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Kresge Eminent Artists

Detroit

Celebrating more than a decade’s worth of artistic excellence, mentoring and community involvement

Each year, for more than a decade, The Kresge Foundation has named an Eminent Artist for excellence in the visual, performing or literary arts. Artists are selected for a lifetime of contributions to their art forms and to the cultural community of metropolitan Detroit.

The artists are honored in a number of ways, including the production of a video and a monograph about their life and career. All monographs remain available for free download; complimentary hard copies are available by request (while supplies last) by submitting this form.

Videos, stories, and links to download monographs celebrating each Kresge Eminent Artist are below:


2020: Marie Woo

Marie Woo is only 70 years into her career as an arts educator, researcher, curator and preservationist. A technical master and a playful innovator, she has been called “the potter’s potter” for her ability to explore and expand traditional forms. Her vessels and large sculptural wall pieces appear in permanent collections around the globe, and her creations are noted by critics for intentionally and jarringly obliterating the line between form and function.

Read about her selection
Detroit Public TV video profile of Marie Woo
October 2020 Exhibition “Marie Woo: Clay Quest” virtual opening video
Request a copy of the monograph on Marie Woo, “Wonder and Flow,” using this form.
Download a copy of “Wonder and Flow” here.


2019: Gloria House

Gloria House’s remarkable journey in art and activism includes a five-decades-deep legacy as a poet, human and civil rights activist, organizer and educator. She has published four poetry collections under her chosen African name, Aneb Kgositsile. She has also been an activist since the student and civil rights movement of the 1960s and a professor at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Download the monograph
Read about her selection


2018: Wendell Harrison

Wendell Harrison’s lifelong devotion to jazz and its traditions has led him to a 60-year career and international acclaim as a tenor saxophonist and clarinetist, bandleader, composer, publisher, publicist, producer, entrepreneur, educator and organizer.

Download the monograph
Read about his selection


2017: Patricia Terry-Ross

Terry-Ross spent 31 years at the helm of Cass Technical High School’s Harp and Vocal Ensemble; her former students include notables in classical instrumental music, opera and jazz. As a performer, she has contributed to numerous Motown sessions, has performed frequently with the Detroit Symphony, and has been the Michigan Opera Theatre’s principal harpist since 1976.

Download the monograph
Read about her selection


2016: Leni Sinclair

A recognized leader of the 1960s-70s countercultural movement in Detroit, which she amply documented through vivid and dramatic photography, Sinclair may be best known for capturing the raucous rock n’ roll scene of that era, including photographs of such rock legends as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and jazz icons such as Miles Davis and Sun Ra.

Download the monograph
Read about her selection


2015: Ruth Adler Schnee

Schnee’s eye and imagination have brought colorful, abstract textiles and designs into personal, commercial and civic spaces. From living rooms, fitting rooms and hospital rooms to museums, showrooms and skyscrapers, her textiles appear in the most intimate and the most iconic settings. Schnee’s textiles are in the collections of The Henry Ford, the Art Institute of Chicago and Cranbrook Art Museum, among other institutions. (Hard copies of monograph are no longer available.)

Download the monograph
Read about her selection


2014: Bill Rauhauser

The dean of Detroit street photographers, Rauhauser has devoted more than 60 years to “being there” – being present and engaged on the city’s streets, inside the studio and inside the classroom. Rauhauser’s photos have appeared in numerous exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and the Detroit Institute of Arts. (Hard copies no longer available.)

Download the monograph
Read about his selection


2012: Naomi Long Madgett

An award-winning poet, editor and educator, Madgett nurtured aspiring poets through her teaching, annual poetry award and publishing company. Her poems have appeared in scores of anthologies and have been recognized with major awards including an American Book Award. She was named Poet Laureate of Detroit in 2001. Lotus Press, which she founded, has published many collections by emerging and established poets.

Download the monograph
Read about her selection


2011: Bill Harris

A renowned literary artist and educator whose poetry, prose, and playwriting have won him acclaim from Detroit to New York City, Harris also has cultivated creative writing talent and literary expression among young people in Metropolitan Detroit as a professor of English at Wayne State University as a community educator.

Download the monograph
Read about his selection


2009: Marcus Belgrave

A master trumpet player who played alongside some of jazz music’s most famous figures, including Louis Armstrong. Belgrave enthralled audiences world-wide with his musical virtuosity and mentored scores of aspiring young musicians through his decades-long career. (Hard copies no longer available.)

Download the monograph
Read about his selection


2008: Charles McGee

McGee’s distinguished career includes hundreds of exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad as well as contributions to Detroit’s cultural community as mentor, teacher and arts advocate. His paintings, assemblages and sculptures are in collections worldwide, and permanently installed at institutions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. (Hard copies no longer available.)

Download the monograph
Read about her selection

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