Pratt Institute will present Legends 2011, a scholarship benefit honoring artist and musician Laurie Anderson; interior designer, furniture designer, and artist Juan Montoya; and artist, filmmaker, and photographer William Wegman on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 7 World Trade Center at 250 Greenwich Street in Manhattan. The event begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner and awards ceremony at 7 p.m., then will conclude with a dessert reception with a special performance by Laurie Anderson.
Anderson will be introduced and presented her award by author Salman Rushdie; Montoya will be introduced and presented his award by Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest Margaret Russell; and Wegman will be introduced and presented his award by President Emerita of The Museum of Modern Art Agnes Gund.
Legends 2011 will be hosted by Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and Board of Trustees Chair Mike Pratt. Trustee James D. Kuhn and Pratt friend Marjorie Kuhn are serving as chairs of the event. Trustee Juliana Curran Terian and Two Trees Management Company are serving as vice chairs. This year's benefit committee is made up of co-chairs Kurt Andersen, Amy Cappellazzo, and Marjorie Kuhn; Kenneth P. Browne; Carol and Mike Pratt; Stan Richards; Robert and Hazel Siegel; and Jane and David Walentas.
“The Legends 2011 scholarship benefit will provide hundreds of talented students the opportunity to pursue and achieve a Pratt education,” said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. “It is my privilege to honor Laurie Anderson, Juan Montoya, and William Wegman as this year's Pratt Legends. It gives me great pleasure to welcome these icons in music, design, and art into Pratt's diverse community and to present them with 2011 Legends awards at this year's scholarship benefit,” he added.
“With more than 80 percent of students requiring financial assistance to attend Pratt, Legends is able to touch the lives of literally thousands of students,” said Legends Chair Marjorie Kuhn. “Pratt is a wonderful institution that graduates the talented individuals who will be shaping the future of art and design, architecture, and information science in the coming years. Through Legends, we are able to make a difference by helping the creative professionals of the future realize their dreams in today's competitive world.”
Laurie Anderson is regarded as one of America's most daring creative pioneers and has distinguished herself as a visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist. Her recording career spans more than four decades and includes seven albums on the Warner Brothers label. She has also published six books, and her visual work has been presented in major museums throughout the United States and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Lyon.
As a composer, Anderson has contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme, and to dance pieces by Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, and Molissa Fenley; she also has created pieces for NPR, and the BBC. In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist in residence of NASA, and, in 2007, she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts.
Juan Montoya has made a name for himself as one of the top designers in the United States today. Colombian-born Montoya opened his New York design firm in 1978, after launching his career in Paris and Milan. Since then, he has created professional and domestic interiors for business leaders and diplomats, and his residential and commercial work has been featured in national and international magazines and publications. Montoya prides himself on creating appealing and comfortable interiors tailored to the specific client and space.
In recognition of his work, Montoya was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame, and has received numerous awards and honor, including being named a World Market Center Las Vegas Design Icon in 2010 and listed as one of Architectural Digest's 30 Deans of Design in 2005. His name also regularly appears on Architectural Digest's Top 100 Designers list.
William Wegman has gained international recognition for his work in photography, painting, drawing, and video. Wegman began his artistic career as a painter, and rose to prominence in the 1970s with his photographs and videos of his Weimaraner, Man Ray. In 1986, a new dog, Fay Ray, came into Wegman's life, marking the start of Wegman's use of the Polaroid 20 x 24 camera. Wegman's photographs have been the subject of several publications, including Man's Best Friend (Harry N. Abrams, 1982) and William Wegman: Paintings, Drawings, Photographs, Videotapes (Harry N. Abrams, 1990) and Funney/Strange (Yale, 2006). His works have been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with retrospective exhibitions traveling to numerous museums including the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Stedelijk Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Brooklyn Museum. His videotapes have been broadcast in the United States and abroad, and have been shown nationally on The Tonight Show, The David Letterman Show, and Saturday Night Live.
The Legends Awards were conceived in 1999 by the Board of Trustees to celebrate distinguished individuals and companies in the world of art and design, whose accomplishments and values resonate with those of Pratt Institute. The event's mission is to raise funds to provide financial aid to Pratt students based on need and merit. Eighty percent of Pratt's students require financial aid to pursue their educations. Every dollar raised through Legends strengthens the student body by increasing the scholarship endowment-allowing the most qualified students an opportunity to attend one of the world's foremost schools of art, design, and architecture, regardless of their financial background.
Past Legends Awards recipients include Ralph Appelbaum, Dale Chihuly, Fleur Cowles, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Michele Oka Doner, Cathy Hardwick, Tommy Hilfiger, Al Hirschfeld, Marc Jacobs, Helmut Jahn, Ellsworth Kelly, Emily Fisher Landau, Kenneth Lane, Naomi Leff, John Loring, Peter Marino, Mary McFadden, Richard Meier, Takashi Murakami, Beverly Pepper, Karim Rashid, Stanford Richards, Joan Rivers, David Rockwell, James Rosenquist, Julian Schnabel, Robert Siegel, Victor Skrebneski, Patti Smith, Barbara Tober, Pauline Trigère, Emanuel Ungaro, Bruce Weber, Stephan Weiss, Reba White Williams and Dave Williams, Robert Wilson, and Eva Zeisel. Past Corporate Legends include Lawrence Herbert, Pantone, Inc; Joseph Pacifico, CulinArt, Inc.; and Philip Morris.
To pre-order tickets, please contact Pratt Director of Special Events Katie Hush at 718.399.4486 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the press who are interested in covering the event may contact Amy Aronoff at 718.636.3554 or email@example.com. Please visit www.pratt.edu/legends2011 for more.
Clockwise from L: Laurie Anderson, Juan Montoya, and William Wegman. Photo Credits: Tim Knox, Walter Briski, Jr., Courtesy of William Wegman Studio