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Send Lauren to Cranbrook!

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Hello dear friends!  

In my years of art making, gallery owning, and curating you have all been my steadfast supporters. Now I am asking you to become what I am calling Contributing Producers to my future artistic endeavors. 

The Future Specific 

As many of you know I have been accepted into the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to earn my MFA in painting. Cranbrook is consistently one of the top ranking MFA programs in the 
United States and I will be spending the next two years developing my work into new and deeper directions. I will work alongside Painting Department Director Beverly Fishman and 14 other artists in my program. There are only 150 graduate students on the entire campus and no undergraduates at the school. It is a rigorous, advanced studio program dedicated to radical time and development of each artist’s work. There are no classrooms there is only the studio and the many visiting and resident artists who will be interacting with and critiquing my work. 

You likely already know how hard I have worked these past 20 years on developing and exhibiting my work. This is a pivotal moment for my development as an artist. 

At Cranbrook

This is an intentional investment of time coupled with the type of constant artistic dialogue that spurs dramatic growth. I am in the painting department but will be spending a lot of time in discussion and critique with other departments, including fiber and sculpture. 

My goals include developing a longer thought process that spans several pieces and various media, that pivot, and that do not easily sit into one single piece or category. I expect the intersection of nature and poetry will continue and I am excited for what unknowns will be introduced.

I am also excited about returning to research and publication as I have not truly pursued these avenues for some time. 

Why Now?

I have wanted to give myself this intense and focused time for the past 20 years since graduating from Purdue with my B.A. in Writing.

Since then I have been accepted into other graduate programs but ultimately chose not to attend because either the program wasn’t a good fit or it was not the right time in my life. Currently I have both: a great fitting program and the ability to pursue it.

Well, almost...

Cranbrook has given me a good start on tuition but there’s still a portion I need to cover for fall/spring 2018-2019. And here’s where I need your help and why I am asking you to become a Contributing Producer in this endeavor.

By helping me with this last bit of my tuition and fabrication costs I will be producing the next generation of my work while being able to avoid a debt overload that will negatively impact my work post-graduation and for years to come.

Tuition assistance now is not just about the next two years of work I will make at Cranbrook but the next decade’s worth of my art, writing, exhibitions, and other cultural contributions.

Why $12K on Go Fund Me? 

$12K will cover the shortfall for both semesters but in truth I am hoping to raise closer to $20K in order to reduce reliance on loans even further and expand the options for material exploration. 

Go Fund Me allows fundraising for tuition and a lot of other platforms do not but, most importantly, With Go Fund Me I won’t lose all we have raised if we don’t meet the set $12K goal.

But like I said, let’s shoot for $20K! Let’s see where this takes my work.

What next?

I hope you decide to join me as a Contributing Producer! I will be posting updates here frequently. I will do some writing and videos about the grad school application process (do you know how grueling a day-long interview process can be? Woof!), about my process as an artist including how working in retail management led to creating the thread drawings, and about our move to Michigan in preparation for the program to begin in September. 

Oh, right. The deadline! ASAP, as they say, but Sept. 1 is the goal

Are there perks?! 

There’s the assurance that you helped create at least the next decade’s worth of my creative output. However if you would like an actual physical reward: 

#1 You must let me know that you want a reward. 

#2 I will assign you a week in which you will receive your reward. This keeps me accountable and lets you know whenyou can expect your reward.  Rewards will be assigned in order of contributions and requests. That means if you contribute early and tell me you want a reward you will receive it sooner than someone who contributes later in the campaign or tells me later in the campaign they do want a reward. 

If we get a lot of contributors you might be waiting for a few months but hey that’s ok, right? 

#3 Rewards are not requests.

I have learned a hard lesson about rewards and that is that if they are treated like commissions they cost the artist time and money and completely negate any benefit of fundraising.

I believe that if you support me and believe in my work then you will be thrilled with the mystery piece that is coming your way. I promise I will not send you a spider if you are an arachnophobe, etc. But no matter the donation amount I will not be consulting with you on the piece. I may ask you if you have apreference of one finished work over another but you are here supporting my growth as an artist. Trust the piece you get will reflect that quality and that growth. 


$1 - $49 my unending thanks and, unless you tell me not to, a public thank you. 

$50 - $99 gets a personalized letter and some goofy drawing or other studio tidbit to make you smile. 

$100 - $299 gets a personalized letter and a finished sketch. 

$300 - $999 gets a personalized letter and a finished drawing (the size will align with your contribution amount). 

$1000 - $1,999 gets a phone call, a goodie box from my studio, a finished drawing (approx. 12” x 9” unframed). 

$2,000 - $3,500 gets a phone call, a goodie box from my studio, a finished drawing (approx. 24” x 20” unframed), a first-look at the finished work I make at Cranbrook. 

$3,501 - $5,000 gets a phone call, a good box from my studio, a finished drawing (approx. 30” x 40” unframed), a first-look at the finished work I make at Cranbrook and personalized insights of my experiences there before they go into the world. 

$5,000 + all of the above perks plus a special perk we will arrange, either a private video chat or instructional video or other special details/visits. 

THANK YOU so much for your time and consideration. And if you believe in me please share this with all your networks.  

All my love,




  • Anonymous
    • $300 
    • 5 yrs


Lauren Levato Coyne
Evanston, IL

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