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Behind the Scenes with the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative: James Cooper and the Buffalo Zoo

By Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott

Thursday, July 23, 2020

12 pm - 1 pm EDT

James Cooper III (American, born 1971). John Brent Mural, 2019. Acrylic on e-panel and steel, 96 x 288 inches (243.8 x 731.5 cm). Photo: Brenda Bieger for Buffalo AKG Art Museum

FREE for members
Virtual Event

Join Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott for a member-exclusive series of talks about the latest projects with the Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative. This third and final talk in the series will discuss James Cooper III's mural of John Brent.

Buffalo-based artist James Cooper III has created a mural in collaboration with the late local historian Christine Parker that celebrates the life and legacy of John Brent, Buffalo’s first African American architect and a notable civic leader. Among Brent’s most significant architectural designs was the Michigan Avenue branch of the YMCA (1928), and he posthumously received recognition for the gates and landscape architecture he produced for the Buffalo Zoological Gardens. Cooper's mural will be installed this summer at the Buffalo Zoo. In this conversation, Ott will discuss the impact of the local arts scene through pioneering and tenacious artists like Cooper and how their legacies of production are on a larger continuum of meaning. Cooper is the Vice President of the Western New York Urban Arts Collective and an advocate for regional artists of color, especially young Black artists.


This member-exclusive series is free for Albright-Knox members. Register online using the links below. Please register for each of the three lectures individually if you would like to attend the entire series. You will receive an email reminder the day of the lecture with directions for joining the webinar. Please contact with any questions or for assistance.

Register Online for Lecture 1 (July 9)
Register Online for Lecture 2 (July 16)
Register Online for Lecture 3 (July 23)

About the Series

Join Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott for a series of talks about the latest projects with the Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to socially engage with, actively respond to, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center. Learn More

Initiative Sponsors

The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.