In 2001 when I came to SIUC, I noticed that a number of Art & Design faculty, past and present, received their Master of Fine Arts' degrees from Cranbrook Academy of Art. I thought at the time that this would make an interesting exhibit..
Now, five years later, this idea has come to fruition. The Cranbrook 5 (as I have taken to calling them); Larry Bernstein, Graduated 1953, Brent Kington, graduated 1961, Aldon Addington, graduated 1966, Harris Deller, graduated 1973, and Jerry Monteith, graduated 1978, have become my colleagues and friends.
Their connection to Cranbrook continues to intrigue me. More significantly, their fifty-year tradition from the 1950's to the 1970's has helped shape the remarkable School of Art and Design at SIUC. Each of them has and is making an impact on their fields and on the profession of teaching at SIUC. As Bob DeHoet, Director of Museum Education programs, commented, "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 these five share a single-minded dedication to his art and a recognition of the importance of mentoring their students.
It was a pleasure working on this exhibit with the artists and with my staff. The artists' folders were largely assembled from the Artist Files theat Lori Huffman, Curator of Collections, has overseen for some twenty-five years. I am appreciative of Exhibit Designer Nate Steinbrink's talent and Bob DeHoet's graphic skills.
An added pleasure was an opportunity to work with my Fall 2006 Public Relations intern through the Department of Speech Communications, Savannah Short. Savannah's interviewing skills brought out the reflections of the artists as they considered their graduate school days. Lou Ann Elwell of the School of Art and Design was very helpful in tracking down dates and photographs.
Finally I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Cranbrook's Leslie Edwards and Felicia Molnar who provided photographs and reasearch on the Cranbrook 5's graduate years.
Southern Illinois University