Artist Courttney Cooper’s work unfolds and reveals the life and soul of the city of Cincinnati. He has been chosen as the artist for the 2018 Books by the Banks Cincinnati Regional Book Festival, an annual celebration of national, regional and local authors and illustrators and the joys of reading. The event is free and open to the public.
Cooper’s intensely detailed maps of the city and his colorful renderings of local landmarks and traditions have earned him a reputation as an innovator who uses everyday materials (such as a Bic pen and repurposed paper) to create unique images. Buildings, streets, and conversations are all recorded from memory. His work has been described as capturing “a sublime moment in time where viewers are able to briefly understand something as complex as a city.”
His work is represented at the Western Exhibitions Gallery in Chicago, IL who also hosted his first solo show in November 2016 which was discussed on Artinfo. His solo show at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago in 2016 was reviewed in nearly a dozen art forums. Cooper is a winner of the Wynn Newhouse Foundation Award from the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation that “provides grants to artists of excellence who happen to have disabilities.”
The artist’s works have been exhibited in the Cincinnati Art Museum (including a two-person show with Cole Carothers), the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, and the Outsider Art Fair in New York. His art has also found a home in private collections.
Cooper is also represented and has a studio in Cincinnati at Visionaries + Voices, a non-profit organization that provides exhibition opportunities, studio space, supplies, and support to more than 125 visual artists with disabilities. V+V artists actively contribute to the greater arts community through creative, educational, and strategic partnerships with local and regional artists, schools, and business leaders.
Books by the Banks has become a downtown tradition in which noted published authors and illustrators of adult, young adult and children’s literature in all genres meet, greet, answer questions from the public and sign books. Panel discussions and other activities are on the agenda.
Its goal, expressed on the BBTB website, is to celebrate “the joy of literacy and lifelong learning through reading and writing.”
This year’s festival will take place Saturday, October 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.
So far, more than sixty-five authors of fiction and non-fiction books for the adult, teen and children’s markets have confirmed their attendance at the book festival. Several authors have local connections. The list of confirmed guest authors and details about the reading festival are available online.
This year’s poster, featuring the artwork of Courttney Cooper, will be available for purchase at the festival.