BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) – What happens when 80 emerging architects, artists and designers get together and throw themselves a party?  Find out at the “2011 Graduate Degree Exhibition,” one of the largest and most exciting exhibitions of art and design in the country, opening Saturday, April 16 at Cranbrook Art Museum.

The annual Degree Show of Cranbrook Academy of Art is the culmination of two years of studio work at the nation’s top-ranked independent graduate school of architecture, art and design.

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This is the same show that launched the careers of Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, Massamichi Udagawa, Anne Wilson, Hani Rashid, Nick Cave, Tony Matelli,  Ed Fella, Lorraine Wild, Martin Venezky, Beth Katleman, Peter Bohlin, Sonya Clark and many more.

The exhibition will feature the work of 81 emerging artists, reflecting the culmination of their time spent at the Academy. As always, be prepared to expect the unexpected. A knitted log cabin situated high atop a wooden tower on the back of a horse and a pontoon boat floating in the Triton Pools on the grounds of the Art Museum are just two of the many works that will capture your imagination.

New this year are Guide by Cell phone tours of the exhibition, along with extended hours, seven days a week, and free admission for the general public.

The backdrop for the “2011 Graduate Degree Exhibition” is the restored galleries of Cranbrook Art Museum that Eliel Saarinen originally designed in the late 1930s and early 1940s. While the renovations are not yet complete on this massive $21 million construction project, the public will enjoy an opportunity to see some of the finished details and work in progress.

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Once completed, the Museum will represent one of the most significant exhibition and research facilities in the United States. All will be revealed during the Grand Reopening of Cranbrook Art Museum on November 11, 2011.

The “2011 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art” runs April 17 through May 8, 2011, seven days a week, with extended hours on Thursday and Friday evenings: Monday through Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm; Thursday and Friday, 10 am – 9 pm. The Museum is closed on Easter Sunday, April 24.

Cranbrook Art Museum is located at 39221 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills. Admission is free during the run of this exhibition.

Cranbrook Academy of Art is the country’s only top-ranked, independent graduate school in architecture, design and fine art. Just 75 students are admitted each year to this two-year residential program that is led by ten celebrated artists working on a landmark campus that features: private studios for all, state-of-the art workshops and shared facilities including a public Art Museum, and Institute of Science. 

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