On March 31, 2011, the New York Times ran an article on the artist Sheila Hicks. Her current retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, “Sheila Hicks: 50 Years,” follows her work over the last half century. Over the years, her work has engendered many forms, knitting a rich conversation between art, design and craft.
This article caught my attention because after Hicks completed her MFA, she was awarded a Fulbright grant to Chile in 1957. She traveled around Latin America where she learned weaving techniques from artisans in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. Since her travels around Latin America, Hicks has worked all over the world–Mexico, Chile, and South Africa, Morocco and India. She currently splits her time between Paris and New York.
Living and working abroad is not always an easy endeavor, but Hicks put a positive spin on the matter. She explained: “There’s an immense amount of freedom in being an outsider. You’re a heretic. So it becomes a way of life.”
This article piqued my interest. Since Sunday night, I have been trolling the internet looking for artists and designers who are also former Fulbright Grant recipients. The list below is what I have unearthed so far:
Margaret McCann (one of my professors at Boston University)
Christian Benefiel (another current grantee in Helsinki)
A word about Cranbrook:
The Cranbrook Academy of Art (my alma mater) was recognized by the Chronicle for Higher Education for surpassing other similarly sized institutions in per capita for the receipt of Fulbright grants. Over 32 grants have been awarded to graduates from the Cranbrook Academy of Art since 1990, an especially impressive figure given the size of Cranbrook: there are only about 150 students total in ten departments in any given year.
Some of Cranbrook’s Fulbright grant recipients include:
Sarah C. Turner (currently the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at Cranbook)