Lecture Series

Lecture at deSalle Auditorium.

Lectures Held in Cranbrook Art Museum’s deSalle Auditorium

The Public Lecture series at Cranbrook Academy of Art is a critical and idiosyncratic look into the conversations and inquiry that drives the 11 departments in Art, Architecture and Design. Our open structure allows for a responsive approach to curating our lecture series so that the conversations on campus are timely and urgent issues in our fields. Our open pedagogy means between 30 and 50 visiting artists, designers, curators and thinkers are bringing their research to our studios and impacting the practices of this community.

All lectures are held in Cranbrook Art Museum’s deSalle Auditorium and are free to ArtMembers and students with identification, and included with Museum admission for the general public. Cranbrook Art Museum is located at 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Upcoming Lectures:


September 24

AIR Presentations:
Gretchen Wilkins (Architecture) and Scott Klinker (3D Design)

This lecture is FREE

September 25

AIR Presentations:
Emmy Bright + Cooper Holoweski (Print Media) and Mark Newport (Fiber)

This lecture is FREE

September 26 
4:00 pm

AIR Presentations:
Carla Diana (4D Design), Ian McDonald (Ceramics) and Iris Eichenberg (Metalsmithing)

This lecture is FREE 

September 28 
David Crabb

David Crabb is a 1999 graduate of the Academy’s Photography department, and is currently a Los Angeles-based author, performer, storyteller and host of The Moth. In 2013, his solo show Bad Kid was named a New York Times critic’s pick. Bad Kid, the memoir, was released in 2015 by Harper Perennial. David has taught storytelling at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Occidental College, Indiana University and NYU. Since 2012, he has performed the solo pieces Bad Kid, $1800, Story Roulette, and Man in a Hole. David is the host of the live storytelling show Traumaville in Los Angeles. His next memoir, Whoever You Are I Hope You’re Okay, comes out in 2018.
Sponsored by the Niels Diffrient Professional Development Fund


October 4
Leon Ransmeier

In 2005, Leon Ransmeier established Ransmeier inc., a New York based industrial design practice that has worked with Herman Miller, Hay and Wright 21. His collaboration with industry often results in subtle interventions into the way we perceive and use things. His designs have been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and in the 2010 and 2006 Design Triennials at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York and is included in the permanent collections at SFMoMA and the Corning Museum of Glass.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the 3D Design Department.

October 10 
Nontsikelelo Mutiti

Nontsikelelo Mutiti is a Zimbabwean-born interdisciplinary artist and educator. Her practice traverses the boundaries of fine art, design, and public engagement. She is currently Assistant Professor in Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the 2D Design Department.


November 10
Lucy Kim

The lecture will cover Kim’s work and process from the last 20 years, with a focus on her use of mold-making and casting as a sculptural surrogate for photography. By combining her sculptural process with painting, her work explores the mechanisms involved in the transition from subject to image. Reference and process images will be shown alongside images of art works.

This lecture is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the painting department.

November 13, 2018
Melissa Hilliard Potter
Pulp Feminism: Interdisciplinary Fiber Works

Raised among multiple generations of crafters, artists and feminists, Potter’s interdisciplinary practice considers women’s handicraft and social customs as a distinct language and history. Through socially engaged practice, she explores marginalized, and in some cases, endangered craft forms as contemporary media with social, political and artistic potential. This lecture will focus on her long-term engagement in papermaking, as well as other materials and methods to build new narratives.

This lecture is sponsored by the Fiber Department
This lecture is FREE.

December 4 
Julia Bryan-Wilson

This talk investigates Bruce Nauman’s persistent performance of anxious masculinity from a feminist and queer perspective. What might be at stake in Nauman’s fantasies of penetration, metaphors of ejaculation, and fixations on anality, and how might we envision his work as offering new– if fraught– models of inter-subjective, porous embodiment?

Julia Bryan-Wilson is professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Berkeley Arts Research Center. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (2009), Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing (with Glenn Adamson, 2016), and Fray: Art and Textile Politics (2017, winner of the 2018 Robert Motherwell Book Award). With Andrea Andersson, she co-curated the exhibition Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, which opened at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in 2017.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Fiber department.

February 5, 2019
Casey Droege
Money and Making

How do you make a living in cultural production? Can an arts ecosystem fully function without a market? Droege will discuss how her studio practice and entrepreneurial tendencies grew into a business that is generating significant revenue streams for the local arts economy of Pittsburgh and new models for smaller cities around the country.

This lecture is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Fiber Department.