Helen Maurene Cooper

My work is driven by personal connection and the desire to build relationships within community. I am artist who uses numerous photographic processes along with installation and publication to connect and build relationships, explore feminism, entrepreneurship, small economies, the power of adornment, and intimacy.

Since 2008, I have been focused on place based exploration, specifically within beauty- centered communities. Subjects have included custom made prom dresses, drag queen culture, and the specialty minority-owned nail businesses of Chicago’s west side.

I have received funding for exhibitions through Kutztown University, the University of Chicago, lake Forest College, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Council of Eindhoven, Netherlands. Projects and exhibitions have been reviewed in the Chicago Tribune, Vice, New City, International Forum for Contemporary Visual Arts, New York Photo review, Temporary Art Review, and Bust.com.

Paint & Polish, Cultural Economy and Visual Culture from the West Side, Onomatopee, Eindhoven Netherlands, debuted in 2017 with an accompanying exhibition in the Netherlands in May of that year.