BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI.- Three celebrated members of the Academy's faculty and three Detroit Metro-based alumni of the Academy each received a Visual Arts Fellowship Grant from The Kresge Foundation. The Academy's Head of Photography, Liz Cohen; Head of Sculpture, Heather McGill; and Head of Fiber, Mark Newport (all residents of Bloomfield Hills) join a class of 12 Kresge fellows that also includes Academy alumni Corrie Baldauf (Fiber '09), Laith Karmo (Ceramics '06, West Bloomfield resident), and Gina Reichert (Architecture '03).
The Kresge grants are designed to reward artistic excellence, nurture metro Detroit’s artists, and raise public awareness of the artistic talent in the city. This sweep by six Academy artists of these prestigious awards, which rank among the country's most lucrative -- $25,000 apiece, no strings attached -- further recognizes the enormous depth of talent and creativity of Cranbrook's artists. The Troy-based Kresge foundation received more than 450 applications for this year's grants, which are given annually to artists living in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The twelve fellows were selected by a jury of regional and national arts professionals and artists that included Fred Wilson and Nick Cave. Now in its third year, the Kresge fellowship program has awarded $1.35 million to 51 visual, performing and literary artists.
Quoted in the Detroit News Heather McGill says of the award, "It's incredible. It's partly the money, because it facilitates making work that otherwise might not be within your reach. It gives you a kind of free-fall to experiment. But it's also the recognition." Six was also the magic number in 2009 when the Visual Arts Fellowship was awarded to Academy alumni Shiva Ahmadi (Painting '05); Susan Goethel Campbell (Printmaking '89); Rod Klingelhofer (Fiber '08); Abigail Newbold (Fiber '05); Russ Orlando (Ceramics '08); and Corine Vermeulen-Smith (Photo '03).