Photo by Harrison Möenich (Photography ’16)
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., May 13, 2016 — On the eve of its 2016 commencement ceremonies, Cranbrook Academy of Art celebrated another year of outstanding work by its graduate students at its annual Academy Awards Night on May 12.
Before a gathering of more than 200 students, families, friends and donors in deSalle auditorium at Cranbrook Art Museum, the Academy distributed more than $200,000 in fellowships, grants, awards, and scholarships. The awards are designed to support study at the Academy and to aid 2016 graduates in the transition from student to practicing artist.
Benjamin Santiago, a 2016 graduate of the 2D Design Department, received the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award, which recognizes artistic promise with a grant and accommodations to live and work in Berlin, Germany. Santiago was selected from among 10 finalists and will be offered a two-month stay in Berlin from July 1 to August 31, 2016. He will have the chance to participate in a personalized networking program with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Berlin partner, the Küenstlerhaus Bethanien, which includes introductions to members of the international art community.
The $10,000 Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship was awarded to Alida Van Almelo, a 2016 graduate of the Ceramics Department. This award was created by the philanthropist, art collector, author, and curator Toby Devan Lewis, who has been an avid supporter of young and emerging artists. She created The Toby Fund to give graduating fine arts students at more than 15 schools of art around the country unrestricted grants with which to begin their careers.
The Robert C. Larson Art, Design, and Architecture Venture Award was given to current Academy students: Tanya Long (Ceramics) to be used for travel to the Netherlands for a Ceramics residency; Austin Swick (3D Design) will travel to Japan for woodworking research; Ato Ribeiro (Print Media) will travel to Africa to study West African Art; and Mariana Pinar (Fiber) will travel to Japan for textile research. The shared award of $5,000 recognizes and supports the work of innovative and inspired Academy first-year students. The endowment fund was established by Bonnie Larson to celebrate Robert C. Larson’s commitment to Cranbrook. Larson was a long-time volunteer leader and donor at Cranbrook, and served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees from 1996-2002. He was also a member of the Board of Governors of the Academy and Art Museum from 1986-2000.
The Stewart Thomson Fellowship at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts was presented to Emily Culver, a current student in the Metalsmithing Department.
The Gallery A Award was presented to Phillip Koscak, a current student in the Sculpture Department. This award funds the creation and installation of work by a student in the entrance foyer of the Academy’s administration offices for the upcoming academic year.
The 2016 Museum Committee Jury Acquisition Prize was presented to Kara Gut, a 2016 graduate of the Photography Department. Gut’s work was on display in the 2016 Graduate Degree Exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum and was selected for purchase by the Museum Committee. Her work will be accessioned into the permanent collection of Cranbrook Art Museum.
The Cranbrook Educational Community President’s Award was established by Cranbrook’s President, Dominic DiMarco. It recognizes those artists engaged in environmental sustainability projects. The $1,000 award was given to Sophie Yan in the 3D Design Department.
The Academy Director’s Award was awarded to Emmy Bright, a graduating Print Media student, and Zartavia Howard (2D Design). The Director’s Award recognizes excellence throughout two years of study at the Academy.
The Ox-Bow Summer Fellowship was awarded to Johannah Herr, a current student in the Sculpture Department. Herr will receive a fully-funded fellowship at Ox-Bow summer school program in Saugatuck, Michigan, from late May through late August, 2016.
The 3D Summer Travel Award is an award supported by two graduates of the 3D Design Department. The 2016 awardee is Jing Ouyang, who will use the award to attend the Domaine de Boisbuchet design workshop.
Twenty-six students, who will continue their second year of study at the Academy in 2016-2017, were awarded Merit Scholarships in recognition of their talent and for meeting high standards during the past year. Merit Scholarships are supported by gifts and independent sponsors, including alumni, private philanthropists, corporations, company foundations and professional organizations.
Family members of Academy alumni and friends of Cranbrook continue their strong support of our institution. We are fortunate to have more than 40 endowed scholarships to support Cranbrook Academy of Art students. This year, the Tom and Lois Booth Scholarship will be awarded for the first time, and we also received substantial gifts to several existing scholarships from individuals and alumni. Thank you to Andrew Fisher (Design ’86), the Marvin and Betty Danto Family Foundation, SuSu Sosnick, the estate of Howard Kottler, and to Dan Cramer (Design ’82) for continued contributions to his award in honor of Don Albinson (Sculpture ’41). And a special thanks to the Cranbrook Academy of Art Board of Governors, Cranbrook Trustees, Academy staff, alumni and friends who have given nearly $80,000 to this year’s general scholarship fund. Increasing these scholarships – both in number and in principal value – is among the Academy’s highest goals – now and going forward.
Director of Communications
Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum