December 16, 2010

Career Coffee Break: Annie Beth Ericsson

CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Annie Beth Ericsson from Peer to Peer on Vimeo

Pratt Institute Alumna, BFA in Illustration, 2010

Annie Beth Ericsson, a former Peer to Peer counselor, graduated Pratt last May with a BFA in Illustration. Always fixed on pursuing a career in Children’s Books, she left Pratt already with a job at the Penguin Young Readers Group, where she is a Junior Design Assistant.

Annie helped to start a lot of the programs that Peer to Peer continues today, like Fresh Meet and the Networking Workshop. She also created and organized Pratt’s first annual Professional Organizations Fair last year. Her list of achievements while she was at Pratt goes on--as a student, Annie had already illustrated two published board books for Starbright Books Publishing Company. All of us at Peer to Peer and Career Services knew that Annie’s achievements would only grow after Pratt, and now she has two book design assignments at Penguin. Congratulations, Annie!

Interviewed by Angeline Ucci and Christee Curran

Edited by Christee Curran

November 30, 2010

Kevin William Reed, "Headspace" at Alcove Gallery

Review by Raymond Miller


The walls of Pratt Institute’s Student Affairs Office have a new function. They have become the support for the new Alcove Gallery. This is the now third addition to a group of student exhibition spaces.
Headspace, by Kevin William Reed is the title of the inaugurating show in this space. Currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Printmaking at Pratt, Reed has mounted a show of new prints and paintings. These pieces by Reed mark a new phase in his fine art career.

Initially Reed received his undergraduate education at University of Maryland. It was here that he was introduced to printmaking. In this first encounter with the medium Reed experienced a new artistic challenge. Through printmaking he was pushed to explore new realms of expression beyond just fine tuning his technical skills. Printmaking has also introduced him to a new art community which has also helped his development as an artist.

This collection of new work is the result of Reed’s mining through his own psyche discovering the sources of his inspiration. It is his goal to work as intuitively as he possibly can, speaking in the visual language he has developed over the course of his artistic career. Reed remembers in his youth collecting postcards designed with images of Asian art. He admits that these images, likely imbedded in his subconscious, and are now surfacing in his newer work.  What’s more Reed sees this as an opportunity to laugh by including humor in his art. Where the Asian influence is concerned, the largest painting in this show is much like an Asian landscape. The humor comes in where this landscape contains depictions of animals that would be foreign to this environment. This juxtaposing of symbols removes a seriousness that is often associated with fine art.

This Headspace collection for Reed, functions as the first step in a new direction toward self realization rather than an actual location. The collection shows that he is still in a phase of transition attempting to understand himself better as a creative individual. Exposure of this kind is certainly a bold move though the work that has resulted creates excitement for what comes next.





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 ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.

SeungHun Lee, JongHeon Kim, and June Kim, "LAYERS", group show in Fishbowl Gallery

Review by Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata


The photographs currently on display in the Fishbowl Gallery are clearly the work of separate artists: two seem to depict some sort of ethereal, muted drowning scene, segueing into a visceral but poignant homage to the wolf, then, finally, massive, stark black and white prints of some empty street, some empty night. Only further examination allows the connections between these seemingly unrelated works to become apparent. “LAYERS,” is a group show, featuring the work of three Pratt photography students, second year MFA candidate SeungHun Lee and first year MFA candidates June Kim and JongHeon Kim.


June Kim, I Wolf (top), 2010 and Family of Present (below), 2010
As described by Ms. Kim, “All of our work has different layers. We may make very different work, but in spite of the obvious surface differences, we all address the same underlying themes.” Initial observation certainly describes more differences than similarities: Ms. Kim’s work is raw and urgent, both her text-based pieces and her photography are immediate and absolute. In her text work, Kim injects the word WOLF into phrases where one would automatically expect LOVE, subverting concepts of what is “primal” and what is “family.” The image of the artist - beautiful, pale-skinned, and seemingly fragile – crawling on the earth in a stance mimicking that of the wolves surrounding her, is at once terrifying and absurd. In this image Kim firmly places herself as an equal to these animals, a sister, a concept she discusses further in her statement (as research has discovered wolf packs don’t actually follow a clear hierarchy but exist, in fact, in more of a familial structure), yet in her text pieces she elevates them beyond our narrow human concept of “some stupid animal,” replacing our most inexplicable, cherished, and animalistic emotion, love, with WOLF. The viewer is immediately confronted with his or her own prejudices about the meaning of, and appropriate place for, animals in our human world. The wolf, especially, as “man’s best friend” minus some key piece of cuddly domesticity and safety, represents some fading shred of savageness. To see this fierce, lovely creature juxtaposed in such a way with a term so savage yet saccharine (LOVE) makes just… so much sense.


Yet Ms. Kim’s savage, carnal fun seems almost too real and too vicious adjacent to the ethereal, intangible images presented by JongHeon Kim. The artist explores themes of identity, station, and social signifiers; literally asking, “Why do people try to find their identities by outer looks? Why do people evaluate others by the prices of the clothes that they wear? Why cannot people penetrate the shallow exterior and see what is beneath it, what is really valuable and meaningful?” 


JongHeon Kim, Lookism #1, 2009
Mr. Kim’s images, shot in what appears to be a swimming pool, bear a diffuse, dreamy sense that only the distorting, light-refracting qualities of water can impart. Contrary to the crisp, vivid finish in Ms. Kim’s anthropomorphic stare-down or the murky nightscape of Mr. Lee’s street scenes, Mr. Kim’s pool views seem almost abstract – what from afar appears to be a smear of color or abstruse shape, upon observation, reveals itself to be an article of clothing tangled helplessly in the water around the body of the (presumed) wearer. These articles of clothing, given such meaning as social symbols, in Kim’s hands are odd creatures made almost impotent and writhing in some unseen current, as the wearer seems to drown under their weight, or is he being freed from their burden? The ambiguity of the meaning behind using these loaded objects is one of the manners with which Mr. Kim draws in the viewer and demands closer inspection and analysis of these nuanced images; this careful tension is enhanced by the artist’s use of color and the taut framing.


Last, most somber, and darkest by far are the large-scale exterior night shots by SeungHun Lee. Lee positions the viewer as voyeur in these massive matte black and white prints, peering into bright windows and the lives of others from the safe shroud of anonymous darkness afforded by some random street at night. Lee says, “When the sun goes down, and time passes into midnight, and artificial lights illuminate the world, I go across the boundaries to alternate narratives: void of humans, enigmatic spaces, and reflections of artificial light. These areas stimulate my visual senses to think about what is and what is not.”


SeungHun Lee, Bayside, New York #3, March 2010
Lee’s work seems to discuss the tension between inside and outside – the artist observes an emotional space from a detached distance and dispassionately removes all unnecessary detail to focus on that specific component at the core of the narrative. These works are formal and tenebrous, evoking some ominous, hushed, creeping sense of doom somehow with a mechanical hand - like a well-oiled machine trained keenly on making the viewer feel this dread without fanfare.


It seems these works, on one level, all discuss the meaning of belonging or social strata, essentially one of the many layers this work shares. Where Ms. Kim embeds herself into the family of the wolf, Lee observes the lives of others from afar, and Mr. Kim dissects the meaning of rank and social identity as determined by meaningless exterior trappings. “LAYERS” will be on view in the Fishbowl Gallery through December 3, 2010.


Artist websites:
JongHeon Kim  http://kimjongheon.deluxe.livebooksedu.com/
June Kim  http://www.june-kim.com/
SeungHun Lee  http://seunghunlee.com/







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 ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.

DJ Perera, "ELIDARAWWA " at EASTONE Gallery

Review by Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata


DJ Perera, Exhibition View of ELIDARAWWA.
The profusion of dynamic color and shape presently holding court in EastOne gallery is the creation of Pratt first year MFA painting candidate DJ Perera. These 5 pieces comprise the strongest selections (by the artist’s own appraisal) of nearly a dozen pieces Perera has completed in the shocking brevity of one semester, though the degree of compositional/formal involvement and ascertainable aesthetic intent would imply far longer than a few hurried months juggled in between other classes.


“They display what I believe to be the most conclusive discoveries in establishing a solid unity between the formal elements of painting. In these works I look at varying aesthetics, sizes, compositions, all of which exhibit strong harmoniously uniformed surfaces,” states the artist of his magnetic display of color and form.


Perera’s atypical artistic background perhaps lends an added degree of complexity to these somewhat intentionally uniform, thus impenetrable, works of art. Though he completed his BFA with honors at what sounds like the most Mom, apple pie, and American flag-waving of institutions, Texas Christian University, Perera is a Sri Lankan citizen who was raised in the Middle East, and states that he never acquired a truly comprehensive art education per se, something that so many emerging artists take for granted, especially those of us in a program at a vaunted American fine arts institution like Pratt.


“Since I'd never been exposed to the history of art in this country or in Europe prior to my arrival to America, I was never really influenced by artists when it came to producing my own aesthetic. I was truly painting for myself and no one else - what I felt, what I thought was honest,” says Perera. This is remarkable to consider when viewing the paintings on view in EastOne, that these pieces come essentially from years of instinct and a 5-year crash course in Western aesthetic practices. Perera admits to developing a deeper affinity for different aspects of several seminal abstract modern artists - Sean Scully, Jackson Pollack, Barnett Newman, and Ad Reinhardt.


DJ Perera, Siniduhaha, 2010
Reinhardt’s “boldness,” the facet to which Perera is most drawn, is a clear influence in this work. Perera’s color choices are decisive and unapologetic. There are clear formal parallels here to Newman, though that intangible quality that Perera finds peaceful in the abstract expressionist’s color fields, one might readily find dynamic and tense in Perera’s hand.


Perera speaks about his work as something of an ongoing exploration, aware that he is a student in spite of having exhibited numerous times before this, his 3rd solo show. The artist’s drive, both to improve his method of working and progress in a measured, logical fashion is as clear as the forms he paints.
“To ultimately create art work that is visually free of thought and effort yet contains energy, thoughtfulness and honesty is my ambition.” Perera is well on his way.




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 ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.

October 29, 2010

Career Coffee Break: Monica Lo & Caitlin-Marie Minor

CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Monica & Caitlin-Marie from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Pratt Institute Alumni, Bachelor of Fine Arts Advertising/Art Direction 2009

We met with Caitlin-Marie and Monica over brunch in Park Slope and talked about their experiences post Pratt. They discuss their work with the Ford Fiesta campaign and explain how they entered the industry so soon after graduation.

Interviewed by Jenny Elfanbaum & Angeline Ucci

Edited by Angeline Ucci

October 26, 2010

Will Hutnick, “These Monsters” at Fishbowl Gallery

Review by Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata


Unless the viewer completely lacks the powers of visual observation (and this has somehow gone unnoticed and granted said viewer full access to the Pratt community regardless), he or she has quite likely witnessed those vaguely menacing, softly undulating, beige and black forms holding court along the walls of the Fishbowl Gallery. Are these living? Are these some type of strange wall-dwelling kelp? Are these… Made of... tape? Quite appropriately titled, what lurks in the lounge is in fact, “These Monsters,” an installation by Pratt second year MFA candidate Will Hutnick.

Monsters rarely emerge randomly from within a vacuum; these, for example, evolved gradually from Hutnick’s own artistic background in painting, specifically in abstract expressionist painting. In his own words, “I will always be heavily indebted to Pollock and his drip paintings for their monumentality, expressiveness and abandonment of a traditional field of space. What really interests me is this accumulation of materials that is not ashamed to be utterly ridiculous and absurd, and the use of a common household object such as tape only seems to reinforce this absurdity.”

Where Hutnick steps past simply transgressing traditional conventions of painting or sculpture by selecting materials that would seem far from precious or even, say, expected (outside of the context of perhaps a crazed cubicle-dweller seeking sudden artistic solace in all that happens to be on hand), is in the inclusion of the irreversible gesture, the spontaneous moment made permanent by the very nature of the medium. Tape fused to tape is not easily altered if the form displeases the artist, and it is in the actual celebration of this process that the artist makes even more abstract his expression. Much of Hutnick’s recent work involves a discussion of the honest, immediate, immutable action, and one element that gives his work its compelling nature is the obvious amount of detailed mental and physical work involved in the lead up to that actual vaunted, breathless moment – the degree of consideration of materials and their potential collision within an environment (like gravity on tape-monsters, or unsupervised students on boredom meeting the aforementioned creation) is as plainly evident as the amount of labor leading to the final piece. Where the ultimate result appears quite organic and gestural, the forethought is undeniable.
This contrast, of the well-planned impulse, is merely one of many. Hutnick carefully frames the dichotomies presented by his monsters: they are simultaneously playful in form and title yet ominous in their looming, leering presence and irrefutably wasteful materiality; clearly referring the organic in shape but undeniably manufactured both in construct and medium; both sensuous and unspectacular all at once as each form clearly states its nature as a massive construction of undeniably humble constitution, each an improbably sexy tape-beast, in fact.

Hutnick tends to think of his work in general (and process as a whole), most of which are abstract acrylic paintings, as, “living, breathing entities to a certain extent: whether or not they are creatures, universes, beings, movements, or simply moments.” This installation humbly and unassumingly began life as drawings, extending into space with tape, at which point Hutnick noticed that quality of LIFE - “Pretty quickly I stopped drawing with tape because the material began to dictate its own form.” The tape, in essence, had decided it was a monster, and Hutnick was curious as to what it would do next if he would allow it to choose its own form.
As pieces inextricably imbued with his brand of curious, carefully thought-out spontaneity, “These Monsters” loom above the students lounging beneath them, and demand interaction, which, to an artist less interested in permanent-impermanence and impulse could be upsetting, if not frankly infuriating. Is it possible that which was made to devour will ultimately be devoured? This work seems at some level like an open-ended question begging for infinite answers.

If “These Monsters” chose not to devour you whole in the Fishbowl Gallery, other works can be found online at http://willhutnick.com/.


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 ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.


October 20, 2010

Career Coffee Break: Tiffany Burnette

CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Tiffany Burnette from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Pratt Institute Alumnus, Master of Fine Arts, Industrial Design 2008

We met with Tiffany over coffee in Park Slope and talked about her current projects and company, Design Hype. Tiffany is still hard at work in the world of ID, a field which she has proclaimed a sincere love for. One of her latest works is the Metro-Cuff. It's a bracelet that actually has a major metropolitan transit map inscribed into it. The bracelet combines function with sleek style, creating a modern ready-made.


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Interviewed by Jenny Elfanbaum, Raymond Miller, and L.J. McNearney

Edited and Posted by Raymond Miller and Angeline Ucci

October 8, 2010

Caitlin Peluffo, Nailed

Review by Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata

Caitlin Peluffo, Nailed (Video Still)
    Currently on view in EastOne Gallery is recent work by second year Pratt MFA candidate Caitlin Peluffo. Peluffo’s work at Pratt falls predominantly under the vague label of New Forms, which doesn’t serve to explain the thoughtful collision of photography, performance, and video that comprises Nailed, the featured piece in this solo exhibition.

    Nailed, 2010, duration 10:56, consists of a single channel video in which a nude Peluffo performs grueling repetitions of pushups atop a literal bed of nails. The viewer is forced into a tight, static viewpoint from the level of the nail’s heads, waiting for the artist’s vulnerable body to repeatedly intervene with the setup. The rhythmic audio, of Peluffo’s breathing and the ambient sound of physical exertion, provides a claustrophobic soundtrack for a claustrophobic interaction.

    The piece continues in the interior space of the gallery with a series of oversized digital photographic prints of the artist’s body. Each successive image depicts the effect of the nails on her skin, and what could easily be perceived as small, inconsequential indentations in her chest from the pressure of her bodyweight falling on the nails ready clearly as deepening wounds as the series progresses. The images are larger than life, looming over the viewer, and Peluffo has posed herself mockingly as any given classical sculpture praising the silent, impotent female form – arms inactive, hip cocked coyly in some, headless, and all lovely and demure in contrast with the brutal display of force, power, and pain the viewer knows has occurred prior to this sarcastic display of na├»ve feminine beauty.

    Peluffo clearly draws inspiration from feminist performance art from the 1970s, using her body as a medium with which to discuss and subvert the archetypes of femininity and socially dictated gender specifics. The artist names two projects as particularly related to her process in Nailed: Hannah Wilke’s Starification Object Series, 1974, and Eleanor Antin’s CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture, 1972. Wilke’s piece involved the artist placing sculptural pieces of gum, some chewed by audience members, as both an odd nod to tribal scarification and a questioning of American ideals of female beauty and glamour. Antin’s piece discussed feminine beauty concepts by photographically documenting a drastic weight loss process over 36 days.
   
    Where Peluffo’s work expands on these concepts is through the introduction of athleticism, and what it means to be a physically powerful woman in a society that continues to define female beauty in an extremely narrow way. In an era when prominent female media figures are borderline anorexic and surgically enhanced, Peluffo seems to be stating that she is a woman who exists, yet is denied its rightful place in the scope of female beauty. Nailed discusses, like much of Peluffo’s work on display, an “anomaly” whose positive traits our society could easily view as too dangerously male or strong and dismiss altogether as outside of femininity.
Caitlin Peluffo, Nailed (Photographs)

    Peluffo stated that her work questions whether a physically strong woman, the matured rendering of the “tomboy” figure, is allowed to be both feminine and athletically potent, or if she must choose between being strong and being desired. This dilemma is on view in EastOne through October 29.


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 ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.

September 27, 2010

Online Spotlight: Arielle Scarcella

Pratt Talent
Website

Ariella Scarcella recently graduated Pratt in May 2008 with a BFA in Art Direction. She's now a YouTube partner and also works in advertising in San Antonio, TX. Arielle's work is pretty eye-catching with its quirky imagery and sarcastic, humorous undertones. Her concepts are original, and her subject matter is extremely accessible--but from here I'll let her work speak for itself!

Arielle shared that the most beneficial classes she took while here at Pratt were Josh Tretin and Joel Tavlin’s interactive advertising classes. She also added that she thought the Art Direction department needed new directions in terms of developing more classes and hiring more faculty who are well-versed in interactive and online video media. Arielle was so adamant about this point because that is exactly the type of work she is currently doing: she works on websites, banner ads, and social networking ideas.
When I asked Arielle if she had any advice regarding the Advertising industry, she said this:
"The industry is getting so big; I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make it in advertising. Advertising is no joke. While you are still in school, bust your ass. Make friends with the teachers you really love, and make all the connections that you can. Keep especially focused on mobile and online media."
Thanks Arielle! You provided some really valuable feedback.

Posted by Christee Curran

September 20, 2010

Internship Success: Real Art Ways

Angeline Ucci, Advertising/ Art Direction 2012

Place of Internship: Real Art Ways, Hartford, Connecticut summer 2010



















New Englanders tend to reserve the few months of hot summer weather for beach trips and barbecues, and normally I would be one of them, but this year I wanted to spend some time in an artistic environment outside of the Pratt gates. I knew I still wanted to go home for the summer so I started looking for internships in Connecticut at the beginning of the Spring semester. I applied to a couple museums in Hartford and New Britain, but really had my heart set on a more alternative, interactive venue.

And thus I found my way to Real Art Ways, one of the leading multidisciplinary non-profit arts organizations in the country - and by far the coolest in my book. RAW houses contemporary new artists, offers first-run independent films in their cinema, and gets involved with everything else from parties and events, to live art and public art projects throughout Hartford.

I joined the Real Art Ways team as a Communications intern, and the small staff (usually around 10 in the office) really allowed me to get involved. I spent most of my time designing posters and flyers for upcoming events and openings. And although I had the occasional filing task or Staples run, I was never asked to get coffee for anyone other than myself (they have an amazing cafe in the lobby).

Real Art Ways also provides their interns with the chance to execute an independent project. The then Communication Coordinator Abby Ohlheiser, who's now getting her masters at NYU, and I really wanted to get a RAW blog up and running, but it never exactly came to a reality. However, I ended up creating a series of headers for their E-News , which have been taken on by the new Coordinator and any upcoming interns.

Bottom line, I spent a lot of time using InDesign and talking with some really amazing Real Art Ways staff members.

My advice to any aspiring interns: Don't overlook small organizations, they can do some incredible things and give you the opportunity to actually do something and get to know the artists and designers who work there.

May 7, 2010

Career Coffee Break - Jamie Hankin


CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Jamie Hankin from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Pratt Institute Alumnus, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, 1981.
www.jamiehankin.net

We met with Jamie Hankin and chatted about his past experiences as a photographer and his current job with Saks Fifth Avenue.


Interviewed by Micah Bozeman and Raymond Miller
Edited by L.J. McNerney
Posted by Angeline Ucci

May 3, 2010

Pratt Show 2010: Jewelry

We have another Pratt Show preview for you, this time from the jewelry seniors. And can we just say, wow, we've never seen jewelry this cool! The
concept behind this complicated, unique, and perfectly constructed piece by Danielle Hills is very impressive!




"The Executioner" is a representation of the way in which we fundamentally uphold societal structure. Even in the smallest groups, people quickly establish social norms and subsequently a means of enforcing those guidelines. I choose to represent the character as an extreme, but it symbolizes a variety of severe human behavior that can include not only judicial execution, but defamation as a means of social and professional execution as well." 

The Executioner is made from copper, palladium, paint, brass, bronze, and human hair. We thought the piece covering the face (Executioner's Mask) looked like dreads! 



Another beautiful piece comes from Ah-Young Oh, who credits her inspiration for this ring to portraits of Renaissance nobles, especially the powered wigs and braided hairstyles of women from the time. 

















Materials include plated sterling silver, gypsy set cubic zirconia, and silk. Gorgeous! We want one of our own! 


See more cutting-edge work from Pratt's 2010 graduating seniors in all areas of design at this years Pratt Show. VIP champagne reception for Industry Professionals: May 11, 6 to 9 pm. For tickets and more information visit www.pratt.edu/show

The Pratt Show
May 11 - May 14
311 West 34 Street 
New York, New York

Public Show Hours:
Tuesday, May 11- 9 am to 5 pm
Wednesday, May 12- 9 am to 9 pm
Thursday, May 13- 9 am to 9 pm
Friday, May 14- 9 am to 1 pm 

Post: Angeline Ucci 

Pratt Show 2010: Max Diamond


Moving Coffee Table. from Max Diamond on Vimeo.


How can a table be fun and interactive, yet still purposeful?  Pratt Institute senior Max Diamond has ventured beyond the hard confines of the traditional coffee table to create a playful, moving tabletop.

Inspired to experiment with balloons, water and fans, Max has captured a wave-like sensation by breaking the surface of the table into smaller squares, which tilt just enough so as not to knock over anything sitting on the table.  The result is as mesmerizing as waterbeds were in the 1970s, and it's fascinating to see the same kind of fluid movement brought to a hard, wooden coffee table.  

Take a look at the video and see just how this amusing piece of prototypical furniture works!

Check out more cutting-edge work from Pratt’s 2010 graduating seniors in all areas of design at this year’s Pratt Show. VIP champagne Reception for Industry Professionals: May 11, 6 to 9 pm. For tickets and more information visit www.pratt.edu/show.

The Pratt Show
May 11 – May 14
311 West 34 Street
New York, New York

Public Show Hours:
Tuesday, May 11- 9 am to 5 pm
Wednesday, May 12- 9 am to 9 pm
Thursday, May 13- 9 am to 9 pm
Friday, May 14- 9 am to 1 pm

Posted by: Annie Ericsson

April 8, 2010

Pratt Show 2010: Amyel Oliveros
















For those of you who hate clutter and the conventional desks and shelves that control it, this new shelf design will be a breath of fresh air. Amyel Oliveros, an Industrial Design senior at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, created this flexible solution to organizing the detritus of life.

“After a survey of homes, I found that there are many objects like keys, wallets and important notebooks that tend to get lost because they come in and out of peoples lives in a daily basis. The Grasp Shelf addresses this need by acting as a functional shelf that one: conforms to different shapes and sizes of objects and two: displays them on the wall. Not only does the shelf give these things a place in the home, they also showcase the kind of objects that we live with and tell a story of who we are.”

Even without Amyel’s description, we think the work speaks for itself, and should be a useful addition to every New Yorker’s cluttered apartment!

See more cutting-edge work from Pratt’s 2010 graduating seniors in all areas of design at this year’s Pratt Show. VIP champagne Reception for Industry Professionals: May 11, 6 to 9 pm. For tickets and more information visit www.pratt.edu/show.

The Pratt Show
May 11 – May 14
311 West 34 Street
New York, New York

Public Show Hours:
Tuesday, May 11- 9 am to 5 pm
Wednesday, May 12- 9 am to 9 pm
Thursday, May 13- 9 am to 9 pm
Friday, May 14- 9 am to 1 pm

Post: Angeline Ucci

March 12, 2010

Students @Pratt

Name: Annie Beth Ericsson
Major: Communications Design, Illustration
Year of graduation: May 2010
Current date: 3/12/2010



1. We asked you for this interview because of your recent books that were published. Can you tell us more about it?
Last year, I illustrated two board books and designed one middle-grade non-fiction book, which were all published with Star Bright Books. The board books, What's In My Garden? and What's In My Toybox?, are for babies and toddlers, with bright, graphic digital illustrations and interactive lift-the-flaps. The book that I designed, That's Like Me! by Jill Lauren, is a collection of short biographies of real children and adults who have overcome learning differences, such as dyslexia, and gone on to pursue their passions successfully.

2. How did it come about?
The opportunity to make the books stemmed from my internship with Star Bright Books, an independent publisher based in Long Island City, New York. During the course of the internship, I gained a lot of experience with in-house design and the overall process of taking a picture book from start to finish. When the original artwork came in for a board book, it wasn't what the publishers were looking for. My employers asked if I could do any better, and I jumped at the chance to showcase my skills. The rest of the books stemmed from there!

3. How did Pratt play a role in allowing you to get this opportunity?
When it comes to being self-motivated about my career, working in Pratt's Career Services office has had a huge influence on me. By interacting with the Career Counselors, other Peer Counselors and guests at our many events, I learned that you have to be proactive in order to get the professional opportunities that you deserve. Secondly, I wouldn't have had the tools I needed to complete the process without the Communications Design department. When I took the internship and began the board books, I was only a sophomore illustration student, but I already had basic graphic design skills that allowed me to be fulfill the internship and complete the board books in Adobe Illustrator.

4. What is the best thing you took away from your experience?
The best thing I learned from making the books, particularly That's Like Me!, is that creating a book is a team effort. In publishing, a book is equally the product of the editor's, art director's and designer's effort as it is the author/illustrator's. It takes all of those people working together and communicating in order to pull off a shared vision and make a book the best that it can be.

5. What would you suggest to other students looking to jump start their career?
I can't say this enough: immerse yourself in your field and get yourself work BEFORE you graduate (and before 2nd semester senior year)!! It's hard to pull away from classes and homework, but there's nothing more valuable that you could be doing than pursuing your career outside of Pratt. Get an internship (or a few!). Talk with professionals in your field. Build a website and a portfolio. Get critiqued. Promote yourself. Get freelance work. Go to a workshop/lecture/field trip. There are plenty of people and resources out there to help you do this, but no one is going to knock on your door. As with anything in life, you have to make it happen for yourself.


Posted by: L.J. McNerney

March 3, 2010

Career Coffee Break: Laura Blereau



CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Laura Blereau from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.



www.bitforms.com

Pratt Institute Alumnus, Master of Fine Arts in New Forms, 2002.

We met with Laura Blereau at Bitforms Gallery in Chelsea, where she has worked as Director for the past five years. She talked to us about how she went from a graduate student in the New Forms program at Pratt to Director at a successful gallery. She also offers valuable advice for any artist seeking an active role in the art industry.

Interviewed by: Micah Bozeman and Angeline Ucci
Edited and posted by: Angeline Ucci

February 2, 2010

Career Coffee Break - Zachary Feltoon


CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Zachary Feltoon from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

www.davidzachary.net
Pratt Institute Alumnus, Bachelors of Industrial Design, 2008

We met with Zachary at his studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  He gave us an overview of his life now, and how Pratt has contributed thus far.  Starting his own design firm with a friend from Pratt, David Wright, he gave us insight as to what it was like starting a business young, and working with a partner.  Successful and driven, he continues to make furniture and products that reflect the environment in which they reside in.

http://www.vimeo.com/9048073

Interviewed by L.J. McNerney and Micah Bozeman
Edited by L.J. McNerney

Posted by L.J. McNerney

January 22, 2010

Career Coffee Break: Megan Thomas-Melly


CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Megan Thomas-Melly from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

http://meganthomas-mellyfineart.blogspot.com/
Pratt Institute Alumnus, Bachelors of Fine Arts, Sculpture.

We sat down with fine artist Megan Thomas-Melly to talk about getting out of town and exploring the art world beyond New York City past graduation. During her time away, Megan was employed with the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia doing installation work and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, as well as many other outlets. Her current work ranges from video installation to folk-art-inspired mixed media, sketches and collaborative projects.


Interview by Annie Ericsson and Raymond Miller
Edited by Micah Bozeman
Posted by Annie Ericsson