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Museum of Arts and Design To Present Annual Visionaries! Awards November 20, 2013


The Evening Will Honor Materialise CEO and Founder Wilfried Vancraen, Artist Frank Stella, Vilcek Foundation Executive Director Rick Kinsel, and Designers David and Sybil Yurman


New York, NY (August 22, 2013)

On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will host its 2013 Visionaries! Gala, celebrating five influential creators and leaders in the art, craft, and design industries, whose work personifies the Museum’s mission to explore and celebrate contemporary creativity across all media:

  • Wilfried Vancraen, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Materialise, an international additive manufacturing company started in Belgium. For more than twenty years, Materialise has been working with designers and scientists to,help expand design, manufacturing, and biomedical research into new frontiers, while remaining committed to artistic creativity, sustainability, and the improvement of people’s lives.
  • Frank Stella, legendary painter and printmaker, most noted for his Minimalist, Post-Painterly Abstract works has challenged ideas of abstraction and of painting itself by negating the evidence of brushwork and asserting the flatness of the canvas. Today, Stella continues to explore new forms and aesthetic avenues in creating multidimensional, hybrid sculptures that combine painting with geometrical and architectural elements.  
  • Rick Kinsel, Executive Director, The Vilcek Foundation. For more than 10 years, the Vilcek Foundation, under Kinsel's leadership, has been an important philanthropic supporter of the arts and sciences.  It is committed to honoring the contributions of immigrants to American society, and has founded several programs recognizing both emerging and established artists and designers.  
  • David and Sybil Yurman, founders and creative directors of David Yurman, the brand and company, will be honored in 2013 for their enduring contributions to the world of style internationally. David Yurman, long an innovator in the world of jewelry, will celebrate 30 years of its iconic cable design in 2014. Over the last three decades, David Yurman has created an indelible legacy of craftsmanship and innovation. 

This year’s Visionaries! Awards will celebrate MAD’s 5th anniversary at 2 Columbus Circle and the dramatic growth of the institution since its move, looking ahead to an exciting roster of exhibitions and programs for 2013-2014. Since moving in 2008, MAD has welcomed more than a million visitors onsite, tripled its membership and greatly expanded its exhibition and educational offerings. 

Visionaries! is the Museum’s most important annual fundraiser supporting MAD’s exhibitions and educational programs. Every year the Gala honors leaders and innovators in the fields of art, design, philanthropy, and business, who through their work demonstrate foresight, imagination, and a commitment to supporting creativity in all its forms. Proceeds are directed to the support of MAD’s arts education program. This year we expect to serve nearly 10,000 children, grades K-12, and from mostly underserved communities. Each year, more than 500 guests, including arts patrons, artists, designers and noted corporate and civic leaders, attend the event.   

“MAD is thrilled to be honoring such a range of visionaries in this anniversary year, which demonstrates the scope and depth of MAD’s exploration of contemporary creativity,” said Lewis Kruger, Chairman of the Board of the Museum. “The outstanding achievements of this year's honorees as leaders in varied creative fields are an inspiration to us all. Their work has moved and influenced many of us as museumgoers, the creative world at large, and aspiring artists and makers, and will continue to do so for generations to come.” 

Held this year at the Mandarin Oriental, Visionaries! will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction featuring work by artists who have been represented in recent exhibitions at the Museum, as well as luxury goods, design items, travel getaways, and dining packages. Dinner and an awards presentation will follow. 

Opened in 2008, the Jerome and Simona Chazen Building at Columbus Circle has allowed MAD to advance its institutional vision and mission of celebrating the craftsmanship and creative processes of contemporary artists and designers from around the world. In the last five years, MAD has expanded its exhibitions program, underscoring contemporary creation and addressing the increasing cross-pollination of contemporary art, design, and craft. Among this exhibition programming is Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, opening this fall and including work by Frank Stella and from Materialise, as well as the Materials and Process series, which investigates how artists and craftspeople transform and approach specific materials as traditional as paper in Slash: Paper Under the Knife (2009), and wood in Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design (2013) to more unconventional ones such as everyday objects in Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary (2008) and organic materials that were once part of living things in Dead or Alive: Nature Becomes Art (2010). In that span of time, MAD has expanded its focus with the presentation of exhibitions that are international in scope—such as The Global Africa Project (2010) and the upcoming New Territories: Global Latin America (2014). 

Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, opens at MAD in October, and is the first in-depth survey dedicated to exploring the impact of computer-assisted methods of production on contemporary art, architecture, and design. Exploring the latest trends in digital fabrication, this landmark exhibition brings together more than 120 works of sculpture, jewelry, fashion, and furniture by 85 artists, architects, and designers from 20 countries to examine how new technologies are pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and creation. The cutting-edge works highlighted in the exhibition demonstrate the reciprocal relationship between art and technological innovation as well as materials and new techniques—an area of exploration that has long been at the core of MAD’s mission and curatorial program.  Three works created using Materialise platforms will be featured in the exhibition -- Volume.MGX lamp by Dror Benshetrit, Platform Wertel Oberfell by Gernot Oberfell and Jan Wertel, and Bust of Lady Belhaven (after Samuel Joseph) by Stephen Jones — as well as two works by Frank Stella – K.179 and K.162 from The Scarlatti K Series .

The MAD collection has also grown three-fold and in synergy with its mission, with important acquisitions that illustrate imaginative approaches to transforming materials. Highlights from the new collections will be featured in the exhibition Inspired, opening in March 2014. 

MAD also grew its educational and public programming, to include Open Studios; K-12 programs like MADlab, Arts Reach, and Artslife; and film, performance, residencies, and talks.  Its pioneering Open Studios has provided a meeting point for artists and museumgoers to converse, providing an educational space that fosters dialogue between artists, designers, and the public. Every day, the Open Studios host artists and designers as they produce their work in a public environment. The Open Studios program supports the development of original works through special projects and residencies. Meanwhile, MAD’s robust K-12 programming has set a new model and standard for American museums, maintaining its commitment to act as a teaching resource and providing in-depth, hands-on learning experiences to students in New York. Some of these programs include: MADlab, MAD’s signature school program that offers a tour and hands-on workshop in the Museum’s classrooms; Arts Reach, providing arts education to at-risk youth; and Artslife, MAD’s paid summer program for high school students. 

About the Honorees 

Wilfried Vancraen founded Materialise in July 1990. Vancraen holds a Master in electro-mechanical engineering and first discovered 3D printing while working as a research rngineer and consultant at the Research Institute of the Belgian Metalworking Industry. His passion for this new technology and his belief that it could create products and improve lives fueled and became the mission for Materialise. For more than two decades, Materialise has worked with designers and scientists, using 3D printing, in order to further research and application in fields such as biomedicine, with face transplants, reconstructive bone procedures, and 3D medical imaging. The company also collaborates with top designers to create unique 3D-printed design objects, three of which will be featured in MAD’s fall exhibition Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital by Dror Benshetrit, Gernot Oberfell and Jan Wertel, and Stephen Jones. The company also works with design engineers to help improve consumer goods--from cellphone covers to luggage to pens--through customized 3D printed parts. 

Frank Stella is one of the leading figures of Post-Painterly Abstraction in the last century and a legendary artist and innovator in post-war and contemporary art. He paved the way for the Minimalist movement, painting canvases in a single primary color or layering them with hard-edged stripes and geometric shapes, at the height of the Pop art movement. Some of his most famous paintings include: The Black Paintings (1959-60), in which he penciled lines on raw canvases and filled in the open spaces with black house paint; the defined bands of color in The Benjamin Moore Paintings (1961); and the clash of curves and squares and garish colors on monumental canvases in The Protractor Series (1967-69). In his more than five-decade career as a visual artist, Stella has constantly explored new avenues of expression through varied and far-reaching bodies of work. Since the 1980s, the artist has shifted his focus, applying his mastery of colors, shape, and paint to hybrid architectural sculptures using digital processes. Stella’s early use of digital techniques and technologies created new platforms for understanding how technology and art can work together in surprising, lyrical and innovative ways. Two of these extraordinary wall reliefs or “sculptures,” The Scarlatti K Series, are featured in Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital.

Rick Kinsel is the Executive Director of the Vilcek Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness of immigrant contributions to American arts and sciences.  Kinsel has worked to conceptualize the Foundation’s programs since its inception in 2000, and has served as its executive director since 2003.  Through his leadership, Kinsel has fostered the Foundation’s growth to include programming in various areas of arts and design, such as architecture, design, fashion, and digital art, as well as in science and technology.  The Foundation’s initiatives include the annual Vilcek Prizes in the arts and humanities and biomedical science; sponsorship of cultural programs such as the Hawaii International Film Festival; and the presentation of emerging immigrant artists, performers and lecturers at its gallery space in New York City.

David and Sybil Yurman are the founders and creative directors of David Yurman, the American designer jewelry company. Together they have made an enduring impact in the world of jewelry through their commitment to craftsmanship and impeccable design. In 1960, David Yurman, a sculptor at the time, met and later married Sybil Kleinrock, a painter. Inspired by the interest in a piece of jewelry David made for Sybil, the couple launched David Yurman, building it to international success. 

Past Honorees of MAD’s Visionaries! Awards have included: 

  • Architects and Designers Ron Arad; Michael Graves; Vladimir Kagan; Todd Oldham; Joyce and Maya Romanoff; Lella and Massimo Vignelli; Marcel Wanders 
  • Business Leaders Denis Abrams, CEO, Benjamin Moore; George Beylerian, Material Connexion; Daniel L. Doctoroff, President of Bloomberg, LP; Jean-Louis Dumas, the late chairman of Hermès; Karyn Khoury, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide, Estee Lauder Companies; Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; Kenneth A. Himmel, CEO, Related Companies; Robert King, Founder and CEO, Humanscale; Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., CEO of the Kohler Company; Martha Stewart, CEO of Martha Stewart Living; Burton M. Tansky, CEO of Neiman Marcus; Claudio Luti, Chairman of Kartell  
  • Artists El Anatsui; Dale Chihuly; Ruth Duckworth; Sophie Grojsman; Sam Maloof; William Morris; Lino Tagliapietra; Toshiko Takaezu; Lenore Tawney; Peter Voulkos; and Eva Zeisel
  • Arts Patrons Jerome Chazen; Ella Fontanals-Cisneros; Nanette L. Laitman; Henry Luce III; and Barbara Tober

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) explores the intersection of art, craft, and design today, through exhibitions and programs focusing on contemporary creation, materials, and processes, from handmade to digital. The Museum’s exhibition program examines and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights invention and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. Central to its mission is education. MAD’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Its Open Studios enable visitors to engage artists at work and further enhance exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in MAD’s 143-seat theater.


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