Distinguished Teacher 2004–05
Robert Zakarian graduated in 1959 with a bachelor of fine arts in Advertising Design from Pratt. After two years working in the field, he returned to the Institute for a master of fine arts and discovered his passion for sculpture. He graduated in 1963 and joined Pratt’s sculpture department. He was appointed to a full-time position in 1967 and to professor in 1982. During his tenure at Pratt, Zakarian has taught undergraduate and graduate-level classes and has served as thesis advisor to more than 300 students. He has also been president of the American Association of University Professors’ Pratt Chapter, a member of Pratt’s Graduate Fellowship Committee, and a member of Pratt’s Appointment and Space Committees.
As a model-maker for the advertising industry, he has completed more than 2000 assignments, including magazine covers for Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Smithsonian, Psychology Today, and New York magazines. Among his most famous and longest-running television commercials is “The Sprint Pin-Drop.” Zakarian’s work has been exhibited at the Royal Marks Gallery, the Allan Stone Gallery, and the Riverside Museum in Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. His work is included in the collections of the Nassau County Archdiocese, Ginn & Company of Boston, an Houghlin, Mifflin, Co. among others. Zakarian has received a William Copley Foundation Grant in honor of his work.