Cranbrook students gain inspiration from campus

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 23, 2024

  The 2024 “Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art” includes Olivia Guterson’s “Becoming Lost.”

The 2024 “Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art” includes Olivia Guterson’s “Becoming Lost.”

Photo provided by the Cranbrook Art Museum


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Over 50 Cranbrook Academy of Art graduates are featured in the 2024 “Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art,” which will be open to the public through May 12.

The exhibition can be found in the upper galleries of Cranbrook Art Museum, 39221 Woodward Ave. Work from 11 academy departments are represented in the show, including: 2D design, 3D design, 4D design, architecture, ceramics, fiber, metalsmithing, painting, photography, print media and sculpture.

This year’s exhibit was curated by Associate Curator of Collections Kat Goffnett and Curatorial Fellow at Cranbrook Art Museum Andrew Ruys de Perez. They collaborated on the show last year as well.

“Our process, again, is also kind of under a constant revision to try to make the show as strong as possible, both for the museum and for the academy artists,” Goffnett said.

In February, the students submit two-three pieces as proposals for the exhibition. As they are putting together the show, the curators made studio visits to get to know the artists and their work. Goffnett shared that there is a lot of dialogue between the artists and the curators throughout this process as they figure out which pieces will work best in the curation of the exhibition overall.

“There’s a few students this year that were actually inspired by the grounds of Cranbrook,” Ruys de Perez said.

While the pieces in the exhibition all vary in theme, some of the students were drawn to create work based on Cranbrook’s campus.

For instance, one of the students, Evan Mazellan, is making paintings in response to the bronze sculptures on campus.

“A lot of his paintings are about sort of sight and spectacle, as well as privacy and sort of thinking about how these sculptures play into Cranbrook’s landscape,” Ruys de Perez said.

Other pieces the curators highlighted from the exhibition are graduating artists Olivia Guterson and Hanna Ryynänen.

Guterson’s work, “Becoming Lost,” was created with oil, acrylic, ink, sawdust, steel wire, cotton thread, wood, glass seed beads, gunmetal, brown sugar, pumice, sand, glitter, cornstarch, chalk and breath on cotton canvas.

In the art, Guterson explores brokenness, refusal and fugitivity, and she dedicated the work as an offering to her ancestors.

Ryynänen’s “As if the World Depended on This” was created with steel, copper, brass, aluminum, stone, glass, orange peel, LED light, ceramic casting mold, water, copper sulfate and plants.

Ryynänen is another student who was inspired by campus, since she used Cranbrook Institute of Science’s observatory during her time on campus for research and inspiration for her artwork.

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