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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » RENOWNED ARTIST CECIL COOPER CELEBRATES HIS 70th BIRTHDAY WITH THE EXHIBITION, “MILESTONE!”

RENOWNED ARTIST CECIL COOPER CELEBRATES HIS 70th BIRTHDAY WITH THE EXHIBITION, “MILESTONE!”

By Richard Johnson—

 Artist Cecil Cooper commemorates his 70th birthday with an exhibition entitled Milestone — Cecil Cooper at 70.

THIS year, renowned artist Cecil Cooper marks a milestone. He has reached his Biblical three score and 10, and is commemorating this with an exhibition entitled Milestone — Cecil Cooper at 70.

The exhibition begins Saturday until July 17 at the Olympia Gallery in St Andrew and will feature specially selected works from the late 1970’s to the present.

The occasion will also be used to pay tribute to author/playwright Barbara Gloudon and will see Prime Minister Andrew Holness as guest speaker.

Cooper is using the opportunity to give thanks.

 “It is a significant milestone in anyone’s life. It is a point of significant arrival, where I want to pay homage and give thanks. Actually, this exhibition represents a wanting to give thanks to the many people who have helped me along the way and I want them to know that my appreciation runs deep. After this, I will be going on to other things… Greater things, I hope,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Cooper hopes that, in viewing this collection, his audience will walk away with a greater sense of his artistic journey over 35 years.

“Within the journey, I have explored new techniques over the increased range of technical applications, which is connected to an international perspective. In other words, I am a Jamaican artist, I speak about my people and cultures but I also apply international techniques.”

Cecil Cooper

Cecil Cooper

Working daily in his studio, Cooper describes his passion for his art as a sort of ‘energy’.

“You can’t teach energy. You can harness and cultivate it. Much like what can be done for passion,” he said.

This is what he’s done and done well for over 48 years. Initially, painting was just solely a source of joy for him.

“I didn’t know the extent and the depth of which the arts meant to a society and means to cultures and how difficult it is to sustain the life of an artist. All of these things came late.”

Cooper said if he had known these things, he probably wouldn’t have bothered. He describes art as a ‘way of life’ and is adamant about the fact that it is not a profession, but rather a way of life.

Constantly looking ahead, Cooper does not speak to any highlights in his decades-long career as an artist.

“Life is a continuum. Each experience broadens my humanity. Therefore, I don’t believe in a highlight. There is an ability to get up each morning and approach the day refreshed and looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow is always one step ahead. The quest is to catch tomorrow but hopefully I never will. So the journey continues.”

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