North Idaho College art instructor Priscilla Cooper recently submitted several pieces of her work for the spring 2018 faculty art show, “Silence Is Not An Option.” Cooper contributed five mixed-media compositions. “High Tide” I and II, completed in 2017, expressed environmental concerns. She drew on her memories from times when her family would enjoy summers on the beach in Gearhart, Oregon.
When Cooper revisited that location a couple of years ago, the beaches were spoiled with the trash deposited by ocean tides. In her artist’s statement provided with the exhibit she explained, “High Tides I and II relate to the enormous problem of plastic polluting every ocean and marine habitats in the world, entering every level of the ocean food chain.”
Another piece entitled “A Voice for the Voiceless” is a tribute to the HUNAH (Herd You Needed A Home) adoption agency for dogs. “Momentum,” a mixed media collage completed in 2018, is an homage to strong women she reflected upon, including her own grandmother. Cooper’s grandmother passed when she was very young and left her a necklace. She later was able to identify her grandmother as a young woman in old family pictures by the sight of the necklace alone. Cooper wore that necklace when she spoke about her work, along with other NIC faculty artists, prior to the show’s reception.
“Momentum” concerns the women’s rights movement from the 1890’s to present day, Cooper said.
Another piece called “Possibilities” was described as a “clothesline of current events.”
Cooper grew up in Portland, Oregon. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Idaho in 1950 and spent 15 years in the Bay Area with her husband before moving to Coeur d’Alene. She has spent the last 40 years in Coeur d’Alene, 20 of which she has taught Drawing I and II at NIC. She was a student at North Idaho College prior to teaching, working at the Union Gallery, which was in the current Student Union Building. She has been involved with the Corner Gallery since it’s inception 19 years ago.