Gilbert Fellows 2022

Gilbert Fellows 2022

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Christopher Salas, Kelly Chuning, Akea Brionne, Walker Walls-Tarver, Dalila Sanabria, Kevin Cendejas, Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Delia Touche, Rachel Thomas, George Perez, Luis Quintanilla, Rebecca Pedley, Rashaun Rucker, Reuben Telushkin. Photo: PD Rearick.

November 18, 2022
Gilbert Fellows 2022
Cranbrook Academy of Art
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Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
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Cranbrook Academy of Art is proud to announce the first two classes of Gilbert Fellows, who have received full-tuition support to pursue studies at the MFA and MArch-granting institution.

The fellowships are part of the Gilbert Family Foundation’s larger 30 million USD gift to Cranbrook in 2021. This transformational gift is intended to accelerate the school’s efforts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to address systemic barriers to access within graduate art and design education.

Cranbrook will award up to ten Gilbert Fellowships each academic year to students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who historically have not seen significant opportunities for specialized degrees in architecture, art, and design. Prospective candidates self-identify when applying to the program, and consideration is given to the financial need of students.

Academy Director, Paul Sacaridiz, said, “At a time when the cost of higher education is quickly becoming out of reach for many people, the Gilbert Fellows program is helping Cranbrook make an intentional and long-term commitment to support artists, architects, and designers of color. And as they launch their professional careers, these inspiring individuals will play a vital role in shifting the narrative of who is represented in the fields of architecture, art, and design, and by extension help to shape a more equitable future.” 

Fellowships are available to both domestic and international students and are renewed annually for the duration of the two-year program. A permanent endowment has also been established through the gift, ensuring that Cranbrook can provide these resources in perpetuity.

The current two classes of Gilbert Fellows include Akea Brionne (Photography 2023), Kevin Cendejas (Architecture 2023), George Perez (Photography 2023), Christopher Salas (Ceramics 2023), Dalila Sanabria (Sculpture 2023), Jae Song (4D Design 2023), Delia Touche (Print Media 2023), Walker Walls-Tarver (Painting 2023), Kelly Chuning (Fiber 2024), Olivia Guterson (Painting 2024), Yasmeen Nematt Alla (Sculpture 2024), Rebecca Pedley (3D Design 2024), Luis Quintanilla (2D Design 2024), Rashaun Rucker (Print Media 2024), Reuben Telushkin (4D Design 2024), and Rachel Thomas (Photography 2024).

Upon receiving the fellowship, student Luis Quintanilla said, “It has always been apparent to me that Cranbrook stands out among graduate art programs as the only place where artists lead the conversation of research, theory, and activation; not only is this reflected in the gallery space but in the actual day-to-day operations. I have seen, as evidenced by artists from Cranbrook, that this agency to think through materials and massage ideas is inextricably tied to a sustainable studio practice.” 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022–23 academic year and prospective candidates are encouraged to apply now. Full details can be found on our website, and the application deadline is February 1, 2023.

Read more about each fellow on our website.

About Cranbrook Academy of Art
Cranbrook Academy of Art is the country’s top-ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design, and fine art. Each year, just 75 students are invited to study and live on our landmark Saarinen-designed campus, which features private studios, state-of-the-art workshops, a renowned Art Museum, and 300 acres of forests, lakes, and streams, all a short drive from Detroit. The focus at Cranbrook is on studio practice in one of 11 disciplines: Architecture, 2D, 3D, and 4D Design, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. The program is anchored by celebrated Artists-in-Residence, one for each discipline, all of whom live and practice on campus alongside our students. For more information, visit

About the Gilbert Family Foundation
The Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to accelerate a cure for neurofibromatosis type one (NF1) and build economic opportunity and equity in the city of Detroit. The Gilbert Family Foundation supports groundbreaking, cutting-edge research in hopes of eradicating NF1, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. Additionally, the Foundation supports the economic stability and mobility of residents in Detroit by investing in wealth-building opportunities and breaking down systemic barriers.

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November 18, 2022

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