Cook, who also works as an art critic and blogger, studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
He will give a talk about his work “Remaking Our Sad World: From Community Activism to World-Building” on Monday, April 14, at Montserrat’s Hardie Building.
“The talk is about the relationship between, on the one hand, actions in the real world, trying to make it more fulfilling,” he said. “Then also, with the trees, it’s about inventing fantasy worlds.”
In Cook’s mixture of art and activism, difficult problems are addressed, but with a comic touch that lightens their burden.
“There’s a lot of sadness going around, and we hide it,” he said. “It’s embarrassing and humiliating and uncool.
“I’m embracing sadness but also making fun of myself for being sad.”
IF YOU GO
Exhibit: “The Saddest Forest on Earth,” March 24 to April 18, Montserrat College of Art, Frame 301 Gallery, 301 Cabot St., Beverly. Free.
Parade: “The Saddest Parade on Earth,” Saturday, March 29, 11 a.m., from 248 Cabot St. to Frame 301 Gallery, 301 Cabot St., Beverly. Free.
Lecture: “Remaking Our Sad World: From Community Activism to World-Building,” artist’s talk with Greg Cook, Monday, April 14, 11:30 a.m., Montserrat’s Hardie Building, 23 Essex St., Beverly, Room 201.