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Cipriani’s downtown location—with its 60-foot-high archways and Italian neo-renaissance painted domes—served as the perfect spot on Tuesday for art lovers and industry crusaders, as they gathered to support The Drawing Center and its honorees Frances Beatty Adler, Will Cotton, and Prabal Gurung.
The Drawing Center is a non-profit organization in SoHo that focuses on open-session drawing programs regarding both historical and contemporary art. On Tuesday, as models quietly posed (in Prabal Gurung designs), easels were pre-arranged in a circular display around a platform for live drawing sessions. Looking on, guests enjoyed cocktails, light bites, and an hour of mingling before taking their seats for dinner and the night’s main event: the organization’s annual award ceremony to commemorate the dedication of a few key supporters.
Art historian Frances Beatty Adler, a former curator, art editor, co-chairman of the organization since 1988, and the director of the Estate of Ray Johnson, was introduced and awarded the Director’s Award by The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s curator, Dita Amory. The award is given annually to an exemplary member who works tirelessly to advance the institution’s mission.
“It’s been a great journey,” said Dr. Beatty of her time with The Drawing Center. “Most of us are ready to have our minds expanded, and see something in a new and interesting way. We’re visually and intellectually sophisticated, and art really maters to us. We’re always interested in discovering new kinds of expression.”
Artist Will Cotton was awarded The Drawing Center Award by author Jay McInerney. The institute’s award is given to an artist whose practice relates to drawing, and Cotton’s practice, since 2002, has directly related, as he has since hosted weekly live drawing sessions at his studio.
Fashion designer Prabal Gurung, who launched his personal dynamic collection in 2009, was awarded the Creativity Award by actress and comedian Ilana Glazer. Gurung is the first to accept this award, and leads as the first of visual thinkers who highlight their creative thought in today’s contemporary culture.
And as the lights dimmed and the ceremony concluded in applause, the evening left a lasting impression on all art lovers in attendance.