Dear Cranbrook Friends & Family,
Spring is always a special time of year for our Community, and one of our busiest. It is a time of celebration, reflection, and transition. Flowers and trees once again paint our campus with color, water flows anew from our fountains, and students aim high as they triumphantly toss their graduation caps, prepared to enter the next stage of their journey in life. During this springtime excitement, I wanted to share some of the changes taking place at Cranbrook.
At Cranbrook Academy of Art, 64 graduating artists, designers and architects celebrated the submission of their thesis work and the end of their time in our Master degree program. These students are not the only ones embarking on a new chapter in their lives, as four Artists-in-Residence are also departing Cranbrook this year.
First, Heather McGill, Artist-in-Residence in Sculpture. In Heather's 26 year tenure at the Academy, she has guided hundreds of fiercely devoted students. Next, Bill Massie, Artist-in-Residence in Architecture. Award-winning architect and builder of a third historic - but temporary - home on Cranbrook's campus, Bill's innovation and enthusiasm are boundless. Third, Anders Ruhwald, Artist-in-Residence in Ceramics. The ambitious international exhibition career that Anders has forged while leading the Ceramics department has been nothing short of extraordinary. Finally, Liz Cohen, Artist-in-Residence in Photography. An award-winning and celebrated photographer and performance artist, Liz has served as the creative inspiration and backbone to the Photography Department for nearly a decade. I hope you will join me in offering a farewell to the Academy's graduating students and to these four leaders and mentors. We at Cranbrook know that each of them - students and faculty alike - will continue to push the boundaries, debate the status quo, ask the challenging questions, provoke discussion, explore the unknown, and create the new.
On June 9, 204 Cranbrook Schools seniors will celebrate their graduation. I am confident that as these young men and women transition into the status of alumni, they will join the ranks of Cranbrook graduates before them as the leaders of tomorrow. I also would like to remind you of a major transition underway at the Schools, the search for Director Arlyce Seibert's successor. After 46 exemplary years at Cranbrook and 22 years leading the Schools as Director, Arlyce has announced her decision to retire in June of 2018. Please know that I look forward to working with Arlyce as she transitions into retirement as well as working with her successor to ensure a smooth assimilation into our Community's special culture. I hope you will join me in congratulating Arlyce throughout the next year as we celebrate her many accomplishments during her historic Cranbrook tenure.
After 15 successful years at Cranbrook Institute of Science, the Organization for Bat Conservation and the Bat Zone will graduate to a new, larger location outside of Cranbrook's campus. An expanded weekend program schedule at the Institute of Science will be offered throughout May. Don't miss out on the batty fun before it migrates to Pontiac during the month of June. Stay tuned for a new hands-on program addition at the Institute that I know you will find equally as exciting and interesting.
Cranbrook Art Museum continues to celebrate Cranbrook's heritage with the new exhibition
Cranbrook: A New Domestic Landscape which showcases contemporary furniture and furnishings by recent alumni and Artists-in-Residence of Cranbrook Academy of Art. In June, the Museum will be the U.S. debut of the landmark exhibition
Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe, a retrospective of the designer who was a great friend to Cranbrook and known for bringing joy and color into mid-century modernism. You won't want to miss it.
Cranbrook's historic homes also are in transition. The Center for Collections and Research has envisioned an entirely new way of presenting Saarinen House, which can be witnessed through July during a guided tour of the exhibition,
Saarinen Home: Living and Working with Cranbrook's First Family of Design. On the other side of campus, Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary volunteers are transitioning a portion of the Sunken Garden back to its historic roots as a vegetable garden. I always enjoy looking out at the gardens on my way to and from my office at Cranbrook House, and encourage you to take advantage of free admission to Cranbrook's many gardens through the end of October.
In my life, I have found that transitions tend to be among the most exciting and, in some moments, most rewarding parts of life. Whatever transition you may currently be experiencing, and however far it may take you away from Cranbrook, I hope you will continue to stay in touch. Please know that we are always just a call or click away.
I also want to emphasize that although the academic year is drawing to a close, our entire community remains full of activities for you and your family this summer. In addition to the gardens, superb exhibitions at the Institute and Art Museum are here for you to enjoy, as are Cranbrook's many summer camps for young people. Plus, a full slate of tours of our historic homes and other activities organized through the Center for Collections and Research and House & Gardens Auxiliary are available over the warmer months. Please accept my personal invitation to visit with your family or summer guests.
Have a great spring and summer and please know that I always enjoy hearing from you throughout the year.