Alumni Join Pratt in Venice to Celebrate 35 Years!

Multiple alumni visited Venice this summer to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the program! The celebrations brought Pratt in Venice participants from every decade together with current students, faculty, and friends of the program.

In a series of events highlighting the breadth and depth of participants’ achievements as artists and scholars, Pratt in Venice welcomed alumni as guests to a specially-curated exhibition, an Art Night panel, as invited lecturers at historic sites and collections, and as guests in program classes.


Alumni and faculty at the Infinite Jest exhibition opening. From left to right: Safiye Şentürk (‘17, Program Assistant ‘19); Marietta Burdick (‘17, Program Assistant ‘18); Program Director Diana Gisolfi; Joseph Kopta (‘07, Program Assistant ‘12–‘14, art history faculty ‘15–present); Anne Murray (‘94); painting faculty Michael Brennan (‘18–’19); Susan Luss (‘10); Monique Rollins (‘06, Program Assistant ‘07); exhibition curator Martina Cavallarin; and Dan Jakubowski (‘08). Background: Monique Rollins, Aria Veneziana (2019).


Celebrations began with the exhibition, Infinite Jest, featuring the work of alumnae Monique Rollins (‘06, Program Assistant ‘07), Hyewon Hahn (‘06), and painting faculty Michael Brennan, which brought alumni, current students, faculty, and friends and supporters of the program together at the Società Dante Alighieri. The artists, along with curator Martina Cavallarin and Program Director Diana Gisolfi, returned for a panel discussion on Art Night, with Pratt in Venice students, alumni, and the local Venetian public participating. Alumni present included Anne Murray (‘94); Joseph Kopta (‘07, Program Assistant ‘12–‘14, art history faculty ‘15–present); Dan Jakubowski, PhD (‘08); Susan Luss (‘10); Marietta Burdick (‘17, Program Assistant ‘18); Safiye Şentürk (‘17, Program Assistant ‘19); and Abby Staub (‘18). Alumna Anne Murray’s review of the exhibition, “Of Light and Lumination,” was published in June.

Marietta Burdick lecturing in front of Jacopo Tintoretto’s Moses Receiving the Law and the Golden Calf (1560-62) at Madonna dell’Orto.

Marietta Burdick lecturing in front of Jacopo Tintoretto’s Last Judgment (1560-62) at Madonna dell’Orto.

Later in the summer, alumna Marietta Burdick gave a special guest lecture for the program at the church of Madonna dell’Orto, the site of a monumental painting program by Jacopo Tintoretto. Marietta’s lecture, corresponding with the 500th anniversary of Tintoretto’s birth, articulated the unusual iconographic program of Moses Receiving the Law and the Golden Calf together with a scene of the Last Judgment. This lecture was based on Marietta’s B.A. thesis completed at Pratt in 2018 advised by Diana Gisolfi, which in turn drew on her initial observations and research as a student in the program.

Pratt in Venice alumna Hye won Hahn (‘06) was honored at the US Embassy in Rome on the occasion of her exhibition of painting. Left to right: Joseph Kopta (‘07, Program Assistant ‘12–‘14, art history faculty ‘15–present); Hye won Hahn (‘06); Vice Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Smitham; Pratt in Venice Director Diana Gisolfi; Monique Rollins (‘06, Program Assistant ‘07).

In early July, Pratt in Venice travelled to Rome where alumna Hye won Hahn (‘06) was honored on the occasion of her exhibition, Life Line_Begin, held at the Tri-Mission Art Gallery at the United States Embassy in Rome. In a reception on Friday, July 12, Hye won was warmly welcomed and congratulated with a certificate from Thomas Smitham, Vice Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission, with Pratt in Venice Director Diana Gisolfi, art history faculty Joseph Kopta (‘07), and Monique Rollins (’06) in attendance.

Andrew Kurczak guides students through the Collection’s Abstract Expressionist gallery, including Arshile Gorky’s Untitled (1944).

Peggy Guggenheim Collection Assistant Curator Grazina Subelyte and Andrew Kurczak introduce the collection.

Andrew Kurczak introduces Max Ernst’s Attirement of the Bride (1940).

At the closing of the program, alumnus Andrew Kurczak (‘11–‘12, Program Assistant ‘16–‘17) led program participants on a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which he first encountered during the program and where, later, he served as an intern. After a privileged meeting and introduction by PGC Assistant Curator Grazina Subelyte, Andrew shared the story of Peggy Guggenheim as a collector, a force in modernism, and her relationship with Venice, while leading students through the galleries for Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism.


Alumna June Allen (‘84) (front row, left), a student in the first year of the program, with students and faculty of the 2019 class at Santa Maria della Salute.


Other alumni visited and participated in site visits alongside students. Dan Jakubowski (‘08) joined the Torcello class and shared his work reporting on contemporary Middle Eastern Art for Artforum; Christian Harding (’18) took part in a Materials & Techniques visit to San Marco mosaic conservation lab; and June Allen (‘84), a student in the first year of the program, partook in the Salute class and encouraged current students with their artistic practice.

We look forward to continuing our celebrations in New York, with an all-inclusive alumni exhibition to be held in October on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus! Return here for forthcoming details.