Charlene M. Cooper is a self-taught artist, reared and educated in Philadelphia. At an early age she had an infatuation with the arts, enjoying creative writing, music, and theater, but was "very partial to the visual arts," admiring the works of Ernie Barnes, who was the first African American artist that she was exposed to through the 1970’s televised sitcom “Good Times” and the art of Tom McKinney, who was the preferred artist of her 5th grade teacher, and Nelson Shanks, which was subsequently how she realized that she wanted to become an artist.
Charlene credits all of those "remarkably gifted" men for opening her eyes to a world of art that she never knew existed. Her art illustrates the joys and pains of African-American life in the USA. She uses art to invoke thought, laughter, love, and sometimes tears. She aspires to become considered a Master of her craft and would like her viewers to "feel her art with their entire soul and remember it like the seductive expression of an old love song, delighting in its complexity like a Bordeaux connoisseur of a sweet sauternes."
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"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."
~ James Baldwin
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Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.
The James Baldwin Literature Prize
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.