Pratt Legends Gala to Honor Three Alumni

Pratt Institute will salute three alumni at its annual Legends event on Nov. 9.

Industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue, architect Edward Mazria and the artist Kay WalkingStick will be honorees at the annual fundraiser gala at the Weylin in Brooklyn. With 80 percent of Pratt students dependent on financial aid, Legends 2023 supports the school’s scholarship program by the same name.

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Born in the Philippines, Cobonpue worked and studied in Italy and Germany before returning to his home country to work at his mother Bella’s rattan furniture company. In 1998, he ventured out on his own and now employs 300 people and craftsmen on the island of Cebu. Cobonpue also runs offices and showrooms in Germany, Portugal, the Philippines and in the U.S. His portfolio includes work for Linneys jewelry store in Sydney, the Andaz in Tokyo, the Aloft rooftop bar in Abu Dhabi, Azura Boutique Retreat on Benguerra Island in Africa and the Trump Club in Panama City. The entrepreneur also started the industrial design program at the University of the Philippines.

With a career stretching 40-plus years, Mazria founded the nonprofit Architecture 2030 with sustainability and energy consumption being top-of-mind with every project. Two years ago the American Institute of Architects presented him with it gold medal for his “unwavering voice and leadership” in the fight against climate change. In May, he mapped out how renewable electricity, zero carbon standards and other incentives for new buildings and major renovations are expected to result in at least a 50 percent CO2 reduction for the building sector by 2030.

The Cherokee-Anglo artist WalkingStick has created work that reflects how the U.S. Cherokee population is now two million versus 20 million in 1492. She has had more than 30 solo shows to date. The New York Historical Society will unveil the six-month exhibition “Kay WalkingStick/Hudson River School” on Oct. 20. She will be honored by the museum with the its annual History Makers award the night before in New York.

As an emerita professor at Cornell University, she taught painting and drawing for 17 years and previously received honorary doctorates from Pratt Institute and Arcadia University. Kay WalkingStick once explained how she teaches in other ways too. Earlier this year told Museum of Modern Art curators, “One of the reasons that I have done what I’ve done is I wanted to make strong art that really spoke to people, but I wanted to educate people a little bit, too, about the Native people on the planet.”

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