Benjamin Santiago Receives the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award

Benjamin Santiago (2D Design ’16). Photo by John Carlson.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., May 13, 2016 -– Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce that Benjamin Santiago (2D Design ’16) has been awarded the “2016 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award.” This is the eleventh year Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has given an Academy graduate the award.

Santiago was selected from among 10 finalists, one from each department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a 2016 graduate of the 2D Design department.

The Emerging Artist Award is part of Cranbrook’s 16-year partnership with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, which also includes premier sponsorship of Cranbrook’s recent STUDIO and OPEN(STUDIOS) events, as well as the 2016 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art at Cranbrook Art Museum. The company also supports the Academy and other institutions throughout the country through their Experiencing Perspectives art program, which encompasses annual art exhibitions, tours, community conversations and other events. It includes a year-long exhibition and display of student and recent graduate art pieces throughout its regional headquarters in Farmington Hills, Mich.

“Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is committed to supporting emerging and established artists in our communities, and our partnership with Cranbrook Academy of Art enables us to do that in many ways, including bridging our global business and art communities to provide this opportunity for education, networking and international exposure ,” said Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. “This is the third year I have had the privilege of participating in the Emerging Artist selection process and I continue to be so impressed with the talent and vision of all of the graduating students. We congratulate Benjamin and all of the finalists for their artistic accomplishments.”

Santiago will receive a two-month stay in Berlin from July 1 to August 31, 2016. The trip includes airfare and lodging, an expense stipend of $5,000, a vehicle and an art pass that grants free access to museums in Berlin. Most importantly, the Emerging Artist will also live and work as an artist-in-residence with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Berlin partner, the Küenstlerhaus Bethanien, which will include a personalized networking program with members of the international art and business communities.

Each finalist presented to a jury last week while showcasing their work currently on display at the 2016 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art at Cranbrook Art Museum. Jurors included Chris Scoates, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum; Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services; Harrell Scarcello, Member of the Academy Board of Governors and Principal of Scarcello Associates, Incorporated; Anya Sirota, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Principal, Akoaki Design, and Co-Founder of the Metropolitan Observatory of Digital Culture and Representation; Steven Bridges, Assistant Curator, Eli and Edith Broad Art Museum; and Greg Ruvolo, Manager of Community Relations for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

The commitment to the arts demonstrated by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is appreciated by both the students and administration of Cranbrook Academy of Art. “Our students look forward to this award every year,” says Academy Director Chris Scoates. “To even be considered is an incredible accomplishment. This program provides our students with an opportunity they simply could not receive anywhere else. It provides our students with connections to those in our greater community, and shows them that the arts can be supported and appreciated in other sectors, and how important creativity can be in today’s workplace.”

Santiago Academy Awards

Chris Scoates, Maxine and Stuart Frankel Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum, Benjamin Santiago and Greg Ruvolo of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Media Contacts:
Julie Fracker
Director of Communications
Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum

Melinda A. Mernovage
Media Relations Manager
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

About Cranbrook Academy of Art
Cranbrook Academy of Art is the country’s top ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design and fine art. Each year, just 75 students are invited to study and live on our landmark Saarinen-designed campus, which features private studios, state-of-the art workshops, a renowned Art Museum, and 300 acres of forests, lakes, and streams, all a short drive from the red-hot art, design, and music scene of Detroit. The focus at Cranbrook is on studio practice in one of ten disciplines: Architecture, 2D and 3D Design, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. The program is anchored by celebrated Artists- and Designers-in-Residence, one for each discipline, all of whom live and practice on campus alongside our students. For more information, visit us at

About Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA, LLC
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with Business Center Operations in Fort Worth, Texas, provides brand‐specific financial products and services for Mercedes‐Benz and smart automotive dealers and their retail customers. In the U.S. trucking industry, it conducts business as Daimler Truck Financial and provides flexible financial products and services for Daimler Trucks North America commercial vehicles branded Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Bus and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. Mercedes‐Benz Financial Services USA LLC serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, and has approximately 1,800 employees throughout the Americas. It is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, which does business in 40 countries and has an employee base of approximately 9,000 people worldwide. Daimler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide and was named one of the 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by the Great Place To Work Institute in 2014. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA was also named one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials by Great Place to Work and in 2015. For more information, please visit or For more information about Daimler Truck Financial, log onto

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