Ashley Norwood Cooper

Ashley Norwood Cooper’s idiosyncratic paintings are unabashedly narrative. In bright colors shedepicts American life with sincerity, nostalgia, and dark humor. She draws on a wide range of influences from art history and contemporary narrative painting to music and folklore. While her paintings sometimes seem magical and dreamlike, the details are always drawn from the humble reality of life, both domestic and natural, in the Appalachian mountains and foothills where the artist has mostly lived.

The poet Marly Youman’s writes, “These are not paintings removed from real life, located in some distant arena of action. They are the places where we live and die, where transformation is continually happening.”



Ashley Norwood Cooper was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Greenville, SC. She studied Latin and Greek at the University of Georgia and taught Latin in South Carolina before returning to school to get her MFA in painting at Indiana University. She now lives with her husband and their two sons in Cooperstown, New York.

Ms. Cooper brings the abstraction and the narrative content of painting together in a series of oil and casein paintings. Her cut away house paintings explore the sanctity of the home and the forces that threaten it from without and within. Divisions in her composition cause the viewer to explore other kinds of divisions: between exterior and interior space, between past and present, between life and death.

Ms. Cooper’s paintings have been shown throughout the US. She has received an award from the National Society of Arts and Letters and was included in the Young Painter’s Competition at Miami University.

Educational Background:

Master of Fine Arts in Painting, Indiana University, 2000.

Bachelor of Arts, University of Georgia, 1995.

Major: Latin, Minor: Ancient Greek

Teaching Experience:

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Adjunct faculty, Color and Design, 2001.Graduate Assistantship, Color and Design, Beginning Drawing, 1999-2000. Drawing instructor, Florence, Italy, Studies Abroad Program, 2000

Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, IN.

Adjunct faculty, Beginning and Advanced Drawing and Beginning Painting, 2000-2001.

Depauw University, Greencastle, IN

Adjunct Faculty, Beginning Painting, 2000.

Art Awards and Exhibitions:

At Home: Paintings by Ashley Cooper, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, New York, May 2006.

Interior, Exterior, Subterranean: Recent Paintings by Ashley Norwood Cooper; First Street Gallery, New York, NY, January 2004.

Realism 2003 II; Stage Gallery, Merrick, NY, December 2002. Juried by Peter Tatistcheff.

Young Painter’s Competition; Miami University, Oxford, OH, January 2002.

Paintings by Ashley Cooper; Mary Praytor Gallery, Greenville, SC, January 2001.

Carbondale Community Arts Center, 7th Biennial Midwest Regional Competition; Southern Illinois University Art Museum, Carbondale, IL, Fall 2000. Winner of the “Show within a Show.”

Jasper Community Arts Center, Regional Competition, Jasper, IN, Fall 2000.

Recent Paintings by Grace Park and Ashley Cooper; Waldron Arts Center, Bloomington, IN, Summer 2000.

MFA Thesis Exhibition; Indiana University, Spring 2000.

Faculty Exhibition, Depauw University, Spring 2000.

Realism in Detail, St, Cloud Community Arts Center, St. Cloud, MN, 1999.

National Society of Arts and Letters; Riva Shiner Award in Painting, 1998.

Bold print indicates solo exhibition.