Jessie Allen Cooper, Proprieter


What is a Cooper?

Cooper maker of barrels, minstrel, carpenter, handyman of the town or village. As you all know Cooper is a widely used word and has been recently used as first name, a car, a tire or a hockey helmet. Cooper means Barrel Maker!...

It took me over thirty years to understand and embrace the Cooper name and at one point I did make a oval-shaped frame for Leonardo Di Caprio, found on my art web site at cooperartscom.

In the fifth grade my teacher was creative and inspiring. He taught us how to write in a Egyptian hieroglyphic lettering font. I don't know if this affected anyone else in the class but for me it was one of the first creative experiences that I had.

Working with my hands seemed to come natural to me. Music and art interested me as a child, and to this day drive my creativity. However I had a woodshop teacher that would have a tremendous impact on my life. His name was Mr. Hublow and God bless this steadfast, maybe a little warped but kind hearted man, who is no longer with us. Mr. Hublow was the man that showed me the craft of woodworking, thus creating my first experience of being a Cooper.

Mr. Hublow was an eighth and ninth grade woodshop teacher, carpenter, ball busting, and insightful man, that at times threatened and sometimes used a large paddle with holes drilled in it to get across his point. ("That is that a", one of his preludes to a thought) I have to say that the man was respected. His manner of teaching was kind of like being in a military boot camp, but it did work, and to his favor I still have all my fingers and hands. Mr. Hublow's shop was fully equipped with power tools, including a full sized table saw, lathes, planers and all the finest shop tools of the day.

Being around wood had a tremendous impact on me. The smell of different woods, the smell of varnish, oils and other finishing supplies that at times I still use, became ingrained into my consciousness. I made several pieces of furniture and turned bowls on the lathe in Mr. Hublows class. To this day I still use his words of wisdom while working with my framing companions.

   I wrote a poem called Since I first touched Wood:
Click to read the poem

The home in which I grew up, located in Everett, Washington was medium sized with a good large upstairs. My brother and I turned it into our own psychedelic black light art gallery by painting on the walls and putting black light posters everywhere.

Music and art were always important to me and influenced me as much as woodworking, however that's another story.

In high school I took a class called carpentry taught by Mr. Reeber, this class was designed to turn young men into carpenters. During those two years we built a house, a garage, and some cabinets. I took carpentry in my junior and senior years of high school and at the end of those two years the fifteen or so guys that took the class had acquired two years toward becoming a union carpenter.

After high school I worked in a cabinet shop for several months and at Nord Doors for two years, which at the time was the largest door making company in the world.

The next seven or eight years my life were totally dedicated to music studies learning to write, record, and perform. Spending six years going to first community college and completing my studies at Western Washington University. After attending college I went on the road for several years performing throughout the Northwestern United States and Canada.

   Being into performance and music composition I came to LA with a folder of art and all the possessions we had loaded into my van. Like all the rest of us that came here from somewhere else looking for fame and fortune. I had just gotten married and moved here with my new wife Linda Cooper. Linda is a nurse and was really supportive of me getting a job that would go with my music.

So with my carpentry and art background I wondered what type of job would go with my music carrier. Mind you, this was almost twenty four years ago. I had the idea of getting a job as a picture framer. After scouring around the Santa Monica -Venice, California area, I was hired by Salvatore Orlando, the owner of a local frame shop called Artists and Others. I worked running Artists and Others for a couple of years. An accolade must be given to Sal for being incredibly supportive of me not only as framer but as a musician.

In the early 1980's I went to work for Art Services. My job at Art Services was very unique as I worked directly under Manny Silverman and the best design staff in the city. My job was the head fitter and problem solver.

Art Services has always been known for serving the rich and famous. The large staff there did framing for virtually everyone in the movie and music business of stature, as well as many galleries, collectors and museums.

While in the back room at Art Services on Melrose I cut my teeth working in fast paced situations and with a interesting clientele, including Billy D. Williams, Farrah Faucet, Billy Wilder, Gemini, and in Steve Martins home.

One Saturday an appointment was made for me to fit one of Silvester Stallone's Chigals into a finely crafted large gold leaf frame. I was told at that the piece was worth an undisclosed large fortune. At the time its value would have bought a nice home in Beverly Hills. The appointment was set and in the back room came a very large body guard, stating there's a piece in the jeep from Sly and I don't want to touch it. His paranoia kinda got to me but what do you say to a guy like that. I said no problem!... The piece was left with me and later when he came back to pick the piece up he had me carry the Chigal and put it into the truck. Sly had installed fear into this sherman tank of a guy.

At one point after working at Art Services for a couple of years, Manny Silverman took me into his office and we decided that it was time for me to move on. At that time I started getting jobs working as a independent contractor. One of my first jobs on my own was going into Marsha Weismans home and changing out the Plexiglas on all of her works on paper from regular Plexiglas to UV filtering Plexiglas. (now deceased Marsha is Norton Simons Sister and for many years was married to Fred Weisman). Art Services supplied me with all the materials and I brought in all my own tools and performed the work right there in her home on her dining room table. She owned the finest collection of works on paper that I had ever seen in one place. Marsha was a true patron of the arts.

Soon after working at Marsha Weisman's I was hired by Larry Bell to fit his show at the Laguna Art Museum circa 1985. I spent days on the floor fitting his vapor drawings in the museum.

Since I left Artists and Others several years before I was continually doing jobs on my own. After the Larry Bell show I was in business. J. Cooper Picture Framing was now a fledgling start up business. In the beginning I started up on my shop floor with a vice, hammer, and a old Morso Chopper, (the machine that cuts the 45 degree corners). In the beginning I had little work and I would have to go borrow Sals mat cutter to cut mats.

For the next ten years I did framing and music. Working by day as a framer and by night as a musician. Building a name as the guy that could frame anything; special finishes, fabrications and designs.

As the years past, I gradually became more and more known as a framer. By the mid 90's I landed my first real show, Charles Garabedian "The Labors Of Hercules", for the LA Louver Gallery. Over the last twenty three years J. Cooper Picture Framing has framed thousands of pieces of art, including dozens of gallery shows, as well as framing for collectors, doctors, attorneys, the rich and famous and regular folks.

One of the things that I have enjoyed doing the most is taking an artist from having art and not knowing how to frame it, all the way to doing their own show. In relationship after relationship J. Cooper Picture Framing has become a very important part in taking an artist from being talented to being a success story.

To date I Jessie Allen Cooper owner of J. Cooper Picture Framing along with many key support contractors have been responsible for framing over 20,000 pieces of art.

The special treatment that you receive at J. Cooper Picture framing is second to none. If we've worked for you in the past many thanks. If we haven't worked for you and what your looking for is quality and service in a safe environment for you and your art, give us a call.

All The Best, Jessie Allen Cooper

A partial client list:
Marc Flanagan, writer for TV including Tracy Uhlman
Blake Byrne, Top 200 contemporary collector
Marina Day, Artist many styles framed and hung six shows
Stas Orlovski , Artist/Art Teacher
Chuck Sloan, producer
Kim Light, collector and gallery owner
Lydia and Charlton Heston, re-framed dozens of pieces for personal collection. An accolade must be given to Lydia Heston for her fine photography work. Being the wife of a star is not easy and in her case her husbands fame far overshadowed her own creativity. Mark Helliger her electronic photo curator is responsible for bringing her photos to life. I Designed, framed, crated, worked with museums and curators in shipping making sure art arrived at destinations safely.

J. Cooper Picture Framing created frames for this show,
in Los Angeles at the Skirball Museum

Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books
April 8 thru August 1, 2010


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