James Leary

Adjunct Instructor

James English Leary lives in New York City and works as an artist, filmmaker and teacher. He is a founding member of The Bruce High Quality Foundation and the Foundation’s free university, BHQFU. In 2010 his works were included at the Whitney Biennal and the Greater New York Show at MoMA PS1. Leary's recent solo exhibitions include Simgaleria, Curitiba, Brazil, 2017; Family Romance, Galeria Leyendecker, Tenerife, 2016, Lady Chatterley´s Lovers Lovers, Four A.M., New York, 2016 and Triple Motherfucker, Vito Schnabel Projects, New York City, 2015. He is the recipient of a 2015 Tiffany Foundation Award.


"Smoked Fruit", 2015, Ray Smith Studio, Brooklyn
"Smoked Fruit", 2015, Ray Smith Studio, Brooklyn


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.