NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A special opportunity is ahead for students who lost work in the fire at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
35 of the 44 seniors lost all of their work.
Student Brittany Halpin lost nine paintings in February’s fire. Some were part of her senior thesis.
“I was really devastated, just in shock from it,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.
But she didn’t despair.
“Basically learned from it and it did force me to, like, change how I paint. Be more thoughtful rather than impulsive,” she said.
Student Kayla Rivera was also devastated.
“All my work was lost and it was all my thesis work and some of my ceramic work,” she said.
Now, Halpin, Rivera and the other students impacted by the fire will have their new artwork displayed at the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue in a week-long show from May 9 to 14 called “Flameproof.”
It has been arranged by famed art dealer Larry Gagosian. He almost lost many of his paintings to a fire in his Hamptons home in 2011.
It’s a dream come true for the students, according to Dina Weiss, the Acting Assistant Chairperson of Fine Arts at Pratt.
“You know, you’re always looking for a silver lining and, you know, the day of graduation, their friends and family will be able to see the exhibition and that’s an amazing opportunity that wouldn’t necessarily have happened otherwise,” she said.
“I think it’s a great motivator for me to work even harder because I understand how important the show is. It’s not an opportunity that we were going to get before and it’s not an opportunity most anyone can get,” Rivera said.
“I think it’s a really positive event to come out of such a disastrous thing and it just shows how people are just really ready and willing to help other people out,” Halpin said.