Motifs: September 2021

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Laura Ross (IAC/NMC 68-72) is the co-author of The Art of Bob Mackie (Simon & Schuster, November 2021), the first-ever comprehensive showcase of the legendary costume designer's life and work. The book features hundreds of photos and sketches—many from the designer's own collection—a foreword by Carol Burnett, and an afterword by Cher.

Kimberly Brooks (IAC/NMC 79-82, IAC St 85) was the featured artist in the summer issue of New American Paintings. Brooks released a book, The New Oil Painting, with Chronicle Books in May. Her online exhibition, “New Abstractions,” was presented this summer by Artsy for Los Angeles gallery Zevitas Marcus.

Christine Smith (IAA 87-88, ICA St 93-95) published her first cookbook, which features stories of the women of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Cuisine of the Silk Road: The Authoritative Guide to Afghan and Pakistani Cooking. Smith also launched her small-batch freshly ground spice line and is a corporate sponsor for AfghanAid, an organization that supports women’s empowerment in war-torn countries.

Ranardo-Domeico Grays (AS 88, IAC/NMC 89, IAA 89-90) is artistic director of VISIONS Contemporary Ballet, an ethnically diverse contemporary ballet company based in New York City. Grays has been commissioned by the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning to create a new ballet for its 12th annual Making Moves Dance Festival 2021~To Life! in Jamaica, New York. VISIONS will be presented at the festival Sept. 17-18 at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. Grays has also been awarded a City Artist Corps grant from New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and his second Creative Engagement grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).

Dana Olkkonen (IAC 94-01, IAA 01-03) won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Non-Fiction Special as an executive producer on Creators for Change on Girls’ Education with Michelle Obama. The special is a YouTube Original and premiered in March 2020.

Maya Erskine (IAC 98, 02) has been announced as a member of the cast of the forthcoming Disney+ series about Star Wars hero Obi-Wan Kenobi. The premiere date for the six-episode series has not yet been announced.