At Awards Ceremony, Honorees Recall Time at Pratt
Pratt honored five distinguished graduates with the prestigious Alumni Achievement Award earlier this month, celebrating their exceptional accomplishments since graduating from Pratt. In addition, several distinguished guests introduced the honorees.
Tom Bodkin, design director and deputy managing editor of The New York Times Co., introduced Arem Duplessis (M.S. Communications Design ’96), design director for The New York Times Magazine. Describing Duplessis as “one of the world’s most respected magazine designers,” Bodkin praised him for “showing empathy” in the workplace. In accepting the award from Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, Duplessis warmly credited faculty members for helping him along the way.
Pratt Trustee Young Woo, principal of Young Woo & Associates, introduced global installation artist Ik-Joong Kang (M.F.A. ’87), whom he praised for “installations [that] explore community, culture, and human interrelation.” Kang recalled how Pratt seemed “like condensed milk” when he was a student because the curriculum looked so dense.
Murray Moss, founder of the design gallery Moss Bureau, introduced jewelry and decorative objects designer Ted Muehling, (B.I.D. ’75), whom he lauded for his many “projects in partnership with decorative-arts firms.” Muehling fondly recalled his legendary industrial design teacher, Rowena Reed Kostellow, who inspired generations of Pratt students.
Yolanda Cuomo, principal and creative director of Yolanda Cuomo Design, introduced world-renowned photographer Sylvia Plachy (B.F.A. Graphic Arts ’65), whom she praised for “lifetime achievements in photojournalism.” Plachy recalled coming to Pratt to visit, seeing everyone dressed in black, and knowing it was the right place for her.
Rosalie Genevro, executive director of The Architectural League, introduced Annabelle Selldorf, (B. Arch. ’85) founder and principal of Selldorf Architects, as “one of New York’s most sought-after architects.” Selldorf recalled coming to Pratt barely speaking English, and having her hesitations about becoming an architect resolved through her course of study.
This year's ceremony was especially meaningful as 2012 marks the 125th anniversary of the Institute's founding in October 1887. "This year's alumni honorees have contributed iconic works to the worlds of art and design and personify the remarkable talent of Pratt graduates," said Schutte.
Text: Adrienne Gyongy
Photos: Kevin Wick