About Gateway

Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


Sci-fi Author Samuel Delany Speaks at Pratt About his Life and Career 

Legendary science-fiction author, professor, and literary critic Samuel Delany discussed his extraordinary life and prolific writing last semester as part of a Pratt Institute course on alternative speculative fiction.

Following a presentation of a 2007 documentary about Delany, Ira Livingston, chair of the Humanities and Media Studies Department, which organized the event, introduced Delany to the packed classroom and opened the floor to students’ questions.

The winner of four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2002. He is also a recipient of the Pilgrim Award for outstanding scholarship in science-fiction studies and a winner of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime’s contribution to Lesbian and Gay Literature. He is the director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Delany’s latest novel, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, was published by Alyson Books in 2011.

Delany’s talk was part of a continuing series on performance and performance studies theory on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus organized by the Department of Humanities and Media Studies.

You can watch Delany’s talk by clicking below. 


Pratt Ranks First in Nationwide Media Presence Among Colleges of Art and Design 

Analysis Confirms Pratt’s Growing Brand Value

Pratt ranks first among the country's multidisciplinary colleges of art and design for its overall media presence, according to the Global Language Monitor's (GLM) TrendTopper MediaBuzz™ 2012 Rankings.

The publication, which released its rankings in the fall, lists Pratt as 11th in the nation for the quantity and quality of its coverage in global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the blogosphere, and in social media outlets.

Pratt was the only college of art and design in the country out of the top 20 listed in the college category, and was ranked higher than any other college of art and design. The rankings, which measure the strength of an institute's brand equity across a variety of media, indicate that Pratt's brand value is steadily rising. Pratt's 11th ranking is up from 14th in 2010 and 28th in 2009, which reflects the positive things being said and written about Pratt by the news media and in social media outlets. 

"The TrendTopper analysis is a way of seeing the colleges through the eyes of the world at large, and Pratt is an institution held in high regard globally," said Paul JJ Payack, founder of GLM's TrendTopper MediaBuzz™ Rankings. "Pratt is in the rather unique position of starting out with a high ranking—and then improving on that with each new survey. This combination is clearly a distinction enjoyed by only a few of the hundreds of schools that we survey," he added. 

There were a total of 153 institutions of higher education included in the rankings.

Text: Amy Aronoff


Pratt Hosts Panel on N.Y.C. Schools with City Schools' Chancellor and Education Reporters

Back row L-R: Beth Fertig, WNYC reporter; Kelvin Diamond, parent leader in District 13, Brooklyn; Jodi Rudoren, The New York Times reporter; Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte; Brian Lehrer, WNYC host; Rashid Davis, principal, Pathways in Technology Early College High School; and Dennis Walcott, chancellor, New York City schools.

Front row L-R: Miriam Lewis Raccah, vice president, Achievement First Charter School Network; Carla Trujillo, parent; and Laura Klein, teacher, Rafael Hernandez School of Performing Arts

A Pratt-hosted panel on public school choice featuring New York City Schools' Chancellor Dennis Walcott drew a large audience of parents, students, and teachers to Memorial Hall last month.

Part of the SchoolBook partnership between WNYC and The New York Times, the panel was moderated by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer and featured several experienced education reporters.

The panel discussion focused on the complex school choices for middle- and upper-school students in the New York City school system.

Text: Abigail Beshkin



Class Notes provides a way to update fellow alumni on what you have been up to lately. Whether you have found a new job or revived an old passion, received a promotion or recently retired, changed galleries or published a book, let the Pratt community share in your excitement. We welcome your latest Class Notes news at classnotes@pratt.edu. Be sure to include your name, degree, year of graduation, major, and any relevant images with caption and credit information. Please note that your submission may be edited for length and clarity. 


Martin Brennan (Visual Comm. ’63) has authored The Stones of Time (Inner Traditions International, 1994), hailed by critics as “the most complete record of Irish megalithic art every published” and as “one of the most dramatic archaeological detective stories of our time.” Brennan endeavors to solve the mystery of the 5,000-year-old stone chambers and standing stones of pre-Celtic Ireland, which predate Stonehenge by at least 1,000 years. He demonstrates conclusively that they are actually sophisticated calendar devices, and that the abstract wheels, spirals, zigzags, and wavy lines found on the ruins are symbols of solar and lunar timekeeping.  

Edward Mazria (B. Arch. ’63) has been named a 2011 Purpose Prize winner by San Francisco-based Civic Ventures. The $100,000 prize recognizes social entrepreneurs age 60 and older who are combining their passion and experience to help address tough social challenges in their communities and around the world. As founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, Mazria is challenging the building sector to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The prize is awarded to help advance the winners’ social innovations.

Adele Schneider (M.L.S. ’65), professor emerita, Brooklyn College, wrote the introduction to Count Me Still Among You: The Complete Poetry of Ruth Bermant Scult, an archival copy of which may be consulted at the college. Schneider also served as editorial consultant for the commemorative History of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges: 125 Years of Serving Our Communities: 1885–2010 (Heritage Publishers).

Tom Patti, Rotated Rectangle (In Memory of Rowena Reed), 2009, glass, steel, powder paint, Photo: Courtesy of the artist Dina (Schachner) Knapp (1966–1970) showed “Sewn Dreams, 1971–2011,” a retrospective exhibition covering four decades of her wearable art works, in January 2012 at Central Terminal Gallery at Miami International Airport. Knapp’s brightly colored crocheted jackets and halter-tops show the influence of Florida’s sunny climate.

Tom Patti’s (B.I.D. ’67, M.I.D. ’69) table, titled Rotated Rectangle (In Memory of Rowena Reed), is featured in the exhibitionHighlights from the Modern Design Collection, 1900 to the Present, Part II,” currently on view in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing Design and Architecture Gallery at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through March 11, 2012. The museum’s Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art recently acquired the piece.

Margaret (Weaver) Cusack (B.F.A. Graphic Design ’68) is participating in “Crossing Lines: The Many Faces of Fiber Arts,” an exhibition in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Textile Study Group of New York, on view at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery through February 19, 2012.  Her appliquéd artwork is one of the 58 fiber artworks on display, and Cusack herself will be at the gallery on February 5 from 1 to 3 PM to explain her techniques and those of other artists. 

Saberah Malik, detail from Teetotollar’s Recollections, 2011, polyester fabric: solid, embroidered, and metallic on acrylic bases, 48 x 16 x 14 inches, Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Everardo Jefferson (B.I.D. ’68) won The Municipal Art Society of New York’s 2011 MASterworks Award for Best Renovation for his architecture firm’s work on the Queens Theatre in the Park. Jefferson is a principal at Caples Jefferson Architects PC in Long Island City, New York.

Joseph Szabo (M.F.A. ’68) has become widely known over the last 40 years as the quintessential photographer of the teenager. His first major retrospective, “Coming of Age in America: The Photography of Joseph Szabo” is on view at The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, New York, through March 25, 2012.


Mel Leipzig (M.F.A. ’72) showed his realist-style acrylic-on-canvas paintings in a group exhibition, titled “From New Jersey to Cape Cod,” at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, Massachusetts, in autumn 2011. Leipzig, who spends a summer month every year painting in Cape Cod, has received numerous awards for his art and teaching. His works are held in the collections of many museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Springville Museum of Art in Utah.

Saberah Malik (M.I.D. ’73) is showing work in “Crossing Lines: The Many Faces of Fiber,” a juried exhibition of fiber-based works celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Textile Study Group of New York. “Crossing Lines” is on view at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery in New York through February 19, 2012. Malik will also participate in the exhibition “9 x 9 x 3: New Visions” in the lobby gallery of 1155 Avenue of the Americas in spring 2012.

Max Gottfried, Deco Debutante Diva Revisited

Max Gottfried (B.F.A. Graphic Design ’75) exhibited work in “Objects May Appear Closer” at the Freeport Memorial Library in Freeport, New York, in September 2011.

Ronald Chironna (B.F.A. Comm-D ’76) has illustrated a new book, titled Galloping Gertrude (Hat Head Books, 2011), the first in a series of children's historical fiction books centered on early modes of transportation. Featuring Chironna’s beautiful imagery created with Prismacolor colored pencils, the book tells the story of a family trip in an early automobile.

Stanford Kay, Seeing and Knowing, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 30 inches, Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Stanford Kay (B.A. Integrated Studies ’76) showed artworks from his continuing series of paintings inspired by books or bookcases in his first solo exhibition in New York’s Chelsea district at Blank Space art gallery from January 6 through February 4, 2011. Kay’s work is also represented by Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, Texas, and Van Brunt Projects in the Hudson Valley.

Kevork A. Cholakian (B.F.A. Graphic Design ’77) has resigned as vice president of marketing design for ABC Entertainment/Disney, Los Angeles, to pursue a longtime passion for painting as a full-time artist. Cholakian is currently working on pieces that include ceramics for a show in the spring or fall in Los Angeles.

Kevork A. Cholakian, Pepper, 2011, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 inches


Frank Riccio (B.F.A. Comm-D '82) has illustrated Teeny Tiny Jigsaw Puzzle: The World (Running Press, 2010), a jigsaw puzzle package with a trivia book by Rebecca McCarthy. Riccio’s tiniest project comes with more than 300 puzzle pieces, each three-eighths of an inch in length, to form a fascinating contemporary map of the world.

Marc Van Cauwenbergh (M.F.A. ’89), a Belgian-born artist living in New York, is showing a solo exhibition of his vertically oriented abstract paintings at Simon Gallery in Morristown, New Jersey, through February 11, 2012.


 Marc Van Cauwenbergh, Colliding Worlds, 2011, oil on linen, 60 x 45 inches

Stacy Blint (B.F.A. ’92) has been promoted to senior designer in the marketing department of Standard Process Inc. in Palmyra, Wisconsin. Blint, whose award-winning design pieces have been featured in Graphic Design USA for the past three years, joined the company as a graphic designer in 2005.

Scott Menchin (1992–2003), a prize-winning illustrator of children’s books, has won another accolade: Chicken Scratches: Grade A Poultry Poetry and Rooster Rhymes (Chronicle Books, 2010) has been named to the Bankstreet College of Education’s list of "The Best Children's Books of the Year" for 2011.

Peter A. Wachtel (M.I.D. ’92), a toy designer, invented the Mercado farmers market bag, after reading a brief last year requesting a better design on Quirky.com, a crowd-sourcing website that takes product-idea submissions and then filters the best ideas to ultimately bring them to market. Wachtel designed a bag with pockets to protect delicate fruits and veggies, loops to hold bottles in place, and compartments to keep everything organized. A wide adjustable strap ensures user comfort.

Peter A. Wachtel, Mercado farmers market bag, 2011, nylon mesh, canvas, and cloth, 15.5 x 13 x 8 inches, Photo: Courtesy of Quirky.com

Jean Claude Dominique (B.F.A. ’95) is showing paintings in “Haiti: 01-12-2010 We Remember,” a commemorative exhibition recalling the earthquake that devastated his homeland, on view at the New Jersey Arts Incubator in West Orange through March 23, 2012.

Jeremy Scott (B.F.A. ’95) was featured in an article, titled “Fashion’s Last Rebel,” that appeared in The New York Times (December 1, 2011) in conjunction with the opening of his first South Florida pop-up shop at Base on Lincoln Road during Art Basel Miami Beach 2011. 

Julia Ousley (M.F.A. ’99) is showing her steel sculpture Solitude at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue in Carbondale, Colorado, through June 2, 2012. The piece was made at the Anderson Ranch in Snowmass as part of the Carbondale Public Arts Commission’s popular “Art aRound Town” public art program.


Swoon, real name Caledonia Curry (B.F.A. Painting ’02), is showing a wall-sized mural, titled Thalassa, in “Make Art (in) Public,” an exhibition of art that is accessible to everyone, on view at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York through February 19, 2012, in honor of the museum’s move to larger quarters on Charlton Street. Swoon, Thalassa, 2010, block print on mylar with coffee stains and gouache paint, 25 x 14 feet, Photo: Courtesy of the Children’s Museum of the Arts, New YorkThe work was originally created as an installation for the New Orleans Museum of Art. Thalassa is a sea goddess who is often considered the mother of all sea creatures. Swoon envisioned the piece as a way to define humans’ relationship with nature, as well as New Orleans’ relationship with water. 

Taylor Tomasi Hill (B.I.D. ’03), formerly the style and accessories director of Marie Claire, is now the artistic director of the online retail site Moda Operandi, which sells designer clothes right off the runway. With her model-like appearance, flame red hair, and distinctive clothing items, Hill has become something of a style icon.

Ryan Rutherford, IDSA (B.I.D. ’03), vice president of product development and chief creative officer, Norman Anderson (B.I.D. ’04), senior designer, and Peter Ragonetti (B.I.D. ’04), senior designer and project manager, all at JW Pet Company, Inc. in Teterboro, New Jersey, first met each other during their time at Pratt. Rutherford, who was hired by JW Pet as a direct result of the 2003 Pratt Show, was the first staff designer at JW and built the current R&D department from the ground up. Founded in 1998, the company today holds over 125 patents for pet-focused ideas.

Stephanie Wooster (M.S./M.F.A ’03) was accepted into the first master's program in paralegal studies in the United States at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Wooster will specialize in international and intellectual property law with the aim of working in the area of art and cultural property law.

Laurel Mae DeWitt (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’05), the designer and creator of the LaureLuxe brand of metal jewelry, hosts a weekly radio show, titled The Luxe Hour, in which she escorts listeners on a foray through life behind the runway. The show, which launched in May 2010, is broadcast every Friday from 12–1 PM EST on www.pncradio.fm. In it DeWitt reveals “The Grit Behind the Glamour” as she talks with stylists, designers, musicians, and fashion industry insiders.

Natalie Lanese (M.F.A. Painting ’07), detail of Retro Future, 2011, paint and collageNatalie Lanese (M.F.A. Painting ’07) created the site-specific installation Retro Future for “Wall Works,” a group exhibition at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, that remains on view through April 29, 2012. 

Brett Affrunti (B.F.A. ’08), Morgan Elliott (B.F.A. ’06), Matthew Hollister (B.F.A. ’02), Ted McGrath (B.F.A. ’02), Chris Nosnezo (B.F.A. ’11), Devin Rochford (B.F.A. ’11), Ian Rousey (B.F.A. ’11), and Minh Uong (B.F.A. ’87)—all alumni of Pratt’s Graduate Communications Design program—have had illustrations recently published in The New York Times Op-Ed section. These alumni comprise graphic designers, illustrators, and advertisers, which speaks to the diversity of the Comm-D major.

Woosok Jang (M.F.A. Interactive Arts ’09) has been awarded the International Forum Communication Gold Prize Design Award for his work as a technical director of Tiffany & Co.’s Hyper Façade project.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Wallin (A.O.S. Illustration ’10) recently authored and illustrated a children's book, titled My First Farm Friends: Books in a Barn (Storey Publishing, 2011). The four illustrated board books are packaged in a deluxe gift box that doubles as a play barn after the books are unpacked. Each book depicts the story of daily life with one of four farm animals and features a sturdy stand-up figure of the animal. 

Nick Pedersen (M.F.A. Digital Arts ’11) had his thesis project featured on the cover of the November/December 2011 issue of AfterCapture magazine, and a seven-page interior spread showcased his interviews and photographic technique. The photos from his thesis were taken at Uinta Mountains in Utah, the Bronx Zoo, and Pedersen’s studio in New York.

Aeneas Middleton (A.O.S. Digital Design ’12) held a book signing for his first published fantasy book Tim Hartwell and the Magical Galon of Wales (Royal Middleton Publishing/Burnin’ Rubber Music Publishing, 2011) at Bank Street Bookstore in New York on November 17, 2011. The tome is the first in a series of eight books for readers ages 9–12 written and illustrated by Middleton.

Text: Compiled by Adrienne Gyongy
Images: Courtesy of the artists, unless otherwise noted