2017 Ava and Jeff
2017 Harman-Eisner Artists in Residence
Ava DuVernay · Jeff Koons
Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer, and film distributor. Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy award nominee Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical drama SELMA, the criminal justice documentary 13TH and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, her next project is entitled WHEN THEY SEE US and will be released worldwide on Netflix in May 2019. Currently, she is overseeing production on her critically-acclaimed TV series QUEEN SUGAR, her new CBS limited series THE RED LINE and her upcoming OWN series CHERISH THE DAY.
Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
Internationally recognized artist Jeff Koons is widely known for his iconic sculptures Rabbit and Balloon Dog as well as his monumental floral works Puppy and Split-Rocker. Working in the tradition of the readymade while exploring art historical themes, his work seeks to open paths to self-acceptance and transcendence.
Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’s work has been shown in major galleries and institutions throughout the world. His work was the subject of a major 2014/15 exhibition organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Jeff Koons: A Retrospective, which traveled to the Centre Pompidou Paris and the Guggenheim Bilbao.
Jeff Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Notably, Koons received the Governor’s Awards for the Arts “Distinguished Arts Award” from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; the “Golden Plate Award” from the Academy of Achievement; President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur; and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Koons with the State Department’s Medal of the Arts for his outstanding commitment to the Art in Embassies Program and international cultural exchange. Koons has been a board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002, and co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC; for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction and exploitation and to protect the world’s children. Koons lives and works in New York City.