The Art of Living

Phebe Wahl | November 27, 2018 | Feature Features National

Innovators. Disruptors. Out-of-the-box thinkers. It's the energy on which this city was built, and these seven creatives are setting the toneā€”and changing the conversation of how the world views art today and beyond.
Photo by Gregg Delman

Isolde Brielmaier & Bettina Prentice

Sharing a deep reverence for the artistic process, two art world arbiters advise that making your mark is more about integrity than Insta-fame.

“New York will always be the center of the art world, but as the documentary The Price of Everything illustrates, it is too much about commodity here,” says Prentice Cultural founder Bettina Prentice “Let’s support the smaller institutions around the country that are presenting art that reflects more urgent ideas,” she continues, citing the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York as such an organization that she and frequent collaborator Isolde Brielmaier support. “New York has always been a place where people, particularly creative people, from all over the world come to work hard, pay their dues, commit deeply and realize their dreams,” says Brielmaier. “It is gritty and hard. What drives so many is the feeling that anything is possible and that we are all in this together.” Up next for the powerhouse pair? “Peninsula Hotels is launching an ambitious, immersive global art program in 2019, and Isolde and I are co-curators,” says Prentice. “The first year alone will take us to Hong Kong, Paris and New York, and the most exciting thing about what the Peninsula is doing is that they are commissioning new work by midcareer artists and not focusing on name-brand artists. They are really helping artists expand their practice and drive a cultural conversation.”

Dr. Joyce Brown

Brown schools the next generation of creatives.

“I grew up with three-way mirrors and mannequins in the corner of the room, pins on the floor, sewing machines, spools of colorful threads, and closets filled with swatches of gorgeous textiles, laces, appliques and patterns,” shares Dr. Joyce Brown, president of Fashion Institute of Technology. Because she grew up in a family full of seamstresses, fashion was always a part of her DNA. This year, FIT celebrates its 75th anniversary; The Museum at FIT will commemorate its 50th anniversary with a retrospective exhibition; and in May, the school will break ground on its first new academic building in 40 years. “When FIT first opened, it offered only two programs—one in fashion design and the other in production management. Today, the word ‘fashion’ evokes far more than just garments and factory floors—it encompasses what I think of as the entire realm of lifestyle,” says Brown, who has added 15 new degree programs during her tenure. Today, offerings range from an MPS in cosmetics and fragrance marketing to an MFA in fashion design and innovative technologies including AR and VR and 3D printing. “The buzz at FIT is all about innovation and unconventional thinking,” says Dr. Brown. Sounds like the future of fashion is looking good.


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