Friday, September 20, 2013

William Y Cooper: Painting the Music of Jazz

William or Bill Cooper is a new friend of mine.  We both have our studios at Buffalo Arts Studio in the TriMain Center.  A few reasons why I like Bill so much... he's got a killer hat, he loves Jazz, and he's learning to play the Blues (I guess he reminds me of myself a bit).  I checked out his solo show of paintings at Niagara County Community College.

Here are some thoughts...

  • In my opinion his most exciting work blurs representation with abstraction in a rhythmic explosion of organic shapes and psychedelic weaving
  • I prefer his "all over" compositions to ones with a clearly defined figure and ground composition
  • His work is an interesting pairing of a cartoon/flatness quality and afro-centric influence

Here is Bill's bio from
William Y. Cooper classifies himself as an Artist and an Art Teacher . Cooper is not only a teacher but a painter, printmaker, and muralist in his own right. He is a professionally trained artist and a State Certified Art Teacher who received his bachelor of fine arts degree from the University at Buffalo in 1975 . Among his accomplishments are various commissioned murals, including the I Have a Dream mural in 1982 , The Beauty of Relationships in 1988 and the BFNC Centennial Mural in 1992 . Cooper has also been active in exhibitions, and has had fifteen one-man shows and participated in twenty-six group exhibitions since 1969 . William Y. Cooper has been honored by the Arts Council of Buffalo & Erie County’s DEC/CIP Grant in 1996 , a Professional Artist Award in 1997 , and by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., who awarded him with their Community Artist Recognition Award in 1997 . Cooper is a member of NCA , the National Conference of Artists, and has been a member of the Alliance of African American Artists in America from 1990 - 1992 , and founded the Afrocentric Artists’ Collective which he ran from 1979 - 1981 .

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