February 06, 2007

Museum exhibit honors the 'Cranbrook 5'

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Over the past half-century, five graduates of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., one of the nation's top art programs, have shaped art and art education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. SIUC's University Museum will honor the "Cranbrook 5" with a retrospective.

From now until March 9, the "Cranbrook Connection" exhibit features works by five SIUC art professors, past and present. On Friday, Feb. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m., the University Museum will hold a free public reception for the artists.

Hours at the University Museum are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call the museum at 618/453-5388 or visit http://www.museum.siu.edu.

"This really is a beautiful show," said Dona R. Bachman, director of the University Museum. Bachman and Savannah J. Short curated the exhibit.

The "Cranbrook 5" all earned their master's of fine arts degrees from Cranbrook and "each of them has and is making an impact on their fields and on the profession of teaching at SIUC," Bachman said.

SIUC professor emeriti Larry Bernstein graduated from Cranbrook in 1953, L. Brent Kington graduated in 1961 and Aldon M. Addington graduated in 1966. Harris Deller, a 1973 graduate, directs the School of Art and Design and Jerry C. Monteith, a 1978 graduate, is an associate professor of art.

"Cranbrook was an ideal environment for making art and I felt being there was a privilege. I was made to feel that receiving my degree was a beginning and not an end," Deller said.

Bob DeHoet, director of museum education programs, added, "Any university would be proud to have five Cranbrook graduates on their faculty."

Despite the range of disciplines, from painting to ceramics to sculpture to metal work, each of the five scholars shares a single-minded dedication to his art and recognition of the importance of mentoring their students.

"Cranbrook's program was like SIUC's in that photography, sculpture, painting, ceramics, print, metals, etc., were all in a close community that acknowledged and respected one another," said Monteith.