2022 Artist

Wilhelmina Grant Cooper

Wilhelmina believes that items that are no longer considered useful, desirable, or functional can sometimes take on new meanings through art!

Biography

Wilhelmina Grant-Cooper is a self-taught visual artist who transforms found objects and mixed media into assemblage art. As an arts instructor she uses the arts to nurture the creativity of cancer patients, their families, and staff in healthcare settings. She also guides elderly participants through arts projects at senior centers in Washington Heights, Williamsburg and Coney Island. She facilitates occasional art workshops for the general public in her art studio (and, during the pandemic of 2020-21, on an on-line platform). She uses paper, beads, wood, fiber, paint, glue and other materials to spark the creativity of participants. Each “no experience necessary,” hands-on session features a unique, make-and-take item using art techniques suitable for any skill level.e present as a community artmaker.

Artist Statement

Wilhelmina Grant-Cooper is a self-taught artist who creates assemblages using mixed-media and found objects by rescuing and collecting discarded, outdated, and castoff objects to creatively repurpose into visual art. Her source of materials includes thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, dumpsters, construction sites, and streets. As an advocate for waste reduction and recycling, Wilhelmina believes that items that are no longer considered useful, desirable, or functional can sometimes take on new meanings through art! Thus, her re-evaluation of the life cycle of everyday items in a throwaway society has resulted in an artistic transformation of obsolete, rusty, or broken objects. In many instances, the metamorphosis of found object discards into art provides cultural and historical significance. For example, items such as metal ice cube trays and hot combs which are no longer in popular use, are redirected from a landfill. This revitalizing process serves as a metaphor for the artist’s reinvention of her own life — personal renewal and boundless possibilities after twice surviving breast cancer. Wilhelmina has mounted numerous solo exhibitions in Harlem, Texas and Alaska, and has participated in group exhibitions at numerous venues in Chicago, New York, and the east coast.

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Artist Gallery