Celeste Cooning

Celeste Cooning

"I am confident that living and working at the TK Lofts has been integral to my success here in Seattle. Between the space to work, and the supportive community around me I feel quite fortunate. " -Celeste

Celeste Cooning grew up in Indiana, studying painting and art history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Graduate School at the University of Washington brought her to Seattle in 2005, where she continues to live and work at the Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts as an independent, visual artist.

Her outdoor installations are known for dawning Occidental Park of historic Pioneer Square. Celeste exhibited among select northwest artists in the 2012 Bellevue Art Museum Biennial: High Fiber Diet. Seattle’s local Theo Chocolate Company commissioned a custom-designed rainforest canopy, which hangs in their tour hopper. The past year encompassed a solo exhibition at Mission Gallery, Chicago and a feature at the HOW Design Conference for New Leaf Paper in San Francisco. 2013 proudly marked the completion of a permanent outdoor sculpture for the City of Seattle through the 1% for Public Art Fund. The metal structure, titled Bounty, transforms her signature cut paper aesthetic into an overhead arch and functions as a threshold for Jackson Park Perimeter Trail.

Through a committed studio practice, Celeste Cooning’s work continues to evolve in scope and scale with joy and wonder at its core.

Artist Statement

My formal artistic training is rooted in the Western tradition of figurative painting. A pervading interest in pattern and ornament led me to explore cut paper. The medium facilitates a particular responsiveness to material, shape, light, and space. These pieces demand fluidity and attention to detail. The hand-cut nature is an important aspect of the work, necessitating mindfulness within the process. For me, this way of making permits breath amidst the rigors of daily life. Ideally, the work exudes this same breath when experienced.

Currently, my studio practice encompasses small works and site-specific installations for interior and exterior spaces to include storefronts, city parks, weddings, and celebrations. Dramatic lighting often plays an active role in engaging the cut outs with vivid color, reflective light, and dynamic shadows. The stylized nature and oversized scale of these decorative motifs allow for varied interpretation, with intent to conjure sensations of wonder and awe. It is within these moments that we become hopeful, curious, and inspired. Ultimately, I seek to cultivate this wonder, spark imagination, and nurture joy.

"Seattle-based Celeste Cooning is anything but a cookie-cutter artist. From templates she designs, Cooning creates cut-paper installations that have become popular guests at weddings, storefronts and public parks and as a piece in the Seattle Art Museum." Read More

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