Think Punk! 2009 Gala Honorees

2009 Think Punk! Gala

Laurie Anderson & Karole Armitage presented Jeff Koons and The Honorable Earle I. Mack with the first annual GONE! AWARD designed by Bryan Hunt.

JKoonsSmallJeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Mr. Koons lives and works in New York City.

Koons’ work has been exhibited internationally and is in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The National Gallery London, Hirshhorn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Eli Broad Family Foundation, Tate Gallery, Stedelijk Museum, Museum Ludwig, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum.

Koons is also known for his public sculptures, such as the monumental floral sculptures Puppy, permanently installed at the Guggenheim Bilbao, and Split-Rocker, recently on exhibition at the Castle of Versailles. In New York City, Balloon Flower (Red) is on display at 7 World Trade Center. In December 2008, Mr. Koons’ sculpture, Rabbit, was transformed into a large-scale balloon for the Miami Art Museum parade during Art Basel Miami Beach. This same balloon had been used in November 2007 for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In 2008, solo exhibitions of Koons’ work could be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, at the Castle of Versailles, and at the Neue National Galerie in Berlin.

Mr. Koons has lectured at many universities and institutions, including Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, New York University, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum.

Jeff Koons has received many awards and honors, including the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur, Honorary Doctorates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Corcoran, Washington, D.C., the Artistic Achievement Award from Americans For The Arts, a Creative Patronage Award from Cranbrook Academy of Art, membership in the American Academy for Arts and Sciences and the Signet Society for Arts and Letters at Harvard University, among others.

EarleMackSmallThe Honorable Earle I. Mack has a long and distinguished association with the arts, philanthropy, public service, education and business. Particularly dedicated to the arts, Earle Mack has worked indefatigably on behalf of the entire New York arts community and continues to gather public and private sector support for several organizations. From 1996-1999, Mr. Mack served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Council on the Arts and now serves as Chairman Emeritus. He is also a former, long-serving Board Member of the New York City Ballet and a former Co-Chairman of the Board of the Dance Theater of Harlem. He has held leadership and advisory positions on many boards including serving as Vice-Chairman of the Alliance for the Arts, Chairman of Arts Rebuild New York, the Tisch School of the Arts’ Deans Council, Friends of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet, New York University’s Grey Art Gallery Arts Advisory Committee, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, the New 42nd Street, Briansky Ballet School, and the National Association of the School of American Ballet. He was the Producer and Co-Director of "The Children of Theatre Street," a 90-minute documentary film on the Kirov School of Ballet, which was nominated for an Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and winner of the Film Advisory Board's Award of Excellence. In 1970, together with Joseph Papp, Bernard Gerstein and the New York Shakespeare Festival, he produced the multi-media rock musical "Stomp."

Also committed to public service, Earle Mack served as the U.S. Ambassador to Finland from 2004 to 2005. He was a member of the Governor's Committee on Scholastic Achievement, the Advisory Board for the New York State Business Venture Partnership, and the Board of Trustees of the New York Racing Association. He was also Chairman of the New York State Racing Commission. He has served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry and Military Police reserve.

In the business world, Mr. Mack currently serves as Senior Partner of The Mack Company, a real estate investment and development firm established a century ago. Previously he served on the Board of Directors for the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (NYSE) and served on the Executive Committee of the National Realty Council.

Ambassador Mack received his Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University and attended Fordham School of Law. He has been honored as one of the "Drexel 100" for Drexel's 100 most outstanding alumni and the Drexel University School of Law was recently named in his honor, “The Earle Mack School of Law”. He received an honorary Doctorate from Drexel University for Business Administration and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Yeshiva University. Mr. Mack is also Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he served as Chairman for 13 years.

Earle I. Mack is married to Carol Dickey Mack and they have two children, Andrew and Beatrice Skyler.

click to go to Armitage Gone! Dance home page