Assistant Professor of Art Fia Backström Receives the Borlem Prize

POSTED ON: April 3, 2024


School of Art Assistant Professor Fia Backström was awarded the 2023 U.S. Borlem Prize, which goes to an artist who brings awareness to mental health issues. Half of the $40,000 prize money is donated to Bezerk Productions run by artist Linda Sibio, for their inventive art-based therapeutic methods. Cooper Union alumna Ebecho Muslimova A’10 received the award in 2022.

  • 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.