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Heather McGill is Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Sculpture Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She studied at the University of California at Davis and received her M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1984. Prior to becoming Artist-in-Residence at Cranbrook, McGill taught at the University of California at Berkeley and at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
McGill has received grants for both permanent and temporary installations from the National Endowment for the Arts, LEF Foundation, Ford Foundation, California Arts Council, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. As a two-year Artist-in-Residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, she designed a piece that became part of the permanent collection after traveling through Europe. In 1999, she received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Awar and in 2011 the Kresge Artist Fellowship. She has lectured and served as a panelist at many universities and conferences in the United States, and recently as a peer reviewer for the Fulbright Fellowship applicants in 2001-03.
A former California resident, McGill created installations throughout the West Coast exploring the historical, environmental, and cultural systems specific to each site. Outdoor permanent sculpture includes works in the city of San Rafael and for the State of California at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Sanctuary. Her work is included in the public collections of Sprint, Albright-Knox Gallery, Fidelity Investments, Compuware, Miami Art Museum, Kresge Art Museum, Progressive Art Collection, Hallmark, Daimler, and the Detroit Institute of the Arts.