Longtime hospitality art purveyor Esther Cohen has been named the NEWH 2018 ICON of Industry. The founder and ceo of Canadian Posters Intl., PI Fine Art, PI Creative Art and the Esther Cohen Gallery’s extensive career will be celebrated at the 38th annual Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design gala at Gotham Hall in New York on Monday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with Boutique Design New York (BDNY) and HX: The Hotel Experience.
Cohen’s art career took off when she established Posters Intl. in Canada in the mid-1970s. She was the first person in the country to wholesale art posters, exporting those open editions internationally. (The company is still in operation today under the helm of Cohen’s sons, Richie and Andrew.)
With the expansion of the company, which includes a retail gallery, an art studio and framing facilities, Cohen now uses her 35 years of experience to focus on PI’s investment arm, her namesake gallery. The collection includes limited edition graphics signed and numbered by high-profile artists such as Alex Katz, Jim Dine, Robert Longo and Man Ray, and over her career Cohen’s visited such well-known creatives as Andy Warhol and Sam Francis in their homes and studios.
Cohen will be the 13th professional to receive the ICON accolade. In addition, a $7,500 student scholarship in her honor will be awarded to one exemplary student at the awards ceremony in November. That undergraduate must have completed at least half of her or his program toward a degree in hospitality interior design, a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, participated in an industry internship and exemplify standards of professionalism to be eligible for the opportunity.
Beyond that, a Tribute Journal showcasing words of appreciation for this year’s ICON winner will be handed out at the ceremony. Proceeds from that journal will be deposited into the NEWH Inc. scholarship account and contributions are due Sept. 7.