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Art Basel Miami Beach 2015 Stars  Brooklyn-based Leaders in World of Art

By Nadia Fattah, Arts Writer, Our Time Press

MIckalene Thomas

MIckalene Thomas

Pratt Institute and Mickalene Thomas, Brooklyn-based stars of the international art scene, play major roles in next week’s Art Basel Miami Beach 2015 event, December 3-6 in the historic “heart of Miami Beach.”

This distinguished annual American show, this year, shows significant work from 267 leading galleries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, including the masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging stars, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films, works and digital art by more than 4,000 artists.

What promises to be an event highlight will be a panel discussion on “Women of Influence in the Business of Art,” presented by Pratt Institute and W magazine, on opening day, December 3.

The discussion moderated by W’s Editor-in-Chief, Stefano Tonchi, features Ms. Thomas, Pratt Institute Alumna, and groundbreaking filmmaker and Visual Artist, along with Shirin Neshat, Visual Artist;; Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and Director of the Aspen Art Museum.

This exclusive group of influential women have had a profound impact on the art world and are currently shaping its future. The discussion will explore the qualities that define a new generation of female artists and leaders in art, as well as the many different ways in which they have achieved success, despite obstacles and prevailing inequalities.


This panel discussion is the second Pratt Presents event featuring female leaders from the areas of art and design exploring issues related to the impact and success of women in their field. Last spring, Pratt presented “Women of Influence in the Business of Style,” featuring female fashion leaders in a conversation about leading change in the fashion industry.

Mickalene Thomas is a distinguished visual artist and filmmaker who has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally since 2003. She is best known for combining art-historical, political, and pop-cultural references to create striking figurative and nonfigurative paintings. Her work stems from a long study of art history and classical genres of portraiture, introducing complex notions of femininity and challenging common definitions of beauty and aesthetic representation. Thomas’s first solo museum exhibition was in 2012 at the Brooklyn Museum and Santa Monica Museum of Art. Thomas’s work is in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as the Detroit Institute of Arts; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; Seattle Art Museum; and Smithsonian American Art Museum, among many others. She was born in 1971 in New Jersey and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

About Pratt Institute:
Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is a global leader in higher education dedicated to preparing its 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences. Located in a cultural hub with historic campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Pratt is a living lab of craft and creativity with an esteemed faculty of accomplished professionals and scholars who challenge their talented students to transform their passion into meaningful expression.

The reception and panel are free and open to the public. Reservations are required and you can register at Pratt Presents’ Public Programs site ( with attendee name(s), number of tickets requested, and a contact phone number.

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