Running For: Alumni Trustee

Avery Singer, A’10

Campaign Statement

When I turned 15 years old, my dad, who worked as a film projectionist, gave me a super 8mm camera for my birthday.  With this camera, I made my first experiment in film which sealed my fate in becoming an artist. The magic of projecting the reel on screen for the first time was more powerful to me than anything else I could ever imagine.  I knew immediately I was destined for art school.  When I began asking around, what’s the best school of fine arts I can apply to?  The response was unanimous: The Cooper Union.

I became obsessed with Cooper Union from that point forward.  I learned it had the only tuition-free B.F.A. program in America, which for me, was all I could afford. I then discovered they had an outreach program to help NYC public school students like myself prepare for their unique application process, which involved creating artistic interpretations of an enigmatic set of six prompts, known as the “home test.” When I finally applied, and my application got moved from the early decision pool into the regular admission pool, I wrote a letter to the admissions committee advising them to accept me now, as I would continue to apply every year until they did so.

As a student, I took full advantage of the school’s unique multidisciplinary approach to studio art, taking classes in every single medium.  I made many lifelong friends, and my senior thesis centered around a collaboration with an architecture student – Standish Lee, who also happens to be our most recent young alumna of the year – embodying Peter Cooper’s ethos as an inventor, bringing creative disciplines together. I was very active in student government as a student and won the School Service award when I graduated in 2010.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the loss of guaranteed full-tuition scholarships for all students has created a mission to bring Cooper Union back into good financial standing.  I am more interested in pursuing an ambitious plan to see it thrive financially and academically against the backdrop of ongoing challenges. My actionable plan is two-pronged, and centers around a public relations campaign, as well as a fundraising effort. I want to play a role in bringing the art school back to being free, as well as make the school better known to the wider world.

The New York art market is recognized as the largest regional art market in the world, accounting for around 44% of sales by value in the multi-billion dollar global art market. My oocupation puts me in direct contact with major galleries, collectors, artists, and auction houses on a regular basis. This represents a unique opportunity to utilize these contacts to generate tremendous donations for the school. As an alumni trustee, I will work in partnership with Institutional Advancement, with whom I already have a close working relationship, to stage benefit exhibitions, organize auctions, and create new corporate partnerships with those in my network, which include some of the world’s largest galleries.

I bring a unique set of professional connections and skills to the role of Trustee through my position in the global art world.  I am fully committed to doing all that I can to bring Cooper Union back to being “free as air and water.” My final goal, as a member of the board of Trustees, is to ensure that in 100 years, when young aspiring artists begin to think about where to attend college, they will already know Cooper’s name.



Avery Singer (b. 1987) is a 3rd generation native New Yorker. Her parents, the artists Janet Kusmierski and Greg Singer, named her after Milton Avery. Growing up in a creative community, Singer experimented with photography, film and drawing, but in those years never considered working with paint.  She was educated in the New York City public school system, including Stuyvesant H.S.  In 2008, Singer studied at the Stadelschule, Frankfurt am Main and she received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in 2010 with an award for Student Service.  During her studies, Singer engaged in performance art, video making and sculpture, utilizing various techniques.  After graduating, she discovered her chosen art form from an unanticipated experiment with SketchUp (a program used by her peers to design exhibition spaces) and airbrushed a black and white painting based on a digital illustration.  Since then, Singer has employed the binary language of computer programs and industrial materials in order to remove the trace of the artist’s hand, while engaging the tradition of painting and the legacy of modernism.   

She has been honored with solo museum presentations at the ICA Miami (2023); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2019); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2017); Secession, Vienna (2016); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015–16); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2015); and Kunsthalle Zurich (2014–15). Singer’s work is represented in the permanent collections of: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim, New York; the Jewish Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Tate, London; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, among numerous others.  She has an upcoming solo institutional exhibition in Europe slated for early 2025.