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May 22, 2015

CIA honors Prof. Hollern with teaching excellence award

Contact: Ann McGuire
Director of Communications

CLEVELAND (OH) – Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) has bestowed its 2015 teaching excellence award on Professor Matthew Hollern, an accomplished jewelry and metals artist and designer.

Christopher Whittey, vice president of faculty affairs and chief academic officer, presented Hollern with CIA’s Schreckengost Teaching Award at the college’s commencement ceremony on May 16. The award recognizes teaching excellence at CIA over a period of at least 10 years. Hollern recently completed his 26th year of teaching at the four-year, independent college of art and design.

“Matthew has influenced and shaped the lives of many successful artists over the years, supporting them and mentoring them as students and as working professionals in the field,” Whittey said in presenting the award. “Undoubtedly he passes all of his experience to his students, putting them in a position of leadership and empowering them both personally and professionally. He has truly dedicated his life to passing along his incredible talent to his students.”

CIA’s teaching excellence award was established in 2000 to honor the late Viktor Schreckengost, a 1929 graduate and internationally known industrial designer and ceramicist who taught at CIA for almost 70 years and was the award’s first recipient.

Hollern chairs CIA’s Jewelry + Metals Department. In his work as both an artist and a teacher, he incorporates the traditions of craft with new studio technologies, including 3D modeling, 3D printing, and new and novel materials. He served as co-chair of the 2005 Society of North American Goldsmiths conference in Cleveland, and on leadership committees for SIGGRAPH, the annual international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. He was Conference Art Director for the 2010 SIGGRAPH event in Los Angeles.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award, particularly with the idea that Viktor Schreckengost was the hybrid, a wonderful craftsman, artist, and designer who was obviously very interested in the new and the future.”

At CIA, Hollern established an annual, student-led runway show to encourage students from all majors to create and display new concepts in accessories, design, and conceptual wearable art.

“We are fortunate to have Matthew on faculty,” said CIA President Grafton Nunes. “He is a dedicated professor who upholds high standards in the craft and design of jewelry and metal work, while continually pushing the boundaries of the discipline. He regularly introduces his students to new technologies, new materials, and new thinking. His students, in turn, graduate ready to pursue successful careers as artists and designers.”

Hollern’s own work is included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Vatican Archive, Design Museum Helsinki - Finland, the Ohio Crafts Museum, and Cleveland Art Association, among many other public and private collections. His work has been exhibited across the country and abroad.

He has received research and professional development grants from the Society of North American Goldsmiths, Lilly Foundation, and Cleveland Institute of Art’s John and Maxeen Flower Fund. He was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, and two Artist Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council.

Hollern attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he majored in both art and French. He spent his junior year in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, where he also studied blacksmithing. He went on to earn a master of fine arts degree from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he was introduced to CAD/CAM (computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing), sparking a life-long passion.

About CIA

Founded in 1882, Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design offering 15 majors in studio art, digital art, craft disciplines, and design. CIA extends its learning opportunities to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; a robust continuing education program; and the Cinematheque, a year-round art and independent film festival. CIA’s public programming is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. For more information visit

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