Omar Olivera, A’02
It is a great honor to have the potential opportunity to represent the Cooper Union Alumni community as a member of the Nominating Committee. It is my desire to immerse myself in the process of interacting with fellow association members as well as trustees, faculty, and administration, and to commit myself to the most effective means of promoting the Cooper Union and the ideals of Peter Cooper. I am eternally grateful for the experience and impact that attending Cooper has had on my life and career as an artist and educator. In whatever capacity I am able I would like to promote the ideals of Peter Cooper as written in the deed of trust of the Cooper Union, particularly in helping promote and pursue a return to free tuition. As the son of Latin American immigrants, his words and reasoning speak to me and for me saying that Cooper should be free in order to “contribute to the elevation and the happiness of the industrial classes to which I belong.”
Born in East New York, Brooklyn, Omar Francisco Olivera studied art at the Cooper Union where he received his BFA and at Brooklyn College where he received an MFA in painting and drawing. His works have been exhibited in New York, Gettysburg, Minnesota, and Leon, and are in collections in the British Library, Yale University and the Schomburg Center. Since 1998 he has taught art to NYC public school students through organizations such as the Cooper Union Saturday Program, P.S.1, LEAP, Studio in a School, and is currently teaching and working at Materials for the Arts. He was also the artist in residence at the Taller Artistico Xuchialt in Leon, Nicaragua during the summers of 2006 and 2009 through the support of Project Gettysburg Leon.