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Gateway is the community newsletter of Pratt Institute. It is published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement. For a list of contributors, click here.

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Tuesday
Nov292011

Pratt Makes Strong Showing at Art Basel Miami Beach 2011

Click the images above to see more work from Art Basel Miami Beach. L-R: Nancy Grossman (B.F.A. ’62), T.O.K., 1969–1970, leather, wood, porcelain, and hardware, 22 1/4 x 7 1/2 x 9 inches; Sheila Pepe, detail from Corner Piece, 2011, various fibers; Robert Mapplethorpe (B.F.A. ’70), Patti Smith, 1986 ©Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Click here to see a slideshow of Pratt work at Art Basel Miami.

A listing of Pratt alumni and faculty whose work was represented at Art Basel Miami Beach, the most prestigious art show in the Americas, reads like a veritable Who’s Who of the international art world.

The 10th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach took place from December 1–4. More than 260 leading galleries from around the world participated, showcasing work by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Among the Pratt artists whose work was represented were Anthony Alvarez (B.F.A. ’04), Nancy Grossman (B.F.A. ’62), Al Hansen (Cert.’ 59), Jim Hodges (M.F.A. ’86), Ellsworth Kelly (Cert. ’44), Greg Lindquist, (M.S./M.F.A. ’08) Robert Mapplethorpe (B.F.A. ’70), Enoc Perez (B.F.A. ’90), Raha Raissnia (M.F.A. ’02), Milton Resnick (B.F.A. ’32), Joan Semmel (M.F.A. ’73), Haim Steinbach (B.F.A. ’68), Mickalene Thomas (B.F.A. ’00), and Terry Winters (B.F.A. ’71).  

Also included were George McNeil, who studied at Pratt in the 1930s and taught at the Institute for 40 years; Janet Culbertson, who taught drawing at Pratt (1973-1974); Juan Muñoz, who was a student at the Pratt Graphic Center; Kenneth Noland, who was artist‐in‐residence at Pratt (1986–1987); Roxy Paine, who attended Pratt (1986–1988); and William Pope.L, who was a Pratt student (1973–1975).  

Exhibiting at other venues that held satellite exhibitions in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach were Assistant Chair Carla Gannis (Digital Arts), who showed at Pulse; alumni Jason Patrick Voegele (M.F.A. ’00) and Anthony Alvarez (B.F.A. ’04), who showed at the Fountain Art Fair in the Wynwood Arts District, and Berge Malikian (B. Arch. ’86), who showed limited-edition design work at the up-and-coming designers’ exhibition, "Inventory 2: Soul Does Matter." Lara Knutson (B. Arch. ’99) showed Navajo-inspired vases in a concept store called Alchemist in the new Herzog & de Meuron parking garage. Alex Louis (Fine Arts, summer 2011) showed sculptural pieces at The Art Now Fair at the Catalina Hotel in South Beach. Industrial design and furniture artist Pryor Callaway (M.I.D. ’99) showed in "Pictures and Furniture," an exhibition at Avant Gallery. Fashion designer Jeremy Scott (B.F.A. ’95) opened his first South Florida pop-up store at BASE on Lincoln Road, featuring designs from past and current collections. Work by Professor Haresh Lalvani (M.S. ’72) was presented in a solo exhibition in Moss Gallery’s booth at Design Miami; shown were The HyperSurface Collection and Morphing Fruit Platters 1D Series 300, fabricated in association with Pratt Trustee Bruce Gitlin and Brooklyn-based MILGO/BUFKIN.

Sheila Pepe, special assistant to the dean for academic affairs in the School of Art and Design, installed a new work, titled Corner Piece, made from multiple layered panels of knitted and crocheted materials ranging from sneaker laces to fine gold thread. Corner Piece was hung over a second floor balcony to create a tent on the floor below for a private party on Star Island, as part of the NetJets® celebration of its 10th anniversary as sponsor of Art Basel Miami Beach. As Pepe put it, “It’s a great opportunity to be showing in such an esteemed context, with such great artists and an audience of extremely serious art people.”

Text: Adrienne Gyongy
Photos: Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery; courtesy of Sheila Pepe; courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery

Monday
Nov282011

New Walking-Tour App by SILS Professors Shows Influence of German Culture on New York City

The new German Traces NYC app created by SILS Professors Anthony Cocciolo and Debbie Rabina.Did you know that the builders of the iconic Puck Building in SoHo were the publishers of a wildly popular 19th-century German humor magazine? That the Bloomingdale’s department store was started by two brothers from Bavaria in present-day Germany? That the global cosmetics brand Kiehl's was started 160 years ago by a German immigrant as an apothecary for selling old-world herbal remedies? 

These are just some of the facts about the history of German culture and influence in New York City to be learned from the German Traces NYC project, an interactive tour created by School of Information and Library Science (SILS) professors Anthony Cocciolo and Debbie Rabina.

German Traces was designed in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, which awarded Cocciolo and Rabina $56,000 for research and development of the project. German Traces is a mobile app that allows a user to go to a neighborhood—Yorkville on the Upper East Side, for instance—and find nearby landmarks of the city’s German history. Then, standing in front of a building or a memorial, the user can read about the site, watch a video, and listen to a podcast. Huge populations of German immigrants settled and created distinct communities in various areas of the city—such as Yorkville—in the early 20th century, so a user is able to visit several sites at one time.

“It is the same kind of information that you would get in an archive or library, but it is a different way for people to access the material,” explains Cocciolo.

Cocciolo says the project was a perfect collaboration. The Goethe-Institut, with its mission to promote German culture, was interested in creating an interactive tour. The SILS researchers had their own mission. “As information specialists, we wanted a project to investigate the viability of place-based learning,” says Cocciolo. “There is a lot of enthusiasm around mobile learning, but it’s important to find out what works.”

Cocciolo and Rabina created the tour using the open-source software GeoStoryteller, which Cocciolo developed along with Layar, another open-source software that creates augmented realities, showing, for instance, an archival photo layered over a current one.

In 1880, about a third of New York City’s residents were German or German-American, with only Vienna and Berlin containing more German speakers than New York.

Rabina says they were drawn to the project because of its challenges; among them, many Americans associate Germany with stereotypical traditions such as Octoberfest. She also says they wanted a project that was historic, but had implications for today’s society.

“We wanted it to tie into broader themes, and the theme of immigration, of biases and prejudices toward immigrants groups, are certainly no different than they are with other core groups today.”

Rabina says the project also taps into the core mission of SILS and information professionals.

“We’re always thinking about what it is libraries can do in terms of attracting a new audience while staying true to their core mission, which is bringing people together with high-quality materials.”

Text: Abigail Beshkin
Photo: Courtesy of German Traces NYC

Monday
Nov282011

Digital Arts Department Celebrates 25th Anniversary in State-of-the-Art Space

Twenty-five years ago, when Pratt opened a Department of Digital Arts, it was almost impossible to imagine the extent to which technology would change a discipline then known as “computer graphics.” The fledgling department opened in 1987 in the basement of Pratt’s athletic center, the ARC. Over the years, digital arts expanded dramatically in both scope and sophistication. Then, when the new Myrtle Hall opened last year, the Department of Digital Arts moved into a state-of-the-art, custom-designed space on Myrtle Hall’s fourth and fifth floors. Now, a year later, Gateway tours the gleaming new space and looks at how the department is settling in. 

Text and Production: Abigail Beshkin
Video and Production: Jonathan Weitz