Mercedes-Benz Financial Services


Marianna Olague 2019 Michigan Emerging Artist Award Recipient

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Marianna Olague of Cranbrook Academy of Art Named 2019 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Michigan Emerging Artist Award Recipient

Exploring the art scene in Germany. Meeting other artists—both aspiring and accomplished. Travel, lodging and studio space at the international cultural center Künstlerhaus Bethanien, along with a $5,000 stipend.

These are the perks that await Marianna Olague of Cranbrook Academy of Art, who has been offered a two-month residency as the school’s 2019 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Michigan Emerging Artist Award recipient.

Olague, a 2019 graduate of the Painting Department, was selected from among 10 finalists, one from each department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, who each presented to a jury while showcasing their work at Cranbrook Art Museum.

“I create narrative portraits that depict the everyday lives of my family and friends,” she says, describing her work that portrays the people and border town of El Paso, Texas, where she grew up. “I saturate my forms with bright hues, a color palette influenced by the rich culture and landscape of Mexico. As a result, each element is distinct and of equal importance mimicking traditional muralism and storytelling.”

“Growing up my family never traveled, as we simply couldn’t afford it, and I’ve spent much of my life living in one place,” Olague said. “Being accepted to Cranbrook was my first move away from home, and it has afforded me many opportunities. Now, thanks to Cranbrook and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, I get to travel abroad, which is far more than I could’ve bargained for when I chose to pursue graduate school. It’s truly amazing.”

The company also supports the Academy through its Experiencing Perspectives art program, which encompasses annual art exhibitions, tours, community conversations and other events. The Experiencing Perspectives exhibition is a year-long display of student and recent graduate art pieces throughout the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

“When you travel the halls of our headquarters, it’s easy to feel as if you’re visiting an art museum, thanks to the talented Cranbrook artists who share their work,” said Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. “For decades, our company has placed immense value on the positive influence of art in the workplace. Our partnership with Cranbrook and other schools provides emerging artists with career-advancing opportunities, and our employees with added inspiration and motivation in their daily work.”

Zieringer continued, “Our congratulations to Marianna on her accomplishments. With this award, we are pleased to be able to shine a spotlight on her talent and hard work.”

In addition to Olague’s prize, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services also awarded a $1,000 New Beginnings Award to each of the nine remaining Emerging Artist Finalists, including: True Harrigan, Fiber; Mark Wise, Architecture; Brian Vu, Ceramics; Tiffany Danielle Elliott, Sculpture; Tatum Gentry, Metalsmithing; Lorena Cruz Santiago, Photography; Brenden Lovejoy, 2D Design; Versia Harris, Print Media; Sunny Kim, 3D Design.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services for their continued support of the arts,” said Academy Director Susan R. Ewing. “This award provides our students with an opportunity they simply could not receive anywhere else. In addition to the financial award, our students gain a full roster of new connections, and each recipient returns from this trip even more grateful than when they left.”

Learn more about Marianna Olague and her work through her website.

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