Art and Design Duo recognized by American Craft Council

March 28, 2001

EDITORS: Photo available on request.

ANN ARBOR—A pair of University of Michigan artists has been admitted to the American Craft Council‘s College of Fellows. One of the few husband and wife teams ever to receive this honor, Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski and Eugene Pijanowski, both professors in U-M’s School of Art and Design, become part of a College of Fellows that includes such craft luminaries as weaver Anni Albers, glass artist Dale Chihuly, furniture artist Wendell Castle, and ceramicist Peter Voulkos.

The metalsmith artists met in graduate school at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and studied in Japan, learning more about that country’s traditions in metal work. Their work, as their lives, is a study in integration. An “American Craft” article once said of the couple: “Borrowing from ancient techniques and blending Japanese and American sensibilities in an ongoing collaboration as subtle as the whispered confidences of lovers, Hiroko and Gene Pijanowski set no limits on ideas, skills, and themselves.”

At one time considering operating a laundry business or becoming a mathematician, Eugene Pijanowski found his calling in the art electives he was taking at Wayne State University. Today his works are included in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan, the Vienna Museum of Applies Arts in Austria, Texas Tech University, the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, the Artwear Gallery in New York City, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and private collections around the world.

Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, who has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and has exhibited her work in most of the major exhibitions of jewelers around the world since the late ’60s, has works that can be seen in museum and gallery collections around the world, including the National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian Institution) in Washington and the Danner Collection in Munchen, Germany.

Awarded annually by the American Craft Council to distinguished members of the crafts community, induction into its College of Fellows recognizes the outstanding careers of individuals who have made major contributions to the crafts. The designation ACC Fellow signifies an artist of outstanding ability who has worked in his or her respective field for at least 25 years. The College of Fellows is based on peer election.

The American Craft Council is a national, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to fostering an environment in which craft is understood and valued. Founded in 1943, the Council has a distinguished history of innovative programming that has provided a vital base for the emergence of the contemporary craft movement in the United States in the decades since WW II.

American Craft Council