The Latest Alumni News

Cranbrook’s Golden Age: How a Freewheeling School Changed American Design

Illustration by Paige Vickers

“More than a set of formative experiences, the Cranbrook Academy of Art was a way of thinking, providing collaborations and contests that unleashed the creativity and skill of design pioneers.” Read Curbed’s extensive look at Cranbrook Academy of Art’s history as a “prewar petri dish for American modernism.”  The article discusses Ray and Charles Eames, Florence Schust Knoll, Harry Bertoia, Ralph Rapson, Jack Lenor Larsen, Maija Grotell, Carl Milles, Marianne Strengell, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and many more.

Josh Clark Awarded Gold Prize at 2016 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale

Josh Clark

Josh Clark (Ceramics ’15) has won the gold prize at the 2016 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale set to open in July 2016. The award includes a cash prize of $15,000 and a solo show at Yingge Ceramics Museum. Clark will also produce a catalog of his work. The Taiwan Ceramics Biennale is one of the largest showcases of its kind in the world. Read more

Jonathan Muecke (3D ’10) and Anne Wilson (Fiber ’72) named 2015 United States Artists Fellows

Jonathan Muecke, Anne Wilson

Academy alumni Jonathan Muecke (3D ’10) and Anne Wilson (Fiber ’72) were both named 2015 United States Artists Fellows. Representing nine creative disciplines, each USA Fellow receives an unrestricted $50,000 award and recognition as one of America’s most accomplished and innovative artists. There were 36 Fellows selected this year working in the fields of Architecture & Design, Crafts, Dance, Literature, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts and Visual Arts.

Kate Daughdrill Receives a Matching Grant for Burnside Farm Detroit


Alum Kate Daughdrill (Print Media ’11) recently received a $100,000 matching grant from the Knight Foundation for her Burnside Farm Detroit project. Read about the project in the Huffington Post.

Cranbrook Mourns the Loss of John Stephenson

John Stephenson

It is with heavy hearts that we announce John Stephenson (Ceramics ’58) recently passed away on October 20.  Stephenson was professor emeritus and interim dean of the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. Born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa, he received a BA in education at the University of Northern Iowa. After graduation he enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War where he served in the Air Force for four years as a cartographer, before coming to Cranbrook, where he received his MFA in Ceramics 1958. A celebration of […]

Shannon Goff Recreates Lincoln Continental in Cardboard


Cranbrook Alum and Detroit native Shannon Goff (Ceramics ’03) recreates her grandfather’s 1979 Lincoln Continental in cardboard on view at Susanne Hilberry Gallery until November 14.

Cassie Shaver Featured in Dialogist Quarterly Poetry & Art

Current Print Media Student Cassie Shaver is in the recent issue of Dialogist Quarterly Poetry & Art.  She discusses the notes of social insecurity that are the deeper meanings and conceptual influences layer into her work.

Nina Cho and Aleksandra Pollner Named “American Design Hotlist”


Recent Grad Nina Cho (3D ’15) and student Aleksandra Pollner (3D ’16)have been named to the American Design Hotlist on the influential design blog Sight Unseen. The Hotlist is sponsored by Herman Miller.

Julia Heineccius Featured in “Art Jewelry Forum”


Julia Heineccius’s (Metalsmithing ’12) recent exhibition, Divisible, installed at SOIL Gallery in Seattle, Washington late last year focused on the perception and surface.  The exhibition Divisible, replaces the conversations of adornment, the decorative, and “objecthood” with investigations into perception, subtlety, and the body.

Kat Clear Crafts a New Jewelry Line for Perrywinkle’s


Cat Clear (Metalsmith ’15)  Perrywinkle’s Daydream Series, a collaboration that has been years in the making. The Kat Clear Collection features a total of nine new pieces — bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces — rendered in rhodium-plated silver, with accents of gold, pink tourmaline, and pink or black enamel.

Detroit Design Festival Video Clip Features Cranbrook Alums

Detroit City of Design

Cranbrook Academy of Art grads Bethany Shorb (Sculpture ’01), Wes Taylor (2D ’11), Jack Craig (3D ’12), Scott Klinker (Design ’96 and current 3D Design Artist-in-Residence), Mark Dineen (3D ‘13) and Charlie O’Geen (Architecture ‘10) as well as work by Katie Craig (Sculpture ’15) and Nick Cave (Fiber ’89) were featured in the Detroit Design Festival video clip showcasing Design in Detroit. The festival was held in September 2015,

Sonya Clark to Speak at Penny W. Stamps and Open Exhibition on October 22


Cranbrook Alum Sonya Clark (Fiber ’95) will take part in speak at Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series of the University of Michigan’s Stamps School of Art & Design at 5 p.m on October 22. Her talk is titled “Hair to There: Weaving Tales with Textiles.” Afterward, the exhibition “Sonya Clark” will open at 6 p.m. Thursday at the U-M Institute for […]

Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen Exhibits at Boyfriends Chicago


“Seduced and Abandoned” is the first solo show of artist Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen (Photography ’14) at Boyfriends Chicago. Von Habsburg-Lothringen has created a series of images using layered photographs: “stock images,” she calls them, shot in her studio against a brightly lit, almost clinical backdrop. The exhibition closes on October 18.

Charles and Ray Eames Exhibition in London

Eames house courtyard, Los Angeles

Featured in The Guardian, The husband-and-wife design duo may be famous for their moulded plywood furniture and plastic chairs but, as a new exhibition reveals, film was fundamental to their shared vision of the universe. The World of Charles and Ray Eames is at the Barbican, London EC2, from 21 October.

Chanel Von Habsburg Lothringen at Boyfriends

Chanel Von Habsburg Lothringen, “Postpartum depression – I don’t want to do the nurturing anymore”, 2014 and “Clueless Mom Possibilities”, 2014

According to Art F City, “It didn’t take much to get a bunch of strangers at a press meet up to come to Chanel Von Habsburg Lothringen’s opening last weekend. One look at her invite for Seduced and Abandoned at Boyfriends (in Chicago), which leads with a photograph of a couple wearing lingerie and a creepy, featureless mask, and pretty much everyone wanted to get the story. What was that work anyway?” Read about the show

Cranbrook Academy of Art Graduate and Kresge Eminent Artist Ruth Adler Schnee Opens First Exhibition in Detroit

Ruth Adler Schnee

Ruth Adler Schnee, 92-year-old Kresge Eminent Artist and Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate opens a major exhibition at downtown Carr Center in Detroit. The exhibition, “Ruth Adler Schnee: A Passion for Color,” covers her remarkable 75-year career. The exhibition, Schnee’s first in Detroit, was organized in conjunction with her Kresge prize and runs through Oct. 24.

Abigail Murray’s Afterhouse Turns Blighted Buildings into Urban Agriculture


Cranbrook Alum Abigail Murray (Ceramics ’05) and Steven Mankouche are deconstructing the house and reuse the foundation to build a semi subterranean passive geothermal greenhouse called AFTERHOUSE that will serve as a model prototype for other abandoned houses throughout Detroit and beyond. Over the next two months Cranbrook Academy of Art students we will be helping the project by glazing and firing bricks that will absorb and retain the […]

Academy Alum Kate Clark Discusses How Taxidermy is Part of her Work in National Geographic

Medium: zebra hide, foam, clay, rubber eyes, thread, pins. Size: 30 x 36 x 22 inches. 2013.
 © Kate Clark, Photograph by Nicole Cordier

“This is not in an effort to create a creature from fantasy or nightmares, but rather to confront the viewer with mankind’s innate connection with the animal kingdom by evoking empathy, curiosity, and, sometimes, discomfort,” said Kate Clark (Sculpture ’01) in a National Geographic video. Clark discussed how she uses taxidermy in her work.

Willie Wayne Smith Exhibit at SADIE HALIE PROJECTS


SADIE HALIE PROJECTS exhibits Consider My Tongue Swallowed from Brooklyn-based and Cranbrook Alum artist Willie Wayne Smith (Painting ’10). A grouping of paintings and objects, the show utilizes the Sadie Halie space in a unique way by integrating with the established architecture to produce a landscape that reveals slowly over time.

Academy Graduates Tiff Massey, Chris Schanck, and Annica Cuppetelli Awarded Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellowships

Kresge in Detroit

Academy Grads Tiff Massey (Metalsmithing ’11), Chris Schanck (3D Design ’11), and Annica Cuppetelli (Fiber ’08) were awarded $25,000 Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellowships. This year’s class of 18 fellowship winners was selected from more than 650 applications by independent panels of experts comprised of national and local artists. This year’s focus on literary and visual artists comes after last year’s class of fellows working in film, theater, music and dance.

Alumni Respond to “Can Art Still Be Critical?”


Mengli Qi, “Dear Leslie” (2015). Acrylic on paper plus (one) acrylic on canvas (wall). Book Kiosk with the books Dear Leslie, 2015; Sister Known, 2015; and Pussy Water, 2015.
Guest editor Matthew Biro poses the question “Can Art Still Be Critical?” to alumni Sheida Soleimani (Photography ’15) and Mengli Qi (Painting ’15). Read the full story in The Brooklyn Rail here.

Samantha Fields Exhibits at Traywick Contemporary


Samantha Fields: Eat the Horizon, 2015; Acrylic on canvas; 36 x 36″
Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce Inherent Nature, a group exhibition featuring five West Coast artists including Painting alum Samantha Fields (Painting ’98) who respond to and engage with the physical world through distinct practices. Each artist constructs meaning in their work directly from the societal, cultural and environmental issues that shape our time, and their work comments on the push […]

Erica Mahinay and Kathryn O’Halloran at Harmony Murphy Gallery


Harmony Murphy Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Erica Mahinay (Painting ’13) and Kathryn O’Halloran (Ceramics “13). For both artists, Saline Communion reflects their relationship as friends, collaborators, and confidants. The exhibition is open through June 27.

Willie Wayne Smith and Martha Mysko at STOREFRONT TEN EYCK


Willie Wayne Smith (Painting ’10) and Martha Mysko (Painting ’11) are featured in Re/Post, a group exhibition at STOREFRONT TEN EYCK. The exhibition is a response to the notion that there is an ‘always there’ there to the practice of painting and runs until June 28.

Wesley Mancini Awarded ITMA Lifetime Achievement Award


The International Textile Market Association (ITMA) has selected designer Wesley Mancini (Fiber ’77) as the recipient of its form ITMA Lifetime Achievement Award, which has been established in conjunction with the organization’s 50 th edition of the biannual Showtime fair in High Point, N.C.

Aaron Patrick Decker (Metalsmithing ’15) Receives the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award

Mercedes Benz Award- Aaron Decker

Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce that Aaron Patrick Decker has been awarded the “2015 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award.” This is the tenth year Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has given an Academy graduate the award.

Decker was selected from among 10 finalists, one from each department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a recent graduate of the Metalsmithing department.

Ruth Adler Schnee Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Ruth Adler Schnee

Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award is Ruth Adler Schnee. She was presented with the award at the Academy’s May 8 commencement ceremony.

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.

Jack Lenor Larsen and John Underkoffler Awarded Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards


Academy alumnus Jack Lenor Larsen (Fiber ’51) and National Advisory Council member John Underkoffler were each awarded a Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards!

Asian-American History Month Exhibition Features Cranbrook Alum Jayoung Yoon

“Empty Void” by Jayoung Yoon is part of the Asian-American artists of the Hudson Valley exhibit at Beacon’s Howland Cultural Center.

“Empty Void” by Jayoung Yoon is part of the Asian-American artists of the Hudson Valley exhibit at Beacon’s Howland Cultural Center.
An exhibition featuring the work of eight Asian-American artists of the Hudson Valley will be featured at Beacon’s Howland Cultural Center during the month of May to celebrate national Asian-American […]

Martha Mysko (Painting ’11) featured in Nylon Magazine


Nylon Magazine asked five questions of Martha Mysko (Fiber ’11) in the “Meet The Artist” feature of their March 2015 print edition.

Cranbrook Alum Josh Friedman (Ceramics ’02) Opened at Culture Lab



The Jack H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles newest interactive installation, “Culture Lab // Margin” included Cranbrook Alum Josh Friedman (Ceramics ’02). Culture Lab, which opened on April 30, is an interdisciplinary arts program designed to foster new work and provoke a community-wide conversation about arts and culture that is grounded in Jewish tradition.

Shan Sutherland (Metalsmithing ’06) Creates Street Semaphore


To commemorate the Street Semaphores, Ferndale, Michigan installed a sculpture of one of the traffic crow’s nests near where one had been installed in 1920 at the intersection of Woodward Ave and Nine Mile Road. Cranbrook Alum Shan Sutherland (Metalsmithing ’06) based his reproduction on historic […]

PASTA Gallery features ‘Pebbles and Pearls’ by Alum Jean Wydra (Metalsmithing ’82)


Featured in St. Augustine Record,  Jean Wydra’s new show, “Pebbles and Pearls,” is open until May 31. Wydra’s jewelry features unusual gemstone beads combined with exotic pearls and features the new silver clay material used for the silver components.

Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze Opens at Tiwani Contemporary

ruby amanze, when mischief gets the best of you, 2014, photo transfer, ink pen, colored pencils, metallic enamel, 20 x 30 inches

Art Daily takes a look at Cranbrook alum Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze’s (Fiber ’06) first solo exhibition at Tiwani Contemporary in London.

Wesley Mancini Receives Lifetime Achievement Award


Wesley Mancini (Fiber ’77), an internationally renowned textile fabric designer, arts patron and human rights advocate, has been named the inaugural recipient of the International Textile Market Association (ITMA) Lifetime Achievement Award in Casual Living magazine.

Abigail Newbold, Dana Filibert, Samuel Rowlett Awarded Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowships

Rowlett_LandscapePaintingInTheExpandedField_Small (3)

Abigail Newbold (Fiber ’05), Dana Filibert (Metalsmithing ’04), and Samuel Rowlett (Painting ’08) have been awarded 2015 Artist Fellowships in Sculpture/Installation/New Genres from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Fabio J. Fernández (Sculpture ’02) served as a Crafts Panelist.
The Artist Fellowships provide direct, unrestricted support to Massachusetts artists in recognition of exceptional original work, to foster the creation of new art in the Commonwealth. Fifteen artists will receive fellowships of $10,000, and 17 artists will receive $1,000 finalist awards.
For more information, click

Lynn Boggess in Solo Exhibition at Principle Gallery

Lynn Boggess 2 January 2015 Oil on canvas, 54 x 46 in.
Fine Art Connoisseur magazine discusses the solo exhibition of landscape painter and Cranbrook alum Lynn Boggess (Painting ’80) at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.

Cranbrook Academy of Art Named a Top Producer of Fulbright Students


The Chronicle of Higher Education has once again ranked Cranbrook Academy of Art as a top producer of U.S. Fulbright students. With three grants received last year, Academy students have now received a total 25 grants over the past 11 years.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,800 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study […]

Keegan Kuvach Joins Show at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art


Keegan Kuvach (Sculpture ’14) joins a distinguished list of contemporary artists contributing work to the exhibition Love: The First of the 7 Virtues, opening at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. The exhibition will run from February 14 through December 6, 2015. It will include two pieces by Kuvach. For more details, and to view the exhibition catalog, click here

James Surls Sculpture Installed at Lone Star College-Kingwood


Academy graduate James Surls (Sculpture ’69) recently had new work installed at the Lone Star College-Kingwood campus. “Her Universe Apart” is a chiseled black granite table with a drawing of the universe etched onto its surface. Surls’s sculptures have been displayed on Kirby Drive in Houston, in the Guggenheim, the Smithsonian, and along the islands in the middle of Manhattan’s Park Avenue.

Britton Tolliver Opens Exhibition in New York

Britton Tolliver

Painting graduate Britton Tolliver (Painting ’06) will open the solo exhibition Weird Attic at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City. The exhibition will run from February 19 to March 21, 2015. Click here for more information.

Academy Architecture Student Wu Liangyong on China’s Fog


An interesting profile on how China’s fog weighs heavily on the shoulders of its premier architect, Wu Liangyong, a former Academy Architecture student.

John Acorn Exhibition at Clemson University


John Acorn (Sculpture ’61), longtime chair of Clemson University’s art department, hosts a solo exhibition at Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. Read about his practice and career here.

Academy Graduate Receives Delaware Artist Fellowship

Shower (for Masaccio)

Lance Winn (Painting ’96) received a 2015 Individual Artist Fellowship from the state Division of the Arts in recognition of the high quality of his work. He was honored in the “established professional” category, which provides each recipient with a $6,000 award. Read more about the award here.

“American Rehab: Detroit” Features Academy Graduates

American Rehab

“American Rehab: Detroit” featuring Academy alums Christopher Lee (Photography ’08) and Amy Feigley-Lee (Sculpture ’07) began its run on January 29, 2015 on the DIY cable network.

Ruth Adler Schnee Wins 2015 Kresge Eminent Artist Award

Ruth Adler Schnee

Congratulations to Academy alum Ruth Adler Schnee (1946) on her Eminent Artist Award from The Kresge Foundation.

Lloyd Eddy Opens Show at Lake Superior State University

(PHOTO: Provided. John Shibley/LSSU)

Lake Superior State University (LSSU) art professor and Academy alum Lloyd Eddy (Painting ’01) will debut a solo show at LSSU Arts Center gallery.

Matt Shlian featured in American Craft magazine

Matt Shlian "Ara 137 Fracture" 2013

Congratulations to Matt Shlian (Print Media ’06), whose work was featured in the February/March 2015 issue of American Craft magazine.

Yunjung Kang’s Work Added to Cobo Center Collection

Yunjung Kang

Congratulations to Yunjung Kang (Fiber ’14) – her work is now part of the permanent collection at the Cobo Center in Detroit!

New York Foundation For The Arts Announces Finalists for Artists’ Fellowship Program


Image: Kate Clark (Fellow in Crafts/Sculpture ‘14), Pray, 2012
Congratulations to Kate Clark (Sculpture ’01), Myra Mimlitsch-Gray (Metalsmithing ’86) and Jessica Stoller (Ceramics ’06) – all recipients of Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Only 2% of all applicants receive awards – we’re very proud to say three are Cranbrook graduates!
NYFA Fellowship Recipients.