It was a night of boldface names at the Visual Arts Gallery on Monday, December 6: New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, musician and Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, and Details Style Editor Eugene Tong came out for A Night of Discovery, an event organized by watchmaker Movado to recognize exceptional teens and emerging artists. The celebrities were surrounded by paintings from some of New York City’s best-known contemporary artists, on view in the gallery’s current exhibition, “Between Picture and Viewer.”
The real stars of the evening were Jeter’s Leaders, more than 40 high school students taking part in a youth-leadership program run by Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, which works to help teens realize their potential. Also being honored were two students and a recent graduate from the MFA Illlustration as Visual Essay Department: alumnus Kelley Hensing (2010) and students Jungyeon Roh and Will Varner were named Movado Future Legends, joining a program initiated in 2006 to help cultivate and support future generations of artists. Varner took part in a panel discussion with Jeter, Marsalis and Tong, with each offering their take on leadership, inspiration and teamwork. “There are many ways to be artistic and to act in artistic ways,” said Varner. “For me it is thrilling that my job is to observe life around me, examine the things I think and feel inside myself, and then take all that and try to form it in some way so I can share it with others.”
Following the panel, the teens enjoyed a private tour of the exhibition led by Visual Arts Gallery Director Francis Di Tommaso and BFA Visual and Critical Studies Department faculty member Isabel Taube, a co-curator of the exhibition. The evening concluded with a special live performance by Marsalis’ jazz trio.
Images: Photos by Ian Londin.