Every April, Cranbrook Academy of Art puts on an exhibit highlighting graduate students’ work throughout their college career.
With the 83-student graduating class, this year’s works are displayed both inside and outside for one of the biggest exhibits yet.
“It’s a very great experience because you get to see the innovation that is the forefront of art, architecture and design,” says Laura Mott, exhibition curator. “Cranbrook has an important legacy in that, and this is the next generation.”
The works are spread along 15,000 square feet inside the museum, in addition to seven interactive installations across the museum grounds, arranged in a complimentary way, which Mott says was like putting together a puzzle. The outdoor installations are new to the exhibit tradition.
Works are showcased from the school’s 10 departments: 2D and 3D Design, Architecture, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media and Sculpture.
Following the ArtMembers’ Opening Reception, from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, April 16, the exhibit opens to everyone April 17, but memberships can be purchased on the website and used at future events.
3D Design student Lulu Liu is from Shenzhen, China, and says art has always been her passion. Her work focuses on light, space and material, with acrylic as her main medium.
“Everything I see in life inspires my art,” Liu says. “I document all the beautiful little details in photos. I look at combinations of colors and textures in my everyday life. The edges of a building, the faint shadows when the sun sets, a drop of coffee on the table — they all inspire me to explore the world. When you have passion in life, it influences the way you think and that passion shows in your design.”
Katherine Gaydos, a photography graduate student and Rochester native, will display a project made up of stacked vessels coated with unfixed cyanotype, a light-sensitive photographic emulsion.
“My work is a contemplation on the sensual ways in which people inhabit their spaces, traditions, and body,” Gaydos says. “I am continually intrigued by how people interact and are affected by their environment and surrounding landscape. No matter the medium or project, these thoughts are the origin of all my work.”
2D Design student Kelsey Elder created a customizable typeface called Varnish for his project.
He says his works are inspired by “signs, neon, hand-lettering and found type … and lowrider culture.”
“I love signage, and am always documenting — usually while cruising around in my lowrider,” Elder says.
Guests to the exhibit can take their experience to the next level during the OPEN(STUDIOS) event on May 1.
This showcase takes people into the students’ studios to see their art more in depth and have a chance to ask the artists questions, as well as view and purchase pieces that weren’t on display.
In addition to seeing the projects of upcoming great artists, the Grad Exhibit is a great way for people to experience Cranbrook, Mott says. But overall, it’s what the students have been preparing for throughout their graduate careers.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity to see this generation of thinkers and makers,” Mott says.
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