• December 5, 2021
 El Paso native and artist, Marianna Olague, awarded Berlin residency

El Paso native and artist, Marianna Olague, awarded Berlin residency

Officials with Cranbrook Academy of Art and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC, announced the selection of El Pasoan Marianna Olague as the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Michigan Emerging Artist Award recipient.

Olague was selected from among 10 finalists, one from each department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is a 2019 graduate of the Painting Department.  Her paintings are about the people and border town of El Paso, Texas, where she grew up.

“I create narrative portraits that depict the everyday lives of my family and friends. Inspired by Mexican murals, I depict my figures realistically but have them reside within a flattened narrative space where objects and symbols tell a story. 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,” said Olague.

Of winning the Michigan Emerging Artist Award, Olague continued, “Growing up my family never traveled, we simply couldn’t afford it. I’ve spent much of my life living in one place. 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.”

As the recipient of the Michigan Emerging Artist Award, Olague will participate in a two-month residency in Berlin, Germany this summer.

The residency includes travel, lodging, studio space at the international cultural center, the Küenstlerhaus Bethanien, local transportation, and a $5,000 stipend. Additionally, as part of a personalized networking program, Olague will receive introductions to important members of the international art community as well as complimentary admission to Berlin museums.

The Michigan Emerging Artist Award, now in its 15th year, is part of Cranbrook’s 18-year partnership with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, which also includes premier sponsorship of Cranbrook’s STUDIO and OPEN(STUDIOS) events, as well as the 2019 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art at Cranbrook Art Museum.

The company also supports the Academy, and partner schools in Texas, 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., and its business center in Fort Worth, Texas.

“When you travel the halls of the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Headquarters, it’s easy to feel as if you’re visiting an art museum, thanks to the talented Cranbrook artists who share their work in our Experiencing Perspectives program,” said Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

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.”

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

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