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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - Local artist and OU instructor named a 2011 Kresge Fellow
By Katie Land, news editor

Corrie Baldauf has been selected for a 2011 Kresge Artist Fellowship.
Local artist Corrie Baldauf is ready to make her mark on first Detroit, then, the world. The Oakland University special lecturer in Studio Art recently received a $25,000 fellowship from the Kresge Foundation for her work.

Designed to reward creative vision, the fellowships seek to support and advance the work of the artistic community in the Metropolitan Detroit tri-county area (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb).

In all, 11 Detroit area artists and one artist collaborative were recognized with the 2011 Kresge Artist Fellowships in the visual arts, with a total of $300,000 awarded.

As an OU instructor, Baldauf works closely with her students to explore different theories and different artistic mediums. Prior to becoming a fellow herself, Baldauf utilized projects of past fellows to push her students in new artistic directions.

“These awards illustrate the integration that this opportunity brings to artists, education and the sparks of ideas happening all over the Detroit area,” she said. “I am inspired by the artists and writers that shared their insight as I prepared my proposal. My artistic ideas and projects are a physical culmination and representation of the perceptions of the people in my life.”

As an artist, Baldauf’s work has been exhibited internationally and has been included in major collections in Michigan and Kansas. The Chicago native earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and her bachelor’s degree at Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri.

Baldauf’s fellowship proposal included a plan to compile and create a story for National Public Radio broadcast over the next year. She intends to open up an ongoing conversation with other Kresge fellows and the people that help make these opportunities happen. With a little perseverance, she hopes to connect with NPR’s “The Story,” and “This American Life.”

Additionally, Baldauf is in the process of creating a new project that sent her on a 5,000 mile road trip this summer. The project, “Fifty Versions of America,” requires that she find a sign painter from each state who will create an original sign in their personal style that reads “America.”

Supporting local artists is an important component to a thriving community, and the Kresge Fellowship creates great opportunities, according to Baldauf.

“As an artist, it is my role to tap into and reflect the experiences and events in the Detroit area that compel disparate communities to interact and thrive,” she continued. “In this past year I could be found 'realizing' these moments in ten cities within and surrounding the Metropolitan Detroit area.”

Baldauf believes that it is not only in the big moments of life where an artist can find inspiration, but the small ones as well. “Stepping into my everyday surroundings gives me a clear understanding of the ideas that mark the collective and fragmented perceptions of Michigan,” she said. “I give a great deal of consideration to the places and ideas that draw me in, especially those that people disregard. This is where I find my alchemy.”

Currently, Baldauf’s work can be viewed on her website at corriebaldauf.com. For more information about Oakland's art and art history programs, view the website at oakland.edu/art-history.