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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.


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Friday
Feb012013

2013 Alumni Achievement Awards Announced

Left to right, top to bottom: Bill Gold, Michael Flynn, Louis Nelson, Yuko Nii, Dwight Johnson, and Sherry Onna Handlin.On March 21, the Pratt Institute 2013 Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented to six accomplished alumni. The awards recognize outstanding graduates who have distinguished themselves in their fields, who have earned a high degree of respect among their colleagues and in the general community, and whose impact has been felt on a regional, national, or international level.

Award winners were chosen by a committee of similarly accomplished professionals—most past Alumni Achievement Award honorees—who reviewed all nominations received. Committee members included Arem Duplessis (M.S. Communications Design ’96), design director of The New York Times Magazine, Michael Inman (M.S.L.I.S. ’02), curator of rare books for the New York Public Library, Annabelle Selldorf (B. Arch. ’85), principal of Selldorf Architects, and photographer and NYU professor Deborah Willis (M.F.A. ’80). Members representing Pratt included Peter Barna, provost, and Todd Galitz, vice president, Institutional Advancement.

The jury selected Bill Gold, a prolific designer of over 2,000 movie posters, to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, an award given to alumni who have made significant accomplishments throughout their career. The other 2013 Alumni Achievement Award winners are Michael Flynn, urban planner with the New York City Department of Transportation, Sherry Onna Handlin, co-founder of Dance Theater of Nepal, Dwight Johnson, president of Dwight Johnson Design and co-founder of The Black Alumni of Pratt, Louis Nelson, designer and visionary artist, and Yuko Nii, founder of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center. These award recipients will be acknowledged with categories of recognition that have been introduced this year:

Career Achievement Award: recognizes graduates who live Pratt’s values of aesthetic judgment, professional knowledge, collaborative skill, and technical expertise to make lasting contributions to society.

International Career Achievement Award: recognizes the Institute’s international alumni who live Pratt’s values of aesthetic judgment, professional knowledge, collaborative skill, and technical expertise to make lasting contributions to society.


Distinguished Service Award
: recognizes alumni who through their professional activity, philanthropic support, or service have made outstanding and significant contributions to Pratt Institute.

Community Commitment Award: recognizes alumni who have made outstanding and significant contributions to society on a volunteer basis or through their professional involvement.

Early Career Award: recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years, have earned distinction in the early stages of their career, and demonstrate tremendous future potential.
 

Bill Gold (Advertising Design ’40)
Lifetime Achievement Award

From childhood, Gold knew he wanted to be an artist. After graduating from Pratt Institute on a scholarship, he got a job in the poster department at Warner Brothers’ New York office. As a young art director, he could hardly have imagined how celebrated and world-renowned his first two projects would become. The assignments were Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca. Soon afterward, he enlisted in the Army, where he created training films for the Air Force. After the war, Gold returned to Warner Bros., and in the late 1950s headed west to Los Angeles to work on the Warner lot, where he created advertising campaigns for such movies as Giant, Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, The Searchers, and Gypsy. A true New Yorker, he came back east a few years later and set up his own shop, Bill Gold Advertising. For more than 60 years, Gold truly defined the genre of movie poster advertising. Funny Girl, My Fair Lady, The Exorcist, Clockwork Orange, On Golden Pond, Unforgiven, The Sting, Dog Day Afternoon and Mystic River are just a few of the thousands of films on which he has worked. In the late 1970s Gold found himself concentrating more on his work with Clint Eastwood than with other studios. By the mid-1980s he decided to dedicate all his time to Eastwood. Working with him from Dirty Harry to Mystic River has been an amazing collaboration.

Gold is currently enjoying retirement indulging in his second passion, photography, and lives in Old Greenwich, CT, with his wife, Susie, and their two dogs, Willoughby and Cooper.

Louis Nelson, (B.I.D. ’58; M.I.D. ’64)
Career Achievement Award

Louis Nelson has influenced much of what we see, hear, taste and smell; and how we walk, talk, learn and feel. He is a visionary artist in diverse disciplines of strategic planning, storytelling, filmmaking, communications, graphics, and industrial design, enriched by boundless curiosity and a rare sensitivity to the world around him. His credo: “Design sets a standard that affects our attitude toward quality and our sense of well-being.” He has directed a cascade of public and private programs here and abroad: the mural for the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall; the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Medal; Nutrition Facts on America’s food packages; colored skis for Head; No Nonsense Pantyhose; Statue of Liberty dining, the world’s highest-volume fast-food restaurant; information systems and signs at Logan, JFK, Air Train, World Trade Center transit centers, and New York City subways; exhibits and films for America worldwide; murals; and logos. A native New Yorker, Nelson lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with his wife, Judy Collins, the noted singer, songwriter, and author.

Sherry Onna Handlin, (B.F.A., Art and Design Education ’67)
International Career Achievement

As a mixed-media artist and mentor, Sherry Onna Handlin serves as Projects Advisor and Co-founder with Raj Kapoor of the award-winning Dance Theater of Nepal (DTON). DTON has showcased traditional Himalayan Nepali folk and classical dance, music concerts, workshops, and special events throughout New York and beyond, including at the Tenri Institute, Symphony Space, Rubin Museum of Art, Queens Theater in the Park, American Museum of Natural History, Hammond Museum, Smithsonian, Pace University, Princeton, Columbia University, M.I.T, Pratt Institute, Stony Brook University, the United Nations, and several schools and community centers. Her work has appeared in numerous press outlets including the Queens Courier, Desi Talk, The New York Times, Daily News, Kathmandu Post, Diyalo, and Choutari.

Handlin is an animal rights activist, supports immigrant rights, and is an environmental protection advocate. She teaches visual arts and world culture, yoga and energy balancing, and health prevention workshops. Her interest in Buddhist Dharma continues.

Michael Flynn, (M.S., City and Regional Planning ’06)
Early Career Award

Michael Flynn, AICP, LEED-AP, serves as director of Capital Planning and Project Initiation at the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), where he oversees development of the City’s capital street construction program and guides project designs towards safer, greener, and more vibrant streets. He also plays a key role in green infrastructure and climate adaptation strategies within the public right-of-way, including recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy. Prior work at NYCDOT has included developing and co-authoring the New York City Street Design Manual and designing innovative public space, bicycle, and safety improvement projects.

Flynn serves as a visiting professor and faculty advisor at Pratt Institute.

Dwight Johnson, (B.I.D. ‘72)
Distinguished Service Award 

Dwight Johnson is the creative director and president of Dwight Johnson Design. Johnson has spent his professional life making certain people obtain the information they need in the most memorable manner. At Dwight Johnson Design, he sets the standard—creativity, originality, persistence, diligence, attention to detail, and above all else, exemplary customer service. Johnson himself takes the lead on each project that comes through the company. For him, every client is top priority. 

While a professor at Pratt Institute, he was tapped as a special events consultant to Pratt’s president. Johnson’s 20 years of experience at Pratt as an administrator, consultant, and full-time professor endowed him with finely honed managerial, art, and design skills. He continues to be instrumental in bringing to his alma mater a diverse and distinguished group of individuals as honorees or as lecturers.

In 1990, Johnson co-founded and served as president of The Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP) with a small group of proud and determined students to identify and advance scholastic and professional opportunities for Pratt Institute students and alumni of African and Latino descent. BAP’s Annual “Celebration of the Creative Spirit” benefit raises funds for BAP and has become a premier fundraising event in New York City. Since its inception, BAP has awarded hundreds of scholarships to students and developed a healthy endowment.

Yuko Nii, (M.F.A. ‘68)
Community Commitment Award

Yuko Nii, an artist from Tokyo, pursued her career as a painter and also did printmaking, graphic design, set and costume design, and fashion design, all while writing poetry, fiction, essays, and newspaper and magazine articles. She also began to purchase and renovate old buildings to rent space to artists. 

In late 1996, Nii purchased the Kings County Savings Bank building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as the home for the not-for-profit Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center). The WAH Center serves as a multicultural art center that aims to bridge local, national, and international emerging as well as established artists of all disciplines to create a more peaceful and integrated world. 

The WAH Center has produced more than 200 fine art exhibitions with more than 3,000 artist participants, and more than 150 performance programs with more than 1,000 performers. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was the seventh building to be landmarked in New York City.

To see past awardees click here.

Text: Megan McCurry
Photos: Susan Gold, Reven Wurman, Jenny Jozwiak, Janet Upadhye/DNAinfo, Julie Skarratt, Courtesy of the WAH Center

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