Studio William Cochran - Catalytic Public Art for American Downtowns
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About Artist William Cochran

William Cochran creates landmark public artworks in paint, glass, masonry, steel, stone and light. These projects often engage the community in the creative process. They are carefully integrated into their social and architectural environments, yet retain a strong sense of the human hand. He has served on many design teams and often works closely with other design professionals including architects and landscape architects.

For twenty years William and his partner and wife Teresa have been a close-knit team, working with a wide range of government, private, community-based and non-profit organizations to develop and implement these projects. This work often involves master planning and visioning processes for public art and placemaking. The studio facilitates public participation processes ranging from stakeholder design charettes to mass-scale processes to engage the public in the creative process.


Current and recent projects include:

  • The Hagerstown Cultural Trail, a public art master plan, design services and artist project management for a new cultural trail in Hagerstown, Maryland

  • The Shining Dark, a two-block long elevated dichroic glass sculpture for a rail station project and neighborhood in West Baltimore.

  • Pillar of Fire, a structural stacked glass tower to honor health care workers in Washington DC.

  • Desire Lines, an outdoor installation of nine 16-foot-tall abstract paintings as part of a new development near Washington DC.

  • Torris, a freestanding sculpture in dichroic glass and salvaged iron for an urban plaza in Alexandria, Virginia.

  • Two Roads, a sculptural glass room and park dedicated to Rachel Carson in Silver Spring, Maryland; a design collaboration with Oculus Landscape Architecture

 

Cochran is listed as a significant figure in contemporary public art in North America in its Timeline of Artists and Art (Responding to Art, Robert Bersson, McGraw-Hill, 2003). His work in glass was selected for an international exhibit of architectural art glass at the University of Mexico in 2007. He won the Award for Excellence from the National Glass Association and the Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association. He and his partner, Teresa, won the Core Values Award from the International Association of Public Participation.

His public artworks in Frederick, Maryland, helped that city win the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2005. His glass installation Kardia at the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis is part of the Delmar Boulevard revitalization effort, which won a “10 Great Streets in America” designation by The American Planning Association. He was the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek's first communty recipeint of a Paul Harris Fellow "for service above self." He was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from McDaniel College.

In 2011. Cochran completed a permanent glass sculpture for Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, a large memorial mural for a museum in Pennsylvania, and a civil rights mural for the city center of Rockville, Maryland. In Rochester, New York, William was senior artist and public art and public participation consultant for an urban art trail in the Neighborhood for the Arts and a sculpture park at the University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. He worked with stakeholders on an overall vision, co-designed public art processes with his partner Teresa and engaged residents in a broad public participation process. In 2007-2008 he was design team artist for the conceptual master plan for the grounds of the University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. As a sub consultant to the City of Rochester from 2008-2012, he collaborated with landscape architect Mark Bayer on the transformation of the art gallery grounds into a truly public cultural space, Centennial Sculpture Park, including public plazas, artistic sidewalks and other elements.

The Cochran's well-known Community Bridge mural project transformed a plain concrete bridge in Frederick, Maryland, into a successful catalyst for revitalization and renewal. The meaning and message of the artwork was shaped by creative ideas from thousands of community members and participants around the world. It draws thousands of visitors annually and is the focus of ongoing educational tours. It helped leverage public and private development around it and appears in educational materials for schools.

William is a popular inspirational and educational speaker at universities and museums and has spoken at national and international educational and art conferences. After the first National Conference of Dialogue and Deliberation in Alexandria, Virginia, conference director Sandy Heierbacher said,

“Cochran’s keynote presentation about the awe-inspiring Community Bridge project had everyone spellbound. The moving, extraordinary story of the bridge helped us to see the possibilities for our work in a new light.”

Other Voices

"The masterful artwork of William Cochran and his associates provides an appreciative, strength based process that has led to remarkable results for communities . . . his work provides a vital link to the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their communities, and the world around them."
– Deborah S. Eibner, Dartmouth College

"A clear demonstration of public art at its best: the highest quality of art and a community completely engaged."
– Cindy Kelly, public art administrator

"Community Bridge represents everything that is valuable in a public art project. It is brilliantly conceived and artfully produced . . . one of the most outstanding public art projects of recent years."
-- Jeffrey York, Director of Public Art, North Carolina Arts Council


About Teresa Cochran

Public Art and Public Participation Planner/Consultant, Studio Manager, Studio William Cochran

Teresa Cochran is a public art consultant who works with city, public and private organizations on a daily basis. She manages the creation of large-scale, site-specific public artworks in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, site design and architectural art glass. Responsibilities include contract negotiations, scheduling and coordination, advisory design review, client and public relations, the design and implementation of large-scale community engagement processes, group and public meeting facilitation, educational outreach, administration, project management, writing and editing, and public speaking.

She is a trained specialist in public participation, and facilitates large participation processes that gather stakeholder and public input to shape the development strategies of public sites and site-specific artworks. She has served on numerous design teams, collaborating with government, community-based, corporate, and non-profit organizations on public art and public participation planning and implementation.

 

Teresa has served as consultant and facilitator for several city public art programs. She facilitated three hands-on interactive workshops for the urban art trail in Rochester, NY, that informed large-scale projects, including Poets Walk and Story Walk (www.artdrop.org), a sculpture park, and numerous art installations. She facilitated the Poets Walk selection panel as well as selection panels for several anchoring art installations. She devised several innovative large-scale community engagement initiatives including:

NOTA Story Caching, interdisciplinary historical accounts concealed in caches throughout a cultural neighborhood creating a much-used "scavenger hunt" activity for schools, families and other visitors.

Faces of Rochester, a mass-scale effort to gather self-portraits from the Rochester NY community, culminating in a three-month outdoor exhibition at the art museum.

 

She was public art consultant for a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) for the American Institute of Architects' Center for Community By Design, working with community decision-makers and stakeholders in a west coast city. The Center helps cities develop a vision and framework for a sustainable future.

 

Teresa won the Core Values Award from the International Association of Public Participation in 2000. She leads professional development processes for corporate training programs, including a Fortune 100 company. As chairman of the board of the Luce Fund for Children she supported the operations of an arts-based school and was instrumental to the success of the organization that built the first Platinum LEED-certified school building in the world near Myersville, Maryland. She directed a national arts-based educational conference in 2009 featuring Arnold April called Rethinking Education.

 

Teresa was co-founder and founding executive director of Shared Vision: Public Art for Community Transformation and its director of public participation. Shared Vision's inaugural project, Community Bridge (1998), is recognized as an early exemplar of mass-scale public participation and arts-based revitalization. The five-year project drew creative responses from participants across the US and more than thirty nations on five continents. It has helped catalyze more than $300 million in public and private development around it.


       

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