December 14, 2009

Career Coffee Break- Michael A. Rippens

Pratt Institute Alumnus, Bachelors of Fine Arts, 2000.

We met up with Michael Rippens in September to see what he had been up to since graduating in 2000.  He was back in Brooklyn from LA for an exhibition called Brooklyn Utopias at the Brooklyn Historical Society.  In the interview, Michael talks about the exhibition and his piece Civil Rides: Brooklyn (2009) which is on view from 10/02/09- 01/03/10.

CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Micahel A. Rippens from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Career Coffee Break- Michael A. Rippens from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Interview by Micah Bozeman, Brynna Tucker
Edited by Micah Bozeman

Posted by Micah Bozeman

December 11, 2009


Folds of Light, 1.5 x 3.5, Ceramic, 2007

On view currently in Pratt Institute's Fishbowl Gallery is Dakota Sica’s solo show entitled, Paranoid. An interesting title from an artist who seems anything but paranoid when eloquently discussing his work, processes and inspirations.

Sica focuses much of his attention on personal experiences with friends, family and encounters which take the form of his muse.  These experiences formulate through a process Sica describes as solutions to a sickness that he refers to as “The Social Nutshell” which is, to “eat, procreate, urinate and defecate.”  Sica spoke to me of his relationships with people battling various addictions or struggles and his own process of making art or “solutions” speaking to these issues. 

One piece in particular addresses the disease of alcoholism, entitled Folds of Light.  Three figures stand side by side representing the first three lines of The Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Spirituality abounds in this show.  Playing with conflicts of lightness and dark, beauty and ugliness and the hidden or evident, Sica aims to encourage the viewer to have an emotional experience of their own.  With his sophisticated handling of materials, exploration of form and deeply emotive sentiment, Sica has successfully succeeded in what he set out to do.

Dakota Sica is a freshman in the Fine Arts Program at The Pratt Institute.  For more information on Sica please visit his website:

Review by Ryan Turley

This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing for more information.

December 9, 2009

Oliver Vranesh

Oliver Vranesh, Industrial Design

A recent alumnus of the Pratt Institute, Oliver Vranesh graduated in May 2009 majoring in Industrial Design. After acceptance, and participation in the annual Pratt Show, Oliver has done work with LG Mobile, INI marketing, and designed a Coleman 10th anniversary grill with Paul Jr. Teutul from American Chopper. Currently Oliver works as a Story Board Specialist for a Video Production Firm in Washington DC. Although originally intending to attend graduate school Oliver recently had a change of plans and is currently preparing to go overseas to work for FILA as a Junior Product Designer.

Online Spotlight: Natasha Saipradist

Natasha Saipradist, Communication Design

   Natasha Saipradist is a recent alumnus, 2009, of the Pratt Institute. Majoring in Graphic Design, in her senior year she was accepted into the annual Pratt show. A very talented designer, Natasha’s work is highly conceptual, incorporating pop culture associations while considering human emotions. The appeal of her work is playful and colorful, designing a variety of products, conveying a unique versatility in her style. Her ability to infuse her work with feeling gives them a depth and meaning that surpasses their useful application.

She also says she enjoyed her experience at the Pratt show and found it was a great networking opportunity. Currently she is working as a freelance designer, though she is very open to obtaining a regular design position.
Posted by Raymond Miller

December 7, 2009


Ken Marshall, Industrial Design 

     Ken Marshall left Pratt with a degree in Industrial Design, but has found his way into the world of graphics.He currently lives and works in  Busan, Korea mainly as a t-shirt designer. Ken has worked on band tees, which can be found in Hot Topic stores for bands Cute is What We Aim For,Cobra Starship,All Time Low, and The Maine, among many others. His other projects include designing skateboard decks and t-shirts for,, and
Ken's amazing graphic work can be seen and purchased on his website. 

November 23, 2009


Sam Wohl, Fine Arts

            Sam Wohl graduated Pratt in 2007 and currently works and lives in Shanghai, China. His energetic paintings and drawings were featured in a group show in 2008, Vivid Wild, at Fort Gallery in Oakland, California; as well as a solo show in 2005 at Nuez Bar in NYC. Sam's work ranges from illustrations to public projects. 

The most interesting project is Nuclear Squirrel Nuclear Winter. The project involves hiding caches in plain sight disguised as forms of urban public plumming or electrical work. Contents may be simple necessities, day to day valuables, or useless, superficial objects. These time capsules are locked and hidden throughout Brooklyn. 

Visit Sam's website to learn more about Nuclear Squirrel Nuclear Winter and discover where these caches are hidden.

Post: Angel Ucci

November 16, 2009


This Friday, November 20th, Career Services will be hosting the sixth annual Internship Fair. Representatives from over sixty companies in the New York City area who are seeking interns in all majors will attend.

Come to The Student Union from 12-2 if you are searching for an internship this spring or summer, or to just check out what's available for the future!

For the complete listing of attending companies and more information visit the internship fair website.

Post: Angeline Ucci

November 11, 2009


November 13, 2009 Pratt Institute's Career Services Department will host The Professional Arts Organizations Fair. The objective of this fair is to boost student enthusiasm regarding professional networking, and the importance of starting this before graduating. Students will be able to speak to representatives from the various organizations and get information about what being a part of these organizations might entail. Moreover students will be able to take advantage of student membership rates.
Currently there will be information available on fifty five different organizations at the fair as well as selected representatives in attendance. The fair takes place Friday November 13, 2009 in Pratt’s Main Building’s Pie Shop.

November 9, 2009


Jashar Awan, Illustration
Since graduating Pratt in 2004, Brooklyn based Illustrator Jashar Awan has been published and interviewed for his innovative, graphic work. At PEP Gallery he curated a show featuring work by forty artists called “Downright,” where his own work was also shown. The Society of Illustrators also featured his work, and he was included in Taschen’s “Illustration Now Volume 2.” In 2008 Jashar received the gold award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for a work entitled “The Elusive Patient.” Jashar’s client list includes, among many others, Dark Horse Comics, L Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vibe.
On November 17, 2009 you can hear Jashar speak about how Pratt has impacted his work today and how he plans to keep moving forward in the Illustration industry. For more information visit,
Post: Angel Ucci

October 30, 2009


Brain Dempsey, Graphic Design  
Five years after graduating Pratt in 1989 Brian Dempsey founded The Blank Page, an award-winning graphic design firm. He acts as President and creative director for the five person team located on the west side of NYC. Past clients of the firm include Alzheimer’s Association, The Cathedral School, Chase Vista, Greenwich Hospital, Suffield Academy, Xavier High School, and York Prep. The Blank Page offers innovative, unique solutions to typography and graphic design work.

Previous to founding The Blank Page in 1994, Brian designed for Corporate Graphics Inc. and Welchsler Ross and Partners, as well as taught sophomore level designers at Pratt. 

Post: Angel Ucci


Darcy Vorhees, Media Arts
On Pratt talent:

After graduating Pratt in 2001 Darcy spent nine years working in the city. During that time she worked on numerous animated productions such as the MTV show “Friday, the Animated Series” and Disney’s “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” She was also the storyboard artist for a quarter of 4Kids Productions’ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Anniversary Movie Part One.” 

Recently Darcy moved to Ohio and built DarcyVDesign, where she uses her talent and skills learned at Pratt to provide varied forms of artwork, including animation, graphics, and illustration, to clients nationwide. Projects include the creation of an animation for a children’s pilot, “Private School!” created by David Engle, and the creation of a logo, business card, and envelope for an insurance company. 

Her colorful, electric designs are all available for viewing on her website. 
Post: Angel Ucci 

Humorous Modernism with Vashaya (Win) Mukdamanee

Review by Ryan Turley

Vashaya (Win) Mukdamanee is currently a second-year MFA student specializing in Painting at The Pratt Institute and is funded by a Fulbright Scholarship.

Win currently has a solo show, Embedded on view in the East One Gallery as well as two works in a group show, Speaking to a Kitchen Mouse in Steuben Gallery. Both shows present recent work by the artist which is part of a larger series entitled Industrial Reflection.

Reconfigured filing cabinets amid humorous views on the consumerism of monster chain stores like IKEA take center stage in the works from Industrial Reflection. The reconfigurations and manipulations of objects such as a chest of drawers thrusting its interiors outward, (Reconfiguration of a Wood Cabinet 2009) and a filing cabinet unfolding itself in an almost domino effect (Tilted Black Cabinet 2009) create a playful sentiment to otherwise utilitarian furnishings. Humor has been an exciting new development in Win’s body of work. He merits his experiences of living in New York and studying at Pratt with his new found clarity and direction in making pieces that he describes as “planned and humorous” and less “relying on pure intuition and chance outcomes.” Win believes that this new way of working will allow him to avoid repetition in his outcomes and allow him to continue to create a diverse and successful body of work.
Win’s work plays with manipulation, reconfiguration and re-presentation of found objects. These found objects are reminiscent of a lost modernist era of industrial materials and purely functional design that Win believes is no longer prevalent in the United States, but is very much alive in his hometown, Bangkok, Thailand. Win aims to show objects that often are overlooked by most in an innovative way, enlightening their significance and relevance that was once a part of the object’s existence.

Win spoke to me about his earlier work including his assemblage pieces as well as his installations and how they relied more heavily on “chance and intuition” in regards to finding the “right” objects to create the pieces. This process was more akin to happenstance rather than planning a sculpture or installation. Win relied on a “gut feeling,” or an attraction to certain objects and the form of the piece followed this initial discovery. “It is always difficult to find the right object,” Win explains, and you must always be in search of the appropriate pieces for the work.

As he continues to develop as an artist so has his process of navigating the search for material in which to create from. Win realized that if he focused his search for the “right” materials he was able to create a more clear and precise outcome that would “speak not only to himself but also to a broader audience.” He feels that with this more focused search for objects he would be able to communicate in a more direct and apparent manner.

Win speaks about how he was “attracted to these” old objects,” because he was feeling some sort of a link between these objects and his former home in Thailand, where these objects are still commonplace and well utilized. Win’s goal is to “breathe new life” into these objects and materials in order to “challenge, the common belief that Modernism has disappeared from Contemporary Society.”

In addition to the two shows currently on view, Win has a show opening on November 13th at SMILE Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For further information on Win, please visit his website:

This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing for more information.

Chance Encounters with Dmitry Gubin

Review by Ryan Turley

Dmitry Gubin is a first­-year Masters student studying in Art and Design Education at The Pratt Institute.

Gubin’s show entitled 2007-2009, is currently on view at the Fishbowl Gallery at The Pratt Institute.  
American Boy, 2007

2007-2009, presents a collection of various paintings from Gubin’s archives of the past two years.  As a professional commercial photographer, printmaker and painter, Gubin has an expansive range of skill-sets from which to cull imagery for his work.  Gubin is interested in “learning about all new mediums,” as he feels it will enhance his current research and studies in Art Education.

Gubin’s sweeping interests in materials are evident in his current work shown from 2007-2009.  Gubin mixes acrylic, spray paint, marker, and numerous other materials and techniques in order to present his imagery.  A culmination of these materials and mediums create a graffiti type of experience in his more abstract pieces such as Imposter, 2008 or The Scream, 2008.  These pieces are busy with abstracted content and emerging figures intertwined with text and line.  The overall feeling of these works is of a somewhat forceful nature, almost aggressive in their own gestures.

Gubin juxtaposes these more abstract pieces with his portraiture pieces.  A Self Portrait on Red Armchair, 2009, American Boy, 2007 and W. Timothy Ryan, 2009 seem oddly at home amongst the more abstract works they share the space with.  A commonality these works all share is Gubin’s dedication to experimentation in mark making, mixing of materials and mediums and how in doing this he is open to chance outcomes.  Gubin is accommodating and welcoming to chance outcomes in that he allows for the materials and mediums he combines to surprise him.  An immediacy of working and this allowance for chance outcomes Gubin describes as “an exciting way of working.”

For further information on Dmitry Gubin please visit his website:

This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing for more information.

October 23, 2009


Carey Kirkella, photography 
Carey has been working as a successful photographer with clients including Elizabeth Arden, HOW Design Magazine, Rainforest Foundation, Red Bull, and The Wall Street Journal. She also did the photography for Maryland Institute College of Art's NY summer program.
She has been featured in numerous exhibitions and art publications. Currently Carey is working on a documentary/ multimedia photo project called Changemakers. She seeks to inspire others to make positive changes in the world by photographing America's inspiring visionaries.
Her beautiful, colorful, real life images can be seen on her website, as well as her first subject and visionary for Changemakers.
Posted by: Angel Ucci


Echo Chernik, Illustration


Echo Chernik is an award-winning art nouveau inspiried Illustrator. She has ten  years experience as a commercial artist and five years teaching graphics and digital illustration at Pratt, Weschester Community, Marymount Manhattan, and Skidmore.
Her client list and portfolio range in everything from product design, advertisements, posters, book covers, calanders, and logos. She designed the 2006 limited edition Dave Matthews Band poster for Live Nation and the 2008 Horoscope/Astrology calender for Llewellyn Book Publishers.
Echo advises "if you want the easy road, then go into another profession- if you love art, then the amount of work to make a living at it doesn't seem like work at all." She is currently taking a break from New York City life while freelancing in southwest Florida. You can follow Echo on twitter, myspace, and facebook, as well as read her blog, all of which are available on her website.

post: Angel Ucci 

October 21, 2009

Career Coffee Break - Kiel Mead

Pratt Institute Alumnus, Bachelors of Industrial Design, 2006.

We met with Kiel on a summer afternoon at one of his ‘Pop-up Gallery’ events in September 2009. He told us of his experience at Pratt, the application of what he learned here, and how it geared his current professional work. He also showed us around the store/gallery, where many unique pieces by himself and other designers were being displayed/sold.

Career Coffee Break: Kiel Mead from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Interview by Zamie A. Casazola, Micah Bozeman
Edited by Micah Bozeman

Posted by Zamie Casazola

October 15, 2009


Josh Koury, Media Arts & Film/Video
On Pratt Talent:

Josh graduated from Pratt in May of 2001 with a degree in Film and Video, and since then he has worked, supported, and created within the film industry. He has previously worked as a programmer for the Hamptons International Film Festival, which is in its 15th year of production. Since 2004, he has been the Programming Director and Co-Founder of The Brooklyn Underground Film Festival. As for personal work, he has created three documentaries: Richard Shakes (2001), Standing By Yourself (2002), and his most recent, We Are Wizards (2008), a documentary about the subculture surrounding the Harry Potter series.

Josh is currently an instructor in the Film/Video and Photography department at the Pratt Institute

Posted by: L.J. McNerney

October 14, 2009

Online Spotlight – Goran Krstic

Goran Krstic, Communication Design 
On Pratt Talent:

Communication Design major Goran Krstic gradated from Pratt in 2007. Since then he has worked on various projects in a wide range of media which include both design and illustration. Krstic’s work has also expanded to include motion graphics.
Krstic often works as a freelance designer doing projects such as clothing, company logos and music advertisements. Among his freelance work he has worked with Hush Studios where he worked on the studios promotional branding as well as the title sequence for a film.
More notably Krstic’s work was featured on the cover of CMYK magazine’s 38th issue in fall 2007. He also worked on the “Identity” project poster, which was featured within that same issue of CMYK magazine.
Krstic currently is based out of New York City. To see more of his work and to get more information about Krstic visit his website.

Posted by: Raymond Miller

October 9, 2009


J.M. DeSantis, Computer Animation 
On pratt talent: 

          J.M. DeSantis has used his knowledge of illustration and writing to enter the Comicbook world. His work falls mostly under the horror and fantasy genre and his written experience include short stories, poetry, novels, graphic novels, and comic strips. In January of 2009 J.M. was the featured artist of Heavy Metal Magazine and has also written and illustrated two stories for Planet Lovecraft Magazine. He is a current member of the New York Chapter of the Comicbook Artists Guild and will be featured at the New York Comic Con and the Big Apple Con. Be sure to check out his art and writing at his extensive website.

Posted by: Angel Ucci


Lauren Hansen, Photography
On Pratt Talent:

Since graduating Pratt in 2006, Lauren has photographed the people and places of Africa, Australia, Europe, and the United States. Her work is beautiful and honest, many seeming to have a serene quality. She has been featured in group shows in Dumbo and Long Island City, along with a solo show in Langhorne, PA.
Lauren was head of marketing at C3M Productions, department manager at CB2, and is currently a gallery assistant at the Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea.

Post: Angel Ucci

October 2, 2009


Matthew J. Strong, Graphic Designer 

Matthew J. Strong has worked at some of the most well known organizations in New York since graduating Pratt in 1999. Clients include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, NBA, NYC Parks Department, and HBO. He has worked as senior art director for the NY Knicks, designed the NBA tickets, as well as the NY Rangers and their NHL tickets for 2001/2002.
Matthew also designed for Limbo Pictures, LLC, creating the poster for an independent film, House of Satisfaction, which was featured in North American and European film festivals. During his senior year at Pratt, Matthew was part of the three person team designing the 1999 Prattonia (yearbook), a very competitive and prestigious honor among seniors.
He currently works for Strong Studio NYC, LLC and is a visiting professor at Pratt for the junior and senior undergraduates in Communication Design. His amazing, extensive resume and portfolio are available at both his websites.

Posted by: Angel Ucci



    Chris Keithley, Computer Graphics and Interactive Media Website: On Pratt Talent:

Chris’ work is digital in the form of matte paintings. His work ranges from portraiture to landscapes, each with a fine attention to detail and thorough understanding of composition and lighting. He is currently a Graphic Designer at Though Convergence, and has worked as a 3D artist at Sputnik and in post production for Stargate Digital. 
Posted by: Zamie A. Casazola

September 25, 2009


Nikki Kurt, Graphic Designer 
On Pratt talent:  

Nikki Kurt, Brooklyn based Graphic Designer, describes herself as a conceptual problem solver who loves branding, packaging, and interface design. With the help of career services, upon graduation she landed a full-time job designing for Babyboom Consumer Products and has been with Lango Kids Brooklyn working on branding artwork and print material. 
She has also been doing freelance work, including the creation of four websites since graduating in 2008. Partnering with a fellow alumni she created a website for up and coming Alabama company, Designseed, which can be seen at Nikki also designed, a website for a new fashion designer who recently showed at Fashion Week 2009. Nikki advises the importance of a personal website when trying to promote yourself as a fresh graduate in the industry. Be sure to check out her own website, which displays her eye for simple, creative, and personal designs.
Posted by: Angel Ucci

September 18, 2009

Online Spotlight - Ryan Rutherford

          Ryan Rutherford, Industrial Design
After being hired a day before graduating as an Industrial Design Major in 2003, Ryan had the opportunity to develop the design department of the New Jersey based JW Pet Company, from the ground up. Since then the company has experienced significant expansion, while receiving critical praise, as well as financial success.
Many of the products produced by JW Pet Co. have a holistic design approach, giving consideration to both pet and pet owner’s comfort and ability to use the products. More recently Ryan has started a new line of dog toys designed sustainably, using recyclable materials and produced in a solar powered facility in New Jersey.
More recently Ryan has reached out to the Pratt Community by hiring recent Pratt grads onto his design team at JW.
Ryan currently holds the position of Manager of Product Development at JW.

Posted by Raymond Miller