Ken Cooper

individual
Life Dates:
b. 1947
Nationality:
American
Artist Biography:
American artist Ken Cooper has been showing his work throughout his native Michigan, the Midwest, and nationally in the United States for the past three decades and in United Kingdom for ten years. He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he attended Grand Rapids Junior College before earning his bachelor degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and his master of arts degree from Central university in MT. Pleasant, Michigan. Ken Cooper lives with his wife Ruth in the small rural community of Norwalk near the Lake Michigan shoreline town of Manistee in the north-western lower peninsula of Michigan. Their home is a two-story sculptured cement store building built in 1912. The Coopers spent several years renovating the building into an art studio on the ground floor and an arts and crafts style apartment, which was featured in 'Victorian Homes' magazine, on the second floor. They spend part of each year away from their Michigan home in California and England. "Grand Rapids was, and is, a city of architectural treasures. As seen through the eyes of Manistee, Michigan artist Ken Cooper, the city takes on a haunting, mystical quality that induces an appreciation and nostalgia for an earlier era. It also inspires a passion for preserving the past amidst the present-day desire to erect monolithic structures of modernity. In 1993, Cooper returned to his birthplace to begin a series of watercolor and mixed media renderings of Grand Rapids buildings. They are not quite as we see them today. Looking back to the decades of the 1950s and 1960s, they represent 'the downtown Grand Rapids of my childhood,' says Cooper, 'in my imagination.'