A View From The Studios (Roll 2 / 2)

A View From The Studios

Roll 2 / 2

By Maya Koenig

The New York Academy of Art operates like a family home, with many bedrooms (studios), 
and living rooms (classrooms) where siblings (MFA students) spend a majority of their life for the 
next two years making their work. 

Here is a second glimpse of that world, taken with an Olympus OM-2 35mm film camera, 
and a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus (ISO 400) film.

Caleb Booth
MFA 2016

Tamalin Baumgarten
MFA 2015

Gabriel Zea
MFA 2015

Jaclyn Dooner
MFA 2015

Max Perkins
MFA 2015

Eric Pedersen
MFA 2015

Erich von Hasseln
MFA 2015

Alyssa Smith
MFA 2015

A View From The Studios (Roll 1 / 2)

A View From The Studios

Roll 1 / 2

By Maya Koenig

The New York Academy of Art operates like a family home, with many bedrooms (studios), 
and living rooms (classrooms) where siblings (MFA students) spend a majority of their life for the 
next two years making their work. 

Here is a glimpse of that world, taken with an Olympus OM-2 35mm film camera, 
and a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus (ISO 400) film.

Self-Portrait on the 5th Floor

Jess Leo
MFA 2015

Moses Tuki
MFA 2015

Marco Palli
MFA 2016

Ciara Rafferty
MFA 2016

Gabriela Handal
MFA 2015

George Rue
MFA 2016

Kathryn Goshorn
MFA 2015

Stay tuned for Roll 2/2!

One Sweet World - Will Cotton Master Class

By Claire Cushman (MFA 2015) 

Coconut Cake, 2013 
Will Cotton stands before a medium sized canvas, blank but for a few brown marks he’s laid in for measurements. He lazily wipes his paintbrush on his apron, which was once white but is now splattered with brown and red paint. “This is my rag,” he tells us. His voice is clear and his manner relaxed, and although it’s Saturday morning, students hang on his every word. The apron, plus his thick-framed glasses and leather combat boots, lend Will a hipster-butcher look.
But Will is more of a baker than a butcher. He has created a world of dream-like, candy-confection-landscapes, often inhabited by human subjects, and is best known for his highly rendered oil paintings. However, his world extends far beyond the canvas. Over three weekends in November of 2009, he installed a pop-up French bakery/art installation at Partners & Spade, where he baked and sold confections that often serve as visual reference for his paintings. In 2010, he directed Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” music video, (again based around imagery from his paintings, which Perry was attracted to). In 2011, Will created “Cockaigne,” a scrumptious-smelling performance piece employing both ballet and burlesque to celebrate whipped cream and cotton candy.
Initially, Will strove to make art that came out of an awareness of the commercial consumer landscape we live in. He studied at the Academy in the late eighties, (when it was still on Lafayette Street), and after graduating began to develop a language in which the landscape itself – filled with candies and cakes – became the object of desire. In the early 2000s, nude or nearly nude figures began to populate these scenes. “These paintings are all about a very specific place,” he says. “It's a utopia where all desire is fulfilled all the time, meaning ultimately that there can be no desire, as there is no desire without lack.”
Will in his Studio 

Although his paintings seem “photorealistic,” Will always paints from life, so we work from a model for the duration of the two-day Master Class. “Life drawing seems to communicate to people more,” he says, as he begins his demonstration. “Even if I don’t get a likeness, it’s just more powerful. I always, always have a subject in front of me.”
He starts sketching out the model’s face and chest in raw umber, which he prefers as a drawing color because it dries quickly and is relatively transparent. “I like to compartmentalize,” he continues. “I put the structure down first, and then allow myself to move on to color… I think about John Singer Sargent, how he’d just kinda slap it on, and maybe be smoking and chatting while painting… I'm certainly no John Singer Sargent.”
“I begin with just the paint and turpentine because I don’t want it to get all slippery at the start,” he explains. At this early stage, he focuses on light, shadow, and contour, and is careful to point out that “contour includes the contours between light and shadow.”
As he draws, Will takes measurements and constantly corrects his work. “Drawing is all about being honest and not making assumptions. I’m always comparing between what I’m seeing and what I’m doing, and asking myself “what’s different?”” He pulls out a makeup sponge – “These things are great for erasing,” – and wipes away the lines of the model’s mouth. “It’s easy to think of the mouth as a flat structure, but we have to remind ourselves it’s curved.”
Most of Will’s paintings are very large, so a student asks how he draws out his compositions for larger pieces. “Usually I use like a 22x30 piece of paper and draw it out… and then I take a slide to project it,” he answers. “I cheat as much as possible…” He pauses. “Actually, I don’t think there is a cheating – the only thing that bothers me a bit is when I see people painting over photo printouts. There’s something I find a bit off-putting about that. But short of that, throughout all of history people have done whatever they can to get that image up there.”

Without rules in painting, it’s easy to look around and wonder, “What do I paint?” So it’s incredibly important for artists (of any sort, really) to give themselves constraints to work within. Constraints can be physical (like limiting your palette, tools, or surfaces), or conceptual, wherein you limit your subject matter somehow. Will does both, and the end result is highly specific and unique.
I’m curious about how Will sets the rules for his world, so when he makes his way over to my canvas, I inquire about it. “Well,” he says, “The world I create is probably not a healthy one… It’s made of sweets, and humans live there, and probably die there, too.” Currently he’s gotten a little tired of painting nudes, so he’s been working on a lot of costumes. “I can’t paint people in regular clothes, because that wouldn’t make sense to me… So I’m painting costumes made of candy wrappers. I ask myself a lot of questions - would there be cellophane in this world? Yes, because candy wrappers are made of cellophane. Would there be cotton clothing? No. Burlap? Yes. I just make logical conclusions and follow a thread, and one thing leads to the next.”
He looks at my painting, and reminds me not to let the paint get sloppy. “Use less turp – just go straight in with the paint for now, don’t let it get all inky or it’ll be less controllable.”
After five hours of painting, before the final hour of the day, Will has us all introduce some lead white. “It’s particularly nice to add lead white under the flesh.”

Will's Demo Painting

Will has a very limited palette, and Day 2 is all about how to use it. “These colors play well together,” he says, and he finds he can get pretty much any color he needs out of this group. “It’s a very obedient palette."

Will’s Palette: (All Old Holland brand)
-Titanium White – for opacity and strength (usually for highlights) 
-Magenta – (Quinecridone) – Will likes it for its coolness and vibrancy
-Cadmium Orange – With this and Magenta, you can mix any red you like
-Cadmium Yellow Light
-Delft Blue – this is a “middle” blue, so you can take it anywhere you want (ie towards green or towards purple). Will hates phthalos (monster-weed colors, far too strong), and ultramarine is too purple
-Ivory black –Will mostly uses the black for background, to represent a kind of dead zone or nothingness. Also, black and yellow make much more natural greens than blue and yellow
For demonstration purposes, he mixes his colors right on the canvas, in blobs at top, using different brushes for light and shadow. “I mix on the fly, all with a brush, because most of my colors are “ish” colors. I have to adjust constantly, so it doesn’t make sense to pre-mix with a palette knife,” he explains.

The Deferred Promise of Complete Satisfaction, 2014
Many of us were surprised by the lack of earth colors (oxides, umbers, ochres) in Will’s palette, because his paintings contain a lot of browns and flesh tones. “I use oranges, blues, and whites to create my browns,” he explains.
Will spends a lot of time looking at the subtle differences in color across surfaces of skin. “Light on flesh tends to get cooler and greener,” he says, “so I often go for yellow and blue when going for light in the flesh.”
Perhaps the most important formula any Academy painting student will learn during their two years is this: when the light mass is warm, the shadow mass is cool, and vice versa. However, what really makes a painting “sing” is the subtle temperature differences in “reflected light,” within the shadow mass.
“I love reflected light. It’s just my favourite thing… What happens in between light and shadow – that’s what’s really interesting, what pays off – it's more important than the color of the light mass,” he says. “See how this shadow color changes from blue to orange on the breast?”
Considering how well-rendered Will’s paintings are, what surprised me most about him was his aggressive facture. “The great thing about doing an under-painting is that it preserves the drawing,” he says. With the drawing intact, he can absolutely attack the canvas when he introduces color. “I just put paint on and move it around until it looks right. I’m also not shy at all about taking it OFF.” He takes 3-inch wide bristle brush and pulls paint across the whole form. “I’m not a big believer in the sanctity of the mark,” he says, slashing through the paint he’s put down. He steps back to assess, and then lunges at the painting again, like a fencer. “You may mess it up by doing this, but it creates complexity. If you just blend along the line you get tubes and sausages. If you do it with a big brush, you get weird little skin-like things happening.”
Many times during my second year at the Academy I’ve been reminded to “cover my tracks” – that is, not let my viewer see how I’ve made a painting. A painting can lose some of its magic if the viewer can say “Here’s exactly how I would make that” and imagine themselves recreating the work. It was a treat to get an inside look at Will’s process, and to see just how he goes from blank canvas to his highly realized, dreamlike candy land. Will Cotton is a baker, a painter, and in this respect, a true magician.

See more of Will's work and Greg Lindquist's excellent interview with him


Claire Cushman (MFA 2015) is a painter and Social Media scholar with a penchant for blogging. Check in on the Academy's blog to read more entries from Claire throughout the year.


There is a process in which the artist’s identity inhabits the work one way or another. The real presence of identity is often overlooked. The Student Curatorial Committee (SCC) opened "Copy, Cut and Edit," an exhibition that unveiled, through the practice of portraiture, the identity of artists with three different but complementary elements.
Evidently, there is plenty of literature that states that identity is inherent in every person, but the search of identity is a process that is often belittled. In the process of creation, artists navigate, construct, imitate and tear apart systems of information. Sometimes, artists are not conscious of their in-born quest that leads to the sense of self; however, their search of identity naturally manifest in their work.

Curator Daniela Izaguirre stated that during the first month of classes she observed that many peers were finding personal insights through the use of techniques and methods assigned in class. For example, activities like analyzing our own facial anatomy that opened up internal dialogues with matters beyond observation. Then, realized there was a deeper story in the physical actions of creating artwork, a natural human narrative in making sense of who we are.
“All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” -Shakespeare
Daniel explains “When I think of art, I think Shakespeare said it all: Human nature is predictable. I observed as well that there is a continuous thread that ties the millennial artist, managing a social media account, and Egyptian funeral painters, that of “editing” our own identity and how others perceive it.” 
The purpose of the SCC is to allow students to broaden their experience in the contemporary art world. They are encouraged to conceptualize curate, and install exhibitions. The following are some comments from some of its members:
“During the selection of the work I did my best to put my own identity on the side and tried to read the artist’s identity in each piece. Being able to step into the world of others was a very enriching personal experience,” says Daniela

Richard Buchanan, a member of the SCC stated: “The student curatorial committee provides a wonderful platform for graduate students to engage with the curating experience. Being a part of this group has been a fantastic learning experience. I found Heidi Elbers’ (NYAA Manager of Exhibitions) input and guidance invaluable throughout the process.”

Curator Marco Palli reflects: “The best part of the curatorial process was to mingle with the student body. It was inspiring to see my peers’ work and to hear the stories and processes behind each single piece. I was honored that they let us enter into their studios. Unequivocally, I felt proud of belonging to this great community of artists.”

This exhibition is currently on view until late January 2015 on the 2nd and 3rd Floors at the New York Academy of Art. We invite you to experience it!

Cecily Brown in Conversation with Claire Cushman (MFA 2015)

By Claire Cushman (MFA 2015) 

People often tell Cecily Brown that she paints like a man from the fifties. Her response? “Well, somebody’s got to do it."
Her large-scale, remarkably tactile oil paintings hover at the intersection between abstraction and figuration, and are often compared to Abstract Expressionist works. Based on the aggressive way she puts down paint and her star status in the art world, one might assume Cecily Brown would be a little intimidating in person. 

And you can see why I might be intimidated.
(Cecily in Vanity Fair, 2000)
However, when Cecily arrived at the Academy two days before Halloween, I immediately felt at ease. She has a warm smile and kind way of speaking, and carried a shopping bag filled with her five-year-old daughter’s Halloween costume. As we rode the elevator to the fourth floor, I asked her what her daughter was going to be – “A fox,” she answered. “My husband and I are dressing up as the parent foxes… My daughter’s been talking about it for the entire year.”
Cecily came to the Academy to conduct critiques as part of the visiting critics program. Critiques are just what you would imagine - other artists entering your studio and giving you feedback about your work. Sometimes the process is inspiring and encouraging, and sometimes it’s downright deflating. Every critic has something unique to say – some inspire new ideas, others help resolve specific technical issues, and some leave an artist feeling confused and overwhelmed. It’s not unusual to receive back-to-back critiques that completely contradict one another. Although critiques can be frustrating at times, critiques help artists clarify their direction, because they force us to choose what advice to listen to and what to tune out.


After looking around my studio for a few seconds, Cecily asks me was what kind of paint I use. I show her my paints, which include a variety of brands, and some large tubes of Winton, Winsor Newton’s student grade brand.
 “Okay,” she says. “First thing – don’t use Winton. Ever. It’s so shit. It’s just waxy and awful and ruins everything. I think it might be impossible to make a good painting using Winton.”
She then zeroes in on a large painting I’d done in my Painting 3 class of a nude model sitting with a dog, (a life sized German Shepard stuffed animal, to be exact). “What’s that red there? And this green thing?” she asks, pointing to an area behind the model. I explain that this is a painting of meat, (by Academy third year fellow Shangkai Kevin Yu), which we’d set up behind the model. The green is a cactus. “Hmm. This is my favorite part,” says Cecily. “The most interesting part is the most obscure part, where you can’t quite tell what’s going on.” She pauses, and then continues. “I would just paint right over the figure… But of course, I would say that,” she laughs.
Brown creates a unique aesthetic reality by working with a constant conflict between her desire to paint the figure, and her refusal to allow the figure to remain. “I never want to be saying “this is the way it is” – when I feel like I’m naming something in too final a way, or it’s too pinned down, that’s when I feel I have to say “but is it really like that?”
She moves on to another painting, a work in progress that had begun as three figures in a forest but is starting to resemble a cow. She points to an area at the bottom right, a purpleish blob that I hadn’t really considered. “This is like Francis Bacon’s rabid dog,” she says. “Go with that.”
As Brown paints, she both imposes her will upon the painting, and lets the painting tell her what it needs. “There’s always another story going on that’s not the main story – look at the way these marks are coming together,” again, referring to the dog.  “It’s subtle, but may be more important than the rest.” She urges me to squint, and look at the painting in a “gentle” way. “What might be there that you’re not immediately seeing?” 
Don't Bring me Down, 2011
 I ask her about appropriating from other artists. “Oh yeah, I take figures from art history and use them… Like I’ll take a Goya figure, and then a Bacon figure… But it’s important to mix it up between artists so it doesn’t become too derivative,” she says.
The old adage goes, “good artists borrow, great artists steal,” and Cecily Brown has no shame in stealing. “I have been looking at Munch and Beckmann,” she says. “I find as I get more assured of the fact that I can paint, I don’t mind letting my influences show.
Brown is most drawn to figurative paintings from the past. Her influences are mostly very old dead male painters – Brueghel, Bosch, Goya, Titian, Rubens… “These are people who I’ve loved for years, and I get so much out of – they seem very much alive to me,” she has said. But of course, she also tends to paint like a man from the twentieth century. She loves Beckmann, Bacon, Baselitz, de Kooning, Guston… and many German painters. “I consider myself an honorary German painter,” she says. Much has been made over the fact that Cecily Brown is a woman working in this aggressive, male way of painting, but she’s said this isn’t really of much importance to her. “Inevitably it’s got a feminine point of view because I’m a female, but studio is one place I’m not really conscious of my gender... I’ve never set out to do x as a woman - you just do your work.”
I’m curious about Cecily’s process, so ask her about how she begins a painting. “I just start,” she answered. “I never do any kind of prep – I just go right into it. Sometimes I make drawings about halfway through… but not usually.” Cecily doesn’t start with a clear idea of what a painting will look like, and usually begins by laying down a wash of colour. A form is suggested very quickly, and then she responds to what the painting is giving her. “I don’t have the angst that some people do in front of a white canvas, the problems for me start later. I begin, I don’t know what’s going to happen, I see what’s going to happen based on first few marks. It’s a very organic process.” She recommends working on several canvasses as a time, and seeing how they influence each other. “I’m more focused when I’m more spread out.”
Brown in her studio
 “I think you need to bring some areas more into focus, and clarify parts of the abstractions,” she tells me. She looks at my most recent painting, of three figures on horseback in a landscape. “It’s a bit muddy at the front. All this green is the same, and the head of this figure is clear but then it kind of dissolves into mud. If you add something at the front to clarify it, maybe some red, that could help. Have you looked at Delacroix? He’s great at that.” She continues. “You don’t want the left and right to be the same.” She advises me to look at every corner of the painting and make sure it’s different. “And try bringing different tempos to your painting,” she comments. “Paint really fast one day, and then go back in and paint some areas slowly, more carefully.” Brown tends to paint quite quickly and frenetically, but that comes after a long time of sitting, staring at the paintings, trying to get clues as to how to proceed. “I spend a lot of time of looking slowly so that I can paint quickly.” 
The goal in the second year at the Academy is to develop a cohesive body of work to present to the world. I think a lot of people who don’t make art on a regular basis assume that a given artist has a natural “style” or way of making things, and that that’s just the way it is. In reality, though, the more skill you have, the more options you have available to you, and the more you might feel like you can be 50 different artists doing 50 completely different things. For example, I’m mostly doing abstract painting these days, but took a master class with Will Cotton last weekend and made a the most rendered portrait I’ve ever painted.
The “cohesion” factor comes from making conscious decisions about what to emphasize and what to let go of in one’s work. This semester, I’ve begun to realize that what I’m best at and most interested in is working in a fairly intuitive manner. When I start a painting with a rigid idea of how I want it to look at the beginning, and follow this program through to the end, my work tends to look lifeless, or “choked up,” as my thesis advisor commented. As trite as it may sound, I am learning that my strength comes when I am able to let go, and follow my intuition. I found having Cecily Brown come into my studio incredibly helpful, because she had specific formal ways to approach this sort of painting. Cecily is an inspiring example of an artist who works in this way, but whose work still demands a tremendous amount of rigor. Her decisions are still highly formal and aesthetically based. Although she certainly throws paint around, she isn’t just throwing it around for the sake of it. She may not have a map when she begins, but trusts that she’ll be able to figure out the painting as she goes along.


Claire Cushman (MFA 2015) is a painter and Social Media scholar with a penchant for blogging.  From time to time check in on the Academy's blog to read more entries from Claire throughout the year.

Take Home a Nude, and an Interview with Gabriela Palmieri

By Claire Cushman (MFA 2015) 

Gallery 1 Closing
You may have heard of “Take Home a Nude” and wondered whether this annual fundraising auction featured dates with the New York Academy of Art’s nude life models. Allow me to clarify – Take Home a Nude, wherein academy students, alumni, and other artists donate works to raise money for Academy Scholarships and programming, first took place at the Academy in 1992 – and the name stems from the fact that most of the work created by Academy artists at that time featured, well, Nudes.
Black Bottoms, by Tim Noble and Sue Webster
This year’s 23rd annual Take Home a Nude took place on October 9th at Sotheby’s. Although today’s Academy students still spend a minimum of twelve hours a week drawing from the nude figure during their first year, the work showcased at Take Home a Nude this year included a wide range of subjects, from abstracted elephants and minotaurs to chandeliers and seashells.  Of the 184 lots featured, (including work by Will Cotton, Alex Kanevsky, Vincent Desidirio, and Laurie Simmons, to name only a few) there were around 50 nudes – and the definition of what constitutes a “nude” is a loose one. Some of my favorite pieces were butt cheek prints by Tim Noble and Sue Webster, “Black Bottoms.”
Artwork hung in four galleries. Guests including Brooke Shields and Mary Kate Olsen perused the walls from 6-9 for the silent auction. At 9 pm, Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s and firecracker auctioneer Gabriela Palmieri opened the floor to a live auction, where she charmed guests into bidding just a little higher for each work. By the end of the night, $900k was raised to benefit the Academy’s scholarships and programming.
Gabriela working the crowd
Before the night kicked off, I interviewed Ms. Palmieri about her involvement with the Academy, Take Home a Nude, her work at Sotheby’s and her love of art in general. Here is our conversation.

CC: You’re part of the Academy’s president's Advisory Council and a big supporter of the Academy. What led you to support the Academy, and how did you become involved with Take Home a Nude?

GP: My dear friend Robby Looker, who was my mentor when I first came to Sotheby’s, introduced me to the Academy in 2007. Then I happened to sit next to Eileen Guggenheim at a luncheon, and I was so impressed with what the Academy stands for. I’m an Academic in training, and I really do celebrate any entity that is so committed to development and learning. Robert invited me to Take Home A Nude when it was still happening down at Phillips, where he was helping hang the installation. Then I asked Eileen if she would consider having Take Home a Nude here at Sotheby’s. She said yes, so I introduced the team. I think we’ve achieved unprecedented success in this format here. This is my third charity auction this week – and it certainly feels like “save the best for last” for me. This is a great crowd, and there’s a huge amount of energy, support and interest coming through here tonight.

CC: Well we owe you a big thank you for bringing Take Home a Nude to Sotheby’s! Do you have a favourite Take Home a Nude moment you can think of from over the years?

GP: They started doing this thing called “Hot Lots” during the silent auction portion of the evening. On some of the pieces, you start to see a bidding war – it’s as if these vultures begin swarming the works, like out of a Hitchcock movie almost.. . So you take the last bidders, the ones who really want to take home this nude, the last two or three standing, who are now somewhat hostile to one another, and you go into a bid-off.  Last year we had a hot-lot that ended up raising an additional fourteen thousand dollars. You can generate a lot more money this way, and it really makes a difference. It also becomes like a spectator sport – it’s this intense rally, and watching it feels like watching the US Open.

Gabriela in front of a Hot Lot piece

CC: Sounds intense! And I imagine the Live Auction is even more so. Can you tell me about what it’s like for you during the Live Auction process?

GP: There’s so much hope and anticipation riding on the results, so you feel very responsible. You have this gavel, and there’s something about when you get behind a podium… See, every bid matters, so you certainly want to coax people to keep on bidding, whether it’s through funny banter or a little bit of prodding. But there’s a fine line between that gentle nudge and putting someone on the spot when they’re really done bidding. So there’s a finesse and balance between the two. This is my artistry. It’s a privilege, a pleasure, but a really big responsibility.

CC: Sounds stressful. I can’t imagine being in that position! You are also the Vice President of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s - Can you tell me how you came to Sotheby’s?

GP: Well, first I completed by PhD in Art History at the University of Chicago. Chicago is an extraordinarily rigorous program that is really steeped in academia, methodology, historiography, and deconstructionist arguments… It’s a fantastic program, and made me into much more of a critical thinker and a better writer. However, being the art romantic I am, I really missed the proximity to the artworks. I had such a need for being around the actual art, that and that’s what landed me here.

CC: Not a bad place to be for an art lover. Are you an artist yourself?

GP: (laughs) No. I think the creative, artistic mind must skip a generation. My father is a musician, but none of my siblings or I got the creative gene. But I am mesmerized by someone who can pick up whatever implement or instrument – the crayon, the brush, the pencil, the camera – and make something, whether it be abstraction, figuration – it really inspires me. I also love being part of the nurturing process for artists, so that’s why I’m so excited about Take Home a Nude. Here at an auction house, we are a secondary exchange, and don’t get to have any involvement with the actual artists.  I love being involved with the Academy because it allows for that nurturing the early stages of an artist’s career.

CC: Do you have a particular movement or moment in art history that you’re especially drawn to?

GP: I really love any artist who pushes or punctures through the atmosphere of what was done before. So I gravitate towards seismic and defining moments in art history. Say, how radical the New York school of Ab Ex was, or how radical someone like Helen Frankenthaler was with a painting like “Mountains and Sea,” one of the first color field paintings ever painted. And I gravitate toward female artists. You never want to look at something for gender specificity, but there is something to be said for female artists and the challenges they have faced. For someone like Lee Krasner, when Hans Hoffman said of her painting, “this is so good you wouldn’t know it was done by a woman.” Honestly I’m a little all over the place because once I see the work, I’m more intellectually, romantically engaged with the subject – because of its history, its context.

CC: I’m sure that makes it even more difficult to pick a favorite within contemporary art, then.

GP: Yeah. Before I started here at Sotheby’s I was a cataloguer and researcher, and there was a running joke that before I looked at the front of the painting I’d look at the back – I wanted to see where had it been. What shows had it been in? I’m really fascinated by the social life of works.


Brooke Shields and NYAA President David Kratz

Take Home a Nude is the Academy's Annual Art Auction and Party, held at Sotheby's.

Claire Cushman (MFA 2015) is a painter and Social Media scholar with a penchant for blogging.  From time to time check in on the Academy's blog to read more entries from Claire throughout the year.