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Meet Melanee Cooper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanee Cooper.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Melanee. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
At the age of 26, I opened my first gallery in Lakeview named Art Meca where I represented hundreds of artists across all media from fine crafts to objects. After about seven years there and a few more years spent dedicated to raising my kids, I reopened the gallery in Lincoln Park and began to incorporate paintings. In the late 1990s, I found a wonderful space in River North and began to focus even more on paintings. I also incorporated more local artists from around the Midwest and highlighted their unique talents. Because of these amazing artists, there was a lot of red dots across the walls, leading to many sold out shows.

After a while, I felt a strong calling towards health and wellness and decided to pursue a certification as a yoga instructor and health coach, which led to the opening of Healthy Zen – Chicago’s first studio that offered yoga, as well as nutrition counseling. In 2014, I gave Healthy Zen a new home in Santa Barbara and spent the next four years nurturing the business on the West Coast. After the horribly devastating mudslides that took place earlier this year destroyed much of the region surrounding my home, I decided to return back to Chicago. My passions were pulling me back to the art industry, and when I found out my amazing River North gallery location was once again available; this “coming full circle” moment finalized my decision.

My goal for the gallery today is to make it a place of discovery, where visitors participate in open dialogue and are immersed in an environment that allows them to delve into works that interest and transport them. My gallery will showcase unique, deeply expressive collections of works that engage and uplift the viewer.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Like anything in life, sometimes things go smoothly and other times there are bumps. When I find things that work for me, I move and grow with that. Throughout my two decades of gallerist experience, I have evolved my style based on both the smooth roads and the bumps. It has crafted me into the gallerist I am today.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Melanee Cooper Gallery story. Tell us more about the business.
As a gallerist and art curator, my style gravitates towards unique usage of surface and texture. I love to include pieces that are crafted through interesting processes and incorporate innovative or underutilized materials.

I am most proud of being able to implement my vision into my gallery. When I look around at the beautiful pieces hanging on the walls, I see so many incredibly talented artists with varying artistic views that are all tied together with a vision.

Consistently implementing my vision throughout all my shows to demonstrate my style as a gallerist allows my work to stand out. As well, we take pride in our customer service. We work hard to provide a warm and inviting gallery space that we want you to enjoy, experience and learn from.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Melanee Cooper Gallery

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