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Internationally Known Artist, Designer Ian Stallings to Receive Honorary Doctorate at KCAD Commencement

PhotoAcclaimed artist, designer, developer and urban planner Ian Stallings will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Art degree as part of Kendall College of Art and Design’s 2022 commencement on Saturday, May 7, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. (Photo courtesy Mary Ann Lawson)

San Francisco-based artist, designer, developer and urban planner Ian Stallings will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Art degree as graduates of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University celebrates commencement on Saturday, May 7 in Grand Rapids. KCAD’s commencement begins at 10 a.m. at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by KCAD for the many facets of my career thus far,” Stallings said. “I am exhilarated about the future opportunities to foster relationships with this fine creative community and hope to be a resource for all.”

Stallings graduated from the California College of the Arts in 1999 and established his design firm in 2004. Their notable residential and commercial projects developed worldwide. His acclaimed design philosophy aims to create functional and aesthetic notions unique to the client. Stallings moved from San Francisco to East Lansing as the COVID-19 pandemic arose, reaching out to KCAD shortly thereafter to begin collaborative opportunities. 
In December 2021, he established the Ian Stallings Design Endowed Scholarship.

“I have been impressed with the sophistication of the students, staff, and community that surround KCAD,” Ian said. “It is a remarkable place that I am very grateful to find myself being a part of now. There are a lot of artists and designers coming out of the college who inspire me a great deal. They are going to show us all kinds of new and interesting advances in the creative world.”

In May, Stallings will restore operations for the Wabash International Art Residency (WIAR), a program near his childhood home in Huntington, Indiana, that he founded in 2019 but was idled during the pandemic. With his leadership, WIAR provides artists with support, housing and studio space, where artists create bodies of work to exhibit in that region. One piece of art from each resident artist is added to a permanent collection, provided for display in public areas throughout the Northern Wabash River Valley.

There were 56 Kendall College of Art and Design graduates in December 2021 and 105 in Spring 2022. Approximately 128 plan to participate in the commencement exercises. Tickets are required to attend this ceremony on Saturday, May 7.

Master’s Thesis, Excellence Awards and Undergraduate Senior Exhibitions of student works will be on view at Kendall College of Art and Design, 17 Fountain Street NW in Grand Rapids beginning Monday, May 2 through Saturday, May 7, with an opening reception Tuesday, May 3 from 4 to 7 p.m.

“The supportive and healthy culture that has been created at KCAD is worth focusing on,” Stallings said. “The way critiques are structured is not driven by ego, but rather by nurturing talent to help keep them moving forward. It is very attractive and the kind of culture I like to be involved in.”