A Cooperstown resident has a solo art show opening next month in a West Coast art center.
Ashley Norwood Cooper’s show “Picnic at Sunset,” will open Thursday, March 4, at ZINC Contemporary, an art studio in Seattle.
A South Carolina native who also teaches at SUNY Oneonta, Cooper has been selling her work through ZINC for about three years, but she said the solo show is a step up for her.
“The way it usually works is they show some of your paintings in a two-person show, or a group show, to gauge how their buyers respond to your work,” she told The Daily Star on Friday, Feb. 5.
“So, to have my own show is a new thing,” she continued. “I have been waiting a while, because it has been delayed two times or three times, now, I think.”
The show is named for one of the oil paintings in Cooper’s collection. “Picnic at Sunset” shows a mother expressing emotion as she chases her child and her family’s picnic is invaded by insects, all while her partner zones out on music or social media, oblivious to the chaos around them.
“I feel like the theme of my art has been the craziness of motherhood for some time,” she said. “This particular show is set around more of a theme of outdoor settings and activities.”
The solo show was originally supposed to open in the spring of 2020, but the coronavirus postponed it several times, Cooper said.
“Seattle being the center of the pandemic at the beginning, you understand why it had to be postponed,” she said. “But they have opened back up and they have told me they are doing the show for sure this time.”
Cooper said the solo show was preceded by a good showing she had at a gallery in New York City last year set up by her sales agent at ZINC. The show got a rave review from the New York Times, and the author, Jillian Steinhauer, made a special point to mention Cooper.
“In high-key color, Ms. Cooper renders intimate scenes of women who seem immersed in their interior lives and creativity (always with cats at hand). Tender and funny, the works stopped me in my tracks,” Steinhauer said in the review.
“Things have stepped up some since the New York show, and that Times review,” Cooper said. “It’s been good.”
A university of Georgia undergrad, Cooper got a master’s degree in fine art from Indiana University. She and her husband, Shelby — who is from the Midwest, and not a descendant from the Coopers of Cooperstown — live in the village. Her studio is in a building in their backyard. And although the demand is increasing for her work, she said she is always creating, so she always has more work on hand.
“I’ve certainly had a lot more time on my hands this year to paint,” she said, “although this semester I am teaching two classes.”
Cooper said she will go to Seattle for the show if she is able and she hopes the reviews this time are as favorable as they have been elsewhere recently.
“It is exciting,” she said. “Things have really been going well.”
For more information, visit www.ashleynorwoodcooper.com.
Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ot 607-441-7218.