Launched by Pratt Fine Arts in 2021 in partnership with Mickalene Thomas, BFA Fine Arts ’00, Pratt>Forward connects emerging artists with leading practitioners and thought leaders in the field and offers opportunities for professional development, community building, and creative exploration. In its third edition, Pratt>Forward is extending the opportunities offered to artists at the World Trade Center, hosted by Silver Art Projects and Silverstein Properties.

“We are excited to launch Pratt>Forward ’24 which, for the month of March, will be sited at the World Trade Center, thanks to Silver Art Projects who are located there,” said Fine Arts Chair Jane South. “Our partnership with Silver Art Projects will allow us to collaborate on some aspects of our programming in a way that will benefit both communities of artists. We are excited to see what emerges and are grateful to all at Silver Art Projects for the enthusiasm with which they have entered into this relationship with Pratt>Forward.

The directors and core mentors of Pratt>Forward 2024, from L-R from top row: Mickalene Thomas (photo by Tropical Cream), Jane South, Derrick Adams, Elizabeth Lamb, Emily McElwreath, José Parlá, and Jasmine Wahi (photo by Dario Calmese)

Pratt>Forward is co-directed by Thomas and South. Its core mentors for 2024 include Pratt Trustee and alumnus Derrick Adams, BFA Art and Design Education ’96; arts organizer and Director of Company Gallery Elizabeth Lamb; art advisor and host of The Art Career Podcast Emily McElwreath; artist José Parlá; and curator, activist, and Project for Empty Space Founder Jasmine Wahi.

“As we embark on our third iteration of Pratt>Forward, we are thrilled to collaborate with Silver Art Projects and Silverstein Properties at the World Trade Center,” said Thomas. “This partnership empowers us to provide space, drive professional development, and create a profound impact on our dynamic intergenerational community of artists. Through this joint venture, Pratt>Forward aims to tackle the pressing need for professional growth within the art world. At Pratt>Forward, the sky is not the limit—it’s just the view.”

Silver Art Projects has been fostering a community of artists in residence at the World Trade Center since 2019. When Pratt>Forward kicks off in March, its participants will have access to this vibrant community while inhabiting their own community space during the month-long Pratt>Forward program.

From its inception, Pratt>Forward was envisioned as a program that would travel to different locations, including to locations outside of the traditional art sphere. This allows new opportunities and relationships to develop. In 2022, Pratt>Forward was held at Newlab, a location that allowed artists to connect and collaborate with pioneering entrepreneurs, technologists, and researchers working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Pratt>Forward is for artists at the start of their professional careers. In addition to access to the program’s World Trade Center space, each artist taking part in the month-long, fully-funded program will also receive a $2,000 stipend. Programming will include studio visits with mentors and creative professionals, as well as bi-weekly Dialogue Sessions that emphasize professional development tools and insights.

“Silver Art Projects partnering with Mickalene Thomas and Pratt>Forward is an exciting initiative,” said Lilly Robicsek, Program Director of Silver Art Projects. “Not only is it rewarding to welcome new artists to the World Trade Center, with its inspiring views providing an ideal work environment for artists across all media, but it is also a wonderful way for us to connect our two artist communities in Lower Manhattan. It will create more opportunities and mentorship for emerging artists as we share the expertise of our visiting professionals, artists, and supporters—a collective benefit to us all.”

Pratt>Forward mentors include artists, curators, gallerists, thought leaders, and creative practitioners. Through knowledge-sharing, dialogue, and exploration, their support helps participants cultivate agency in developing fulfilling and sustainable artistic lives, and empowers them to be cultural advocates and leaders in building artist-led models for engagement.

“Through mentorship and community, my Pratt>Forward residency not only expanded the way I approach my studio practice every day, but also gave me the confidence to take charge of my own career path more purposefully,” said Mario Joyce, a 2022 Pratt>Forward artist.

A series of public dialogues at the World Trade Center in conjunction with Pratt>Forward is planned for the spring with the details to be announced. The open call for 2024 Pratt>Forward artists is now open with the ten selected artists expected to be announced early next year.