveri, BFA Animation ’02, serves as the executive in charge for Nickelodeon’s newest animated series, It’s Pony. Created by Ant Blades, the 2-D animated 20-episode series follows the comedic adventures of Annie and her best friend, an enthusiastic, unpredictable, and carefree pony named Pony. Jim Hurtado, MS Facilities Manage- The Saturday-morning series, which ment ’02, founder and CEO of Danisa’s premiered in January, on Nick, explores Group, a residential and commercial the everyday life and hijinks of two best design-and-build company, is working on friends whose optimism and enthusiasm

Class Notes

Carrie Osgood, MS Communications Design ’02, launched and began exhibiting her new Data Atlas of the World in November 2019. Her growing series of infographic world maps was inspired by a March 2019 article in Big Think that unexpectedly praised a piece she created for herself back in 2012–2013. The international article called it “the best, simplest map of world religions ever.” Created by hand, her innovative cartography emphasizes visual understanding and representational accuracy, bringing global indicators to life for use in education, advocacy, research, and general interest. The project website is


collaborating and working together. Patricia Stapleton, chief communications officer at Academic Analytics, and Diana Gallazzini Mandt, creative director of Gallazzini Graphics, are creating branding materials for Academic Analytics Research Center initiatives promoting the new research center.

Jose Romero, The One, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 24 × 26 inches

Aubrey Roemer, BFA Painting ’06, moved to Tennessee to pursue her PhD in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology, focusing her studies in prehistoric cave art of the Southeast. Last winter, she combined her fine arts practice and her growing body of knowledge as a PhD student in science as a participating artist in the exhibition Repsychling at the Siao-Long Children’s Museum in Tainan, Taiwan, curated by Vida Saggbaghi of COPE NYC. She showed Blue Cave, a collection of cyanotype prints hung like a canopy to create a blue tunnel for viewers to pass through, evoking the immersive experience of a sea cave.

Jose Romero, BArch ’02, writes that while making strides in the field of architecture—building his fourth solo house this coming year—he has also established a thriving painting practice. “I learned about fine art from fraternizing with the fine arts students at Pratt and studying about art in the school’s Rome Program,” Romero says. In February, he had his first solo exhibition, at the Greer Center for Arts in Greer, South Carolina, exhibiting 32 paintings from 20 years of painting, some of which can be Thomas Melendez Jr., BFA Commuviewed on his website: nications Design ’07, debuted his line of /chemaro. men’s valet tray organizers, showcasing a sleek and versatile way of storing per Gaby Heit, MS Communications sonal belongings efficiently. His New Design ’03, is working as the curator for Jersey–based company, 525 Creations the Main Line Health System. Based at LLC, hand designs their products with Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Malvern, the inspiration of art and design. Made Pennsylvania, she is in charge of the from quality fabrics and colors that annual Art Ability exhibition and sale, are durable and functional, the organizand the Art Ability permanent collection. ers store smart phones, keys, wallets, In its 24th year, Art Ability has main- eyeglasses, and watches. They’re great tained its status as the largest collection as gifts and can be for office desks, of artwork by people with disabilities in nightstands, and dressers. Available at the nation. The 12-week exhibition and sale includes juried art and fine crafts by artists with physical, cognitive, hearing, Cheryl Gross, MFA New Forms ’09, and visual impairments from around the adjunct professor CCE of undergraduate globe. Artists receive 80 percent of communications design, was awarded proceeds from sales, and approximately a Pratt Faculty Development Fund grant $7,500 is awarded to artists as cash this year to produce a multilevel project prizes. (animation and paintings) titled Commit Diana Gallazzini Mandt, MS Communications Design ’03, and Patricia Stapleton, MS Communications Design ’04, who met while studying in the Pratt in Venice Program in 2002, are creatively


metaphors, to create a multimedia graphic audiovisual representation of society teetering on the verge of collapse. The animation can be viewed at www. Gross’s paintings can be viewed at www.cherylgross .net/fine-art.


Thomas Edward Allen, BArch ’10, has started a full-service creative agency with a focus on real estate. His company, the Monument, works with architects, real estate developers, investors, and sales teams around the globe to create a visual identity for commercial properties. Local to Pratt, the Monument is currently working with Industry City, an innovative 35-acre property on the Brooklyn waterfront, to create a new identity as the property is redeveloped. More information is available at themon Meaghan Barry, BFA Communications Design ’10, received tenure and was promoted to associate professor of graphic design at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, in fall 2019.

Illustration by Elizabeth Dantzler for “Character and Conflict,” one of Amplify’s middle school curriculum units

Tory Novikova, BFA Communications Design ’10, and several of her forto Memory: The Precipice of Extinction. mer students, Jackie Pierson ’18, Paige The piece is a three-tier social commen- Womack ’17; Edel Ferri ’17; Patrick tary addressing the shifting and eventual Mahony ’17; Tre McClendon ’16; and disappearance of culture using animals Elizabeth Dantzler ’16, created illustraon the endangered species list—ele- tions for a middle school English lanphant, penguin, frog, and tiger—as guage arts curriculum developed by

Spring/Summer 2020


Distance was no deterrent to action for Brooklyn-based designer Anjali Chandrashekar, BID ’15, when in her home nation of India demonstrations erupted this winter protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Chandrashekar joined some 120 designers, illustrators, and artists around the world in contributing to a repository of posters, digital stickers, brochures, and other materials for free sharing and distribution, all expressing solidarity with those challenging the contentious naturalization law. Her poster design for Creatives Against CAA, a project of South Asian women–run Kadak Collective, shows women of two faiths posed side by side, and is emblazoned with the slogan “Azadi!” (“freedom”). The piece envisions a society liberated from religious divisions, the focal point of the protests, in order to spark change. “Art not only has the ability to cut across age, language, and literacy—it also provides a powerful platform for dialogue,” Chandrashekar told The Times of India in January. “Creatives play a huge role in helping visualize counter-narratives, bridging gaps, and spurring action.”

Amplify, an educational publisher. Novikova, who is a director of product design at Amplify, served as art director for the project, and her team illustrated a range of stories that resonated with their diverse backgrounds. Novikova hopes that students who use this curriculum and see the illustrations drawn by young people who look like them—and share similar experiences—will realize they, too, can build fulfilling careers in the arts. She also hopes the artwork will help teachers reach students who might otherwise disengage in middle school classes.

Blaschka glass model of Caesalpinia pulcherrima. Photo by Natalja Kent © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Jennifer Brown, MSLIS ’11, coauthored and art directed the photography

Class Notes

for a new book about the internationally quantitative data, create more awareness, acclaimed Ware Collection of Blaschka and support coral conservation.” Glass Models of Plants on permanent exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, better known as the Glass Flowers. Glass Flowers: Marvels in Art and Science at Harvard will be published in June 2020 by Scala Arts Publishers, Inc. in association with the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Brown has managed the Glass Flowers since 2012. Melissa Godoy Nieto, BID ’11, has a solo exhibition of her Coral Reef Project at Lilac Preservation Project, located at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25, from May through July. Godoy Nieto writes that the show will feature “a series of drawings, paintings, and a new installation piece portraying and responding to the mass coral bleaching events in most recent years caused by accelerated changes in sea temperatures and rising sea levels. With this project, I aim to communicate information about our climate emergency through a form that brings meaning to the

Matthew William Robinson, Tent City, acrylic on paper, 30 × 38 inches

Matthew William Robinson, MFA ’11, Advanced Certificate in Art and Design Education, is almost 10 years into his position as an art teacher in New York City/State public schools. Robinson writes, “I am grateful to have credentials I received from Pratt to allow me more paths as I move forward as an artist and teacher. I recently put my home renovation projects/Airbnb aside and brought


my attention back to my work as an artist. When I spend long hours in the painting studio, it keeps me knowledgeable and passionate as a teacher in my classroom. I am currently applying for opportunities as an artist.” His website is www.mat

Vindhya Guduru’s studio, Spacefiction, was highlighted in the publication Mini Building, 2018.

Vindhya Guduru, MS Interior Design ’12, started a firm in India along with her husband, Baba Sashank, after graduation from Pratt, and their work has been featured in magazines around the world. Recent projects such as Never(apart)ment and Soul Garden have been a part of Italian publications. ArchDaily highlighted Soul Garden as one of the 50 Best Architectural Buildings and 50 Best Houses of 2019. The firm’s website is

Scott Malbaurn, Gift, acrylic, silica, and urethane on canvas stretched over panel, 11 × 14 inches

Maria de Los Angeles, BFA Painting ’13, had a solo exhibition, Tierra de Rosas, at the Museum of Sonoma County last fall. Running concurrently with the show was the exhibition A Way of Life, cocurated by de Los Angeles, featuring the work of 10 artists including Scott Malbaurn, MFA ’04. De Los Angeles recent-


Keith Kirkland, MID ’15, and Kevin Yoo, BID ’15, who started their company WearWorks during their final year at Pratt, launched their first product, Wayband, in February. Wayband is a wearable navigation device that received media attention when it was tested in the 2017 New York City Marathon, guid Joel Seigle, BID ’13, cofounder of ing the first blind runner to run the race Harold Design, had his studio selected without human assistance. WearWorks to represent the US at Maison & Objet has planned to partake in the 2020 Tokyo last September as one of six “rising Olympics and Paralympics, which have talent” design studios. Founded in 2015 been postponed to 2021, to guide both by Seigle and design partner Reed visually impaired and sighted athletes Hansuld, the Brooklyn studio creates indoors and outdoors in Japan. home decor, accessories, lighting, and furniture, with popular objects includ- Cashel Campbell, MS, R-DMT, ing a leather-and-marble tray and LCAT-LP, MS Dance/Movement Therwall-hanging planters. apy ’16, is the first African American dance/movement therapist at Rikers Rachel Borghard and Mia Ka- Island, working firsthand with the jail’s zovsky, both BFA Fashion ’14, launched mental health population and within the next product from Dooz, their zo- an interdisciplinary team of creative diac-inspired accessories brand. The arts therapists. In 2018, she created a unisex reversible leather Duo Belt, spiritual counseling practice, integrathandmade in Los Angeles, is embossed ing 2°Reiki healing and intuitive meon both sides with the brand’s astrolog- dium channeling. She utilizes her ical-sign glyphs, which are also featured profession to offer clients and individon Dooz’s debut pieces, a leather hand- uals the opportunity to build social, emotional, and communication skills bag and sweater tee. through creativity, compassion, and movement. Campbell is also an actor and performance artist, incorporating dance with mixed media. She teaches and performs belly and pole dance and also facilitates workshops including Allen Spector, MS Communications fun fitness and spiritual wellness via Design ’14, is working as a senior graphic both dance art forms. designer at Con Edison. He designs most of the vehicle wraps for the company. Recent projects have involved designing for vehicles that transport smart meters and LED lightbulbs to Con Edison customers. He writes, “I have worked at Con Edison for over five years keeping the lights on for New York City. If you see a wrapped Con Edison vehicle in your neighborhood, know it was designed by a Pratt grad.” ly installed a mural in the windows of the Pratt Manhattan campus (read more on page 44). The artist also has work in Pertenecer: Chicanx Artists on Belonging, curated by Polly Nordstrand, which opened last November and was scheduled to be on view through June 28.

Diane Dias De Fazio, MSLIS ’15, joined the staff of Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries in July 2019, and is the curator of rare books and Rafaella Castagnola, BFA Commubook arts there. nications Design ’17, had a solo show

Spring/Summer 2020


Carolyn Osorio, BFA History of Art and Design ’13, has created and curated the Mint House Project, a public art project in the Barrio Logan cultural arts district of San Diego, California. The project (on Instagram at @minthouseproject) features emerging local artists responding to and creating public murals on themes of social justice. Located 15 minutes from the US–Mexico border, the Mint House Project unveiled its first mural, Haciendo Linea, on the topic of immigration, followed by works on gender equality, pride, voting, and gentrification. With themes drawn from experiences within Osorio’s primarily Chicanx artist community, the murals are intended to grow broader awareness of these topics, in a public format, without barriers. The streetside murals’ accessibility took on new significance during the time of physical distancing: “I often see people pull over on my street to snap a picture or two from the safety of their car,” Osorio said in April. “My hope is that even with all of the uneasiness and anxiety of the world right now, someone might experience these murals and feel more empowered, or even reminded of the things worth fighting for and on behalf of.”

last fall at Photoville, one of the largest photographic events in New York City. She took over the International Center of Photography’s gallery space with her project A Chronicle of Chance Intersections, a mixed-media installation that through evidentiary material tells the story behind a vandalized car stranded outside a Brooklyn police station.

to protect people with epilepsy during a seizure and automatically alert designated care providers. The device was also named one of the top 20 international projects.

Alexander Vastola, MSLIS ’19, Certificate in Archives, worked after graduation as an archives consultant for Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc., a historic Connie Fu, MFA ’19, exhibited her preservation architecture firm. He is now work at PLUS/SPACE at FiveMyles in the director of the Chancellor Robert R. Brooklyn this winter. Lover/no reason Livingston Masonic Library of Grand included works in weaving, sculpture, Lodge, located at 71 West 23rd Street in and music. New York City (website: nymasonic

2020s Coming soon—congratulations, class of 2020! Let your fellow alumni know what you’re up to post-graduation. Send your updates to Uma Smith, BID ’19, was the US national winner of the 2019 James Dyson Award for Cocoon, a portable safe space

Class Notes

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 × 7 inches).


“Pratt gives you a direct step into what your life will actually look like when you’re working in the field.”

Ron Hester Photography

Veronica, MPS Art Therapy and Creativity Development ’20

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Allow us to celebrate your future gift to Pratt. “Everything I do, even though I am a practicing architect, I do to acknowledge and celebrate the work of my students.” Theoharis David, BArch ’61

Theoharis David, BArch ’61, professor of architecture, administrator, former board member, and friend of Pratt Institute, has been part of the Pratt community since he came to Pratt as an undergraduate in 1956. Theo’s life and work is about creating, doing, and teaching. It is his devotion to teaching, the practicing of architecture, and serving as a mentor to hundreds of Pratt Institute students and alumni that make Theo a guiding light in the history of Pratt Institute. “He is a professor of the professors”* and, most importantly, believes in his students. To ensure Pratt’s future, Theo has made a provision in his estate plan for the benefit of Pratt and the School of Architecture. *Eric Wong, Adjunct Associate Professor of Undergraduate Architecture

Theoharis David, BArch ’61 Image Credit: Pavel Kozlov

Pratt is launching a $500,000 Bequest Challenge to create a groundswell of support for its future. Name Pratt in your will or estate plan and Pratt will make a matching gift today of up to $10,000 (10% of your future gift’s value) for an immediate need to support an area of your choosing. If you do not wish to share the exact amount of your bequest intention, Pratt will match $1,000 to support an area of your choosing. Naming Pratt in your estate plan is an extraordinary gesture in an extraordinary time. Join Theo in ensuring the future of Pratt. Please contact Rob Danzig, Director of Planned Giving, at 718.399.4296,, or 200 Willoughby Ave, Myrtle Hall 3W, Brooklyn, NY 11205.



100 Years of Votes for Women

19th Amendment, Victory Garden Collective (Louise Eastman, MFA ’14; Jess Frost; Tara Geer; Katherine B. Michel; Wendy Small; Janis Stemmermann), Planthouse, New York, 2019

August 26 marks the 100th anniversary of the proclamation announcing the 19th Amendment’s entry into the United States Constitution, the culmination of decades of political mobilization on the part of women working in communities across the nation.

Among those who added their voices and energies to the suffrage movement were activist and Pratt alumna Leonora O’Reilly, Domestic Arts 1900; Mary White Ovington, a cofounder of the NAACP and Pratt’s registrar during the 1890s; and Pratt family members Helen Sherman Pratt, Florence Gibb Pratt, and Frederic Pratt.


Despite the contributions of masses of individuals, many stories remain untold, particularly those of women of color, who did not see their right to vote firmly secured in 1920 (it would be 45 years before the Voting Rights Act prohibited discriminatory state-level barriers to the vote). Indeed, work continues today to ensure access to the ballot for all citizens.

Spring/Summer 2020

The screen print edition above, by Louise Eastman, MFA ’14, and the Victory Garden Collective, serves as a commemoration of a milestone in women’s rights activism and a call to action. As O’Reilly asserted on the Senate floor in 1912: “We belong together, shoulder to shoulder. We must get on to a better time.”




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

About the cover This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled us to reconsider many aspects of our lives, not the least of which has been the significance of civic responsibility and action for the well-being of the people and communities around us. MFA student Nell Brookfield’s recent work “speaks of the yearning for intimacy that we have paused in order to keep each other safe. Despite our new boundaries and grieving for the loss of physical affection, and what we knew before, there is also a renewed sense of community and closeness to be found between us.” Nell Brookfield, MFA Painting ’21 I wanna hold your hand, 2020