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.



More than 500 guests attended Pratt’s glamorous 125th Anniversary celebration at the Waldorf=Astoria on October 15, raising a record-breaking $1,070,000 for scholarships through ticket sales. In honor of the anniversary, the Empire State Building glowed gold the night of the gala, reflecting Pratt's school colors. Guests were also decked out in their finest black and gold.

The gala commemorated the alumni and faculty whose iconic works have shaped our world, and honored the Pratt Family, who have actively supported the Institute since its founding by Charles Pratt in 1887; Maximilian Josef Riedel, CEO of Riedel Crystal of North America; Julie Taymor, director of theater, opera, and film; and Kehinde Wiley, artist and contemporary portrait painter. Proceeds from the event will go towards student scholarships.

Bruce Gitlin, chair of Pratt’s Board of Trustees, gave a warm introduction to the Pratt Family and presented Mike Pratt with the first award of the evening. Maximilian Josef Riedel accepted his award and acknowledged the school’s talented students, in collaboration with whom Riedel has sponsored projects. He was presented his award by Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner.

In her acceptance remarks, Julie Taymor stressed the importance of institutions like Pratt in educating artists. “There is no soul of America without the arts. Without the arts we don't have a culture, a history,” said Taymor. Jeffrey Horowitz, founder and artistic director of Theatre for a New Audience, presented Taymor her award. As a tribute to Taymor’s illustrious career, T.V. Carpio, Dana Fuchs, and Martin Luther McCoy, stars of the Academy Award-nominated film, Across the Universe, directed by Taymor, performed four Beatles’ songs from the film’s score during the gala.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons presented Kehinde Wiley with the award. In accepting his award Wiley placed Pratt students in a special category of artists. “Artists at Pratt are a particularly rare breed,” he said. “We have a responsibility to take the riches in front of us and tell the truth about what is out there,” he reminded the audience.

Undergraduate photography student Kevin Truong (B.F.A. Photography '13) also participated in the evening's speaking program, bringing guests to their feet with a standing ovation after he compared the world he grew up in—a refugee camp in Malaysia—to the world he lives in now, attending "one of the finest art and design schools in the world.

Truong stressed the importance of scholarships in his life and noted that he had received nearly $100,000 in scholarships to pursue his dream of becoming a photographer. "You want to believe that when you're chasing your dream the last thing you should worry about is money, but to be very honest and blunt that is the first thing you worry about.”

Honorees were presented an award designed by undergraduate industrial design student Casey Daurio
(B.I.D. '13). Jared Bell (Comm-D '12), an undergraduate communications design student, was also recognized for having designed Pratt’s 125th anniversary logo. This year’s gala also included the unveiling of works to be featured in 125 Icons, an exhibition curated in honor of the Institute’s anniversary featuring the most iconic works by Pratt alumni and faculty as voted on by members of the public. The exhibition will open to the public at Pratt Manhattan Gallery on November 30 and will run through January 2013.

Guests included Pamela P. Auchincloss, arts advocate, philanthropist, and Pratt family member; Hamish Bowles, International Editor at Large of Vogue; Arlene Dahl, actress; Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, writer, activist, television interviewer/producer, and former White House assistant; Helmut Jahn, architect; Ed Koren, alumnus and illustrator for The New Yorker; Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, former executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and former senior vice president of IMG Fashion; Juan Montoya, interior designer; Carrie Moyer, alumna and artist; Tom Otterness, sculptor; Sheila Pepe, Pratt faculty member and artist; Sylvia Plachy, alumna and photographer for The Village Voice; Karim Rashid, industrial designer and former Pratt faculty member; Pratt Trustee Marc Rosen, Pratt alumnus, faculty member, and designer; Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of InStyle; Stefan Sagmeister, alumnus and renowned graphic designer; Christiane Siedel, actress on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire; and Danny Simmons, painter, and founder and president of Rush Arts Gallery.

Text: Amy Aronoff
Video: Corey Richardson and Ryan Cannava


Pratt faculty and staff reacquainted 400 alumni with campus life on September 29 with a full day of exhibitions, lectures, departmental presentations, walking tours, and reunion luncheons.

The first-ever Alumni Art & Design Fair was one of the highlights of Alumni Day 2012. Nearly 40 alumni participants displayed paintings, jewelry, photography, notecards, and other arts and crafts in booths along Grand Walk. Guests and community members strolled among the offerings, munching on free popcorn as they eyed—and bought—the professional artwork handsomely displayed on tables.

A special event this year was the unveiling of the art installation RECALL in the lobby of the Pratt Library on the Brooklyn campus. Commissioned for Pratt’s 125th Anniversary and executed by faculty member and alumna Jean Shin (B.F.A. ’94, M.S. ’96), RECALL is a repository of memorabilia contributed by numerous Pratt alumni.

The library’s Neo-Romanesque lobby provided an impressive setting for RECALL, Shin’s stacked arrangement of black file cabinets containing the memory objects of hundreds of alumni. Written statements adorned a “wall of memory” along the back of the cabinets.

“It was a long process,” Shin told the assembled alumni, “encouraging you to share what you remember,” yet it resulted in a modern-day “cabinet of curiosities—a way for people to recall the memories they have of Pratt, and to create what is truly a place of memory for Pratt students,” who may add their messages on the back. RECALL will remain on display in the library through December 21.

“We had no idea what you’d come up with,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Todd Galitz at the unveiling, “but it’s wonderful to see art in the library.” Galitz explained that RECALL is intended to “engage alumni in a unique way” and urged the gathering to “feel free to explore the work” by opening the drawers and discovering the memory items within.

Making new friends and revisiting old ones is an important part of Alumni Day. Convivial get-togethers such as the 50th+ Reunion Lunch entertained 70 alumni, while the 25th Reunion Lunch brought together 50 alumni. The day ended with a 125th Anniversary Cocktail Celebration, which left everyone in high spirits. 

Text: Adrienne Gyongy
Video: Jonathan Weitz