Summer Art Intensive Blog

Anthology Designers

April 05, 2018

Each year, we commission a recent Cooper Union graduate to design a Summer Anthology book that features examples of each of our students’ work, A.I.R. and faculty.  We are excited to announce that outreach alumna Kelsey Mitchell will design this summer’s publication!  

We also want to share and celebrate the work of the outstanding graphic designers that have worked on this book for the past three summers!

Summer 2017- Michelle Deng is a graphic designer and lettering artist based in New York and Toronto. She graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and has also studied at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Switzerland. She has worked with clients including Logitech, Moda Operandi, Crane Stationery, and the Culinary Institute of America. Currently, Michelle is occupied with calligraphy workshops from the Society of Scribes, feeding her roommates' cats on time, and trying to keep her plants alive.

Summer 2016- Jess Kuronen graduated from The Cooper Union School of Art in 2016. In 2017, she partnered in re-launching Left Bank Books, formerly an open shop in Greenwich Village, as an online used and rare bookshop specializing in literature and the arts. They hope to re-open in the Village sometime in the near future. She also works part time as an illustrator and designer on The Wall Street Journal's News Design team.

Summer 2015- Ian Keliher (b. 1991) is a graphic designer at MGMT. design in Brooklyn, NY where he works on publications, exhibitions, identities, and information design. Originally from WA, Ian left the Pacific Northwest to attend the Cooper Union School of Art, which he graduated from in 2015.

Last Summer's Summer Art Intensive

March 19, 2018


By Maia Ruth Lee

In Kathmandu, Nepal where I grew up there was little to no art classes. I craved to learn how to draw, how to paint and how to build. The resources I had was a plethora of Nepali culture and religious art, artifacts and artisans. I remember looking to these resources as my textbook for creativity. For example, I sought and found a Thangka painting studio near a monastery, where Buddhist monks would paint incredibly meticulous paintings depicting deities and mandalas. I enrolled and for the next months sat next to trained painters to learn how to make Thangka paintings. The fine cotton would be stretched and partly sewn onto a wooden stretcher, primed with buffalo skin glue which would then be sanded down with a large smooth round stone. The templates were carefully laid out, and the natural color pigments were applied with handmade brushes over a span of months for each work to be completed. This type of process and art-making became a blueprint for my own work as I grew up, and the formative artistic experiences molded me to a very specific language and aesthetic. Being resourceful still plays a huge part in my work, and I still like to figure out how to make things I don’t know how to. 

Teaching the 2D class last summer at Cooper Outreach I was 7 months pregnant and still somewhat mobile. I was excited to be given such a special opportunity at a very crucial time in my life to encounter a group of young minds who were also at a very crucial time in their lives. One of my favorite projects was towards the end of the program where I asked of each student to create a 2D work of art based on their current passion. I was impressed by their openness, and willingness to explore and share. The projects covered a lot of ground - from Sylvia Plath’s poetry to Dante’s inferno, Korean feminist art to Brian Eno, Gothic architecture to Nike Air Force ones, Romani poets to Rumi poems, break dancing to Marcel Duchamp’s Nude descending staircase, etc etc. I was blown away by the diversity of subjects and how effortlessly we were able to transform these ideas into a work of art. It was such a pleasure for me to spend time with each of them to work through their ideas and concepts. We did a lot of critiques and open discussions about each others works and they seemed to like that as well.

Announcing our 2018 A.I.R.

March 15, 2018

We are pleased to introduce the Cooper Union 2018 Summer Artists in Residence!
We welcome Rachelle Dang,  Rachael Gorchov, Sara Murphy, Theresa Sterner and Zach Trow. These outstanding artists will join our Summer Art Intensive pre-college students, bringing their studio practice to campus this July. 


Rachelle Dang (born Honolulu, Hawaii) is an installation artist, sculptor, and educator.  She works with historical sources, materials, and forms to excavate the past in the present, and to provoke recognition of history’s complex relations.  She has exhibited her work at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii Pacific University, the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, TAG Gallery in Santa Monica, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sarah Lawrence College, and SPRING/BREAK Art Show (2018).  She was a recent artist-in-residence at the Studios at MASS MoCA and will have a forthcoming residency at Ox-Bow.  She was recently nominated for the Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship in Painting and Sculpture.  She received her M.F.A. from Hunter College and her B.A. from Wellesley College.

Rachael Gorchov, a painter whose work spans a variety of media, mounted a solo exhibition at Owen James Gallery in Brooklyn in 2017 and a two-person exhibition at Simuvac Projects in Brooklyn in 2016. She has exhibited at Im Ersten in Vienna, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery in New York, Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York and The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Her work and curatorial projects have been featured in Hyperallergic, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Temple Review. She is a founding member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York. Gorchov received her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and her MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. Originally from Philadelphia, Rachael lives and works in New York City.

Sara Murphy works with a variety of media, including wood, paper, fabric, drywall, ink and paint, with an attentiveness to understanding how we reconcile images to our physicality. Hybridizing 2-D and 3-D forms, she constructs deceptively simple objects that appear at once familiar and unidentifiable. Her work plays up the tension between the depicted edge and the physical edge to result in surprising instances of wit and slippage. Murphy is an artist working in New York City. She received her BFA from Memphis College of Art, and MFA from Hunter College. She also holds a Certificate in Art Conservation from Studio Art Centers International, Florence.  She was a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist’s Grant in 2016 and a 2017 resident at Shandaken: Storm King. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Cleopatra's in Brooklyn, NY, and at NADA, NY with Essex Flowers, and in group shows including 3 Sculptors, Rachel Uffner Gallery, NY,NY; For Views, Hercules Art Studio Program, NY, NY; Freedom Culture, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Habeas Corpus, Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY.

Theresa Sterner is a sculptor and teaching artist living in Los Angeles.  Her work has been included in exhibitions at A.I.R. Gallery and Present Company, both in New York, The Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale, CA, GAIT and Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Los Angeles, Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, SOMA in Mexico City, and various venues in New York, Philadelphia, and Portland, Oregon.  She has also participated in residencies at Ox-Bow in Michigan, Coast Time in Lincoln City, Oregon, and at the Stripa Historic Iron Ore Mine in Bergslagen, Sweden.  She received her MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and her BFA from the University of Oregon, and she has taught at Tyler and Virginia Commonwealth University.  

Zach Trow is the currently based in Los Angles California. I the Fall of 2017, Zach was a fellowship recipient at Lighthouse Works on Fishers Island, NY. In the summer of 2016, he attended Coast Time Residency on the Oregon Coast in collaborated with Theresa Sterner. During the academic year of 2015/2016, he was awarded the Fountainhead Teaching Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Sculpture. He earned dual degrees in Japanese and Sculpture at the University of Oregon, and a MFA in Sculpture at Hunter College in 2014. In 2013, he completed a study abroad program at the The Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany and mounted a two-person Exhibition at Greusslich Contemporary. In 2014, Zach was awarded a full scholarship to SOMA Summer Mexico City, and exhibited at Bikini Wax during his stay in Mexico. His solo exhibitions include Reynolds Gallery in Richmond Virginia, Doppler Gallery in Portland, OR and has participated in exhibitions in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles.


  • 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.