Press Releases

Posted on May 12, 2015

Aaron Patrick Decker Receives the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award

Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate awarded artist residency in Berlin

Cranbrook Academy of Art is pleased to announce that Aaron Patrick Decker has been awarded the “2015 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award.” This is the tenth year Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has given an Academy graduate the award.

Decker was selected from among 10 finalists, one from each department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a recent graduate of the Metalsmithing department.

“This award is such a privilege to receive,” says Decker. “To be able to travel, work and meet people in another country who are invested in art is such a gift. I have spent the past two years in my studio at Cranbrook just thinking, making and working. It has been an amazing education and I am so excited to take this opportunity and really run with it. It’s going to be an amazing summer!”

The Emerging Artist Award is part of Cranbrook’s 15-year partnership with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, which also includes premier sponsorship of Cranbrook’s recent STUDIO and OPEN(STUDIOS) events, as well as the 2015 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art at Cranbrook Art Museum. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services also supports an annual year-long exhibition and display of student and recent graduate art pieces throughout the company’s regional headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Decker Art

“Our long-standing partnership with Cranbrook Academy of Art has created a foundation that connects art with workplace culture and enables Mercedes- Benz Financial Services to support emerging and established artists working and studying in our community,” said Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. “This year’s competition was very difficult and all ten finalists impressed the jury in unique ways. We congratulate Aaron Patrick Decker and all of the finalists on their inspiring and visionary work.”

Decker will receive a two-month stay in Berlin from July 1 to August 31, 2015. The trip includes airfare and lodging, an expense stipend of $5,000, a vehicle and an art pass that grants free access to museums in Berlin. Most importantly, the Emerging Artist will also live and work as an artist-in-residence Mercedes- Benz Financial Services’ Berlin partner, the Küenstlerhaus Bethanien, which will include a personalized networking program with members of the international art and business community.

Each finalist presented to a jury last week while showcasing their work currently on display at the 2015 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art at Cranbrook Art Museum. Jurors included Peter Zieringer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Leila M. Matta, Manager of Brand Identity, Design, and Art Programs for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Chris Scoates, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum, Marilyn Finkel, Professor of Art History at Oakland Community College and Governor of Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Ron Platt, Chief Curator of Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Cranbrook Academy of Art Director Christopher Scoates appreciates the extraordinary commitment of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services to the Academy students. “This partnership is about so much more than simply providing financial support for arts education,” he says. “It provides our students with connections to those in our greater community, and shows them that the arts can be supported and appreciated in other sectors, and how important creativity can be in today’s workspaces.”

About Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Academy of Art is the country’s top ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design and fine art. Each year, just 75 students are invited to study and live on our landmark Saarinen-designed campus, which features private studios, state-of-the art workshops, a renowned Art Museum, and 300 acres of forests, lakes, and streams, all a short drive from the red-hot art, design, and music scene of Detroit. The focus at Cranbrook is on studio practice in one of 10 disciplines: Architecture, 2D and 3D Design, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. The program is anchored by celebrated Artists- and Designers-in-Residence, one for each discipline, all of whom live and practice on campus alongside our students. For more information, visit us at

About Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Mercedes‐Benz Financial Services USA LLC, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., with Business Center Operations in Fort Worth, Texas, provides brand‐specific financial products and services for Mercedes‐Benz and smart automotive dealers and their retail customers. In the U.S. trucking industry, it conducts business as Daimler Truck Financial and provides flexible financial products and services for Daimler Trucks North America commercial vehicles branded Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Bus and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. Mercedes‐Benz Financial Services USA LLC serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, and has approximately 1,800 employees throughout the Americas. It is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, which does business in 40 countries and has an employee base of approximately 8,800 people worldwide. Daimler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide and was named one of the 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by the Great Place To work Institute in 2014. For more information, please visit or For more information about Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Experiencing Perspectives art program and community art partnerships visit: