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.



To Fashion Department Chair Jennifer Minniti, her students aren’t just future designers: they’re the next generation of tastemakers.

“We’re trying to graduate students who are equipped to become leaders in the field and land positions at prominent design houses,” she says. “Because when you look at the broader commercial market—national clothing chains, department stores—they're copying and re-imagining the creative work of higher-end designers.”

With that goal in mind, Minniti has reshaped the fashion curriculum to help students develop their own unique tastes and perspectives, an approach she calls “concept-led.” Students will now present collections every academic year as opposed to just senior year. They will be able to naturally gravitate toward their interests—whether in accessories, sportswear, the avante-garde, or some other arena—rather than facing heavier requirements in a broad set of fields.

Lucy Trower (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’13) noticed a shift in priorities immediately when Minniti arrived two years ago. “Suddenly the focus was on individual voice and knowing how to express your ideas. We had to defend things creatively and not just constructively,” says Trower.

The curriculum also focuses on new technologies: 2-D and 3-D processes and in-depth knowledge of materiality including emergent textiles and technology, like students printing digital images on fabrics—organza, silk, cotton, and a bamboo fabrication among other options—on campus.

Minniti says enrollment is increasing and she believes it will expand further. Last year, there were 216 students in the program; she hopes to see 270-275 in the coming years. The 2014 senior class will be significantly larger than last year’s—60 students as compared to 28.

The department is currently exploring two minors: one in in fashion, photo, and film (in collaboration with the Film/Video Department) and another focusing on fashion history, theory, and curation, and further into the future, perhaps a new bachelor’s degree for fashion scholarship and a master’s degree in fashion photo and film, which might include styling, communication, and promotion.

Since arriving, Minniti has also placed a greater emphasis on attracting big names to engage with students, teach, and/or review work. For instance, Thom Browne, winner of the 2013 Pratt Fashion Visionary Award, critiqued six seniors’ collections this past spring.

Under Minniti’s leadership, the department also received a grant from The Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation for the establishment of the Liz Claiborne Award—Concept to Product, a $25,000 award given to students for five consecutive years starting in 2012. This year, Madeline Gruen (B.F.A. Fashion Design ’13) won the honor, aimed to help a young designer develop their business. In addition to the award, she was also given a workspace—rent-free for a year—in the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation.  

Gruen says designing her collection was grueling, but ultimately rewarding thanks to Minniti’s forceful critiques. “The first time I designed my collection they wanted me to throw everything out. They were unwilling for me to slide by. I kept being pushed and pushed,” she said.

Student Trower agrees and also appreciated the rigor: “I’m really glad I got to experience that over the last two years. I think it’s going to change a lot—in terms of the opportunities that students are afforded.”

Text: Ruth Samuelson
Video and Production: Peter Tannenbaum


New Concentration and Master’s Degrees Created

 M.A., Media Studies

The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS) will welcome its first class of graduate students in the Media Studies Master of Arts degree program this fall. The intensive program, which will be led by Jon Beller, professor in the Humanities and Media Studies Department, emphasizes studies of media in its various forms: film, video, television, radio, and writing. “Almost by definition, media studies students will be interested in social change. The program is driven by critical theory as it applies to media,” says Beller. The mix of courses offered will feature theory, criticism, and practice-focused seminars; individual and collaborative projects; internships; and salon-style encounters with visiting scholars and practitioners. Classes will be small and will be taught by faculty who are media studies scholars and media makers themselves. “Enrollment exceeded our expectations for this first year, which speaks to the strength of the program’s faculty and curriculum,” said SLAS Dean Andrew Barnes. There will be 14 students starting with the program in the fall and increase to 18-20 students next year.

M.F.A., Writing

The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences is also recruiting for its new Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, which will launch in fall 2014 and be led by Christian Hawkey, professor in the Humanities and Media Studies Department. The program will focus on collaborative literary projects and will revolve around several core elements: mentored studies in which students will work with several faculty advisors; a weekly student-led symposium—including professors from various disciplines—to share work; a core, teacher-guided seminar on the history, form, and theory of collaborative and engaged writing practices; and a fieldwork residency in which students will spend significant time in an organization or space of their choosing. There will also be a thesis class in which a student completes and defends a final performance, collaborative project, community project, or interdisciplinary project. Enrollment will start around eight students annually and cap at 15 students in a given year.

Sustainability Minor

The Social Science and Cultural Studies Department  (SSCS) is launching a minor in Sustainability, which will be open to all Pratt undergraduates in fall 2013. The minor will include two required classes: Ecology, a pre-existing course in the Math and Science Department; and The Sustainable Core, which will teach sustainability across art and design disciplines with frequent guest lecturers to provide a sense of how particular professions relate to broader issues including fair trade, zero waste practices, and environmental justice. Beyond SSCS, the Math and Science, Interior Design, and Industrial Design departments also contribute elective courses. The minor requires 15 credit hours, a commitment of five or six classes depending on students’ elective choices. 

Text: Ruth Samuelson



 When complete, Myrtle Plaza will provide a new public space with "rooms" that offer varied experiences for the community.

Myrtle Plaza, a $6-million capital project to reconstruct the streets and sidewalks of Myrtle Avenue between Hall Street and Emerson Place, is scheduled to break ground in the fall. The pedestrian plaza is the result of a multi-year community planning process led by the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, which is chaired by President Schutte. The New York Times recently reported on the revitalization efforts that have helped transform the neighborhood and quoted President Schutte discussing Myrtle Hall's design and how this represents Pratt's commitment to transparency with the larger neighborhood community.

The Myrtle Plaza project, designed by a landscape team from the firm AECOM, will create approximately 25,000 square feet of new pedestrian space by reconfiguring two blocks of the four-block service road and the southeast corner of Myrtle at Hall. In addition to improved crossings and new bus stops, the plaza will feature dozens of new trees, large planters with ornamental shrubberies, game tables, a water fountain, a permanent art installation, and movable tables and chairs. Given the long and narrow geometry of the site, the plaza was designed with different “rooms” to offer various amenities to shoppers, residents, and students.

The project, which will enhance the area adjacent to Myrtle Hall and Pratt’s new Film/Video facility at 550 Myrtle Avenue. The partnership will be the city’s maintenance partner and will be responsible for upkeep and programming. The project is part of the first round of the New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYC DOT) NYC Plaza Program. Funding was provided by Councilmember Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and NYC DOT. Construction is expected to last 18 months.

Construction of a green roof on North Hall will start later this year, as part of a program to reduce flooding of the city's sewer system.

Construction of the North Hall Green Roof and retrofit of the Cannoneer Court Parking Lot, adjacent to that residence hall, will commence as early as August. Both projects fall under the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Green Infrastructure Grant Program, which provided $500,000 in funding along with Pratt’s $69,000. The program is part of an initiative designed to improve the water quality of New York Harbor by reducing combined sewer overflows, the mix of stormwater and wastewater that pollutes our waterways after storms. Both the green roof and the parking lot will capture rainfall, thus improving the quality of our city’s waterways.

The roof on North Hall, which houses the campus cafeteria as well as classrooms, will be planted with native species. The 100-parking space lot will be retrofitted with bioswales—landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water—trench drains, and plantings. A collaborative effort between the Institute’s Urban Environmental Systems Management and the Office of Planning, Design, Construction, and Facilities Management, the supervising team will monitor stormwater capture, biodiversity, and analyze the overall effectiveness of this renovation as a potential model for parking lot design citywide.

The New York City Fire Department has filed an official report and lists the cause of February’s Main Building fire as electrical, “Not Fully Ascertainable.” The report notes that the exact cause could not be determined, but states that the fire originated in the north wing of Main Building on the sixth floor along the east wall at floor level.

Pratt’s Office of Planning, Design, Construction, and Facilities Management has been working on the Main Building rebuilding efforts, and the Institute has retained Helpern Architects, which has significant experience with historic buildings, restoration, and sustainable design. Their team has completed an initial interior condition survey, and it also will conduct a landmarks compliance review, prepare construction documents, and provide aesthetic oversight on all work performed in the building.

Additionally, other specialized consultants have been hired to further evaluate the building's infrastructure conditions and provide reconstruction guidelines in their respective disciplines—these firms include CFS Engineering (mechanical, electrical, plumbing), GR Engineers (fire safety), VDM Consulting (elevators), and Design 2147 (code compliance).

Concurrently, Thorton Tomassetti, an engineering firm, completed plans for the complex shoring and bracing of the sixth floor structure, which means that there will be a temporary reinforcement of the exterior walls so that the fire-damaged beams and roof can be removed without impacting the rest of the structure. Tomassetti also has finalized construction documents for the permanent roof of Main Building. The roof construction documents recently were submitted to the New York City Department of Buildings for work permits and simultaneously to several contractors to obtain competitive bids.

Much progress is already underway. A sidewalk bridge has been installed in the courtyard to enable access between the Newman Mall, East Building, and the Gallery Café. Another contractor, Legacy Construction, also has completed the installation of temporary shoring and bracing structural reinforcement and demolition of the fire-damaged sixth floor structure so that reconstruction can safely proceed.

After a thorough evaluation, the architect and insurance consultants have recommended an extensive reconstruction including the removal of all surfaces (finished walls, flooring, and hung ceilings), providing the opportunity to install new lighting, electrical, and IT infrastructure.

Re-occupancy of the Main Building will begin in phases by floor by the beginning of 2014. The exact sequence will be determined at a later date. However the timing is subject to change for reasons beyond Pratt's control such as unanticipated site conditions, late deliveries, and / or delays in approvals from municipal agencies.

Text: Bay Brown
Renderings: AECOM and Michael Catalano, Shane McCabe, and Catalina Ramirez



From an Oscar and an Emmy to a Jane Jacobs Award and Guggenheim Fellowship, the Institute and its students, faculty, and alumni were recognized for their achievements across disciplines this past year, garnering many awards, fellowships, and scholarships. Below are some highlights:


Pratt received its 2nd Second Nature Climate Leadership Award in the “Special Focus Institution” category. The award is presented to colleges that demonstrate unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just, and sustainable future. This year, the Institute was recognized for its leadership role in creating the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. Watch a video on the Incubator that was part of their Second Nature submission.

Collegiate Advertising Awards honored Pratt with the Bronze Certificate in the “Total Advertising Campaigns” category for its 125th Anniversary Campaign. The Collegiate Advertising Awards is an elite program designed to recognize today’s most talented educational marketing professionals for outstanding excellence in all forms of advertising, marketing, and promotion.


Ron Shiffman, professor, School of Architecture, and founder, Pratt Center for Community Development, was recognized with two national honors: the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership and the American Planning Association’s 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Pioneer. Shiffman received the Jane Jacobs Medal for his role in creating the model for community development corporations commonly used today and for his belief in the power of community-based groups.Ron Shiffman

Gia Wolff, professor, School of Architecture, won the inaugural 2013 Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 traveling fellowship from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats, her proposal to study the design of parade floats around the world, was selected from more than 200 proposals from 45 countries around the world.

Sarah Strauss, visiting associate professor, Interior Design Department, was chosen as the first place winner of the 2012 Innovative Interior Design Education Award. This award recognizes and celebrates innovative teaching and program-related practices that advance the cause of excellence in interior design education. Strauss’s entry, Tropical Interiors Studio, modeled experiential learning, blending classroom and studio techniques with immersion into place.

Eric Trenkamp, professor, Film/Video department, won the Best Director Award for his feature film American Bomber at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival (AoBFF) held on May 17. A panel of renowned filmmakers, directors, and actors selected the award. American Bomber, also written by Trenkamp, is about a patriotic American who is transformed into a would-be suicide bomber.

School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Cristina Pattuelli and SILS Assistant Professor Irene Lopatovska received the Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant from the American Library Association (ALA). The grant supports their project, E-reading in the Academy: Investigating Adoption and Use of E-books in Academic Libraries, conducted in collaboration with Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Barnard College, and Pratt Institute libraries.


Shawn Christensen (B.F.A. Communications Design '97) won the “Short Film (Live Action)” Oscar for Curfew, which he wrote, directed, and starred in. He plays a depressed New Yorker whose life changes after he spends a few hours babysitting his nine-year-old niece.

Shawn ChristensenJonathan Dorfman and Szymon Weglarski (both B.F.A. Computer Graphics and Interactive Media ’02) won an Emmy for "Outstanding Special Visual Effects" for their work on the HBO show Boardwalk Empire. The Emmy-winning sequence appeared in the episode Georgia Peaches, (Season 2, Episode 10).

Carrie Moyer (B.F.A. Painting ’85) was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her bold acrylic paintings. Based in Brooklyn, Moyer has been showing her work since the mid-1990s. Her work has been widely exhibited at national and international venues including PS1/MoMA; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and Shedhalle (Zurich), among others.

Melissa Umberger (M.S. Historic Preservation ’10, M.S.C.R.P. ’12) was recently honored with the Robert C. Weinberg award for her thesis Disaster Planning and Mapping, which focused on the danger posed to the Rockaways, and its potential disproportionate impact on minorities and people with lower incomes. The award is given by the NY Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association every year to one graduate of each of the four city planning programs in New York City.  

Jane Mai (B.F.A. Communications Design ’11) and Simon Arizpe (B.F.A. Illustration ’06), both received honorable mentions in The Society of Illustrators inaugural Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Arts Festival Awards of Excellence exhibition.

MFA exhibition posters designed by Graduate Communications Design students from the class of 2012 won a HOW International Design Award. This highly selective competition, sponsored by HOW magazine, recognizes outstanding creative work produced by individuals and creative agencies from around the world. A team of design industry veterans judged nearly 1,000 entries in 15 categories and selected winning projects that demonstrated an ideal mix of concept, strategy, and execution.


Sara Cochran (B.F.A. Jewelry ’13) and Lauren Curry (B.F.A. Jewelry ’14) recently received The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Scholarship, each receiving a generous $25,000 award that provides significant encouragement and financial assistance to the most promising students in Pratt's jewelry design program. As part of the scholarship screening process, Cochran, Curry, and their classmates presented their work to jurors and each wrote an essay about their design aesthetic and philosophy and how ethical and sustainable metals practices inform their work.

At this year’s fashion show, Madeline Gruen (B.F.A. Fashion ’13) was recognized with the $25,000 Liz Claiborne Award—Concept to Product, which will support her creative, entrepreneurial activities and help cover the costs of developing a collection post-graduation. Gruen also received the Pratt Fashion Entrepreneurship Award, a new recognition that will provide her with a studio in Pratt's Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation rent-free for one year with ongoing mentorship at the Incubator. As part of this award, Gruen will be able to attend classes, tuition-free, that are part of Pratt’s recently launched Certificate Program in Design Entrepreneurship.

Gruen was also one of the winners of the WHO’S NEXT Prêt-à-Porter Paris x Arts Thread competition. The winning designers will have their collections shown in July at a trade show by the same name, the largest in Europe. 

Giovania Tiarachristie, an incoming graduate city and regional planning student, has been selected as one of 30 winners of the annual Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which supports the graduate educations of U.S. residents, naturalized U.S. citizens, or children of naturalized citizen parents. Tiarachristie  was born in Indonesia to parents of Chinese heritage and came to the United States when she was 10. She has been chosen as one of the winners on the basis of individual merit.

The Department of Communications Design recently announced more than 30 student awards won through two widely recognized competitions. The Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition chose 17 of their pieces as winners, with four students taking home named scholarships totaling nearly $12,000. Another 23 pieces by students were selected as winners of the American Illustration 32 competition.

Four students from the Fashion Department were awarded $5,000 scholarships for their successful entries in the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Competition: Xinyue Zhu (’15), Lauren Sander (’15), Caroline Kaufman (’14), and Elizabeth Lindholm (’14). Paola Ricardo (’13) was a semi-finalist in the YMA/FSF Geoffrey Beene scholarship competition and was awarded $10,000 for her project. The objective of the competition was for each student to select an online fashion company that offered "flash sales" and develop a new product line for the company of their choice.

School of Information and Library Science student Claudio Leon (M.S.L.IS. ’15) received the YALSA Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults award. The Young Adult Library Services Association selected up to twenty-five innovative teen programs from all types of libraries to feature at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference and to include in a sixth edition of Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults. SILS alumni Anja Kennedy (M.S.L.IS. ’08) and Regan Schwartz (M.S.L.IS. ’11) were also recipients of the prestigious award.

Industrial Design student Masamune Kaji (B.I.D. ’13) was one of the winners of the Behance Talent Search for his sculptural chair design, Kachi-Katah. When the chair is unfolded, the user can compose his environment, changing how it stands and how the blocks of the seatback create negative space.

Molly Sherman (M.S. Interior Design ’13) won the American Society of Interior Designers student competition Repurpose for Today: Design for Social Impact. In her entry, she redesigned seating on a bus used by the migrant farming community.

Architecture student Amanda Mullen (B. Arch. ’15) of Woodbridge, N.J. has been awarded a scholarship by the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Mullen, who is in her third year of the five-year bachelor's degree program, received a $5,000 grant.

Pratt’s Undergraduate Communications Design Department was chosen as one of only nine schools nationwide to receive a Gold Pencil at the Advertising One Club’s Student Awards ceremony. This is an honor for the department, as several thousand entries were submitted and 24 pencil awards announced, of which only nine were gold. Pratt entered approximately seven pieces in the competition, compared to the hundreds sent in by other competitor schools.

Kai Alexis Smith (B.F.A. Writing ’05, M.S.L.I.S. ’13) was one of three individuals to receive the Wolfgang M. Freitag Internship Award for her contributions to Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) as well as the profession of art librarianship. This prestigious award grants $2,500 to support a period of internship for a student preparing for a career in art librarianship or visual resources curatorship. Smith has chosen to use her award to help support her summer internship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Yun Bai Kim (A.O.S. Graphic Design ’13) was recently announced as a 2013 CLIO Award winner (Silver) in the design category for his matchbook cover designs for the American Lung Association. Kim’s work was judged by advertising professionals from around the world and selected as a winner. The CLIO Awards are the most prestigious international awards that recognize innovation and creativity in communications design.

Text: Luke Degnan
Photos: Peter Tannenbaum,
Getty Images


Students Collaborate with Lipton Iced Tea

Caroline Matthews, Juan Sebastian Jacobo, Robin Oglesbee-Venghaus, and Dakota Sica in front of the Lipton Sun.

Pratt teamed up with Lipton Iced Tea to bring 24 hours of sunlight to New York City. Led by Eric O'Toole, adjunct assistant professor, Graduate Communications Design, a select group of multidisciplinary students designed and created a giant luminous orb that conceptualized the “taste of summer” and the grandeur of the warm season.

Constructed in just two short weeks, the one-of-a-kind illuminated installation, the Lipton Sun, was unveiled on June 20 at Lipton’s Summer TASTES Party at Beekman Beach Club at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. It shed light for 24 continuous hours in homage to the summer solstice.

The students—a mix of undergraduates and graduates from Industrial Design, Communications Design, and Sculpture—designed and built every aspect of the orb from the internal frame to the face-mounted LED lighting grid.

“Each student brought unique capabilities and experience which resulted in a well-rounded team that complimented each other. They brought incredible enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn new skills, and a commitment to collaboration,” said O’Toole.

The students produced three proposals which were then submitted to Lipton for review, comment, and election. Based on the direction they selected, the group refined the form to something that was able to be constructed within the next three weeks.

Pratt’s collaboration with Lipton Iced Tea is one of the many corporate partnerships where students have the opportunity to apply their design expertise and creative problem-solving abilities as well as gain new skills as they help businesses address their real-life challenges.

O'Toole added, "I am thrilled to have worked with such an amazing group of students. I spent more time trying to keep up with them. I would work with each of them individually or as a group again in a heartbeat."

Text: Luke Degnan
Photo: Andrew Kelly



L–R: Kevin Slavin, Jonathan Bowles, Peter Barna, Linda Tischler

How can designers prove their economic value matches their aesthetic value in today’s global economy?

This was one of the questions that panelists grappled with during a wide-ranging discussion, titled Differentiating by Design: How the Creative Community Will Drive the Next 125 Years, on May 20 at the Museum of Art and Design in Manhattan.

Linda Tischler, a senior editor at Fast Company, moderated the panel, which included Provost Peter Barna; Jonathan Bowles, executive director for the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based think tank; and Kevin Slavin, entrepreneur and founder of Playful Systems group at the MIT Media Lab. The discussion focused on how design innovation will shape the future and how best to prepare and inspire up-and-coming designers to thrive in the creative economy.

The conversation inevitably went to New York City. “There are about 40,000 designers in New York City. The city with the next highest number is Los Angeles, with about 23,000,” said Bowles. “New York City also graduates twice as many students in design and architecture as any other city in the U.S.”

“Just in the last 10 years, the number of design jobs in New York City grew by 75 percent. So, you know, as a kind of engine of New York City’s economy, design has been under the radar, so to speak, for a while,” he said, adding that design schools have been a “real catalyst for entrepreneurship in the city.”

On that note, Barna said that Pratt was increasing its efforts to provide students with opportunities to learn business plan writing and related skills. “We’re moving robustly in that direction,” he said.

The panelists also talked about how young designers could solve fundamental city problems. Bowles and Barna discussed a Pratt program in which students helped longstanding local businesses near the Brooklyn campus redesign their awnings to stay fresh as the neighborhood changed and newer businesses arrived. 

“I saw great examples of companies that really got to stick around because their signs were great,” said Bowles.

Slavin used that example to discuss the intersection of design, commerce, and the city. Designers have known “for a really long time” about “the myth of the rational consumer,” he said. In other words: an attractive display or box makes a difference.

“It turns out that economics doesn’t always work out that everyone makes the perfectly rational decision, that they are biased by things—like the awning,” he said.

Text: Ruth Samuelson
Photo: Alex Weber



 Pratt Young Scholars scholarship program will allow talented, local students to participate in Pratt's Youth Programs for all four years they are in high school.

The Department of Art and Design Education and a team of faculty and staff from across Pratt Institute have launched the Pratt Young Scholars scholarship program, developed in part from the support of a $20,000 Pratt Innovation Fund Award.

“Given the cuts in funding for art and design education in public schools, this opportunity could not have come at a better time," said Aileen Wilson, chair, Art and Design Education Department. "By awarding us an Innovation Fund grant, Pratt's leadership has signaled a commitment to increase the opportunities for young people from some of Brooklyn's more disadvantaged neighborhoods and help prepare them with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue advanced study in art and design and go on to two or four year colleges.”

While Pratt’s history of educating children about art and design goes back to its founding, today, the need for low-income youth to be exposed to potential careers is profound. Pratt Young Scholars is a four-year, need-based scholarship for motivated Brooklyn public high school students. Scholars will participate in year-round classes taught by both students and faculty through the Department of Art and Design Education’s youth programs. Selected students will participate in the Institute’s Pre-College Program, where high school students spend the summer and weekends immersed in college-level study of art, design, architecture, creative writing, or critical and visual studies, all modeled after Pratt's undergraduate offerings. 

"Programs that can give my gifted students a chance to apply for college art programs on an equal footing with more advantaged applicants are urgently needed,” said Marian Jaffe, a Brooklyn high school art teacher. “I am so grateful that the Pratt Young Scholars program will be fulfilling this need."

Upon completion of the program, students earn four elective college credits as well as the skills, knowledge, and experience required to pursue entry into art- and design-related fields or succeed in college and beyond. The first class of students will begin the program this fall. 

Text: Bay Brown
Photo: Kevin Wick



President Schutte and Virginia McEnerney, executive director, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, at Art.Write.Now.2013.

Earlier this month Pratt Manhattan Gallery hosted Art.Write.Now.2013, an exhibition of work by some of the nation’s most promising young artists and writers, as recognized by the esteemed Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Program. The awards are an important bellwether of where American teenagers will take art and writing in the future. 

Pratt alumnus Robert Redford as well as Lena Dunham, Red Grooms, Tom Otterness, Andy Warhol, Stephen King, and Joyce Carol Oates are among those who were recognized by the awards years before making their mark.

The exhibition displayed more than 100 works in collage, photography, fashion, sculpture, and writing that received the highest level of national recognition in the program—the American Visions & Voices Award. The award is given to students in grades 7–12 whose work was selected by a panel of curators, artists, educators, and arts professionals as the best among the program’s 75 art regions and 41 writing regions.

President Thomas F. Schutte—himself an alumnus of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Program—acknowledged the hard work and dedication of these medalists at a breakfast held at Pratt in their honor.

For more information, visit artandwriting.org.

Text: Luke Degnan
Photo: Kristine Larsen