Courttney Cooper (b. 1977, Cincinnati, OH) draws large elaborate and exuberant maps of Cincinnati, combining direct observation of city sites with an impressive memory of buildings and streets gleaned from his travels. Using information gathered from phonebooks and various random maps, Cooper recreates a cityscape of both Cincinnati and his beloved Oktoberfest-ed Zinzinnati, USA. Cooper’s practice is a perpetual celebration of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, USA, a commemorative and nostalgic place that exists parallel to or as a transparent layer upon Cincinnati, Ohio. Hot air balloons, beers, pretzels and banner-carrying airplanes fill the horizons above his three-quarter view landscapes. The large maps are drawn exclusively with ball-point pen on multiple sheets of office paper, glued together to accommodate additional drawing space as needed. He works on one cityscape at a time, taking from three months to one year to complete one piece.
Cooper’s solo show at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago in spring of 2016 was reviewed in artforum.com and New City. His 2-person show (with Cole Carothers) at The Cincinnati Art Museum in 2013 was reviewed in CityBeat and AEQAI. He has exhibited extensively in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area including the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati and The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, KY. Cooper recently won The Wynn Newhouse Foundation Award and his work is included in a number of private and public collections including The Cincinnati Art Museum and The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Courttney Cooper’s first solo show at Western Exhibitions, where he is represented, opened in November 2016.
Jennifer Crowe (b. 1985, Cincinnati, OH) has loved to fill journals as long as she or anyone can remember. The fragments of text combine poetry and the mundane in a struggle to find a whole in her experiences. Crowe’s words are layered enough to visually flatten itself to become powerful forms. Her process is methodic, working from left to right and top to bottom filling the void of empty space until the viewer is trapped somewhere between the impulse to read and a pure visual experience.
Crowe lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where she has been making art at the Visionaries and Voices studio for years. Her first interest in making art came from an early age looking at stained glass. She keeps journals of autobiographical writing, which slowly have become more entrenched, in her artmaking process. Her work has been exhibited regionally in Cincinnati for years but is now beginning to show nationally. She is involved in an upcoming group exhibition in Wisconsin, the Clifton Cultural Art Center’s “Golden Ticket” exhibition and is currently included in “Underlying system is not known” at Western Exhibitions in Chicago.