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The 2015 Menschel Exhibition

Tue, Feb 3, 12am - Sat, Feb 21, 2015 12am

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Pedram Sazesh and Emmanuela Soria Ruiz -- Spain and Morocco: The Strait Between the Known and Unknown Alyssa Davis -- Ghana: Documenting Craft Arta Perezic and Nicholas Pacula -- America's Fourth Coast: Industrialization Along the Mississippi River
Pedram Sazesh and Emmanuela Soria Ruiz -- Spain and Morocco: The Strait Between the Known and Unknown

This year’s Menschel Exhibition reflects the work of eleven Benjamin Menschel Fellows from the largest pool of proposals to date. The Benjamin Menschel Fellowship Program to Support Creative Inquiry was endowed by a grant given to The Cooper Union by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation in 1994 to support work in the fields of art, architecture, design and engineering. This generous grant was intended to provide funding to exceptional students who propose scholarly, independent projects that will in some way provide a culmination to their educational endeavors at The Cooper Union. Students compete for the award in the spring, work independently on their projects over the summer, often in far-flung places, and install an exhibition of their finalized projects in the first weeks of the new year.

Visitors to this year’s exhibition will be invited to travel imaginatively to different continents. Alyssa Davis, of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, takes you to Ghana, for example, to encounter the work of craft persons who struggle in the contradictions of global trade. Another two projects consider the islands of the Caribbean. Sam Friedberg and Andrea Recalde of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture explore the archeology of the ancient Tainos of Puerto Rico in search of the continuing traditions of agriculture and its symbolization. By jarring contrast, Maria Rodriguez-Jimenez of the School of Art and Pedro Galindo-Landeira, of the school of architecture explore the politics of “the fence,” separating Guantanamo from the rest of Cuba.  Two more projects focus on the world of Spain and Morocco as they meet across a Strait—in their present turmoil of migration and refugees [Emmanuela Soria Ruiz  & Pedram Sazesh of the School of Art], and in their quiet, beautiful legacy of architecture using the tile work called “zellij” [Maja Hjertén Knutson & Phong Kiwi Nguyen of the school of architecture.] Finally, Arta Perezic and Nicholas Pacula, two students of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture tell the story of their travels down the Mississippi River recording the river’s industrialized fate. There are six installations in all.

Located in the Foundation Building, 5th, 6th and 7th Floors.

Free and open to the public

Tuesdays - Saturdays 11 A.M. - 7 P.M.

Located at 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • 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.