Philadelphia, PA – Moore College of Art & Design will present its 2019 Visionary Woman Awards to fine artist and Clay Studio co-founder Jill Bonovitz (a 1974 Moore alumna); June Kelly, owner and director of the historic June Kelly Gallery in New York City, and acclaimed graphic designer Paula Scher, principal in the New York office of Pentagram, the distinguished international design consultancy.
Bonovitz, Kelly and Scher will receive the awards at Moore’s Visionary Woman Awards on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 6–9 pm at the College, located at 1916 Race Street, on The Parkway in Philadelphia. The annual fundraising gala honors outstanding women leaders in art and design during an evening ceremony and dinner. Proceeds raised from the gala benefit undergraduate women in Moore’s Visionary Woman Honors Program, which includes a $22,000 annual scholarship for highly ambitious, reflective and independent-minded students who are interested in entrepreneurship, leadership and service while pursuing their creative disciplines and academic achievements.
“The annual Visionary Woman Awards is an opportunity for us to recognize the remarkable work of women who have substantiated their roles in the creative industries,” said Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon. “Moore’s legacy and impact connects art and design education with careers; these women are the exemplars of that vision.”
The Elizabeth Greenfield Zeidman Lecture will feature the Visionary Woman Awards honorees in a panel discussion and town hall question and answer session. The Zeidman Lecture is free, open to the public, and will be held October 2, 12:30–2 pm, in Graham Auditorium at 1916 Race Street. The Zeidman Lecture is made possible by a generous endowment by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation. For information on the lecture and gala: moore.edu/vwa.
These Visionary Women will be honored with an exhibition of their work in The Galleries at Moore, October 3 – November 16, 2019. A selection of Bonovitz's wire sculptures and porcelain vessels will be on view in Wilson Gallery. Graham Gallery will feature posters and design projects from Scher's portfolio, along with interviews and ephemera celebrating Kelly's 30+ years as a gallerist who represents more than 30 artists.
The Visionary Woman Awards began in 2003 and the annual fall gala has become a signature Moore event. The awards bring national attention to women artists and provide powerful role models for Moore’s talented students. Past Visionary Woman Awards recipients include New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast; photographer, professor and art historian Deborah Willis, PhD; Spelman College President Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell; interior designer Alexa Hampton; jewelry designer Ann King Lagos; fashion designers Nicole Miller and Mary McFadden; painter Pat Steir; and feminist artist Judy Chicago.
BIOS OF THE 2019 VWA AWARDEES
Upon graduation from Columbia University, Jill Bonovitz taught children with special needs in New York City. She moved back to her hometown of Philadelphia, and studied at Moore College of Art & Design. In 1974, with four other Moore-affiliated artists, Bonovitz founded The Clay Studio, an institution that has become a vital and material ceramic arts center and plays a key role in promoting the medium and the work of emerging artists worldwide. Her artwork is included in the collections of The Hermitage Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, among others. Bonovitz has served on the boards of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and The Clay Studio, and she is currently vice president of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
June Kelly is the owner and director of June Kelly Gallery, located in the historic SoHo district of New York City. Established in 1987, the gallery specializes in contemporary paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography by emerging, mid-career and established artists. Before opening the gallery, Kelly managed the career of artist Romare Bearden for 13 years, until his death in 1988. A board trustee of Pratt Institute, Kelly received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Black Alumni of Pratt. She also won The Pen and Brush’s 2004 June Jordan award, and is a member of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the ArtTable Inc. and Women’s Forum Inc. Kelly received a BS from New York University and did post-graduate art history work at Hunter College.
Paula Scher is one of the most acclaimed graphic designers in the world. She is a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram, where she has designed identity and branding systems, environmental graphics, packaging and publications for a wide range of clients including Citibank, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Shake Shack, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and others. She is the author of Make It Bigger (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), MAPS (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) and Works (Unit Editions, 2017). She holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Moore College of Art & Design.