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Cranbrook Academy of Art Students Receive More Than $250,000 in Awards

May 27th, 2018

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., May 11, 2018 — On the eve of its 2018 commencement ceremonies, Cranbrook Academy of Art celebrated another year of outstanding work by its graduate students at its annual Academy Awards Night on May 10.

Before a gathering of more than 200 students, families, friends and donors in deSalle auditorium at Cranbrook Art Museum, the Academy distributed more than $250,000 in fellowships, grants, awards, and scholarships. The awards are designed to support study at the Academy and to aid 2018 graduates in the transition from student to practicing artist.

Chen Li, a 2018 graduate of the 3D 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. Li was selected from among 10 finalists and will be offered a two-month stay in Berlin from July 1 to August 31, 2018. She 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 remaining nine finalists were each given a $1,000 New Beginnings Award.

The $10,000 Toby Devan Lewis Award was awarded to Christopher Corey Allen, a 2018 graduate of the Print Media 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 the following current Academy students: Ashley Beatty of the Photography department who will travel throughout Washington D.C., Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio to visit seven National Parks; Francis Chung of the Sculpture department for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center; Phoebe Kuo of the 3D Design department for a trip to interview woodworkers in the Midwest and Northeast in support of book content; Jessica Osserman of the Architecture department who will travel to Sweden for a Rävemåla artists residency; and Sarah Wondrack of the Fiber department for anatomy and fashion research in Italy, London, Antwerp, and Amsterdam. The shared award of $5,600 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 Jessica Osserman, a first student in the Architecture department who will take a “Push Pull Play” course with Katie Hundall.

The Gallery A Award was presented to Tiffany Danielle Elliott, a first-year student in the Photography department. This award provides funding for a student to exhibit their work in the entry space in the Academy of Art Administration office.

The 2018 Museum Purchase Award was presented to Conrad Egyir, a 2018 graduate of the Painting department. Egyir’s work was on display in the 2018 Graduate Degree Exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum and was selected for purchase by the Museum Committee. His 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 Lien-Kuang Yeh, a first-year student in the Architecture department.

The Academy Director’s Award was awarded to Conrad Egyir, a 2018 graduate of the Painting department. The Director’s Award recognizes excellence throughout two years of study at the Academy.

The Ox-Bow School of Art Summer Fellowship was awarded to Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo, a 2018 graduate of the Fiber department. Duncan-Portuondo will receive a fully-funded fellowship at Ox-Bow summer school program in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts Scholarship was awarded to two students: Jeffery Schofield, a first-year student in the Sculpture department, who will be participating in a workship titled, “Trash to Treasure: Explorations in Thrifty Materials,” by Julia Gartrell; and Yuna Kim, a first-year student in the Print Media department, who will be participating in a workshop titled, “Joomchi and Beyond” by Jiyoung Chung.

The Friendship Circle Teaching Fellowship at Dresner Soul Studio was awarded to Jennifer Lindemer, a current student in the Fiber department. This award was established by an Academy Painting alumnus to support a summer fellowship at Dresner Soul Studio in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Artists are awarded studio space, access to a wide range of state of the art facilities, and a stipend to gain a unique experience and mentorship in an alternative educational model. The Dresner Soul Studio supports the work of artists with special needs.

We are also honored that two of our 2018 graduates have been placed in the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship: Genevieve DeLeon of the Painting department will teach at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Swati Piparsania from the 3D Design department will teach at the Pratt Institute.

This year, 47 students benefited from Merit Scholarships. 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. Cranbrook Academy of Art is privileged to have 47 endowed scholarships to support our students. These scholarships extend back to the beginning of the Academy and the names of the individuals they honor are a who’s-who among Academy alumni and friends. Increasing our endowed scholarships – both in number and in principal value – is among the Academy’s highest goals – now and going forward.

For 2018–2019, three new scholarships were established: The Sina Pearson Scholarship, established by 1972 Fiber alum Sina Pearson; The Sidney Lapidus Scholarship, established by Knoll Inc. in honor of a long-serving Board member; and The Burton B. Stanair Scholarship , also established by Knoll Inc.– in honor of its long-time CEO and Chairman.

In addition, several existing scholarships were generously increased this year, including The Don C. Albinson Scholarship, honoring the 1941 Academy graduate; The George Francoeur and Gerald Earles Scholarship, established by a 1960 Academy alum; The Arkitektura – Andrew Fisher ’86 Scholarship , established by Academy graduate Andrew Fisher; and The Marvin and Betty Danto Scholarship, honoring the long-time Academy Governor and his wife.

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