TTU professor Coogan to participate in China art exchange

Robert Coogan
Tennessee Tech University art professor Robert Coogan, head of the metals program at the Appalachian Center for Craft, has been selected to travel to China for the VIP Jewelry Professional and Cultural Program Sept. 10-21.

Coogan is one of a small group of internationally renowned metal artists who will travel throughout Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Aba Autonomous Perfecture exploring ancient and contemporary Chinese art and culture. He will have the opportunity to meet Chinese jewelers and metalsmiths in their studios and homes as well as watch metalworking techniques of minority tribes.

"For this group to be going to China is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Coogan. "The visits to the minority regions are what really intrigue me. It could take years of research in order to make the proper contacts in these areas, and all of that has been arranged in advance for us."

The trip has been organized at the invitation of the Shanghai Worker's Center for International Exchange. Coogan will visit the metals departments of both the Shanghai University of China and the Hangzhou Art Academy.

"What I hope to bring back to the students is the meaning and the stories behind the style of work and maybe what specific imagery means," Coogan said.

Coogan is acknowledged as one of the leading practitioners in Mokume-Gane and Damascus steel techniques, and his work is exhibited nationally and internationally. Along with conducting the metals program at the Appalachian Center for Craft, Coogan teaches workshops throughout the United States, Korea and England. Coogan continues to be an innovative and productive artist with numerous exhibitions every year.

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