An elegant setting offering art exhibitions.
Named for the late George and Ann Cogar, friends and active supporters of Herkimer College, the Cogar Gallery offers a refreshing change of pace for participants of training programs or meetings and is an elegant setting for receptions, networking, and refreshments.
The Gallery, located at the entrance of the Hummel Corporate and Professional Education Center, is open to the public free of charge, 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday when Herkimer College is open.
Growing up near Syracuse, New York, artist Tony Thompson’s artistic outlook was heavily influenced by the abundance of graffiti and street art around him. After studying fine arts at Mohawk Valley Community College in 2006, he leaned into the unconventional art form and beat an even more unorthodox path by using found objects - discarded planks of wood, old window frames, cardboard from cereal boxes, etc. — as his canvases.
Shortly after deciding to become a full-time artist, Thompson suffered his first of three strokes. He eventually underwent brain surgery, leaving him with ongoing emotional trauma and physical disabilities. However, he said he harnesses that pain into a positive force, channeling it into his artwork.
“They were both the most challenging and best thing to ever happen to me and my life,” Thompson said in an artist’s statement. “All of my life experiences helped to create a unique style all my own, still heavily influenced by street art, minimalism and life events.”
Thompson has since relocated to Utica, New York. His latest exhibit, “Love to Give,” will be on display in the Cogar Gallery from Dec. 2, 2019, through Jan. 31, 2020. Read his full artist’s statement below:
I grew up near Syracuse, New York, where I was heavily influenced by the graffiti culture that had existed all around me while growing up. At age 18 I moved to Utica and studied fine arts for two semesters at Mohawk Valley Community College. During this time I continued to find inspiration and decided to seriously pursue graffiti / street art. Eventually the graffiti / street art began to take form into paintings on found objects. The found objects I painted on would be anything from a plank of wood from the trash to clothing items, and all the way to cardboard cereal boxes. Even — and especially — old discarded windows found their way into my collection of paintable surfaces. I eventually would paint on anything, and the more unique surface the better. I eventually made the big move to becoming a full-time artist. That same year I suffered the first of three strokes. Over the span of five years, I would suffer three strokes, eventually leading to a brain surgery. They were both the most challenging and best thing to ever happen to me and my life. These life-threatening experiences influenced and changed the way I live my life and create my art. I have learned to harness the disabilities I still experience and the emotional trauma into a positive force. All of my life experiences helped to create a unique style all my own, still heavily influenced by street art, minimalism and life events.