Cynthia Lee Cooper

“Photography is my spiritual practice. My commitment is to reveal the face of humanity, to make Divinity undeniable, and to have portraits show what one looks like when a person is loved.”
One of the most extraordinary jobs I’ve ever had was as the Executive Director for the Fresno Coalition for Arts, Science & History, an arts alliance. There, I built and expanded partnerships and collaborations in the cultural sector with community, public, and business leaders to give the arts a seat at the table and became a passionate advocate for the arts.

After leaving the Coalition, I bought my first non-point-and-shoot camera, a used Nikon D2X. It was like getting a Ferrari for a first car. A month after I bought it, a project grabbed me. Over the next year and a half, I spent a year on the streets photographing and interviewing homeless young adults living in Fresno’s Tower District. It started as an inquiry and turned into a peace project – to connect people with other people’s humanity. The project, Tower Tribe, a Rat’s Eye View initial exhibit was a Spectrum Art Gallery.

My career has included helping to open the Phoenix branch office for Cooper Aerial Survey: an aerial photography and mapping company; being an Enrollment and Registration Manager for Landmark Education – an international training and development firm; and running an administrative systems design firm. I received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Mills College, in Oakland, CA. I currently serve on the board of Through Each Others Eyes, a cross-cultural photography exchange organization, and am an advisor for The Magic of Modern Art, dedicated to having modern and contemporary art be accessible to everyone.