Cooper Alumni and Faculty Awarded Rome Prize

POSTED ON: April 26, 2021


On April 23, the American Academy in Rome announced the winners of its coveted Rome Prize. The awardees in visual arts included three Cooper School of Art alumni: Firelei Báez, a 2004 graduate; Eric Mack, from the class of 2010; and William Villalongo, a 1999 graduate who is also an associate professor in the School of Art. Báez and Mack were awarded the Phillip Guston Rome Prize; Villalongo received the Jules Guerin/Harold M.English Rome Prize. Thirty-five artists and scholars were chosen from 874 applications. According to the academy, this year's winners represent one of the most diverse groups ever awarded the prize, all of whom will be provided with a stipend, room and board, and studio space to conduct advanced independent work. 

The awards ceremony can be viewed here.

  • 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.