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Hansen Receives Kendall's 2013 Excellence Award for Painting

Sandra R. Hansen, of Holland, has been chosen as the 2013 Excellence Award Winner for the Painting program at Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design.

Kendall presents an Excellence Award to one graduating senior in each program of study. The KCAD faculty chooses each award winner based on their outstanding accomplishments in their area.

“As a ‘returning’ student, Sandra Hansen has displayed courage, intelligence and a willingness to accept the challenges inherent to exploring her strained and suppressed past,” said Diane Zeeuw, chair of Kendall’s Painting program.

Prior to focusing her talents on the visual arts, Hansen spent 18 years traveling across the country performing her original works, one-woman plays on famous American women. Her more recent travels have led her to India where she paints, teaches and exhibits her artwork. While Hansen’s thesis exhibition might be disturbing or uncomfortable for some viewers, it also serves to challenge their assumptions with its ambitious scope and purpose. In this exhibition, she tells the story of women throughout history by integrating various mediums with clothing. Hansen’s accomplishments in life and as a “returning” student attest to her passion for both painting and women’s history.

“I have really loved being at KCAD,” Hansen said. “My painting teachers were superb. They brought my art to a new level, which I was unable to do on my own. They cajoled me, praised me, encouraged me, fought with me, critiqued me and liked me. I had to work hard to keep up, but I loved every minute of it. I realized that I didn’t want to leave KCAD. So I enrolled for another three years in the graduate program.”

The complete list of this year’s Excellence Award winners is as follows:

“The Excellence Award winners represent the epitome of KCAD student achievement,” said Kendall President David Rosen. “They show a mastery shared by all our students, but taken by these few to a rare level.  It is a privilege to be in a community of young artists and designers like them, who so clearly have skills to shape the future of their chosen fields.”

The award winners will display their work in The Fed Galleries at the Historic Federal Building, 17 Pearl St. NW, through the end of July. 

As a unique part of Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design prepares students for leadership in the visual arts, design, art history, and art education; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity; and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally. For more information, please visit