​​​Karen Cooper

Blues Over Panama on the Studies Page

Private Commission

Art BC Studio

Karen Cooper, The Artist

                                                              Artist’s Statement

     "Black is defined as, 'the absence of light and the absorption of all color, therefore, I believe that my black paper is looking for light and color to come alive.  When I start a painting, I fulfill that quest.  I try to create the positive of the light with the pure colors of pastels letting the negative of the rich black space make its own case for being left to itself.  The key is in knowing what to omit and what to add, that is when my art comes to be, when my composition comes to life.”—Karen Cooper 


     In 2002, Karen moved east to New Mexico.  Ten years later, in 2012, she moved east again to Texas.  Every time Karen moves east she finds more “west” to paint. After six months in Texas she has already been signed to do two solo museum exhibits and five combined museum western art shows and sales.  Karen will solo at the Longhorn and Pearce Museums in Texas, as well as doing Cowgirl Up! at the Desert Caballeros Museum in Arizona, the Museum of Western Art in Texas, the Old West Museum in Wyoming, the American Quarter Horse Museum in Texas and back to the Pearce for their inaugural fall show in  Texas.  In addition, she has shown or will be showing in four other private invitational Western Art Shows in Texas, Arizona and Colorado.  In 2011 Karen’s work became part of the permanent collection of the Pearce Museum.  2014 marked her fifth appearance at Cheyenne Frontier Days where she has been the official rodeo poster artist and the Western Art Show limited edition print artist and this year was the unanimous choice for the Official CFD Rodeo Poster for 2015.  In 2014, Karen made her third trip to Cowgirl Up! in Wickenburg, Arizona.  At the 2014 Bosque Art Classic, she took home the Second Place Award for Pastels and at the Hill Country Invitational Art Show Karen was awarded Best in Pastels. Both awards are repeats from the previous year.
To start off the new year of 2015, Karen's piece, First Turn Burn, was acquired by the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia to be part of their permanent collection! Nice Start to the new year!
     Karen is well known for action and movement in her paintings, as well as the drama of the negative space that is her signature.  In her paintings a collector has the best of the abstract, in the negative space, but also the best of realism in the actual subject.  Add Karen’s eye for color and you have a true one-of-a-kind creation of real people and animals frozen for a split second from an actual event.
     In 2014, Karen enjoyed the following HIGHLIGHTS:
       She attended her third Cowgirl Up! in March and sold three pieces for the third consecutive year.
       She was the Bosque Art Classic 2nd Place Award Winner for Pastels with "Pick Up Speed".
       She was the Hill Country Invitational Art Show 1st Place Award Winner for Pastels with "Pick Up      Speed", a winner wherever she takes it..
       She is the selected artist for the 2015 Cheyenne Frontier Days Official Rodeo Poster with "Back Rub".
     Karen will tell you that she has much to learn about the west and its inhabitants.  And, as she grows with the west so grows her art; as she says, “my work gets better with every stroke and with every lesson I learn about living in the West.  I really, really love what I do and who I am. That makes me famous!" Almost as famous as her relatives from the past, Frank and Jesse James!

      Charter/Exchange Student, Konstskolan Art School, Sweden
        BFA, San Francisco State University, CA
        AA Architectural Design, San Mateo CC, CA

Shows & Exhibitions 
      "Round Up" Exhibition/Sale, Museum of Western Art, Kerrville, TX 2007-2022
      Greeley Stampede Western Art Show, Invitational, Greeley, CO 2007-2015
      Mountain Oyster Club's Contemporary Western Art Show, Tucson, AZ 2007-2015
      Phippen Museum Exhibit, Wild Horses! Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ 2008
      Night of Artists Art Sale & Gala, Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX 2009
      Western Artists of America Small Works Show, J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, CA 2009
      Empire 100 Western Art Show & Sale, Empire Ranch Foundation, Tucson, AZ 2009-2014
      Governor's Art Show, NebraskaLand Days, North Platte, NE 2009-2010
      Western Artists of America Museum Show, Pearce Museum, Corsicana, TX 2009- 2012
      Western Spirit Art Show & Sale, Old West Museum, Cheyenne, WY 2010-2014
      Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show, CFD Rodeo, Cheyenne, WY 2010-2015
      American Plains Artists Museum Show & Sale, 2010-2014
      Annual Bosque Art Classic, Bosque Arts Center, Clifton, TX 2010-2015
      Heart of the West Art Show & Sale, Lander, WY 2010-2011
      Karen Cooper, "First Solo" Museum Exhibition, Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville, OK 2012
      Cowgirl Up! Annual Exhibition, Desert Caballeros Museum, Wickenburg, AZ 2012-2016
      American Miniatures, Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ 2012
      America's Horse in Art Show & Sale, American Quarter Horse Museum, Amarillo, TX 2013-2021
      Celebration of Light & Shadow, Museum Exhibition, Pearce Museum, Corsicana, TX 2013
      Karen Cooper, "Solo Three" Museum Exhibition, Longhorn Museum, Pleasanton, TX 2013
      A New Look at the West, Museum Exhibition, Pearce Museum, Corsicana, TX 2013-2014
      Hold Your Horses! Exhibition and Sale, Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ 2014 and 2017
      Western Art & Landscape Exhibit, 1st Annual, Greenhouse Gallery, San Antonio, TX 2014
      Museum of Western Art, Featured Artist, Kerrville, TX February 2015, April 2016-2017,

      and March 2019.

Awards & Achievements
      Peoples’ Choice Award—National Exhibit of the Pastel Society of NM, 2004
      Honorable Mention—The Pastel Journal Magazine, Pastel Top 100 2004
      Third Place Award—Miniature Arts Bardean 2005
      Honorable Mention—NM State Fair Fine Arts 2005
      Sponsors’ Award—National Exhibition of the Pastel Society of NM, 2005
      Peoples’ Choice Award—Homestead Western Art Show & Sale, 2006
      Signature Member—Awarded level of skill by the Pastel Society of NM2006
      Wingspread Publications Award—National Exhibition of the PSNM, 2006
      Award of Merit-Drawing (First Place)—Southwest Arts Festival, 2007
      Third Place Award, Pastels—The Phippen Museum Western Art Show, 2007
      Gold Award Dry Medium—6th Annual WAA Museum Show, 2009
      Selected as Poster Image Artist 2011 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, 2010
      Silver Award Dry Medium--7th Annual WAA Museum Show, 2011
      Museum Purchase Award--WAA Museum Show, Pearce Museum, 2011
      Selected as 2012 Limited Edition Print Artist for CFD Western Art Show, 2011
      Invited Juror & Judge, Spirit of the West Exhibit, Old West Museum, 2012
      Invited Guest Artist, 42nd Annual Women Artists of the West Show, 2012
      Bronze Award Dry Medium--8th Annual WAA Museum Show, 2012
      First Place 2 Dimensional Work on Paper - 8th Annual Cowgirl Up!, 2013
      Purchase Award - Greeley Stampede Invitational, 2013
      Second Place in Pastels - Bosque Art Classic, 2013 - 2014
      First Place in Pastels - Hill Country Invitational Art Show, 2013, 2014 and 2015
      Selected as Poster Image Artist 2015 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, 2014
      First Turn Burn acquired by the Booth Western Art Museum, 2015
      Pastel Journal Magazine, Top 100 Pastels for 2004, February 2005
      Western Horseman Magazine, Artist Profile, May 2005
      Pastel Journal, Pastel Pointers, August 2006
      Horses in Art Magazine, Feature Article, Spring 2007
      Wildlife Art Magazine, Feature Article, May/June 2007
      Western Art Collector, Western Artists of America Feature, August 2009
      Western Art Collector, Horizon Fine Art Gallery Feature, September 2009
      Western Horseman Magazine, Concept to Completion, December 2010
      Art of the West, Woolaroc Show Preview, May/June 2012
      Southwest Art Magazine, Woolaroc Show Preview, June 2012
      Western Art Collector, First Solo, Woolaroc Museum Preview, June 2012
      Western Art Collector, Artist Focus, P. 116, July 2013
      True West Magazine, Extraordinary Art of the West, 21 Artists Who Stand Tall in History, Oct 2013
      Western Art Collector, Cowgirl Up! Feature, March, 2014
      Western Art Collector, Women Artists of the West, June, 2014
      Western Art Collector, Cowgirl Up! feature, March, 2015
      Southwest Art Magazine, Feature on Karen Cooper, June, 2015

      Cowboys and Indians, Art Gallery, Pages 54-55, April 2019 Issue

Professional Representation
     Studio Gallery, 4712 W. Waco Drive, Waco TX