The first week of this semester I headed for the wood shop, but peeked my head in Lenny's classroom of Sophomores to say hello. It might have been a self-indulgent reason too, as seeing Lenny would always guarantee my name called in a loving tone, and I would receive a warm sincere hug. I never made it to the wood shop that day- and it was all for the better. Lenny quickly had me make a box for the concavity project, and I poured my first test plaster with universal tint. He was so excited- he said in all his years, no one had been able to achieve this level of saturation. For my thesis I am working on exercises inspired by Lenny's teachings, to which I am adding color. We spoke about it enthusiastically. I have as of yet to make much progress past the first test and have plans to pour my plaster this weekend.
Today on my way to class I saw Matthew Burger- the Chair of the Industrial Design Department at Pratt. He was not his normal cheery self. I asked him what was wrong - he wouldn't say right away. Not knowing what it was,I said it was OK, and that we would get through it. Then his words came out- that are now jumbled due to the immediate on-set of shock- he told me that Lenny had passed away. I am at a great loss; as are many students, faculty and staff at Pratt. I didn't go to class. I went back to my studio, where on my shelf lays the book Lenny lent to me for inspiration for my thesis- next to one of the sculptures that I did in his class.
Lenny's door was always open, and I consulted with him often on my design decisions. He encouraged me and believed that I would always make the right decisions. I have a lot of ideas, often unrelated, but he had faith that I would make them all come together in the end. I will continue to develop my exercises that I had started. They are an homage to Kandinsky, but they will be in dedication to him.
Today ironically is Lenny's birthday.
I didn't know the last time was going to be the last time.
You are greatly missed. Thank you for everything that you have given.