Nicholas Kripal died – Tyler prof, Crane Arts Co-Founder, amazing generous artist

We are saddened by the passing of Nick Kripal, generous, kind-spirited artist and friend and mentor to many in the community. -- Artblog Editor

The announcements below from Hester Stinnett and from Crane Arts truly tear at our heart. Nick Kripal was a generous, kind soul and an artist whose spirituality mixed with his medium, clay, in remarkable ways. A friend to many and inspirational mentor to his students, Nick will be missed by all of us.

From Hester Stinnett, Professor and Interim Dean, Tyler School of Art:

Nicholas Kripal.  Photo by Jeff Hurwitz, courtesy of Tyler School of Art
Nicholas Kripal. Photo by Jeff Hurwitz, courtesy of Tyler School of Art

It is with great sadness that I write to you with the news that Nicholas Kripal, Ceramics Program head and chair of the CraftsDepartment for many years, died Friday from cancer.
Tyler has lost a great artist, an inspiring teacher, generous colleague, and dynamic leader in and out of the classroom, who cofounded the Crane Arts Building, created and led a unique summer
student residency abroad in Scotland, and was tireless in service to the Tyler and Temple community. His most recent work was just installed at the Philadelphia Convention Center this week. I will always remember his sense of humor and his gardening skills—Nick grew the best heirloom tomatoes! Arrangements for a memorial celebration are pending.

Professor Kripal received an M.F.A from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and a M.S. Ed. and a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska, Kearney. He is a recipient of three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, and a 1999 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and was Artist-in-Residence, La Napoule Art Foundation, La Napoule, France,
sponsored by the Pew Foundation for the Arts.

Kripal’s artwork referenced architectural decoration and contemporary disposable culture in conceptually hybrid ceramic sculptures and deeply researched site specific works. His installations have been seen at sites internationally, including The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, NYC (2002), Site Projects: Kristus Kircke, Cologne, Germany (2002), Site Projects: Sala Uno, Rome, Italy (2001), Contemplations on the Spiritual Site Projects: Glasgow, Scotland (2001), and, in collaboration with sculptor Jeffrey Mongrain, at Corpus Christ Church, Baltimore, MD (2005), and St. Patrick’s Church, Indianapolis, IN (2004). He has had solo shows in New Haven, CT (2008), Museo Casa Principala, Vera Cruz, Mexico (2004), and University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia (2003).

As Dean Emeritus Rochelle Toner said, “We have lost a loving, generous and loyal friend, dedicated teacher, and ARTIST.”

A scholarship has been created in his honor. True to Nick’s generosity, he asked that the scholarship be available to students from all majors at Tyler. Donations may be made to:

The Nicholas Kripal Scholarship, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, 2001 N. 13th St., Philadelphia 19122.

From David Gleeson and Richard Hricko of Crane Arts

We at Crane Arts are deeply saddened to report that the Crane’s brightest light, Nick Kripal, has passed away.

Over the past 6 months our friend and partner, Nick Kripal, made a hugely inspirational fight against pancreatic cancer. After several days in hospice he slipped into a coma on Thursday night and passed away on Friday.

Without Nick’s energy, creativity and sense of humor we never could have made the Crane Arts Building everything it has become. Nick’s personal touch and spirit is all around us. From his flowers, tomatoes and peppers outside to many of the wonderful artists he helped bring into the building, Nick has forever made our lives and our part of Philadelphia beautiful. We already miss him greatly.

Nick’s dearest friend Jeff shared that on the skylight outside Nick’s hospice room was the following wonderful quote:

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in the heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

Nick brought us all such smiles, inspiration and happiness. Even better than Nick’s twinkling stars, we know it will be Nick’s sun that will keep us warm and nourished, especially as we try to find hope in the change of seasons that was always his favorite way of celebrating life with us all.

David Gleeson
Richard Hricko