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ARTIST AND MUSICIAN CECIL COOPER DIES AT 70!

 

Renowned artist, musician and art educator Cecil Harvey Cooper died this morning. He was 70.

His passing comes just over a week after he was conferred with Jamaica’s fifth highest honour, the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), at a special investiture ceremony at King’s House.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, who presented Cooper with the award, said it represented “service rendered that enhanced the quality of life and demonstrated significant contributions to Jamaica”.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Cooper’s “intellectual leadership and artistic integrity have given instrumental foundation” to his many students.

Cooper was one of the first students to graduate from the Jamaica School of Art, now Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, in 1966.

Cecil Cooper

Cecil Cooper

He was taught by artists such as Barrington Watson and Albert Huie.

Over the years, Cooper gravitated to a style of painting known as expressive realism.

Outside of art, he was awarded a scholarship by the Government of Jamaica to study music in New York.

He attended the Art Students League of New York and studied under the African-American abstract expressionist Norman Lewis, whose paintings were influenced by music as well as the aesthetic legacy of the Harlem Renaissance.

Last week after the investiture ceremony, Cooper’s wife, Rose Bennett Cooper, said the award was special to her husband.

“When he arrived and saw all his friends he became teary-eyed. I know that for him this is a significant milestone. This has made him a very happy person,” she said.

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