Cranbrook Academy of Art to Confer Distinguished Alumni Award on Artist Donald Lipski

Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce that it will confer its Distinguished Alumni Award on the New York-based sculptor Donald Lipski (Ceramics ‘73) at the Academy’s 2013 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 10, 2013. The Distinguished Alumni Award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Academy and recognizes graduates who have demonstrated creativity, innovation, leadership, and vision through their contributions to the practices of architecture, art, and design, as well as to Cranbrook Academy of Art.

For more than 75 years, Cranbrook Academy of Art has been home to some of the world’s most renowned designers and artists. Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Daniel Libeskind, Michael and Katherine McCoy, and Jun Kaneko have all taught here, to name only a few. Academy students have included Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, Jack Lenor Larsen, Nick Cave, Tony Matelli, Niels Diffrient, Ed Fella, Masamichi Udagawa, Lorraine Wild, and Hani Rashid. The work emanating from Cranbrook has in many ways changed the way people live, and the way they understand art and design.

Donald Lipski is a 1973 graduate of the Academy’s Ceramics Department who gained international attention with his 1979 installation “Gathering Dust,” a collection of thousands of tiny sculptures pinned to the walls of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In recent years, he has created many prominent and compelling public sculptures that have become overwhelmingly popular with the public and also garnered critical acclaim. They include “Sirshasana” at the Grand Central Terminal in New York, “F.I.S.H.” at the San Antonio River Walk in Texas and “The Yearling,” a 20-foot-tall steel chair standing outside the Denver Public Library. More than 20 additional sculptures are located throughout the United States.

“Donald Lipski’s pioneering installation work and dynamic sculpture beautifully embody Cranbrook’s abiding creative influence on American culture,” says Reed Kroloff, Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. “We are so excited to honor him with this award and to count him among our distinguished alumni.”

Lipski’s installation works include “The Bells,” at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, “The Starry Night,” at Capp Street Project in San Francisco, “Pieces of String Too Short to Save,” in the Grand Lobby of The Brooklyn Museum and “The Cauldron” at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York.

He is the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Rome Prize. He is permanently conserved in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Art Institute of Chicago, and dozens more.

Past recipients of Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Distinguished Alumni Award include Peter Bohlin (Architecture ’61), Niels Diffrient (Design ’54) and Anne Wilson (Fiber ’72).


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