Pratt Students Go Exhibitionist for the Environment

Last night art students at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn painted their bodies for sustainability. At stake was free pizza, $4,000 prize money (in the categories of face-color, face-black and white, and body), plus a full page ad in Metropolis, and of course, the very fate of the Earth!
The message is “No Coal” and the sponsor is Architecture 2030, who launched this nationwide graphic competition as well as a separate video competition to bring attention to the issue of climate change. “It’s a creative way to get the message out about the supply and demand side of global warming. In this case you could say the supply is coal and our demand is the 2030 challenge,” explained Peter Chapman of Architecture 2030.

The evening had its share of silliness and was a welcome addition to the conversation on environmental awareness. Here are some highlights:


Architecture professor Aurora Robinson was transformed into a portrait of the clean and dirty aspects of the Earth by her eighth-grade son Tau Robinson.


Maris Hutchinson and Demetra Mazria trade off painting each other’s faces. Maris is sporting a detailed visage of the sun overwhelming industry as she starts to work on Demetra.


Painter Ben Gould had been looking forward to this all day. “This is our first time painting for sustainability, we’re adapting,” he joked. His canvas is Dawn Mostow who is being transformed into a landscape blending a healthy and unhealthy environment.




Industrial Design students David Gibbs, Kris Drury, and Tiffany Burnette show off their environmental footprint. The trio is part of a group called Collective 4 which works on sustainable design projects ( “This idea we came up with five minutes ago,” says David.



Pratt graduate Ben Angotti came back for the evening to paint a Phoenix on the back of one of the school’s models. “It’s about the environment going through rebirth,” he explains.



Professional body painter Robyn Thompson ( was on hand to jumpstart the festivities and offer technical advice as needed to students. An original painting of a tree on the back of this Pratt model was eclipsed by a grim portrait of a coal-burning factory belching skull-shaped smoke.




Graduate student Kelly Milliken was painted by Danielle Arps. Their conceptual team also included Lindsey Ellsworth and Sarah Nyman. After an original concept to paint the ravages of pollution on the human body, the group went for a more graphic lifecycle illustration.


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