This Fall at SCPS – A Snapshot of What’s to Come

Courtesy of Karla Alexander

It’s that time of year again, when the leaves begin to change color and the days get shorter which undoubtedly heralds the beginning of the fall season. Although the days will be getting shorter and colder, there are a plethora of exciting events and programs occurring this fall at Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies to keep you busy and inspired throughout the fall season.

Last week the fall semester kicked off at Pratt Institute and classes are officially back in session. This semester SCPS is offering an extensive schedule of fall programming for adult learners interested in taking advantage of one of the most lively time periods in New York City. For a complete overview of the fall programs being offered visit  our main website: Certificate Programs.

To accompany your studies this fall why not take advantage of the wide variety of campus events and activities taking place during these next few months at Pratt which include Blue Week, Archtober,  and The Future Of Fragrance panel. Keep reading to learn about a few of the most noteworthy events happening on campus during September and October.

Courtesy of Pratt Institute

The Future of Fragrance

On Wednesday, September 25th at 6:30 pm   The Future of Fragrance Panel will be taking place at the Pratt Manhattan Center. This must-see panel event will feature leading experts in the fragrance industry in a discussion about changes in the fragrance market as it has evolved over many years. Each panelist will be contributing a unique perspective to the discussion based on their individual backgrounds. The four industry experts are: Pamela Vaile, President of Pamela Vaile Consulting LLC; Raymond Matts, the founder of The Art of Perfumery; Raymond Matts, Founder, The Art of Perfumery; Kate Greene, Creative Director of Our House a creative marketing agency that analyzes consumer trends; and Herve Pierini, Head of Sales for Firmenich North America Fine Fragrance.  For more information about this event or to buy tickets to attend: The Future of Fragrance.

Blue Week (October 1st – 6th)

In just a few shorts weeks Blue Week begins at Pratt Institute. Every year at the end of September and beginning of October, Pratt Institute participates in this  week-long event which helps to encourage and support environmental awareness and sustainability. Throughout Blue Week, a schedule of campus-wide events and programs will take place which include panel discussions, film screenings, presentations, yoga classes and much more. The goal of Blue Week is to highlight the global significance of water and the  importance of preserving this vital natural resource as well as encouraging a continual dialogue about the importance of sustainability.  This year’s Blue Week schedule of events includes: Material Modification: Refashioning Ocean Plastics, a panel discussion featuring experts in the design field, Water-Inspired Yoga for the Planet,  and Rising Seas: Gotham on the Edge  a presentation and panel featuring Ted Steinberg. For more information about Blue Week including a list of all of the events taking place visit the Pratt Sustainability Coalition

Courtesy of Daniel Libeskind Studio

Daniel Libeskind: Edge of Order (October 15th)

On October 1st, Archtober commences in New York City.  This year world renowned Architect and Designer, Daniel Libeskind will be a guest speaker at Pratt Institute on October 15th. Libeskind will be discussing his latest projects and his most recent book, Edge of Order.   On top of being a sensational architect and artist, Daniel Libeskind is a visionary whose work has immensely influenced the field of architecture and urban design. One of his countless accomplishments includes being the master planner for the World Trade Center Development.  To hear all about this historic project and more outstanding achievements from Daniel Libeskind and his studio, make sure to reserve a ticket to attend his presentation on October 15th at Pratt.

For more information about events taking place across both the Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses this fall check out the Pratt Events Calendar.

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Hank Ehrenfried: Been and Gone

Courtesy of Hank Ehrenfried

The School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) Gallery is excited to present, Been and Gone, featuring the work of Artist and Pratt Alumnus, Hank Ehrenfried. This exhibition will be on display from July 8th through the beginning of September. We are honored to work with Hank to showcase his exceptional art work. Keep reading to learn more about Hank Ehrenfried, his background and professional journey, and his inspirations.

Pratt SCPS: What motivated you to pursue a career in art?

Hank Ehrenfried: It’s a cliche but it never occurred to me that I should really do anything else. It’s always been the objective. And very early on I had a lot of really excellent teachers who made the possibility of that feel real and exciting.

Pratt SCPS: How would you describe your artistic aesthetic and what materials do you use?

Hank Ehrenfried: I’m a painter. And I use oil paints because I like to eat. As for aesthetic, I aspire to some sort of intersection between Jim Hodges’s poetic sensibility and Giorgio Morandi’s capacity to make a still image appear as if it might explode if just one edge is moved. I’m extremely sentimental so much so that it teeters on the edge of fault maybe. I guess that’s for someone else to decide.

Pratt SCPS: What has been the most important lesson for you as a working artist?

Hank Ehrenfried: Patience, definitely. By nature I can be pretty impatient which causes me to rush so finding ways day-to-day to hold my own focus is critical and ever-changing.

Courtesy of Hank Ehrenfried

Pratt SCPS: How has your art work and technique evolved over time?

Hank Ehrenfried: From late 2011 until the summer of 2018 I was making abstraction. At their best they were active and balanced and pretty unafraid in their color. Towards the end I started to hit all these barriers where I felt like the form was becoming a huge blockade for what I was trying to say and felt like I had been saying with some success previously. To counter that, I started making more rules for myself about the composition and the palette. I liked abstraction and still do like it as a vehicle for obscuring.

I’ve always thought of it as a veil or a gate of sorts but by last May it all became very opaque. I started working from photography because a good photograph solves the problems I had been trying to fix in abstraction by adding more rules – color, form, composition, divisions in space and illusion. I experienced a few deaths in my family as well last Spring that shifted the confidence I have in my own voice and it suddenly became important that what I have to say be said very directly. Figuration felt like the best way to be direct where I have to look at what I am making in a forward-facing sort of way as to opposed to previously which was more like periodic glances.

Pratt SCPS: What inspired the work that was created for this exhibition?

Hank Ehrenfried: All of the work comes from photography. They’re either from an archive of my own family’s photos or photos I’ve taken myself. I guess I’m sort of interested in how a camera is maybe as “bad” at seeing as we are, that it’s a sight that is equal to our own and just as fraught. I try not to overthink that too much because I’m simply not that bothered that they read as being from snapshots.

This work is very linked to my paternal grandmother who passed away last year. She was a Hungarian survivor of the Holocaust. Being so close to that history, a lot of what is so remarkable and gruesome about those years of her life has a different kind of urgency when held up against all the life she lived after and how it was comfortable and safe and ordinary. I know all of that meant a lot more to her than it might have to most. She spent almost the last 30 years of her life recounting her experience of WWII. As we enter a time where those witnesses are no longer here, I feel it’s urgent we reevaluate our relationship to that history and how we continue to carry it into the future. There are a lot of problems associated with trying to speak for that portion of her life and her real experience of it, from 1939 through her liberation.

For me, all of that is now a thing to be cherished and guarded because she and others did the difficult work of documenting and archiving it, and of facing it over and over again. I think it’s important that her presence continues to be felt but I can only speak with some authority about the triumph of her life that came after. That’s the portion I’m a part of. She knew better than anyone that surviving the war was all arbitrary and so it’s what came after that reflected more of who she was before and after. Going forward, I’d like to lean a bit more on my own point of view as opposed to strictly trying to be a filter for hers.

Courtesy of Hank Ehrenfried

Pratt SCPS: As a recent Pratt Alumni, what part of the Pratt experience do you reflect on the most?

Hank Ehrenfried: My peers. Building a cohort was a crucial part of my decision to go back to school and pursue an MFA. Also, Linda Francis, my thesis advisor from my second year, who just retired. There were many times where I think she had greater confidence in my intellect than I did.

Pratt SCPS: Lastly, what message(s) do you hope to express to your audience through your art work?

Hank Ehrenfried: I recently got to hear Steve Reich’s “Different Trains” performed live, which was a piece of music he composed about riding trains coast to coast as a child to visit his divorced parents during WWII. Those train rides informed his upbringing and it wasn’t until adulthood that he realized, as a Jew, had he been in Europe, his childhood would have still been informed heavily by long train rides. And so while he feels this strong empathetic and urgent connection to this other experience, he also knows it’s not his to speak about with any kind of authority. “Different Trains” is the barrier he creates between his lived experience, his feelings of empathy and connection to a trauma, and reconciling the hopelessness of that position despite the depth and urgency of his feeling.

That’s the sort of barrier I want to highlight for a viewer in my own work, that you don’t have to imagine yourself where you weren’t or aren’t. The task of not imagining yourself someplace you were not or cannot possibly be as a means to understand is difficult but informative. The fraught nature of your present position is incredibly valuable in how you move the past through your present and into the future.

For more info about Hank and his exceptional work visit his websiteLearn more about his upcoming exhibition at the SCPS Gallery.

Make sure to follow both Hank Ehrenfried and Pratt SCPS on social media.

Around the City this Spring and Summer

Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat Exhibition, Courtesy of The Guggenheim

As the international center of art, media, business, and culture, New York City has uniquely positioned itself as the place to be in order to make big things happen. This sprawling metropolis is not only known for producing some of the world’s greatest artists, architects and designers, but it has a way of magnetically drawing masters in these fields from far and wide to its streets for opportunities to network, study, exhibit, or simply explore.

At Pratt’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, we believe an art and design education is an exceptional resource to have at your disposal, however, learning isn’t limited to just the classroom. There is so much available to explore and experience in New York City. Here’s a roundup of ten must-see exhibitions and events taking place this spring and summer around the city.

1. Simone Leigh: Loophole of Retreat

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: April 19 – August 4, 2019

This past Fall, the Guggenheim announced Simone Leigh as the recipient of their 2018 Hugo Boss Prize, whose work will be on display this spring – summer season at the museum. Simone Leigh is an acclaimed African-American female artist whose resume spans the fields of sculpture, video, performance and programming. She is the first artist of African descent to win this award and her exhibition, Loophole of Retreat,  currently featured at the Guggenheim, examines the black female experience as well as the history of black female labor and resistance.

2. Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s

Whitney Museum: March 29 – August 2019

Color is the palate of our existence. From generation to generation painters and artists have been able to use color to redefine the way we experience the world that surrounds us. This summer at the Whitney Museum of American Art, take a journey back to the 1960s with, Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s. This exhibition is a must-see for all types of creatives and will be on display at the Whitney through August.

3. Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die (Punk Graphics, 1976 – 1986)

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD): April 9, 2019 – August 18, 2019

Imagine taking a journey back to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when provocative punk rock designs and art work made their mark on the underground art and music scene in big cities. The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) takes you on such a journey this summer with their exhibition, To Fast to Live, To Young to Die. Rediscover the artistry of punk  graphics and illustrations and the legacy this era had on contemporary art and design through the vantage point of this exhibition.

The World Between Empires Exhibition, Courtesy of The Met Museum

4. The World Between Empires: Art and Identity In The Ancient Middle East

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Now – June 23, 2019

Embark on a voyage back in time with The World Between Empires exhibition at The Met this June. This exhibition  features pieces from museums from around the world and draws parallels between the cultural, religious, and historical traditions that influenced the jewelry, sculptures, paintings, and ceramics from the period of the Roman and Parthian Empires.

5. Non-Stick Nostalgia: Y2K Retrofuturism in Contemporary Jewelry

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD): March 21 – July 21, 2019

This summer visit MAD Museum for an exhibition that examines the complexity of the many realities we experience in the post Y2K era. Non-Stick Nostalgia  is currently on display at MAD Museum through the end of July and features  the work of twenty-six contemporary jewelry artists from around the world. Showcasing  jewelry pieces that explore not only the tension between the virtual and the physical, but how different textures like plastic have informed the way we conceptualize design.

6. Garry Winogrand: Color

Brooklyn Museum: May 3 – December 8, 2019

Come view this collection of rarely seen color photographs shot by acclaimed American photographer, Garry Winogrand at the  Brooklyn Museum this summer. This exhibition, titled Garry Winogrand: Color, explores Winogrand’s expeditions through New York City and beyond from the viewfinder of his camera. Documenting the experiences of Americans during the 1950’s – 60’s and the cultural and social movements that defined those time periods.

7. Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee

The Met Breur: June 4 – September 29, 2019

On June 4th, The Met Breur will be exhibiting Phenomenal Nature, an exhibition showcasing the work of Indian artist and sculptor, Mrinalini Mukherjee. This exhibition will feature sixty pieces by this exceptional female artist and illuminate how greatly the natural world influenced her work throughout her lifetime.

Photo by Ben Gancsos, Courtesy of The Whitney Museum

8. Whitney Biennial 2019

Whitney Museum of American Art: May 17 – September 22, 2019

It’s that time of year again, when the Whitney Museum brings together a group of highly talented artists to showcase and exhibit their work through the Whitney Biennial 2019. This year’s Biennial will feature a group of over seventy five diverse contemporary artists from around the globe, whose work includes paintings, film and video, photography, installations, performances and much more.

9. CAMP: Notes on Fashion

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: May 9 – September 8, 2019

This past May, The Met Costume Institute presented their spring 2019 fashion exhibition CAMP: Notes on FashionWhich will features the work of contemporary fashion designers and brands, through an exploration of ‘camp’ as a fashion aesthetic. Almost two hundred pieces will be on display, ranging from menswear and womenswear, to painting, drawing and sculptures. This innovative exhibition will be on display through September.

10. Roger Brown: Virtual Still Lifes

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD): May 2 – September 15, 2019

Explore the world through the eyes of Roger Brown this summer at MAD Museum. This exhibition will feature a collection of Brown’s paintings created during the final chapter of his art career. As noted by MAD, “the exhibition lays out Brown’s process through the objects he collected and the spaces he created for and with them.” Painters and Illustrators alike will especially get a kick out of attending this event.

In addition to these amazing events taking place across this city, check out Pratt Institute’s events calendar to see what’s happening this spring and summer at Pratt SCPS and across both Pratt campuses.

Melissa Staiger: In The Fountain

Melissa Staiger, In The Fountain 4

The School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) Gallery is excited to present, In The Fountainfeaturing the work of exceptional artist, Melissa Staiger. This exhibition will be on display beginning on May 28th and will continue until the end of June. We are honored to work with Melissa to showcase her magnificent work. She is our artist spotlight for the month of June.  Keep reading to learn more about this artist, her techniques and inspirations.

Melissa Staiger’s Artist Statement:

I work with various materials that vary greatly in scale and construction. Consistently you will see bold color, texture, gesture that holds sensitivity and harmony among its parts. Collage and assemblage are key mediums that guide my playful process of seeing the possibilities before making a choice of composition.

Moving paint around is a sensual experience for me. The marks that I make in the form organic shapes and curves are painted to express a constant state of flow. Color is a potent expression and medicine.

Melissa Staiger, Surface Reflection

In 2013, I was nominated to attend the Robert Rauschenberg Artist Residency. The staff graciously took us to the massive metal scrap yard where Rauschenberg would find materials for his works. I started playing with scraps that I hadn’t thought of using before. A green metal piece became a major key player in my understanding on how found objects can give the surface of a painting so much 3D texture. This put me on a path of creating many assemblages with various materials.

All of these experiences I took back to the studio and my work. Combining physical objects with paint adds another dimension to my art. From the most expensive tubes of paint to a broken tile found on the floor, both hold an energy and vibration of color. I carefully arrange objects, shapes, lines, and colors. I pay attention to the relationships, patterns, and shifts of movement. I arrange them in my works and play around with it.

Melissa Staiger, In The Fountain 3

I need time to immerse, experiment, listen, and draw in my sketchbook to push my work further. In this creative process, I control what I produce and can deem myself authentic as the creator. In my creative process, circles, mark making, collage, painting, assemblage, and texturizing are taking me to a path of color, structure, and layering. I love the hard edge, and making marks and using color as the structure in my work opens up a glimpse of understanding that I crave within my inner self. When I am able to use my entire body and make sweeping marks on the floor, I am reaching for a composition to form. Then suddenly, the work feels right and then I have a moment of accomplishment right before I release it into the world.

For more info about Melissa  Staiger and her exceptional work visit her website. This upcoming summer Melissa will be teaching a few courses at  Pratt Institute including Materials And Techniques, a Five – Week Summer Intensive, beginning on June 3rd, that will explore  a variety of different media used in art creation.