September 7, 2020
Dear Fine Arts Community,
Welcome back! It’s great to see students and faculty again, whether online or in-person. Your faculty and staff worked tirelessly this summer to prepare; enormous thanks to all of them for their hard work and dedication.
Fall 2020 is a historic semester, not only because we are living with a pandemic. On November 3rd, we will collectively decide what we want this country’s future to be. As artists, we have the potential to navigate ambiguous spaces and reimagine the structures in which we live. The importance of this moment cannot be underestimated; therefore, this fall, our programming will focus on what it means to be a civilly engaged artist in a time of seismic change.
Led by our inaugural Fellow in Civic Engagement, Amy Khoshbin, the first event in the series is VOTE, VOTE AGAIN: ART IN ACTION in partnership with Pratt’s Public Programs and co-hosted by pioneering performance artist, Karen Finley. We encourage you to attend and make your voice heard! Please see our events below for more about this series and information on many other activities this fall.
We know that our community has the creativity, passion, and strength to meet this semester’s challenges with resilience and good-humor; we look forward to sharing this historical time with you.
Jane South | Chair, Fine Arts
NOTE: The newsletter is sent out bi-monthly during the semester on Mondays, so please send announcements at least two weeks in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org and stay connected with us on Facebook Instagram and Twitter.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT SERIES
VOTE, VOTE AGAIN: ART IN ACTION
Thursday, October 1, 2020 Online at 7:00PM
Co-hosted by Amy Khoshbin, Pratt’s Civic Engagement Fellow in partnership and artist Karen Finley with Pratt Presents and participants Maya Contreras, City Council Candidates: Chi Ossé, Kristin Richardson Jordan, GOTV Organizations: Walk the Walk, Plan Your Vote, Artists 4 Democracy, ADVICE
Against Doom TV: Abolitionism + Electoral Politics on Thursday, October 22, Online at 7:00PM
Healing, Mutual Aid, Moving Forward on Thursday, November 12, Online at 7:00PM
For more information and event link visit here: www.pratt.edu/civicseries
Faculty, Alumni, and Student Exhibitions
Professor Frank Lind
Tribute by Donna Moran:
On behalf of my colleagues at Pratt, I’d like to wish Frank Lind a fond farewell upon his retirement after 48 years of service to Pratt Institute.
I am happy to write this because Frank and I go back a long way- from the time as a naïve new faculty member I went and asked him if I could use a studio (the answer was a firm NO!!) through the time Frank hired me to be Acting Assistant Chair and then Chair of the Fine Arts Department, and, until now as a colleague.
Frank came to Pratt Institute as a graduate student in the fall of 1971. His savings were quickly depleted and he managed to get a job as a file clerk in the Graduate Fine Arts office in Higgins Hall in March of 1972. The pay wasn’t much but he got tuition remission as a full-time employee and was able to finish his MFA going to classes at night. By 1974, he was the program counselor for grad Fine Arts and in 1976 became head of the department. Throughout the 80’s he hired good faculty, supported the students, and vigorously acquired studio space for painting cubicles and classrooms. He began renting his studio on Livingston St. in downtown Brooklyn after graduating in 1974 and has maintained that studio until the present time.
Around 1992, President Warren Ilchman asked him to combine the undergraduate and graduate Fine Arts programs into one huge department and chair it. In 1993, Tom Schutte became President and over the next decades, as Tom and Judy Aaron transformed the finances and enrollment of Pratt, Frank worked vigorously to grow the BFA and MFA programs and hire the faculty and staff to run it.
In 1999 Provost John Gordon asked him to become Acting Dean of the School of Art and Design and following a national search, he became Dean. Because the Dean’s job was so demanding he stopped teaching but he kept painting and exhibiting his work. In 2009, he stepped down as Dean and became a full-time faculty member.
Much beloved by students and colleagues alike, we will miss Frank and wish him all the very best as he now embarks on his well-earned retirement.
Wishing you all the best!
Professor Nancy Grimes
Tribute by Catherine Redmond:
On Missing Nancy Grimes: It is hard to imagine Pratt Institute without Nancy Grimes walking into the Main Building on Thursday mornings ready to take on all issues of painting, however thorny or tangled they may have been. I knew Nancy first by her writing. She wrote reviews for Art News. I liked her insights and observations. They were measured and thoughtful, and never prone to the exaggerated claims of many. That was twenty years ago. Her paintings, when I finally saw them, were riveting. Strange and dark, not surreal but something close to it, they foresaw the uncertainty we now face as “normal”. No one was painting like Grimes and once you saw one of her images you never forgot it. The work had a retaining power that is all too rare. These were slow paintings. Not BLINK! BLINK! and then move on, but works that made the viewer lean in and consider. She was as thorough and dense with those still-lifes–even with their occasional humor–as she was in the way she taught. Nancy never leaves anything to chance, teaching her students to think through the way in which a work of art was constructed and brought to life. Many students who developed into professional artists owe a debt of gratitude to her guidance and insight. She has sent many out into the profession who found their voices in her class. Her loyalty and tenacity as a friend was as fierce as it was in what she believed was best for the Painting Program. Her insistence on excellence and her belief in the capacity of students to excel was matched by her own dedication to their development. She was willing to take unpopular positions in the department for the good of the students. Grimes’ compass always knew where True North lay. Her new work which she shared last fall in a conversation among figurative painters, takes on narrative and the discomforting interactions within friendships and family. We look forward to seeing what this new chapter will bring as she settles into her studio in Pennsylvania.
I will miss Nancy, now a trusted and loyal friend, and especially seeing her on Thursdays. Our painting lunches were, to put it mildly, memorable. Painting faculty had many a good discussion and argument–usually ending in a draw as we left the table, and to be continued the following week at lunch or via email. The painting culture at Pratt was made better by Nancy and her smart, take-no-prisoners approach. How lucky we have been to call her a colleague and a friend.