TY COOK Meet One of the Leaders of Act I

Meet Ty Cook, one of the leaders of Act I, OGR’s young professionals group. Learn more about Act I here.

Where are you originally from?
I was originally born in Ann Arbor, MI at U of M (Go Blue), and raised in Flint, MI.

What do you do for a living?
I support arts & creativity as the CFO of Stevens Advertising.

My hobbies include discussing local and global arts, meeting new artists, finding new art mediums, and watching football.

Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?
I don’t enjoy traveling but when I do travel, I typically go somewhere by the lakeshore for day trips or to Windsor because you can go and come back in the same day.

What/Who got you involved with OGR? (Past and Current)
A wonderful chat with Win Irwin about how us millennials have no idea how much award winning performance level talent we have here in Grand Rapids got me interested with Opera Grand Rapids.

What do you like about Opera?
What I like most about the Opera is seeing people in all shapes, colors, and sizes transform into characters in front of my eyes. When you first see a performer walk out on stage naturally you know they are going to bring a unique sound, but once their mouths open you are blown away every time hearing how beautiful of a sound the performers can produce and sustain through an entire performance.

Who/what brought you into the world of Opera?
My friend Chandler recommended taking our wives to see La Traviata here in Grand Rapids which was my very first experience into the world of Opera and I have been excited to see more performances since that day.

What is your favorite form/piece of art? (symphony, opera, painting, book, etc.) Why?
My favorite form of art is oil painting on canvas, and my all-time favorite piece of art is a painting called “Swans Reflecting Elephants” by Salvador Dali for so many reasons. I love the blue temperature of the sky, and the reflections of elephants in the water that remind me of my Grandmother because they are her favorite animal. I love that Dali included a frustrated silhouette of himself in the mountains, and I love that my interpretation of what is happening with the two clouds in the sky changes every time I see the piece. But most of all I love how the piece is taking place in the same dimension as some of his other more popular pieces.

Why do you think it is important to have an Opera company in our community?
I think Opera as a medium of art is something that not many people have historically had the opportunity to experience for various reasons. Grand Rapids has become a city that removes barriers, promotes collaborative thought, and purposefully uses art as a platform to create an engaged and connected community. It is only natural that we provide the Opera to encourage thought and celebrate the arts for years to come.