College for Creative Studies: Art Practice (Fine Arts)
Frances Cocagne (’06) recognizes the importance of preserving techniques used to create fine arts and the need to share the splendor of such works with the public. She currently works as a freelance artist in the Detroit-area.
“My focus includes painting, printmaking and creating shibori silk scarves,” said Cocagne. “I especially enjoy intaglio printmaking and shibori because they are becoming more obsolete mediums. One of my goals is to keep these two traditions alive.”
Similar to her textile work, Cocagne’s paintings make use of vibrant colors. The Detroit Shirt Company bought two of her designs for use on their t-shirts. Many of her paintings are what she considers “in-depth, abstract musical compositions.” This other form of creative expression—music—surrounded her as a child and continues to inspire her today. Her husband, David, plays classical guitar for The Troubadours. They often combine their musical and artistic talents.
“Since graduation, I’ve been setting up, curating and exhibiting in local art shows,” said Cocagne.
Recent showings include a showing of her oil paintings and silk scarves at The School of Rock and Pop (Royal Oak), a solo exhibit at Detroit Repertory Theatre and a holiday group show at Neal Davis Gallery in Royal Oak. In 2007, she entered two paintings into a juried show at C-POP Gallery in downtown Detroit. Cocagne and three other artists (two of which are CCS alumni) also participated in an art show at Octane Photographic Studio in Ferndale that corresponds with the release party for The Troubadours’ third CD.
“I also received word that as an emerging artist, I will get a free booth to sell my works at the Ann Arbor Art Fair (2007) this July,” she announced.
Cocagne cultivated her talents and enriched her knowledge of art as a student of the fine arts program. As part of the experience, she developed close relationships with her mentor Gilda Snowden and printmaking professor Zdzislaw Sikora.
“CCS prepared me in so many ways for the 'real' world. Not only did my instructors teach me how to sharpen my skills, but they also instilled in me a critical eye. They taught me how to speak professionally about art and my work."
“I learned about different genres through art history, which I found to be both an inspiration as well as a foundation on which I can draw from. It’s important to be familiar with the icons and masters of the eras to be proficient in what work you do artistically. Overall, I'd say CCS was a very difficult program to get through, but well worth every agony. I feel as though I now have the capabilities to make a living as an artist.”