Recently I was contacted by local Lowell, Massachusetts artist Anne Cook to write a biography showcasing her background, influences, and the philosophy behind her work. I was excited because, as a personal friend, I’m intimately familiar with the painting she does, especially with her iconic renderings of the city I love so much.
Here is the copy for that biography, which is posted here:
Lowell, MA, is a city with an artistic legacy hundreds of years in the making. Painter Anne Elizabeth Cook lives and breathes that legacy with her own take on realistic, traditionalist, and expressive acrylic painting.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, Anne had the opportunity to study a wide array of artistic and culturally informative fields, including painting, design, architecture, and archaeology. Yet, it’s her skill with the brush—with her attention to the expression of shape, form, and lighting—that keeps the eyes drawn to her work.
Cook’s worldly knowledge of art stems from her formal education, and her own travels. Studying abroad in Rome at Tyler School of Art’s overseas campus, Cook deepened her understanding of Renaissance and modernist styles. Afterwards, a tour through some of Europe’s finest museums developed for her a universe of influences, informing her work to this day. Having studied under such revered artists as New York City painter Stanley Whitney and designer Stanislaw Zagorski, Cook possesses a toolkit of reference and guidance at once expansive, specialized, and impactful.
Cook treats the process of creation as a personal journey through the inner life of a composition. The result, she says, should jump off the page in a symphony of color and line. Her reverence for the creative process, like taking the leading hand in a dance, can be summed up in her own words:
“I like the art to lead me where it wants to go.”
Cook’s work reaches the masses in many forms. From a large-scale mural at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton, MA, to mesmerizing landscapes hanging in establishments around New England, Cook’s concentration on smaller canvases is by no means evidence of limitation. Mary Hart, facilitator for the Arts League of Lowell, and a prominent artist in her own right, said of Cook’s showing at TreMonte Pizzeria in 2016:
“Anne’s views of Lowell are contemporary and in a fresh, muralist style. It’s always a joy to see work which shows familiar views in a new light.” – Merrimack Valley Magazine, 2016
Cook has also been commissioned for work which hangs in Manchester, England, and in collections all over the region. Her work is gaining interest quickly through her prints and work being sold at several locations in and around Lowell, and she is currently busy on several more commissions. Cook’s ability to create truly iconic, destination-defining images of Lowell—and to render still-lifes in her own refreshing style of representational painting—have made her a living, breathing part of the city’s legacy. See the gallery to explore her work, and to witness how Cook’s work is becoming quickly a part of Lowell’s own identity.
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