April 18, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Brett Cook, an artist whose work defies easy characterization, will speak about his work at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts, the Eastman Fund and the dean of the faculty at Amherst College, Cook-Dizney’s talk is free and open to the public.

Active in public art since 1984 in the United States from California to Maine, and internationally in Brazil, Barbados and Mexico, Cook has created such works as a South Central Los Angeles project addressing divinity; the Development/Gentrification Project in 10 locations throughout Harlem; and a project addressing segregation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While some of his works have been commissioned by museums or public agencies, others have been self-initiated interventions on abandoned spaces. Cook employs participatory ethnographic strategies, progressive educational pedagogy and community organizing to connect his work to wide audiences.

Cook has had solo exhibitions in New York and at Wesleyan University and has participated in group exhibitions in Washington D.C. and at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Wayne State University Gallery and in San Francisco. He has taught in a variety of disciplines, published in academic journals and in 2000 was one of Vibe Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People, Places and Things.”

Cook received a B.F.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley and has had residencies including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Headlands Center for the Arts in California.