On November 1, the International Center of Photography (ICP) held its sixth annual Spotlights Luncheon honoring artist Laurie Simmons.
The afternoon saw a 350-person crowd that included Molly Ringwald, Lena Dunham, Candice Bergen, Zoe Buckman, Richard Armstrong, Claudia Gould, ICP’s Executive Director Mark Lubell, and more. Past honorees for the award, which gives recognition to women working in photography and film, have included Lauren Greenfield, Carrie Mae Weems, Mary Ellen Mark, Shirin Neshat, and Stephanie Sinclair.
Lubell welcomed Ringwald to the stage for an interview with Simmons about her career and work, where the artist shared, “A number [of young women] have come to me and asked me my thoughts about it—about the idea of being an artist and having a child. Of all the things that everybody says about Hillary Clinton, I haven’t heard anybody criticize her about being a mother—or Ruth Bader Ginsberg, or Meryl Streep, or Margaret Thatcher. So why the conversation exists in my world is baffling.” Simmons continued, “One of my answers about the way having children changed my work: It made the structure of going into the studio more (regimented).”
The conversation was followed by Bergen taking the mic to honor the late Mary Ellen Mark, a longtime ICP faculty member. Of her subjects, Bergen said, “She never chose the easy story.”
The event raised $300,000 which will go toward ICP programming and education. The Mary Ellen Mark Scholarship Fund, launched earlier this year, raised $52,000 on the spot.