This summer, two communications design students were given the opportunity to discuss their work with renowned street artist Shepard Fairey and other art world leaders. The students, Eduardo Palma (M.F.A. Communications Design ’15) and Lillian Ling (M.F.A. Communications Design ’15) finished in first and third place in the third annual Pratt/Hennessy V.S competition, in which nine Pratt students from a variety of disciplines were challenged to create works of art influenced by Hennessy’s mantra, “Never stop. Never settle.” The two student winners traveled to Los Angeles for a two-day salon event celebrating the collaboration and the launch of a limited edition Hennessy bottle design by Fairey. 

Palma and Ling's winning works were installed at Pratt Trustee Ralph Pucci’s West Coast showroom for the salon event. The designers presented and discussed their pieces with guests including Fairey and fellow street artist Futura, alumnus and artist Derrick Adams, and Saatchi Art CEO Sean Moriarty. Palma created an interactive, bilingual mural that represented the dichotomy between rich and poor societies. Ling etched Japanese symbols into three tablets—one made of marble, one of wood, and one of aluminum—to represent the common children’s game “Rock-Paper-Scissors.” Second-place winner and fine arts student Eden Daniell’s (B.F.A. Fine Art Jewelry ’14) folding silver ring design was also on display at the Pucci showroom. The works showed a variety of ways in which students expressed their “Wild Rabbit”—the Hennessy brand icon that symbolizes a constant pursuit of one’s potential.

During the salon event Fairey, Futura, Adams, and Moriarty participated in a special panel discussion on the state of contemporary art, the intersection of art and commerce, and the power of art to provoke. Moderated by Steven Nelson, associate professor of art history at UCLA, the roundtable tackled topics ranging from arts patronage and the impact of arts education to the panelists’ personal inspirations and influences. Guests included fellow artists, members of the Pratt community, and top Hennessy executives.

The events marked the third year of Pratt’s collaboration with Hennessy, which challenges students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to express their “Wild Rabbit”—the Hennessy brand icon that symbolizes a constant pursuit of one’s potential.

Image: Shepard Fairey, Lillian Ling (M.F.A. Communications Design ’15), and Eduardo Palma (M.F.A. Communications Design ’15) in Los Angeles