VAN BUREN — Friends, family, fans and students of watercolor artist Carol Cooper came out Sunday (March 4) for the opening reception of Cooper’s exhibit The Nature of Things at the Center for Art and Education.
The reception served a dual purpose, as it also featured the exhibit Art Reflections, showcasing the photography; wood turning; calligraphy; and pencil, pen and ink artwork of staff at Subiaco Abbey and Academy.
Cooper’s exhibit, primarily watercolors and acrylics, showcases some of her favorite pieces from her travels with family to Venice. The Memphis native now lives in Rogers and teaches art at Northwest Arkansas Community College. She said she inspires her students to “keep your dreams in front of you.”
Her dream was always to be a teacher and a gallery artist, just like her father before her. He also worked with acrylics and watercolors.
As the title of her current exhibit indicates, nature is her favorite subject to paint.
“When I was in seventh grade, my mother bought me oil paints, pastels, and an easel because [she] knew I wanted to be an artist,” recalls Cooper. She laughs as she reminiscences about her earlier works, while in college. She now uses those pieces as a teaching device with her art students. She encourages them with some of her earlier works by showing the progression she has made over the 30 years she’s been painting.
Even though she dabbles in acrylics, Cooper said she is always been drawn back to watercolors.
Both exhibits run through March 30. More information can be found at the center’s website.