The Herron Alumni Association has announced that Stephen Mueller (B.F.A. ‘76 with High Distinction) is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have brought honor to their alma mater by distinguishing themselves professionally or through extraordinary service to the school and university. Mueller has done both.
At a special gathering in the Basile Auditorium in Eskenazi Hall on Wednesday, October 8, Dean Valerie Eickmeier and Herron Alumni Association President Sara Love will present the award. The evening, which begins with a reception from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., will include a conversation about entrepreneurship and public art led by the dean, Chicago artist John Himmelfarb and Mueller from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Artist and entrepreneur Mueller is the co-founder of Vector Custom Fabricating, Inc., a Chicago company that specializes in the fabrication of architectural metals and monumental sculpture. Over the past 31 years, Vector has worked on the fabrication of large-scale works for renowned artists, including Vito Acconci, Mike Baur, Donald Gummer, John Himmelfarb, Terrence Karpowicz, Stephen Luecking, Neil Goodman, Martin Puryear, Christine Rojek and Bruce White.
Vector Fabricating’s architectural, sculptural and conservation services have benefitted Soldier Field, the University of Illinois, University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University and Governor State University, creating an inspiring environment for students, faculty and staff and the broader public alike at these institutions. Architectural works by Vector Fabricating can be found in the highest echelons of Chicago-area businesses.
Vector Fabricating donated its services to create and install the grand, ornamental staircase in Eskenazi Hall at Herron School of Art and Design. Mueller also has made significant gifts of art to the IU Art Museum, and to Herron in the form of Stacked, a sculpture by the late Professor Emeritus Gary Freeman.
Mueller and his wife, Deborah, are the creators of the High Lake Sculpture Garden, a private, one-acre sculpture park in West Chicago. This collection of monumental works focuses on contemporary Midwest artists.
Mueller’s work has been featured in 11 solo or group exhibitions since 2002. He joins recent recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award, including Lois Main Templeton (B.F.A. ‘81 in Painting), 2013; Garo Antreasian (‘48 in Fine Arts), 2012; Mike Garber (B.F.A. ‘97 in Visual Communications), 2011; David Bowen, (B.F.A. ‘99 in Sculpture), 2010; Leah Traugott (B.F.A. ‘46 in Painting), 2009; and Lois Davis (‘47 in Painting), 2008.