Myra Kooy, who lives in Provincetown, has been an artist for as long as she can remember. Adopted into a Dutch family, Kooy spent her days helping with daily tasks: canning fruit, milking goats, collecting eggs, and building the family home. All the while, she developed her artistic foundation, drawing inspiration from her vibrant surroundings, figuring out how pieces worked in harmony to form a larger whole, and recognizing the value of the materials available to her—which she later incorporated into her artwork. 

“Materials do inspire me; they are my tools,” she notes. “My dad, a landscape architect, and my mom, a crafter, encouraged my creativity growing up.” 

As a multidisciplinary artist, Kooy does not limit herself to any one medium or material. She has explored “Wearable and Livable” works of art, a textiles series that traveled to major cities across the U.S. She has also designed fine prints constructed of handmade paper and reclaimed landscaping rubber, and created sculptures made from gathered driftwood. Recently, she’s been working on large-scale “Radiant Light Sanctuary” installations, which combine sculptural elements with the effects of neon lights. Earlier this year, Kooy presented a 600-square-foot Radiant Light Sanctuary to the Truro Center for the Arts.


“Radiant Light Sanctuary is a restorative space, a place where people can find themselves,” she says. Cultural motifs cover the support towers, which resemble totem poles with cutouts. These motifs have paid tribute to abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman as well as Provincetown pastor and social activist Rev. Brenda Haywood.

Kooy received her Master of Fine Arts degree from City College in Harlem, and her creations have been shown in numerous galleries. In addition to the AFCC’s Capacity-Building Grant Program, she has participated in artist residencies.

“I was really flattered to receive the AFCC grant. I felt like it was a validation of my work,” Kooy recalls. “I really grew from the experiences provided by the program: learning how to monetize my artwork, realizing there are resources right around me, exploring mentorship opportunities with other artists, and having the extra funds to cover my materials.”


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