Vivian Beer named Visiting Designer-in-Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art

Scott Klinker Awarded Sabbatical for Fall 2017

Bloomfield Hills, Mich., March 27, 2017 – Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce that award-winning furniture designer Vivian Beer has been named the visiting Designer-in-Residence for the Academy’s 3D Design department. She will stand in for current 3D Designer-in-Residence Scott Klinker while he is on sabbatical for the fall 2017 semester.

Beer is a 2004 graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Metalsmithing Department. She is known for her sleek, abstracted metal and concrete furniture that combines the aesthetic sensibilities of contemporary design, craft, and sculpture. Most recently, she was named a 2017 United States Artist Fellow and was the winner of “Ellen’s Design Challenge” on HGTV.

“Vivian Beer is perfect for this position because of her experience and impressive accomplishments,” said Klinker. “But she also brings a different energy to our design studio. Her practice is uniquely positioned between design and craft, with an intense hands-on process that is rarely seen in designers today. Her model of practice is different from mine, and she will bring new ideas and methods into our conversation. Her ambition, skill, and vision will provide an inspiring example for our students. We are honored to have her on campus this fall.”

Beer has a strong foundation in contemporary furniture design, influenced by her research into the history of American industry, architecture, and transportation. This research was supported in part by a 2014 Artist Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Beer has worked with many galleries and museums around the country including Lewis Wexler, owner of Philadephia’s Wexler Gallery, who had this to say about her work in recent article for Modern magazine, “Vivian is arguably one of the most talented young designer-makers that I’ve seen in a long time. Her creative use of industrial materials in producing well-designed, yet functional furniture, sets her apart from many others in her field. Her work is multilayered, steeped in design references from pop culture, fashion, car culture, and industrial design.”

Beer’s work is included in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Metals Museum, The Currier Museum of Art and the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, and public art in the cities of Portland, Maine, Cambridge Massachusetts and Arlington, Virginia. She holds an undergraduate degree from Maine College of Art in addition to her MFA from Cranbrook. She has held numerous residencies including appointments at the Penland School of Crafts, the State University of New York at Purchase, and the San Diego State University, Pilchuck Glass School, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash.

Klinker will spend his sabbatical exploring new spaces between art and design. He will further his research into photo construction techniques that he began with his Design Superset project. He is currently applying for fellowship programs abroad to pursue his research in a new setting. Learn more about his Superset on his website. He will return to campus for the spring 2018 semester.

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