Works Gallery
Artist Information
Artist Biography

Brett Cook’s work cohesively integrates the breadth and depth of his diverse experiences with art, education, science, and spirituality. For over two decades, Cook has produced installations, exhibitions, curricula, and events widely across the United States, and internationally. His museum work features drawing, painting, photography, and elaborate installations that make intimately personal experiences universally accessible. His public projects typically involve community workshops and collaborative art, along with music, performance, and food to create a more fluid boundary between art making, daily life, and healing.

Teaching and public speaking are extensions of his social practice that involve communities in dialogue to generate experiences of reflection and insight. He has taught at all academic levels in a variety of subjects, and published in academic journals at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Columbia, and Stanford Universities. In 2009, he published Who Am I In This Picture: Amherst College Portraits with Wendy Ewald and Amherst College Press.

He has received various prestigious awards, including the Lehman Brady Visiting Professorship at Duke University and UNC – Chapel Hill, the Richard C. Diebenkorn Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute, and residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME, the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, Art Omi, NY, and the Headlands Center for the Arts, CA. His work is in private and public collections including the Smithsonian/National Portrait Gallery, the Walker Art Center, and Harvard University.


Curriculum Vitae
Radical Inclusivity with YouthSpeaks, Multiple Bay Area Locations, CA
Acts of Reclamation, VPA Department, Cal State University Monterey Bay, CA

Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life, Durham, NC
Amherst Community Portraits, Amherst College, Amherst, MA2007
National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian) and Duke Ellington School for the Arts Washington D.C.
Fall Artist Residency, Duke University, Durham, NC
Empire State Partnerships Summer Seminar Collaborative Project, CW Post, Long Island, NY
Identity of Interbeing Collaborative Project, Packer Collegiate Academy, Brooklyn, NY
Headlands Center for the Arts Collaborative Open House Project, Sausalito, CA
Deer Park Monastery Collaborative Project, Escondido, CA
Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program Collaborative Projects, PA
Headlands Center for the Arts Peace and Mindfulness Collaborative Project, Marin, CA
Bowling Green Collaborative project, Bowling Green, OH
Reinvented A Collaboration workshop with Wendy Ewald and Galeria de Luz, Oaxaca, Mexico2003
Revolution: Celebrate Harlem 127th Street, New York, NY
Wayne State University Collaborative Community Project Development, Detroit, MI
South (Central) Los Angeles – Divine, West Vernon Elementary/6 Months space Los Angeles, CA
Martin Luther King Jr.- AHIMSA project, Harlem, NY2002
June Jordan Collaborative Project, Harlem, NY
Columbus: Tobacco West Central Health District Dept. of Health, Columbus, GA
Learning Buckingham, Browne and Nichols Project Cambridge, MA2001
Information for Peace and Democracy, CAP project, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY
(De)Segregation, Harvard School of Education, Cambridge, MA
Harlem Development/Gentrification collaborative Project, Harlem, NY
Chatham/Art Omi Collaborative Project, Chatham, NY2000
Issues of Hip-Hop (Society), Brooklyn, NY
Issues of Barbados, with Pedro Nogeura’s U.C. Caribbean Sociology Course
Public Work, 6th St. Photo Workshop and Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Public Work, Greenwich Country Day School, Greenwich, CT
Community Healthcare Network/Lower East Side Center, New York, NY
Service and Protection P.S. 1, Long Island City, NY
Separations, Multiple Site Public Project, University of California, San Diego, CA

First Night Newark Celebration, Communal Resolutions, Newark, NJ
All You Can Eat (Capitalism), Railroad Square Cinema, Waterville, ME

See What I See, Public work with Satellite Academy students, New York, NY

Afrikans, Public Work, McClymmons High School, Oakland, CA
Public Work, Cohen Alley, San Francisco, CA

Public Work, 6th St. Photo Workshop, San Francisco, CA
Relative Concerns, SF Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA

Homelessness, Public Work, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Teaching-Learning Public Work, SF MOMA, San Francisco, CA

Commission for the City of San Francisco, Youth Expo at City Hall, San Francisco, CA


Supernatural, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco CA
Face Up Exhibition, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC
Identity of Interbeing, Carol Shen Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
Reflections, White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, California
Meditations, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
Reflections of Revolution, Provisions Gallery GAEA Foundation Washington, D.C.
Blackness, Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY
Revolution, P·P·O·W, New York, NY
MultiFaceted, P·P·O·W, New York, NY
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, GA
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ
Politically Correct?, David Raymond Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
Automatic, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
How We Roll: Black Engagement in Skateboarding, California Afro-Am Museum, CA
Portraiture Now, Smithsonian/National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Amherst Portraits with Wendy Ewald, Mead Museum, Amherst MA
In The Fullness of Time, the Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco CA
Core Values of Social Change, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY
Change Methods, Provisions Gallery Washington, D.C.
Walls of Heritage Walls of Pride, Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, Washington, D.C.
Contemporary Portraiture, Snug Harbor Museum, Staten Island NY
The Other Mainstream, Arizona State University Museum, Tempe AZ
Social Studies/Brown V. Board of Ed. 40th Anniversary, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride, The Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, MA
Impact: New Mural Projects, PPOW, New York, NY
Community Interactions, Wayne State University Gallery, Detroit, MI
Black President Exhibition, New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY
Coming Home Exhibition, Parrish Museum, NY, with South Hampton Schools
Cut, Pulled, Colored & Burnt, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
Social Landscape, P·P·O·W, New York, NY
Boomerang: Collector’s Choice, Exit Art, New York, NY
One Planet Under A Groove: Hip Hop & Contemporary Art, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY
Hip-Hop Nation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
InSite/OutSite, Apex Art, New York, NY
Public Project with Art Clash, Red Clay Art Group and Sarah Jones,
Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
Unbottled: New York’s Waters, Hammond Museum, New York, NY
Identity Show, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
African American Artists Survey Show, Rockland Center for the Arts, Nyack, NY
Generation Z, P.S. 1/MoMA, Long Island City, NY
The Process Show/Show Your Work, Pelham Bay Arts Center, New York, NY
New Voices/New Vision, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
The Choice, Exit Art, New York, NY
Artists in Residence Exhibition, Studio Museum of Harlem, New York, NY
New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship Exhibition, Jersey City Museum, NJ
Sunny Days/Critical Times, The Bohen Foundation, New York, NY
Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY
Inaugural Exhibition, Rush Foundation Gallery, New York, NY
New Jersey Biennial Exhibition, Ben Shahn Gallery, William Patterson College, NJ
Alternative Museum, New York, NY
20th Anniversary Show, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ
Capp Street Project, San Francisco, CA
South of Market Cultural Center Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Southern Exposure’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Swig/Watkins Award Exhibition, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA
Luggage Store Gallery, 509 Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
Sea Change Residency, Provincetown, MA
Americans for the Arts/Public Art Network public works award
Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies at Duke University and American Studies UNC – Chapel Hill
Visual Artist Residency, Duke University’s Center Community Engagement and Art/Art History
Richard C. Diebenkorn Fellowship, San Francisco Art Institute
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Artists in Communities Grant recipient with MAP of Philadelphia
Headlands Center for the Arts Bridge Residency, Sausalito, California
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
The Puffin Foundation
The Jacob Lawrence Institute for the Visual Arts
New York Post
The Rheedlen University for Community Education (TRUCE)
Art Omi International
Vibe Magazine
The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts
The Studio Museum of Harlem
Skowhegan Residency/Camille Hanks Cosby Fellowship
ArtMatters Grant
Best New Muralist Award, Precita Eyes Arts CenterSELECTED COLLECTIONS
Smithsonian Institution/National Portrait Gallery
Walker Art Center
Studio Museum of Harlem
Harvard University
Yili Art Foundation
Frances Greenberger Foundation
Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute Mysore, India
Ashtanga Yoga Shala New York City
Greenwich Country Day School
Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School
Mikki and Stanley Weithorn Collection
Joel and Nancy Portnoy Collection
Peggy Cafritz Collection
Speaker, College Art Association Conference, Chicago, IL
Collaborative Art: Theory and Practice and Working with Community, Vera List Center, NY
Panelist Transformations Conference, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
Public Dialogue/Visiting Artist, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Public Dialogue on Collaborative Aesthetics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Public Dialogue/Workshop, Intersection for the Arts November 5, San Francisco, CA
Public Dialogue/Visiting Artist November 20, 2008, California State University at Monterey Bay
Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professorship in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke and UNC–Chapel Hill, NC
Dialogue on Art and Social Collaboration The Nasher Art Musuem, Duke University Durham, NC
Public Dialogue – Page-Walker Arts and History Center, Cary, NC
Keynote Discussion, Public Art 360, Hanes Art Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Commencement Speech – University of California, Berkeley, May 18 2007, Berkeley CA
Co Teacher, Practice of Collaborative Art w/Wendy Ewald, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
Public Dialogue – February 15, San Francisco State University, San Francisco CA
Public Dialogue – February 22, 2007 Durham, NC
Public Dialogue – April 19, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Public Dialogue -Meditative Art W/Katherine Sherwood UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Graduate Seminar – San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Visiting Artist Series/Dialogue – October 10, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Visiting Artist/Dialogue – May 1, Amherst, MA
Art Lecture Series/Dialogue – April 26, SUNY New Paltz, NY
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Dialogue Collaboration, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
San Francisco State University – May 4th San Francisco, CA
Visiting Artist Presentation – February 23rd Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Panelist, NYSCA Upstate History Alliance Rochester, NY2004
Galeria De Luz Collaboration workshop with Wendy Ewald. Oaxaca, Mexico
Philadelphia International Mural Conference Presentation, Philadelphia, PA
Collaboration Panel, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
TRUCE/NEA visiting artist project, Harlem, NY
Visiting Artist, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Visiting Artist, Bowling Green, OH
Weekend Fellow/Presentation, Gaea Foundation, Washington, D.C.
Peace and Democracy, at the Democracy Collaborative, University of Maryland
Visiting Artist, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Visiting Artist, Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY2003
Art in the Public Realm for Pluralism and the Open Society, College of New Jersey, NJ
Visiting Teacher, West Vernon Elementary/6 Months Art Space/, Los Angeles, CA
Visiting Educator/Artist, Duke Center for Documentary Studies, NC
History and Democracy lecture/event, New York University, New York, NY
Moderator, Dialogue: Collaboration, the New School and Queens Museum, NY
Featured Panelist, National Black Fine Arts Show, Puck Building NY
South Hampton Schools, Parrish Museum, Southampton, NY

Presenter, Coalition for Essential Schools Conference, Washington, D.C.
Teaching/Curriculum development at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School, Cambridge, MA
Lecture, Brooklyn College Visiting Artist Program, Brooklyn, NY
Lecture, College of New Rochelle visiting artist Program, New Rochelle, NY
“Collaboration for Peace and Democracy” Triple Candie Artist Lecture Series 9/10/02 NY
“Visual Artist and Collaboration” NYCMER conference w/Guggenheim Museum, NY
Collaborative Art Luncheon at New School University, New York, NY
Visiting Artist “Brett Cook-Dizney: Concept, Technique and Social Change” Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
“Public Art; Problems and Process” The Art School at Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY
Lecturer, Askwith Forum, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
Co/Teacher/Curriculum South Hampton Schools, Parrish Museum, Southampton, NY
Greenwich Country Day School, Greenwich, CT1999-1996
Satellite Academy, New York, NY1996
Cooper Union, New York, NY1996-1994
Sponsors For Educational Opportunity New York, NY1994-1993
Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA1992
San Francisco Conservation Corps,     Northern CA
Brewer Jr. High School, Oakland, CA1991
Southern Exposure Teaching Program, San Francisco, CA
East Bay Conservation Corps/Project Yes, Northern CA
UC Berkeley/Berkeley High Collaborative Mural Project, Berkeley, CA
UC Berkeley Undergraduate art Seminar in Spray painting, Berkeley, CA1990-1989
Bayview Child Development Center, San Diego, CA

Kieler Middle School, San Diego, CA

Jefferson Child Development Center San Diego, CA

Weissman, Jane. On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City
Jacoby, Annice.  Street Art San Francisco, Abrams

Natale, Michelle.  Art Picks Review, Face UP Exhibition, Raleigh News and Observer
Boutilier, Emily Gold.  “Open Up” the Amherst portraits project, Amherst Magazine Winter

Rickard, Carolyn. “History In The Art” The Herald-Sun, November 19

Richard Diebenkorn Fellowship article, San Francisco Art Institute Magazine

Muralist Profile Feature, Public Art Review Fall/Winter

Sarah Valdez. Art In America, December
Liv Wright.  International Review of African American Art, Hampton U. 18:4
Catalogue Black President: Fela Kuti New Museum of Art

Cook, Brett. Interview TRACE magazine Spring 2002
Garvey, Marianne. “Portraits for the People is Artist’s Aim” New York Post August 12
Gierer, Larry. Activist Art, Columbus Ledger Enquirer, April 26th, 2002

Tahashi, Corey.  One World One Groove New York Newsday, October
Catalogue One Planet Under a Groove: Hip-Hop and Contemporary Art, Bronx Museum of Art
Reid, Calvin. Review, Art in America, October 2001.
Soloman, Debora. The Downtowning of Uptown, The New York Times Magazine, August 16
Leland, John. In the Ateliers of Harlem, The New York Times, June 14, p. F9
Folkes, Toure. Flippin’ the Lens,, June
Sulivan James. Hip-Hop Nation Show has a Rap on Black Culture, The San Francisco Chronicle, May 17, 2001, p. D1.
Cotter, Holland. Review, The New York Times, May 11.
Fasching-Gray, Benjamin (art listings), Shout, May, p. 10.
Levin, Kim. Short List, The Village Voice, May 1, p.80
Worth Alexi, Review, The New Yorker, April 23, p. 37.
Perez, Miriam. The Education of Clinton Hill, City Limits Magazine, Febdruary, p. 5.

Lee, Felicia.  A Hip-Hop Artist Brings It All Back Home, The New York Times
Prigoff, Jim and Robin Dunix.  Walls of Heritage-Walls of Pride, Pomegranate Press
Henn, Jennifer.  Artist Joins in Student’s Search for Identities, Southampton Press
Heiss, Alanna.  Interview, Conaissance Des Arts
Keatings, Peter.  The Color of Joy, Blaze Magazine
Johnson, Brett.  Brett Cook-Dizney Profile, The Source
Caccamise, Bob.  WABC News
NY1 News, Expressions of Harlem
Young, Victoria.  Where Art Often Mourns, Memorials to Life, New York Times
Brackett, Charmain Z.,  Artist Combines Messages in Works, Augusta Chronicle
Sollie, Emily and Kent Kimes.  Painting Fetes Arts Advocates, Augusta Chronicle
Pickett, Dar la L., Artist Paints a Message, Maine Sentinel
Drescher, Timothy W., Street Dialectics: The Art of Brett Cook Dizney, Urbanus Books
Watkins, Eileen.  Review of New Jersey Arts Annual, New Jersey Star Ledger
Watkins, Eileen.  City W/Out Walls 20th Anniversary Show, New Jersey Star Ledger
Raynor, Vivien.  City With Out Walls 20th Anniversary Show, New York Times1994
Baker, Kenneth. Review, San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner
Roche, Harry.  San Francisco Bay Guardian
Drescher, Timothy W., San Francisco Community Murals, Pogo Press1993
Roche, Harry.  Critic’s Choice, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Helfand, Glen.  Critic’s Choice, San Francisco Weekly
Leonard, Andrew.  Critic’s Choice, San Francisco Bay Guardian

Porges, Maria.  On the Scene, San Francisco, CA, Artweek ArtSpace Magazine
Brezinski, Jamey.  Review of “Wet Paint” competition
Kaufman, Laura.  Vandal or Artist?, Los Angeles Times
Pincus, Robert.  Social Questions in a Medium of Questions, San Diego Union
Olman, Lea.  Social Questions in a Medium of Questions, Los Angeles Times
A Conversation with Brett Cook.  Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons.  Routledge.
How to Win!: Exploring the political Efficacy of Art.  Edited by Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert.  The Pacific Foundation.
Collaboration and Spirituality, Why Not Reciprocity? Edited by Tom Finkelpearl
Who Am I in This Picture: Amherst Collage Portraits with Wendy Ewald, Amherst College Press
Enlightenment Through Collaboration. Community Arts Perspectives Volume II Issue 3. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
The Amherst Portraits Project. Degrees of Freedom By Sam Chaltain, Rowman & Littlefield
Reflection and Action.  Document: a publication from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Spring/Summer edition.
Revolution. Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop edited by Jeff Chang
Identity of Interbeing. The Mindfulness Bell Magazine, summer issue #45
Collaborating Voice: The Harlem Development/Gentrification Project Mantis Poetry Journal Poetry and Politics issue Stanford University Press, September
Hip Hop and Cultural Memory. Souls Journal, Columbia University