Publicolor's SS+R 2018

Publicolor's SS+R 2018

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Publicolor celebrated its 22nd Anniversary at their annual gala, Stir Splatter + Roll on April 23 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. The evening’s colorful cocktail hour began at 6pm with 18 painting stations where guests participated with some of NYC’s leading artists, designers, and architects to create customized works of art. 

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Publicolor honored longtime supporter Chris Ward (AECOM VP and CEO, Metro New York, and former Executive Director of Port Authority),  who attended with his family, along with groundbreaking composer Philip Glass, with the Catalyst for Change Award who performed at the benefit.

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While working from the Port Authority, Ward was instrumental to secure Publicolor's 2002 community revitalization project, The Painted Promenade. Students in the Publicolor program, from high schools across the City, painted a bridge on West 39th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in sunshine yellow and turquoise blue. Sixteen years later, the colorfully painted walls have become a fixture in Hell's Kitchen (and the backdrop to the famed Hell's Kitchen Flea Market), thanks to Ward.

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“It's always a joy to celebrate our students who are succeeding despite the enormous challenges of poverty- homelessness, food insecurity, lack of good role models or advocates, neglect," said Ruth Lande Shuman, President of Publicolor. "They are realizing their potential - graduating high school, graduating college, and giving back to their communities by painting joy, respect, dignity and safety in under-resourced neighborhood facilities like health clinics, shelters, childcare centers, and community centers. They inspire us every day!” 

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The event’s master of ceremonies was Publicolor’s longtime supporter, Jeffrey Banks. The evening's live auction was led by Christie's Lydia Fenet. 

Guests included: Sarah Billstein, Chuck Close, Paige Davis, Frederick Doner, Barbara Flood, Jim Gutmann, Chloe Gutmann, Boo Grace, Joan Hornig, Steve Kohn, Gene Kohn,Julia Lescarbeau, Takaaki Matsumoto and Julie Matsumoto, Andrea Marcucci, Nicole Miller, Lori Parkinson, Monica parekh and Deven Parekh, Rosa Pietanza, Alex and Michael Shuman, Andrew Oshrin with children Sophia Oshrin and William Oshrin, Leckie Roberts, Tziporah Salamon, Suzanne Scott, Jamie Singer, Robert Soros, Suzanne Tick, John Williams, John Ward, Kate Ward, Pam Ward, Doug Wilson.  

Painting Team Leaders included Jon Otis + Diane Barnes; Rob Rogers, FAIA + Alissa Bucher; Henry Myerberg; Rainey Day Erwin; D. Pearson Feinn; Paul Haigh; Joan Hornig; Takaaki Matsumoto; Nicole Miller; Milly; Paul Aferiat + Peter Stamberg; Tucker Viemeister; Dan Walsh; Doug Wilson; Vicente Wolf; Saya J. Woolfalk, and Gerard Yosca.

The Silent Auction items included the Albers Foundation, Jane Benson, Ross Bleckner, Dana Bronfman, Christo, Chuck Close, Paolo Costagli, Mark Di Suvero, Michele Oka Doner, Rainey Day Erwin, D. Pearson Feinn, Tom Geismar, Gensler, Philip Glass, Paul Haigh, Michael Hambouz, Joan Hornig, Rashid Johnson, Maira Kalman, Gene Kohn, Michael Kors, LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, Arielle Tepper Madover, Takaaki Matsumoto, Stacey Mayrock, John Morning, the LeRoy Neiman Foundation, Gaetano Pesce, Karim Rashid, Laurie Simmons, Swoon, Union Square Hospitality Group, Dan Walsh, “WhatShouldWeDo?!”, Kehinde Wiley, and Sonya Winner.

PUBLICOLOR BY NUMBERS Unlike many other youth organizations that focus on high-achieving, low-income students, Publicolor deliberately focuses on low-income students who are at high risk of dropping out of school. Publicolor’s project-based learning model succeeds in engaging them in their education and empowers them with skills for success in school, work, and life despite many challenges of poverty.


A dynamic and passionate innovator, Ruth Lande Shuman is an award-winning industrial designer and Founder/President of Publicolor. Ms. Shuman has been deeply committed to community- based volunteer work for over thirty years, most notably as a founding trustee of the Big Apple Circus, where she served as Trustee Emerita. She was also a board member of the Wiltwyck school’s union-free school, a board member of the Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund at Pratt Institute, a board member of The Kitchen, and was the Mayor’s representative to the board of the Museum of Art & Design in New York City. Ms. Shuman founded Publicolor in 1996 to use color, collaboration, design, and the discipline of the commercial painting to engage at- risk students in their education, targeting the most underserved communities, most underperforming schools and most seriously disadvantaged middle and high school students. Most recently, Ms. Shuman has been recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as an Honorary Fellow and also named a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.


Publicolor fights poverty by aggressively addressing the alarming dropout rate and low levels of educational attainment and youth employment in New York City. They do this by engaging high- risk students, ages 12-24, in a long-term continuum of intensive, multi-day, design-based programs to encourage academic achievement, community service, college preparation and job readiness. Their unique applied learning approach uses design and design thinking as vehicles to engage, stimulate and inspire at-risk, low-performing students in our city’s struggling middle and high schools, empowering them to achieve success in school, college, career and life. For more information about Publicolor, go to:

Photos by Annie Watt

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