Wild Ride

Looping roller coasterIf you reach Information Services Help Desk Administrator Russell Cooper ’89, you can expect a calm, soothing, and professional presence to assist you with your computer needs. But don’t let his grey-suit-and-conservative-sounding voice fool you, there’s some wild rides in that personality. Rides as in roller coasters! And that’s only one of Russell’s passions. Another is photography, and he’s combined the two in his 2014 ArtPrize submission, For Your Amusement. “I love photography, and I love roller coasters (riding and photographing),” said Russell. “And I’ve been looking for a way to put them together.” The “marriage” is a collage of photos seamlessly melded together to create the ultimate roller coaster experience. Russell is a pretty good writer as well. Here’s a sample from his artist statement: “Arms down, head back, and hold on. Slowly climbing your way to the top of the never-ending lift hill. Click. Click. Click. Click. Excitement and fear awaits. Heart in your throat, stomach-churning, cannot breathe. Prepare for the thrill ride of your life. Cresting the peak, you suddenly drop down the hill, wind in your hair, hands in the air, screams of pure joy, air-time lifting you out of your seat. The 3 minutes feel like an eternity, yet over in a flash. Let’s go again!” You gotta love that liberal arts versatility. Russell majored in music and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany.

ArtPrize opens to the public on Sept 24th and runs until the 12th of October. It’s a democratic art exhibition involving several hundred thousand visitors and over 1500 artists and everyone gets to vote for their favorites…like Russell. We’d love to know about other alumni who have submitted entries for ArtPrize 2014. Let us know, and we’ll let our readers know.