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Irresponsible Trustees and Responsible Artists

Dear Alumni and Friends,

9 Trustees voted to end 155 years of a free Cooper Union. 9 out of 22.

On April 17, 2013, three trustees voted against tuition, nine in favor (the minutes don’t specify who voted how). Trustee Falci’s “call was dropped,” while trustees Benenson, Cohen, de Menil (Vice Chair), Okrent, Pasternack, Trust, and Warren had their “absences excused.” (Excused by the board, not us.) Trustee Wertheimer has asserted, to the NY State Supreme Court, that he did not participate in the vote (yet he is listed as attending by phone and no abstentions from the vote are noted).

The truth is appalling. 10 out of 22 trustees didn’t bother to vote for a monumental decision illegitimately overturning the primary tenet of Peter Cooper’s Trust. You can read the minutes of this fateful meeting here.

It is time for a reckoning, Trustees that don’t understand and defend Peter Cooper’s Trust, trustees that can’t be bothered to pick up a phone (or redial) during a crisis, administrators that believe their vision supersedes Peter Cooper’s—anyone that won’t fight to save Cooper Union—must be replaced.

Hold Jamshed Bharucha and the trustees accountable for their actions. Place your vote here and now for justice by donating to the Save Cooper Union legal fund.

A reason to hope.

The behavior of Cooper’s President and board have been disheartening, but there is reason to hope. This crisis has energized and unified the students, parents, faculty, alumni, some trustees, legislators, and others who want to defend Cooper Union. Our community is growing and gaining strength.

Many of you have given time, money, and more to the effort to save Cooper Union. Today, several more alumni from the School of Art have stepped forward. They are donating significant works of art to the cause that will be offered on a first come, first served basis as “special perks” in the IndieGoGo legal fund campaign—a campaign needed to ensure that we can defend or appeal the pending decision of the NY State Supreme Court.

There will be a limited number of these special rewards added over the coming days. We are on the final extension of our campaign, which will now end on November 18th. So check back often and act fast when you see something you love.

Rebecca Bird, Art ’00
A framed original 22 x 30 watercolor entitled “Home Fires”, from her popular “Explosions” series for a contribution of $1,500.
Rebecca studied traditional Japanese painting as a Fulbright Fellow to Japan, and has work in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, and Triple Canopy. She has recently exhibited at William Holman Gallery, The Everhart Museum and 247365. Her next exhibition opens January 10, 2015 at Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles. For more info, see: http://rebeccabird.info

Maureen Cummins, Art ’85
An original, hand-produced limited edition Artist’s Book, “Accounting” for a contribution of $1,000.
The book is an investigation into the personal and economic history of the Triangle factory fire. It weaves together survivor accounts of the disaster, an imaginary meta-narrative from the voice of The Dead, and an imagined “accounting” of items lost by the factory-owners, an accounting which ends with “146 workers, mainly women and girls.” Maureen has cranked presses from California to the Eastern Arctic and produced over thirty limited edition artist books, including projects based on slave narratives, the Salem Witch trials, turn of the century gay love letters, and patient records from McLean Hospital, the oldest mental hospital in America. She is represented in over one hundred permanent public collections, and has been included in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the American Craft Museum, the Zimmerli Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Art Complex Museum. She has received over a dozen grants and funded residencies, including the prestigious Pollock-Krasner award. Her studio is in High Falls, NY. For more info, see: http://www.maureencummins.com/

Timothy Horn, Art ’84

A framed original oil painting entitled “Clean Laundry No. 9” for a contribution of $800.
Tim’s work has won numerous awards, and has been featured in several magazines, including the cover of Southwest Art in 2012. He participates in several annual group shows, is currently represented by four galleries, and teaches 4 – 6 painting workshops each year. He is an Artist Member of the California Art Club, and a Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America. For more info, see: http://www.timhornart.com/ and http://timhornpaint.blogspot.com/

Please donate to the Round 2 legal fund to help preserve Cooper Union’s mission of free education for future generations.

Sincerely yours,

The Committee to Save Cooper Union Founding Directors:
Adrian Jovanovic, CU BSE ’89
Mike Essl, Associate Professor of Art, CU ART ’96, M.F.A.
Toby Cumberbatch, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Ph.D.