< Back to All News

Academy Alumni Named USA Fellows

November 18th, 2016

Bloomfield Hills, Mich., November 18, 2016 – Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce that alumni Vivian Beer (Metalsmithing ‘04)Annabeth Rosen (Ceramics ’81) and Piper Shepard (Fiber ’88) were each named 2016 United States Artists Fellows this week.

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 46 Fellows selected this year working in the fields of Architecture & Design, Crafts, Dance, Literature, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts and Visual Arts. Of the seven awardees in the Crafts discipline, three are graduates of the Academy. These winners make for a total of 11 Academy graduates who have received United States Artists Fellowships since the program launched in 2006.

According to United States Artists (USA), Fellows are selected through a rigorous, highly competitive process involving hundreds of experts, scholars, administrators and artists. Created in 2006 by the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson and Prudential Foundations with $22 million in seed funding, United States Artists was founded to address the lack of unrestricted funding available to artists. USA is currently funded by a broad range of philanthropic foundations and individuals committed to cultivating the vibrant character of contemporary culture in America. Through its signature USA Fellows program, United States Artists has distributed over $25 million in support of 500 artists.

Vivian Beer is a furniture designer/maker based in New England. Her sleek, abstracted metal and concrete furniture combines the aesthetic sensibilities of contemporary design, craft, and sculpture to create objects that alter viewers’ expectations of and interface with the domestic landscape. Her work is included in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, MFA Boston and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Beer recently won “Ellen’s Design Challenge” on HGTV. Last year, she was awarded Cranbrook Academy of Art’s “Alumni Achievement Award.”

Annabeth Rosen is currently the Robert Arneson Endowed Chair at the University of California Davis. She shows her work with the Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco, and has exhibited around the world. Her work is in the collections of The Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Oakland Museum, The Denver Art Museum and The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Piper Shepard currently teaches in the Fiber Department at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art). Her artistic practice is an engagement with cloth where she seeks to “remove in order to reveal.” She has cut cloth into lace-like filigree patterns, sometimes regimented in structure and other times according to a process akin to freehand drawing. Her work is in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

Please join us in congratulating Vivian, Annabeth and Piper on this incredible accomplishment. And read a story about the awards in Artforum.