NYSID presents exhibition depicting African life

New York, NY – August 31, 2009 – New York School of Interior Design is pleased to present Presley Becker: A Journey to Africa, an exhibition of over 60 paintings and drawings depicting daily life in both the rural and urban areas of the East African Republic of Tanzania. The exhibition will be on view at NYSID, located at 170 East 70th Street, through Wednesday, October 14, 2009.

A majority of the work in the exhibition documents Becker’s experiences during her March 2009 trip, including time spent on the plains with the Maasai people as well as visits to Stone Town, the oldest quarter of the city of Zanzibar. “The subjects and colors in the exhibition are directly related to those I observed in Africa and also to design as we know it in the West,” said Becker. “The spontaneity of pastels and acrylics allowed me to capture the people and the plains Carl Jung called ‘the world as it had always been.’” In addition to the pastel and acrylic African-inspired works, the exhibition also includes a series of the artist’s award-winning oil paintings.

Becker, a 2008 alumna of NYSID, traveled to Africa as the recipient of the Robert Herring Travel Prize, an award presented annually to a graduating student in the School’s BFA program in order to raise awareness of the value of foreign travel as part of a designer’s education. She returned to her native Mississippi after graduating from NYSID and completed her MFA in Painting at Mississippi College. Becker has previously exhibited at Bryant Galleries in Jackson, Birmingham, Atlanta, and New Orleans. In 1991 she became the first living female artist to have a one-woman exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art.      

The 69th Street Gallery at New York School of Interior Design is free and open to the public Monday – Thursday, 9am – 5pm through September 3, 2009.  After September 8, 2009, gallery hours are Monday  - Friday, 9am - 5pm.  The gallery is closed Labor Day.


Founded in 1916, the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) is New York’s only private, not-for-profit college devoted exclusively to interior design education and related disciplines. NYSID’s guiding principle is that the interior environment is a fundamental element of human welfare and the college is committed to actively improving the quality of life for all segments of humanity. This ideal is put into practice by a dedicated faculty of well-known designers, architects, art historians, and authorities in the field who guide a diverse student body of over 700 full-and part-time students.

NYSID offers certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs in the field of interior design. The college is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and NYSID’s BFA is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).