Artwork by Katie Cooper

Artist in Focus

I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Colorado Springs, with open-minded parents who encouraged my habit of drawing on everything from the time I could hold a crayon.

At age 15, I attended a summer art program in Mexico. There, I experienced the disorientation of not knowing the customs or the language. Communication was ambiguous and the world was full of double meanings.

I began exploring dual realities and visual ambiguity—a focus that continued during my years in the New York art world of the 80s and through the summer I discovered the powerful mystery of the Arizona desert. The desert changed everything. I had to stay.

In 2013, I bought a mule and rode him from Mississippi to Tucson. Riding alone with distant traffic whizzing by, I again experienced a sense of existing outside of time. I rode for 7 months covering about 1,200 miles. Our shadow upon the landscape and the trail of hoofprints later informed a series called “The Road Paintings.”

Working in the studio—often late at night—shadows, traces, memories and imprints of movement, migration and timelessness permeate my mind and find their way onto the canvas.

Katie in Focus



Master of Fine Art, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
Bachelor of Art, Loretto Heights College, Denver, CO



“Shock of the New West” - Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ, 2020

“Small Works” - Untitled Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 2019

“We Live Here Now” - Recipient of the Award of Excellence, Tucson International Airport Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 2019

“Representing the West: A New Frontier” - Sangre de Christo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO, 2019

“Small Works by Tucson Artists Group” - Banner University Health Center Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 2019

“Shock of the New West” - Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ, 2018

"Texas National 2018" - Cole Art Center, Nacogdoches, TX, 2018 

“TAG: Arrivals and Departures” - Tucson International Airport Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 2017



Pivot Grant, Arts Foundation of Tucson and Southern Arizona, 2020

Research & Development Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona Community Foundation, 2020


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