Rick Lowe – Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
Artist Rick Lowe, who exhibited nationally and internationally, is the speaker for the Graduate Commencement and will receive an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Lowe whose community-based practice led him, along with six other artists, to found Project Row Houses (PRH), an organization that has transformed a neglected neighborhood in Houston into an expansive and visionary public art project. PRH, which started on a block and a half of derelict properties, is now an internationally recognized arts venue and community support center focused on transforming the community while preserving its culture. For his vision and effort, Lowe was awarded Rudy Bruner Awards in Urban Excellence; AIA Keystone Award, Heinz Award in the arts and humanities; Loeb Fellow at Harvard University, Mel King Fellow at MIT; Skandalaris Award for Art/Architecture, and USA Artists Booth Fellow. President Barack Obama appointed Lowe to the National Council on the Arts in 2013, and he was named a MacArthur Fellow in the class of 2014.
Maria Kalman – Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
Maria Kalman, an accomplished author, illustrator, designer, and artist, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel and soon relocated to New York's Bronx borough, she lives in Greenwich Village. After leaving New York University, Kalman evolved as an author, illustrator, designer, and artist. Her illustrations can be found in The New Yorker, including her much celebrated 2001 cover image titled New Yorkistan for which she collaborated with Rick Meyerowitz to re-imagine the city's disparate neighborhoods as Middle Eastern states. She is well-known for her illustrated version of Strunk and White's classic The Elements of Style. She also developed two monthly online columns for The New York Times that resulted in two published anthologies, The Principles of Uncertainty (2006-2007) and The Pursuit of Happiness (2009) by Penguin Press. Over the past thirty-five years she has written and illustrated almost twenty children's books, such as Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, 13 WORDS in collaboration with Lemony Snicket and Looking at Lincoln. She has also designed stage sets for theater and dance including collaborations with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Whether illustrating life's absurdities, peculiar curiosities, American history, or reflecting on Robert Walser, Kalman approaches each work with focused enthusiasm. The artist heralds that the "nature of curiosity is both about how people live their lives and about the bigger picture of how the world works."
Richard Tuttle – Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
Richard Tuttle, whose contemporary artistic expression revolutionized the landscape of modern art and the development of conceptualism and post-minimalism worldwide, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Richard Tuttle's work since the 1960s has revolutionized the landscape of contemporary art, challenging rules and notions of genre and media. Working with humble materials, Tuttle engages formal principles in his work, highlighting line, scale, and space as central concerns. His work exceeds any rational determinations, sensitizing viewers to perception and the unconscious. He has been the subject of more than two-hundred solo exhibitions during his career, including his first museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, curated by Marcia Tucker (1975), and his travelling retrospective organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2005). His work is included in more than fifty public collections worldwide. Tuttle's work has been included in numerous important group shows including Documenta (1972, 1977, 1982) and the Venice Biennale (1976, 1997, 2001). His 2014 commission for the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, I Don't Know, Or The Weave of Textile Language, coincided with a survey of his textile works with the same name at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. Born in 1941 in Rahway, New Jersey, Tuttle lives and works in Abiquiu, New Mexico; Mount Desert, Maine; and New York.