New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) to Honor Nokia, Brian Alfred, Mark Golden at its Second Annual Inspiration Awards

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 6:30 P.M. - Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) will honor mobile communications company Nokia, artist Brian Alfred, and arts patron Mark Golden at its second annual Inspiration Awards to be held in Manhattan on Tuesday, May 17, 2005. The Inspiration Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant achievements as artists or in support of artists. The gala evening includes a cocktail reception, dinner, and an awards ceremony. Ticket prices range from $200, which allows the purchaser to offer their seat to a NYFA artist, to $25,000 for a table for 12.

The Inspiration Awards will be presented at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, which boasts stunning views of the New York harbor, as well as an impressive collection of art by downtown New York City artists. The gala evening, which begins at 6:30 P.M., will highlight NYFA’s role in supporting artists of all disciplines, and a number of NYFA Fellows will participate with offerings of original artwork. Each gala table will have as its centerpiece a unique artwork donated by a recent NYFA Fellow. The evening’s program will also include remarks by NYFA Board President Leni R. Darrow, NYFA Executive Director Theodore S. Berger, and Trustee and benefit Chair Anita Durst.

“We are extremely pleased to present the corporate Inspiration Award to Nokia for their outstanding ‘Connect to Art’ program that commissions leading and emerging international artists to bring art to mobile devices,” said Mr. Berger. “NYFA will also present the artist Inspiration Award to Brian Alfred in recognition of his innovative multi-disciplinary art works. Furthermore, we are extremely pleased to be presenting the first arts patron Inspiration Award to entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Golden for his support of individual artists in Upstate New York.”

Lucy Tower Funke, Co-chair of this year’s Inspiration Awards and Director of the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts, Inc., praised Mark Golden for his work supporting artists. “Creating The Golden Foundation was Mark's inspiration,” she explained. “It was formed to honor the legacy of his parents Sam and Adele and as a way to give back to the community of artists. The Golden Foundation is a continuation of Mark's dream and his desire to inspire artists to continue to create new work. We are most pleased that Mark is being recognized with the first arts patron Inspiration Award."

Similarly, Eero Miettinen, Group Design Director at Nokia, who will be on hand at the event to accept the Inspiration Award together with Nokia North America’s Marketing Director Sara Paz, expressed his gratitude to NYFA for recognizing Nokia’s contributions to contemporary art. “I am honored that NYFA is acknowledging Nokia’s efforts to connect art and mobility with this award. Nokia has long acted as a patron of the arts, co-operating with various art museums around the world. The Nokia ‘Connect to Art’ program is building a bridge between the artists and their audience by using the latest mobile telecommunications technology. It combines intimacy and broadest possible reach, two very fundamental components in art."

Of artist honoree Alfred, benefit Chair Durst commented: “Though Brian is still a young artist, the frequency and ease of his images might make you think otherwise. What I like most about it is his eye for iconic images, and the facility with which he translates those images into big and small planes of color. His earnest dedication to producing great work and willingness to collaborate with artists outside of his discipline is an inspiration to other young artists, and I look forward to viewing his output in the years to come."

Proceeds from The Inspiration Awards Benefit Gala will be used to support the general operating expenses of the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as the more than 1,000 originating artists in the performing, visual, media and literary arts who receive financial assistance from NYFA each year in the form of awards and sponsorship. Funds raised will also help sustain NYFA’s public programs, its information resources which provide services to more than 850,000 artists annually, and the dozens of new and emerging arts organizations currently assisted by NYFA.

About the Honorees

Corporate Inspiration Award: Nokia:

‘Connect to Art’ is a new dimension of art, a joint effort between the art community and Nokia to bring art to mobile devices. The concept provides artists with new channels for their artistic expression and a unique way to reach both new and existing audiences with mobile phones as the interface, giving art lovers around the world the possibility to enjoy works of art on their mobile phones anytime anywhere. The artists currently involved with 'Connect to Art' have designed works of art specifically for mobile devices, exploring the vast possibilities of this new canvas. These audiovisual works of art can be downloaded to Nokia mobile phone from the ‘Connect to Art’ website at

Artist Inspiration Award: Brian Alfred:

Artist Brian Alfred's work moves gracefully between painting, collage, paper sculpture, and video animation. Many of his canvases explore the uneasy relationship between constructed and natural environments. Utilizing digital versions of images he previously painted or collaged, Mr. Alfred also creates computer animations that are often accompanied by music composed in response to his work by leading electronic music artists. Born in 1973, Mr. Alfred is a native of Pittsburgh who currently resides in Brooklyn. An MFA graduate of Yale University and alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Mr. Alfred has shown internationally and is currently represented by Mary Boone Gallery in New York. His work is part of the collections of the Whitney, Guggenheim, and San Francisco MoMA. Artflick.001:painter_BrianAlfred , a short film profiling Mr. Alfred’s work, was shown at the 2004 Sundance Online Film Festival and the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. His work was also featured in Vitamin P, a major survey of contemporary painting published by Phaidon.

Arts Patron Inspiration Award - Mark Golden:

Mark Golden is CEO of Golden Artist Colors, Inc, a company he co-founded with his father, the late Sam Golden, 25 years ago. Over the years, he has worked closely with leading artists to create custom acrylic paints utilized in their work, including Robert Rauschenberg, Ken Noland, Frank Stella, Jules Olitski, Roy Lichtenstein, Julian Schnabel, David Hockney, Helen Frankenthaler and many others. A patron of the arts, Mr. Golden has supported many artists, exhibitions, and cultural organizations personally and through the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts, Inc. The foundation was established in 1999 to honor the legacy of his parents and provide individual artists with financial awards that support their artistic expression. Honored in 1996 as the Small Business Person of the Year for New York State by then President Bill Clinton, Mr. Golden has also been a lecturer at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Tate Gallery in London on issues dealing with the conversation of acrylic paint and paintings.

About the New York Foundation for the Arts:

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) provides more support to artists and arts organizations in all disciplines than any other private organization in the country: nearly $6 million annually. NYFA’s Fellowships are awarded to New York State artists from a field of 16 disciplines, covering the visual, performing, and literary arts. NYFA’s national information resources and fiscal sponsorship enable artists and emerging organizations to meet their artistic goals and see projects to fruition. Small and midsized organizations are further supported with services and training that encourages and sustains their growth. NYFA's annual budget of nearly $7 million comes from individual, corporate, foundation, and public sources, as well as NYFA's fiscal sponsorship services for artists and emerging organizations.

For more information on the Inspiration Awards, please visit

Press Contact:        

Danielle Bias

212-366-6900, ext. 249

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