May 3, 2021

The end of an academic year is a time of celebration as we say farewell to our MFA and BFA classes of 2021, and a time of reflection as we take stock of all that we have been through together.

Clearly, this has been a year like no other. We are grateful that campus community members can visit thesis shows and experience the work of graduating students in person and we very much hope that friends and family members, along with friends of the program and alumni, will take the time to visit their work online at Pratt Shows 21. When you do so, I think you will agree that despite the challenging circumstances, their work is extraordinary. 

To our graduating artists, thank you for showing us all how no pandemic can stifle your creativity nor your enthusiasm for your work and your future. Seeing how you have handled these circumstances makes me optimistic for all of our futures! Thank you and congratulations on all you have accomplished.

Faculty and staff, you have continued to be extraordinary in your care for and commitment to our students this year. As we close out this most extraordinary of years, I am once again reminded what a privilege it is to be a part of this incredible community.

Have a wonderful summer everyone!

Jane

Jane South | Chair, Fine Arts

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Unfkd: MFA Fine Arts & Photography THESIS EXHIBITION 

On view from through May 7, the exhibition can be viewed online here at Pratt Shows 2021 and in-person by members of the Pratt Institute community with campus access in the Pfizer Building. 

Faculty Retirement Tributes:

Tribute for Bill Richards
by Ben La Rocco

As of May 11th, 2021, Bill Richards will be retiring from Pratt after 22 years of teaching. Bill’s relationship with Pratt Institute has been a long one. As a high school student, he commuted from Long Island for free Saturday art classes at Pratt, and then went on to earn his BFA here in 1966. Among his most memorable experiences as an undergraduate were studying with Richard Lindner and Jacob Lawrence, as well as Joe Smith. 

It was in the spring of 1999 that Joe Smith first invited Bill to teach a life study class at Pratt.  The following Fall Semester, Bill was invited back by Gerry Hayes and Frank Lind to teach two sections of Life Study. From that time on, Bill taught between one and three courses each semester, including Life Study I, II, III and IV as well as Drawing I, II, III and IV, nearly the full core curriculum of the Drawing Area.

Frank remarks that Bill is “Warm and funny. His posts [on Facebook] about his frequent bike rides and walks always seem to unveil something fascinating. He is a great teacher, and his art is profound. I’m glad I know him.”

I experienced the warmth of Bill’s character in the sense of welcome he, Joe and Frank, all gave me as a relatively recent addition to Pratt Fine Art’s Drawing Area. The early work they did teaching drawing contributed largely to the formation and character of the Drawing Area at Pratt. Bill’s retirement, coinciding as it does with the retirement of the Drawing Area’s Nanette Carter, marks a great change for us. They will be missed.

Bill’s teaching philosophy – that drawing can be the foundation of any art practice because of its directness, intimacy and malleability, allowing creative visual thinking to develop in art students – is evident in his artwork. Bill is represented by the Nancy Hoffman Gallery here in the city. Like his teaching, Bill’s art is dedicated to drawing. Looked at through the lens of contemporary art, his drawing’s complexity of rendering now seems to have been ahead of its time. His work is marked by a fidelity to form and careful observation in working from nature. As to the quality of Bill Richards’ work, then, I am in agreement with Frank.

Tribute for Nanette Carter
by Mona Brody


Nanette Carter, an esteemed member of the Fine Arts Faculty, is retiring after 20 years as an Adjunct Associate Professor with CCE. She started teaching at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY in the Fall of 2001. Nanette is an Alumna of Pratt Institute receiving her MFA in 1978.

Nanette’s profound impact on her students and the Fine Arts Department was evident in her dedication to the Drawing Majors Program. The Drawing Program doubled in size because of her passion and energy. As Coordinator for Undergraduate Drawing, Nanette initiated the Drawing Club. Under her tutelage, her students traveled to Museums in Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. She arranged exhibition opportunities for her students at Five Myles Gallery, Brooklyn, Chelsea Galleries, and organized an International exchange exhibition between Pratt Institute and Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland. Nanette collaborated with Dina Weiss on the Drawing Democracies, she organized an exhibition “For the People” and a public drawing event with the Harlem Dance Theater for the entire Pratt community as well as the local community.

Nanette is a prolific and critically acclaimed artist with her work featured at Fridman Gallery, NY, Parrish Art Museum, NY, Gallery Ami Kanoko, Osaka, Japan, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba, and Skoto Gallery, NY. Her honors and awards include Pratt Faculty Development Fund Awards, Hydra Art Project, Perugia, Italy, Residency, The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, NY, Grant, The Artists’ Fellowship Inc, NY, Grant, and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., Grant.

And Nanette’s work is currently on view at Fridman Gallery the Parrish Art Museumand the Art Students League of New York.