Mickalene Thomas: Pratt ‘Legends’ Event to Honor Three Creatives

Rosemary Feitelberg, Women's Wear Daily, September 30, 2022


For the first time in three years, Pratt Institute will be staging its annual Legends gala in person.


The annual scholarship benefit is scheduled for Nov. 15 at Weylin, an event venue that was once the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in what is now known simply as Williamsburg. The location is fitting, given how the school’s main campus is also in Brooklyn and that the gathering is geared for raising funds to support students with scholarships.


This year’s event will salute three creatives — the designer Arem Duplessis, architect Phyllis Lambert, and artist Mickalene Thomas. Each will be honored for their embodiment of the creativity, innovation, and leadership that have been fostered at Pratt since its founding in 1887. The proceeds from the benefit help fund student scholarships that support diversity.


Duplessis, an alumnus of Pratt, is currently the creative director at Apple. Prior to venturing into the tech industry, he served as The New York Times Magazine’s design director, and earned an Emmy award for the short film series “Touch of Evil.” Duplessis also co-created the GQ Gotham typeface for the redesign of the magazine.


In addition to being an architect, Lambert works as a photographer, author, scholar, curator, conservationist, activist, and critic of architecture and urbanism. She is also the founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. 


Like Duplessis, Thomas is a Pratt alumna. Her paintings, collages, photography, videos and installations have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among other institutions. Combining pop culture and art history, her work challenges assumptions about portraiture and femininity. Some Pratt faculty and students already know Thomas well, since she cofounded a mentorship program that links up emerging artists with creative thought leaders called Pratt>Forward. Ten artists are participating in a monthlong program at the Newlab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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