Photo of George Cooley

George Cooley

Oil City, PA, United States

Local Boy – I grew up in Wyoming Park, went to [the old] Wyoming Park High School, attended [the old] Kendall School of Design, took some time off from Kendall [to party] and then got drafted into the Army. After the Army I continued my art education at The School at the Chicago Art Institute and then Northwestern. I taught art for a few years, then started selling art supplies – finally becoming a national sales manager for several major art supply manufacturers. After retirement I developed my own internet sales operation, and today still live off internet sales. All my life I’ve considered myself an artist -- even when I wore a tie most of any success came from the right side of my brain. I was always producing art on the side, but for the last two decades the intensity has increased. For almost ten years I’ve lived in Oil City, an and old industrial town in Pennsylvania trying to be an art town. Much of my time in Oil City is spent in my studio, but significant time is also spent promoting art in the community. I’m on our art council’s board and have my hands in many of the community’s art ventures. With my partner, Margaret Brostrom, I also run a local concern, Art Inside, a private organization with the sole purpose of helping Oil City artists do whatever they want to do. My artwork dwells in disguises and camouflage – perhaps because of views developed as a young man in a military intelligence world that was my army experience. Also, from the Army and aerial surveillance involvement, elements of overhead landscape and coordinates show thru in my work. My art education focused on illustration, filmmaking and printmaking. Since school I’ve switched to painting – I’ve had a great art education, but I’m self-taught as a painter. My paintings are built from traditional materials and methods, but I modify things. I use wood as altered stretchers to make a skeleton, canvas as stretched skin – usually one piece tucked and pulled over the skeleton, then paint (most often acrylic and casein) as skin color and tattoos. Occasionally, I will produce recognizable portraits, but most often I’m interested in abstraction – or imagined landscapes from overhead. Typically, my work displays an illusion of pushed and pulled surfaces. Almost always, each of my paintings is titled with an exact set of coordinates, and a puzzle of verbiage. Past work shown below are pieces 30" x 30" or 30" x 60", done in 2017 and 18.

George's ArtPrize Entries

These are George's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

George's Past Work

These are images of past work that George has done.

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