Frank Verlizzo and Lillian E. Benson to be Honored at Pratt Institute's Alumni Achievement Awards

Frank Verlizzo and Lillian E. Benson to be Honored at Pratt Institute's Alumni Achievement Awards

On Saturday, October 7, Pratt Institute's Alumni Achievement Awards 2017 will be presented to five accomplished alumni during a special "Dîner en Noir" catered dining event to be held as part of Alumni Day 2017. The awards recognize outstanding Pratt graduates who have distinguished themselves in their fields, are highly respected among their colleagues and in the general community, and whose impact has been felt at the regional, national, and/or international level. This year's award recipients include Broadway poster artist and designer Frank Verlizzo; television, video, and feature film editor Lillian E. Benson; artist and Pratt faculty member Jean Shin, art and design director Charles Churchward, and designer William Porter. The award winners were chosen by a committee of similarly accomplished professionals including past Alumni Achievement Award honorees.

Lillian E. Benson, ACE, B.F.A. Art and Design Education, is a television, video, and feature film editor whose professional work over the past four decades has garnered five Emmy nominations, four Peabody Awards, and numerous other honors. She is currently editing another season of NBC's Chicago Med, and in 2015, she worked on Oprah Winfrey's Greenleaf. Benson's documentary film editing credits include Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, a 2016 official selection at the Sundance Film Festival; Get in the Way: THE JOURNEY of John Lewis; Frontline's God in America; and "Wounded Knee," the closing episode of We Shall Remain, a series on Native American history produced by WGBH.

Frank Verlizzo, B.F.A. Communication Design (Illustration) '72, has left an indelible mark on the American theater landscape. Dubbed "the theatre poster legend" and "designer of some of modern theatre's greatest show posters" by Playbill, Verlizzo has created poster art for over 300 Broadway, off-Broadway, regional, and international productions. His work includes some of the most memorable designs in theater history, such as the art for The Lion King, Sweeney Todd, Deathtrap, Our Town, and Sunday in the Park with George.

William Porter, M.I.D. '58, served for three decades as studio chief designer at General Motors, where he worked from 1957 until his retirement in 1996. He played a seminal role in the history of AMERICAN MUSCLE car design, having made his mark with the 1968 Pontiac GTO and 1970-1973 Pontiac Firebird 400. His impact on auto design continued into the 1990s with the 1997 Buick Park Avenue. Other impressive cars on his design roster include the Trans Am, the 1985 Buick Electra T-Type, the 1991 Buick Park Avenue, and the 1995 Buick Riviera.

Charles Churchward, B.F.A. Communications Design '71, is a renowned art and design director in the publishing world. Churchward has spent almost 40 years in the magazine world and has also produced and written books, magazine articles, advertising, posters, and catalogs, and lectured on related subjects. He is known for his collaborations with many well-known, high-profile editors, designers, photographers, and artists, including Tina Brown, Anna Wintour, Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Arthur Elgort, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Jonathan Becker, Patrick Demarchelier, Tim Walker, Raymond Meier, and François Halard.

Jean Shin, B.F.A. Painting '94 and M.S. Art History & Criticism '96 , is renowned for her site-specific installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community engagement. Shin has had her work exhibited in over 150 major museums and cultural institutions, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia; the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona; and Crow Collection in Dallas. Her works have been on view at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Asia Society; New Museum; the Brooklyn Museum; the Queens Museum; the Museum of Arts and Design; and The Barnes Foundation; among other prestigious museums. In spring 2018, she will have a solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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