October 20, 2020 – Held via Zoom

Meeting started at 6:36pm

Margaret Matz opened the meeting. She noted the meeting will address the Venice Biennale and a list of comments from Eric Hirschhorn.

Donato Giacalone presented about the Venice Masked / Venice Biennale projects. The Architecture School Dean, faculty, and students will participate in Venice Biennale. It is proposed to invite alumni to participate in a related exhibit, Venice Masked.

Donato described that the exhibit consists of two areas: colonnade and courtyard. One or both may be used. Donato showed proposed ideas for Exhibition Panels using ropes, and the layout of the Courtyard. He showed the proposed invitation that would go out to Cooper Union alumni.

The team consists of Cooper alums, RPIE program alums, and volunteers. A question was raised why those who are not Cooper alums are participating. It was discussed that the Venice Masked exhibits were being run parallel to the official Venice Biennale. It is a project that the CUAA would support, but others can participate. The invitation will be sent only to alums of the three Cooper Union schools, but there will also be Italian architects invited.

Frank Gerard Godlewski is curating the project. He worked in Venice for 20 years, and worked with Aldo Rossi. It has not been decided who will be on the jury for selecting entries.

Carol Wolf noted that the naming of the project Venice Biennale / Venice Masked could be confusing.

Mary Lynch asked how long the exhibit would exist. Donato responded it is planned for May 2021 – November 2021. Margaret noted that there is a schedule. She also noted that she suggested that the exhibit be up for a more limited amount of time due to issues in precisely installing an exhibit. There was some confusion regarding the length of the actual exhibit and Mary Lynch suggested that the length be set and announced in the proposal/invitation so that architects could know how long their work would be on display.

Lynn Lander asked how many exhibitors would be selected. Donato responded that it is estimated to be 70.

Carol Wolf asked on Paul Nikulin’s behalf what collaboration has been done with Cooper Union to inform all the schools. Donato mentioned that the Cooper Union would have its exhibition on the main Arsenale. Deans Shoop and Essl would need more information to disseminate information / invitation.

Carol Wolf also asked to confirm that there would be no fundraising by CUAA to fund the project. Margaret Matz confirmed that CUAA would not fundraise for the exhibit. The space is being sponsored by the City of Venice and it offered to help with installation – there are two institutions (naval academy and merchant marine academy) – that can help with tying knots. The group is trying to keep materials costs down. Margaret offered to help any Dean with funds. Dean Tehrani and Hayley Eber have not requested anything tangible, but said they could use help with airline transportation. Margaret Matz mentioned there could be preliminary events such as receptions before the official event.

Mary Lynch questioned whether the invitation should have the CUAA header on it because this sounds like a private undertaking that the CUAA applauds but does not sponsor. Donato confirmed that the CUAA logo was only on the PowerPoint slides for the presentation this evening. CUAA would be listed as one of the sponsors of the exhibit.

Carol mentioned a note from Paul Nikulin that communications about the project should make clear that this is a satellite exhibit to the Venice Biennale.

Mary Lynch suggested a graphic relating to masks to highlight the name Venice Masked. Or have some logo with the ropes. Donato mentioned that the idea of a logo would be discussed at the next Venice Masked team meeting.

Margaret Matz mentioned that this is a great opportunity for the Cooper Union. Dean Tehrani and Hayley Eber are presenting in two different spots of the Venice Biennale and there is a tribute to Diane Lewis. This is a very strong Cooper Union presence. About 150 million tourists pass through the Biennale during the months it is open.

Lynn Lander asked if the exhibitors are expected to be present. Margaret mentioned that Hayley Eber asked about transportation for her crew to Venice.

Mary Lynch asked what happens if only a few submissions come in. She said the description in the invitation was not very clear.

Lynn Lander asked if the colonnade is open to the weather and if so, how the art would be protected.

Anna Brook asked whether CUAA would be involved in helping with things like transportation to the event. Deans Tehrani and Shoop asked for support. Margaret stated that she personally offered to help with Hayley’s transportation.

Mary Lynch suggested that Donato put together a 5 minute or so video to let people know what they need to put together a proper submission. Donato said that can be discussed at the next meeting of the group working on the project.

Cristina Ross mentioned that the caption Venice Biennale may be confusing. Donato explained that the branding would refer to Venice Masked, not Venice Biennale. Carol highlighted clarity in messaging is important to not confuse with Venice Biennale where the Dean/faculty/students would be exhibiting.

Donato mentioned there is a schedule with logistics. Cristina asked if he could send out the schedule to the Executive Committee.

It was decided to address the communications proposal at a different meeting.

Anna Brook moved to adjourn the meeting. Donato Giacalone seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 pm.