Deaths Death Notices
COOPER, William Y.
COOPER - William Y. Prominent and prolific Buffalo painter, printmaker, muralist and art educator extraordinaire William Y. Cooper made his transition to a perpetually sunlit art studio on Friday, February 26, 2016 following a long illness. He was 82. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Mr. Cooper began drawing at age four. He studied for two years at Alabama State College before being drafted into the army, where he wrote and illustrated training brochures for the U.S. Army Command in Europe. After discharge he returned to school on the G.I. Bill, and earned his BFA degree from the University at Buffalo. He taught art for 12 years in the Buffalo Public School system, was a regular instructor at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and always taught and mentored young children out of his studio. For many years, he also owned and operated an African art import business: Self-defined as an "Afrocentric artist," he maintained that affiliation with and study of African art and history was a major influence in his own painting. After closing his shop in 1995 he became an anchor and beloved resident artist of Buffalo Arts Studio. He exhibited throughout Buffalo and New York State, as well as in Alabama, Georgia, Washington, D.C. and Ghana. Like Cooper, his intricate canvases boom with movement and light, at once brilliant and brooding with color and intriguing, meditative form. Among the many sites of his work in Buffalo, his mural graces the Colored Musicians Club Museum in the historic Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor. William Y. Cooper leaves behind his loving wife Glendora Johnson-Cooper, Aunt Clarisse Burch, sons Yancy Cooper (Rochelle), Joel Cooper (Kendra) and Juan King; daughter Sharelle Hennigan; grandchildren Erik (Chancel), J.C. (deceased), Jaxon and Christina; and great-grandson Taylor. Visitation hours for Mr. Cooper are Wednesday, March 2, 2016 from 11 AM to 1 PM and 4 to 7 PM at THOMAS T. EDWARDS FUNERAL HOME, 995 Genesee Street, Buffalo NY 14211. There will also be a community open house on Thursday, March 3, 2016 from 4 to 7 PM in Mr. Cooper's studio at Buffalo Arts Studio, 2495 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214.