Vija Celmins


Honorary Degree (2013)
Doctor of Fine Arts
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie


Vija Celmins, a native of Latvia whose family immigrated to Indianapolis, is a highly respected international artist who continues to create work today. She is best known for her painting, drawing and printmaking. Her work is cited in Jonathan Fineberg's "Art Since 1940," considered to be one of the top textbooks in the United States for the contemporary period. She has been profiled on the award-winning PBS series "Art in the 21st Century" and in countless journals and magazines.

Vija was a recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "genius" Fellowship in 1997 and the year before received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Artists Fellowships, a Carnegie Prize, the Roswitha Haftmann Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, Foundation Cartier pour l'art contemporian in Paris, High Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, just to name a few.