Artist Profile | Michael Murphy Gallery

Jacob Cooley


Landscape artist, Jacob Cooley, born in 1968 in Sydney, Australia considers himself a North Carolina native, having moved there as a young child. Cooley does not remember a time when he did not know he was going to be an artist. This strong sense of purpose and a supportive family led him to pursue his calling. After studying at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio from 1986-1988, Cooley graduated in 1990 with a B.F.A. from the University of Georgia, Athens. He returned to North Carolina and received an M.F.A. in painting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993. He began painting the pastoral landscape of the piedmont as a way to somehow preserve an area that was physically diminishing while yet resonating with personal history. His focus then transitioned to the coastal wetlands where his family vacationed when he was a child. Today, Cooley’s subject is studied for its aesthetic quality. His work captures the light playing on the water as the grass meander.

Selected collections of his original oils include: Duke University Museum of Art and Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, Ford Motor Company-World Headquarters in Dearborn, MI, Marriott Hotels, Embassy Suites, Hyatt Corporation, US Airways, SAS Institute, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC, Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, FL, and Southern Progress Corporation, “Southern Accents Magazine”, Birmingham, AL.

Artist Statement

“These paintings are informed by harmonious hallowed places, landscapes about contemplation and the spirit, but also about the transient, ephemeral characteristics of light and darkness, and ultimately of life. This work attempts to capture the instant when the orange of the sun is about to completely scatter into the diffused light of dusk or dawn, or the thunderclouds move to entirely obscure the horizon. Moments.”

Personal Statement

“I am reveling in what to me is basic, authentic, and profoundly essential to issues of my consciousness – the infallible truths and deep-rooted perpetuity of landscape.”