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Cranbrook Academy of Art Students Receive More Than $200,000 in Awards

May 15th, 2017

Annual “Academy Awards” Celebration Caps Off Academic Year

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., May 15, 2017 — On the eve of its 2017 commencement ceremonies, Cranbrook Academy of Art celebrated another year of outstanding work by its graduate students at its annual Academy Awards Night on May 11.

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 2017 graduates in the transition from student to practicing artist.

Ato Ribeiro, a 2017 graduate of the Print Media 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. Ribeiro was selected from among 10 finalists and will be offered a two-month stay in Berlin from July 1 to August 31, 2017. 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 remaining finalists were also given a $1,000 New Beginnings Award for the first time this year. More information on that program here.

The $10,000 Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship was awarded to Emily Culver, a 2017 graduate of the Metalsmithing 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: Genevieve DeLeon (Painting) to be used to publish a mini-directory of alternative educational institutions; Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo (Photography) will travel to Cuba for research on stained-glass installations; Rachel Ferber (Fiber) will take part in a residency with Carla Fernandez in Mexico City; JeeYeun Lee (Fiber) will travel to South Korea for research and also take a papermaking class at Ox-Bow; and Gjergji Prendi (Architecture) will travel throughout Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma to work with steel manufacturers. The shared award of $6,000 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 Anthony Nguyen, a current student in the 2D Design department who will study with Anna Moschovakis in the “Session 6: Writing, Horizontal ‘Translation’: Text, Language, Other.”

The Gallery A Award was presented to Prashani Chandrasena, a current student in the Fiber 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 2017 Museum Purchase Award was presented to Ato Riberio, a 2017 graduate of the Print Media Department. Ribeiro’s work was on display in the 2017 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 Be Chiang in the Architecture Department.

The Academy Director’s Award was awarded to Anita Enriquez, a graduating Fiber student. The Director’s Award recognizes excellence throughout two years of study at the Academy.

The Ox-Bow Summer Fellowship was awarded to Ato Ribeiro of Print Media. Ribeiro will receive a fully-funded fellowship at Ox-Bow summer school program in Saugatuck, Michigan.

The 3D Summer Travel Award is an award supported by two graduates of the 3D Design Department. The 2017 awardee is Taryn Cassella, who will use the award to attend the Domaine de Boisbuchet design workshop and the Foundation OBRAS.

The Friendship Circle Teaching Fellowship at Dresner Soul Studio was awarded to William Marcellus Armstrong, a graduating Fiber student. 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.

The Chrissy Award was given to Hae Won Sohn, a current student in the Ceramics department. This award was established by the father of graduate Victoria Shaheen (Ceramics ’13), and provides summer travel opportunities for a current Ceramics student. Sohn will use the award to support a 12-week research trip in Germany and the Netherlands.

We also honored our latest Fulbright Award Recipients, including alumna Elaine Ng (Ceramics ’14) and current student Tanya Long (Ceramics ’17). Ng will visit Taiwan to study cartography as a way to explore the connections between culture, geography, and place. She will examine the historic maps of Taiwan as well as modern day objects and architecture to study how information amasses over time to reflect the island’s rich history. She then plans to interpret this research into a body of related installations, drawings, and sculptures. Long will travel to Hungary to study how the enduring craft traditions of Hungarian ceramics influence contemporary art practices in Hungary. She will do this by focusing her research on the methods of production, designs, and historical significance of the Herend Porcelain Manufactory in Hungary.

Twenty-one students, who will continue their second year of study at the Academy in 2017-2018, 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 Gary and Patricia Griffin Scholarship in Metalsmithingwill be awarded for the first time, and we also received substantial gifts to several new and existing scholarships from individuals and alumni. Thank you to Andrew Fisher (Design ’86), the Marvin and Betty Danto Family Foundation, and the estates of Leonard Mazerov and Mary Shizue Shigetomi. And a special thanks to the Cranbrook Academy of Art Board of Governors, Cranbrook Trustees, Academy staff, alumni and friends who have given more than $100,000 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.