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Cathy Cook has been creating films, videos, poetry films, animation, collages and installations since the early 1980’s. Cook’s latest project took her to the largest migration locations for Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes to create the Cranes in Motion project. In 2012 and 2014 she received research grants from UMBC and the Imaging Research Center to develop and produce this multi-media collection of works. Cranes in Motion aims to promote public interest, awareness, and appreciation of crane culture through a multifaceted portrayal of the natural history of this species and to allow the viewer to understand their human relationship to these extraordinary birds and our shared ecosystems. The Cranes in Motion project had a premiere exhibition at VisArts Kaplan Gallery from February 26 to April 24, 2016. Mimicking Whooper is now at the Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center and was recently exhibited in the Temporary Resurfacing exhibition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 2001, Cook was awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. IMMORTAL CUPBOARD: In Search of Lorine Niedecker won a Jury Award at the 2009 Wisconsin Film Festival and was nominated for the Best of Documentary at the 2010 Beloit International Film Festival. IMMORTAL CUPBOARD was aired on Wisconsin Public TV along with an interview that was part of Director’s Cut. She has exhibited her award-winning work internationally in both solo and group shows including screenings at MOMA and the Whitney Museum. In addition, Cook has received several NYSCA and Jerome Foundation grants and a 2010 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artists Award.
Currently Cook is an Associate Professor in Visual Arts at The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Prior to moving to Baltimore, Cook worked in New York City for 11 years as an Art Director in the Film/TV industry. While in NYC, she also taught Film/Video production and Animation at various New York area colleges. Cook migrates between Baltimore and Wisconsin. During the summer she lives on a small swampy lake with her dog Zippy where they share residence with cranes, loons, deer, otters, herons and coyotes.
As an artist and filmmaker, Cathy Cook has always been inspired by nature, capturing images that impose a reminder of the vulnerability of the natural world and our responsibility to it. Nature, topical social issues, and poetry have been staples in Cook’s creative work over the last 33 years. Specific to her filmmaking, she has established a collage style process and aesthetic that is non-narrative, surreal and integrates multiple media techniques including: cameraless animation, 16mm and video hybrids while working in experimental documentary and non-conventional narrative.