Ceramicist Marie Woo selected as 2020 Kresge Eminent Artist

February 1, 2020 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — A Chinese American ceramicist described as a “transformational force” whose work possesses “a phenomenal level of craft” was awarded a $50,000 lifetime achievement award from the Kresge Foundation.

The foundation, based in the Detroit suburb of Troy, said Marie Woo is the 12th Detroit-area artist to be selected as a Kresge Eminent Artist. The unrestricted prize is given annually to recognize exceptional work, professional achievement, significant impact on art form and generous contributions to Detroit’s cultural environment.

The Seattle native, who came to Detroit in 1956 to study with Finnish American ceramicist Maija Grotell, said in a release that she was surprised the foundation recognized “an Asian potter.” Woo’s work is included in collections in numerous museums, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Alfred Ceramic Museum, Mills College Museum of Art and The Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design.

“Marie Woo has been a transformational force in the elevation and development of her art form, and in the enrichment of our cultural community,” Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Her creations reflect a phenomenal level of craft and a fluidity of mind to which we can all aspire.”