Nest Artists Co-Founder Christopher Cooper ’23 Pursues Postgraduate Studio Arts Career

Hannah Lorenzo ’24

Arts & Entertainment Editor

If you pay close attention to the event flyers posted around campus, you may have just seen the work of Christopher Cooper ’23. As a postgraduate student who majored in studio arts, Cooper now works as a graphic design artist for the Office of Communications and Marketing at Trinity College. Combined with the support of the Studio Arts Post-baccalaureate Residency and Summit Fellowship, Cooper aims to build his portfolio for graduate school while maintaining his full-time graphic design job. His undergraduate years may be over, but he continues finding inspiration from Trinity’s arts community to pursue his individual artistic explorations

Growing up in Chicago, Cooper discovered a vast arts scene in his hometown. From being influenced by local artists of color like Sentrock and Hebru Brantley, to creating his own works in digital art and painting, he was a young artist in the making and took the opportunity to educate himself further in the arts at Trinity.

“I was an intended political science major, but I decided that I would be happier pursuing studio art and that it was something that I could not live without,” Cooper said. “From what I have experienced in Hartford, the arts community is strong and constantly growing with places opening up for artists, the murals and art of the Black and brown artists being highlighted more and more.”

Reflecting on his time as an undergraduate student, Cooper follows his own template to a successful work ethic. “There is not really one specific project that helped me get better in my art. It is annoying to hear and say, but truly the only thing is doing a lot of work,” Cooper said. “Constantly sketching and painting and drawing is the only thing that has truly allowed my work to develop to where it is at now.”

With such drive, Cooper’s artistic vision led him to found Trinity’s Nest Artists, a student club that he created with Tiana Sharpe ’23 and Brenda Ordoñez ’22 to “give students who love art, want to create or even just explore a new community that time and space that they normally may not have because of other academic requirements.”

If you visit the Underground Coffeehouse on campus, you may have noticed the mural showing off the diverse talents of student artists, which is one of their first major club projects along with TrinGala and the establishment of the Arts & Crafts Supply Library at the Raether Library & Information Technology Center. According to Cooper, Nest Artists “promote student art across campus by creating spaces that will help give people the time and resources to create art, giving students a space to get critiques and grow as an artist, sell their work to the community, and create murals and arts for the community.”

Making the shift from student community projects to personal and professional ambitions, Cooper holds onto his Trinity experiences and recognizes the potential of his future career as a studio artist, graphic designer or perhaps a new kind of artist.

“I definitely think that the time that I have had at Trinity and the people and professors pushed me to see that as an actual possibility. I have had a lot of support to see this as a feasible path,” Cooper said. “I do not need to wait 10 plus years; I have been doing it now. I definitely see that postgraduate school, once I apply and get in somewhere, that will be the path.”

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