President’s Letter

September 2018

With fall soon upon us, it is a pleasure to welcome you back for the start of a new academic year. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and as the leaves will soon begin to turn, I find myself reflecting on what an extraordinary summer we had here at Cranbrook. Our new Director of Schools, Aimeclaire Lambert Roche, and Interim Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Susan R. Ewing, arrived on campus eager to meet students and staff; Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research reimagined some of their spaces to better serve you; and Cranbrook Institute of Science opened a new exhibition exploring the work of Leonardo da Vinci. If you were not able to visit the campus this summer, I hope you will plan to visit early this fall. As always, there’s plenty to see and experience across our entire Community!

Aimeclaire (AC) arrived on campus early last month with her fiancé Nathan, bringing 30 years of education and leadership experience. She was formerly the Head of The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California, and President of the Board of Directors at the California Association of Independent Schools. AC plans to spend the 2018-2019 school-year learning about the Schools’ culture, traditions, initiatives, and curriculum. By forging relationships with teachers, students, and others throughout the Community, she’s already working to fully appreciate not just what matters here, but how and why it matters.

We will officially welcome Aimeclaire to Cranbrook at a celebration on November 2. More details on this event will be available soon. All Cranbrook constituents are encouraged to attend and I hope you will consider joining us. I am truly excited to have AC leading the Schools and hope you will join me in wishing her a marvelous first year at Cranbrook, and many more to come!

In early August, Susan Ewing was named Interim Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art. With decades of experience and international recognition as a metalsmith, professor, and administrator, Susan will collaborate with and guide the Artists-in-Residence and mentor the Academy staff as we look toward the future. She is a strong strategic thinker and we look forward to the fresh insight she will bring to the Academy’s programs. If you would like the opportunity to meet with Susan, I encourage you to attend the Art Museum’s fall exhibitions opening on November 16. The exhibitions, Annabeth Rosen: Fired, Broken, Gathered, Heaped; Binion/Saarinen: A McArthur Binion Project; and Danielle Dean: A Portrait of True Red, examine the work of the Academy’s alumni and Artists-in-Residence.

There were also some exciting developments at Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research over the summer. The Center transformed the former Seminar Room into a new Reading Room for the Archives within the Collections Wing of the Art Museum. This custom-designed space will now provide storage for the Archives’ most important collections and access for visiting scholars, researchers, and the public. The former Reading Room, in the lower level of the Museum, will now serve as the Art Museum’s Art Lab, an exciting new creative space for adults, families, and children. The new space will allow museum educators to offer hands-on events that make direct connections to what visitors encounter in the Art Museum. I hope you will save the dates and join us in celebrating the opening of the Archives new space on September 16 and Art Lab on September 29.

The internationally-acclaimed exhibition Da Vinci Machines & Robotics opened at Cranbrook Institute of Science in late July and will continue through January 2019. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take your family to the Institute to check out over 75 installations reconstructed from the manuscripts and drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. Many of these are hands-on and allow our visitors to experience for themselves some of Da Vinci’s most creative and thought-provoking devices. I know you will enjoy this extraordinary exhibition as much as I have.

At their August meeting, the Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary board voted in favor of reconstructing the Gatehouse with a new ADA accessible restroom and pathway, as well as a refillable water station. This project will begin in late October and should be finished before the end of the year.

Summer may be winding down but there are still plenty of things to do at Cranbrook. On a fall walk, I am reminded of the beauty of our 319-acre campus. It is full of architecturally significant buildings, wonderful landscapes, beautiful art sculptures and at this time, bustling with students and visitors and exciting experiences beginning across the Program Areas. It reminds me of a speech from George Booth to the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts in 1917. “Art is not a thing apart, an ornament added to life. It is the outward expression of man’s struggle towards the ideal. … In whatever form it manifests itself—whether we build our lives and characters true and fine, or do our daily work and service in truth, or fashion with our hands some simple article of linen or wood, clay or silver, the spirit has its opportunities for expression.” There is magic in every corner of Cranbrook, and I hope you will take the time to discover it this fall!

Dominic A. DiMarco, President
Cranbrook Educational Community
248 645.3100

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