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NYC Alumni Gather in the Big Apple

Posted February 14, 2011 in AlumniEvents


New York City has been pummeled with winter’s wrath this year, but a warm reception greeted Kendall alumni at the first Big Apple alumni gathering on January 18.

Our venue was the prestigious Art Directors Club. We selected it not knowing that several alumni are members. What a pleasant surprise when we found out!

We already have two other Kendall reunions that take place during other national events: the gathering that takes place in June during NeoCon in Chicago, which is attended by graphic designers, photographers, interior designers, furniture designers, and industrial designers. The other takes place during the International High Point Market in October, and attracts alumni whose professions are affiliated with the furniture industry. Because our out-of-Grand Rapids reunions have been slanted toward the design industries, we wanted to offer our fine art graduates an opportunity and a cool place where they could gather.

And gather they did! Nearly 50 people attended, split 50/50 between alums and their friends and colleagues, representing illustration, jewelry design, graphic design, industrial design, photography, drawing, painting and furniture design, representing as far back as the 1980s and as recent as last year. Besides myself, Kendall president Dr. Oliver Evans and Alumni Board president Terry Frixen were also there.

NYC Reunionnyc reunion

We also gave attendees an opportunity to show their work to each other—and to the local neighborhood. A big shout out to The Big Screen Project, which allowed us to project about 100 images onto the exterior of a neighboring building. Images could be seen from a nearby restaurant and neighborhood of shops. The show lasted for about five hours, and was a smashing success.

NYC Reunion

The best part of the evening? Watching people reconnect with each other and share their memories of Kendall. There’s a great community of Kendall advocates in New York, and it was an honor to provide the opportunity for everyone to connect and find their next opportunity for collaboration.

We realize that New York in January isn’t the best for travel. A lot of people who could have attended chose not to come into the City on that icy day. So, we’re hoping to make the New York reunion an annual event in conjunction with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May 2012. We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I ask alums to friend us on Facebook, and gather on LinkedIn. We’d love to hold more reunions, but we need to know where those consolidated pockets of grads are located. Tell us!

 - Peter Jacob, Director Alumni Relations


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