City of New York Proclaims Nov. 8th "High School of Art and Design Day"

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VIPs and Alumni to attend cake-cutting ceremony to commemorate renowned high school's 70th birthday.

The High School of Art and Design, founded as the School of Industrial Art in 1936, will celebrate its 70th birthday on November 8, 2006. To commemorate the renowned public high school's milestone anniversary the Mayor's Office is issuing a proclamation making November 8th "High School of Art and Design Day".

A cake-cutting ceremony will be held in the school's Kenny Gallery at 10:00am. New York City Council Member Dan Garodnick will be presenting an additional proclamation praising the school's history and the achievements of its notable alumni.

Joining Art & Design's principal, Scott Feltzin – in addition to Council Member Garodnick – will be a mix of politicians, educators, members of the faculty, community supporters, students and the school's alumni. Among those expected are: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, State Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Region 9 School Superintendent Peter Heaney, the school's L.I.S. Alexis Penzell, Regional Arts Supervisor Eileen Goldblatt, Director of Visual Arts Barbara Gurr, UFT President Randi Weingarten, VP of Vocational High Schools, Michael Mulgrew, retired VP of Vocational High Schools, Frank Carucci, several of the school's past principals, Parent Association President Carla D'Angelo, Alumni Association President Yvonne Fitzner, FAD (Friends of Art & Design) Founder Sara Koffman and FAD President Sheila Gordon. (The list of attendees may be subject to change.)

The artistic birthday cake that is to be served – topped with an artist's pallet made of white chocolate – was created by 9th grade student Emily Berge. Another 9th grader, Ana Jourdain, baked 1,500 cupcakes for the event, which will be given to the students during their lunch periods. On exhibit in the school's Kenny Gallery will be hundreds of imaginative greeting cards and three-dimensional items, designed by students and alumni, in recognition of the High School of Art and Design's 70th birthday. The exhibition will remain on display through November 30th and is open to the public.

The High School of Art and Design first opened its doors, at 257 West 40th Street, on November 8, 1936 as the School of Industrial Art. After moving to larger quarters in a building on East 79th Street, with an annex added at East 51 Street, it reopened in a brand new building at its present location on 57th Street and Second Avenue, in September 1960, with a brand new name. Its graduates have contributed to the City's economy and culture for the past seven decades. Among them are architects; industrial designers; art directors; creative directors; copywriters; advertising agency owners; graphic designers; typographic designers; print and production artists; engravers; illustrators; fashion designers; animators; cartoonists; cinematographers; filmmakers, photographers; theatre arts and window display designers; fine artists; and art teachers. And among the school's most notable alumni are Paul Winchell, Henry Wolf, Helmut Krone, Tony Bennett, Vladimir Kagan, John Romita Sr., Eva Hesse, Roy Grace, Ralph Bakshi, Sheila Metzner, John Johnson, Barbara Nessim, Neal Adams, Calvin Klein, Antonio Lopez, Art Spiegelman, Eric Carr, Harvey Fierstein, Amy Heckerling, Steven Meisel, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Marc Jacobs.

Alumnus Tony Bennett summed up his admiration for his former high school in a 2001 interview with writer Mira Tweti. He stated, "I had a wonderful experience. They taught you the basics and techniques of all the art genres and I soon knew this was the real deal for becoming an artist. I owe my singing career to my music teacher, Mr. Jesse Sonberg. At the time I was torn between my two passions of singing and painting, and he encouraged me to stick with the singing, so I did. But I have been fortunate enough to continue painting and it has become a wonderful second career for me as well."


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