Event | Sanford Biggers, Karl Kellner, and Min Jin Lee to be Honored at 2019 Hall of Fame Benefit
The event recognizes the sustained achievements of artists who received early career support from NYFA, and the vision and commitment of enlightened arts patrons.
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) will celebrate the induction of three arts luminaries into the NYFA Hall of Fame during its annual benefit on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Capitale, 130 Bowery, New York, NY 10013. The event recognizes visual, literary, and performing artists who have received NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships and have had a profound impact on the arts through their creative work, and patrons of the arts who have championed the value of the arts in the world around us. The evening’s honorees are:
- Sanford Biggers, Visual Artist (Fellow in Performance/Multidisciplinary ’05)
- Karl Kellner, Senior Partner, New York Office Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company, Inc.: Patron of the Arts
- Min Jin Lee, Novelist (Fellow in Fiction ’00)
The ticketed event will feature cocktails; dinner; and a live/silent auction of art, experiences, and more. Carmelita Tropicana (NYFA Board Member; Fellow in Performance/Multidisciplinary ’87 and Playwriting/Screenwriting ’91, ’06) will serve as the event emcee. All tickets come with a signed, limited-edition print by Sanford Biggers created exclusively for the event. Attire is festive cocktail.
On the inductees, feminist visual arts advocate and NYFA Board Chair Judith K. Brodsky said: “Sanford Biggers and Min Jin Lee’s work actively explores and responds to topics of race, class, and diaspora—and tells important stories that are not often part of the dominant historical narrative. We’re thrilled to induct them into our Hall of Fame along with Karl Kellner, a Patron of the Arts who has helped to champion the needs of working artists through his involvement on NYFA’s Board of Trustees.”
The event recognizes the sustained achievements of artists who received early career support from NYFA, and the vision and commitment of enlightened patrons of the arts. Biggers and Lee are past recipients of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, which are individual unrestricted grants made to artists who are living and working in New York State. Other past NYFA Hall of Fame Inductees include Ida Applebroog, Paul Beatty, James Casebere, Christopher d’Amboise, Phil Gilbert, Anna Deavere Smith, Zhou Long, Christian Marclay, Terry McMillan, Mira Nair, Lynn Nottage, Eric Overmyer, Suzan-Lori Parks, Wendy Perron, Dwight Rhoden, Faith Ringgold, Carolee Schneemann, and Andres Serrano.
“We’re thrilled to bring artists like Sanford Biggers and Min Jin Lee back to NYFA as part of our annual Hall of Fame Benefit,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship is often among the first professional recognitions that artists receive, so it’s a special honor for us to celebrate all they’ve accomplished in the time since,” he added.
NYFA is proud to present this year’s honorees and celebrate their impact in the cultural community:
Sanford Biggers’ work is an interplay of narrative, perspective, and history that speaks to current social, political, and economic happenings while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Brooklyn Museum, with work in group exhibitions at the Menil Collection, Tate Modern, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Biggers’ work is held in the public art collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, among others. In 2017, he was awarded the Rome Prize in Visual Arts. Biggers is also the creative director of Moon Medicin, a multimedia concept band that straddles visual art and music with performances staged against a backdrop of curated sound effects and video. He lives and works in New York City.
Karl Kellner, Patron of the Arts and former NYFA Board Member, is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company and leads the firm’s New York Office. He has more than 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in health care management. Kellner’s client service spans across the health care sector and includes health plans, provider organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy-benefit managers and private equity firms. His clients include CEOs, board directors, and C-level executives, and he focuses primarily on strategy development and performance improvement. In addition to his work at McKinsey, Kellner is active in the New York City community. He served from 2006-2018 on NYFA’s Board of Trustees, where he held roles including Treasurer and Strategic Planning Committee Chair. He led an eight-year partnership with former President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to create economic opportunity and assist small businesses in Harlem and several other urban areas across the U.S., and was a multi-year member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He has also been involved with New York Cares since the 1990’s. Kellner holds an MBA degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA degree from Oberlin College. He lives in New York City with his wife, Suzannah, who works in the arts, and two children, Cassandra and Marshall.
Min Jin Lee’s 2017 novel Pachinko (Grand Central Publishing) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction; a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and was included on The New York Times, BBC, CBC, and New York Public Library lists of “The 10 Best Books of 2017,” among other “best of” lists from NPR, PBS, CNN, and many others. The book has since been translated into 24 languages. Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (Grand Central Publishing, 2007) was a national bestseller that was recognized as a “Top 10 Book of the Year” by The Times of London, NPR’s “Fresh Air,” and USA Today. Her work has appeared in publications and programs including The New Yorker, NPR’s “Selected Shorts,” The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. She also served three consecutive seasons as a “Morning Forum” columnist for The Chosun Ilbo of South Korea. In 2018, Lee was named to Adweek’s Creative 100 for being “one of the 10 writers and editors who are changing the national conversation” and The Guardian’s “The Frederick Douglass 200” list of people who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass. Lee is a recipient of fellowships in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard, and is currently a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College.
Ticket prices start at $650 and Tables at $6,500; you can purchase tickets here. For more information about NYFA’s Hall of Fame Benefit, please contact Barbara Toy at [email protected] or 212.366.6900 x 207.
Legends Limousine, a family-owned car service based in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is NYFA’s transportation partner for the 2019 NYFA Hall of Fame Benefit.
Images L to R: Sanford Biggers (Fellow in Performance/Multidisciplinary ’05), Photo Credit: Alex Freund; Karl Kellner – Patron of the Arts, Image Courtesy: McKinsey & Company, Inc.; Min Jin Lee (Fellow in Fiction ’00), Photo Credit: Elena Siebert