"To Glisten" by Adaja Cooper, 24x36 in., acrylic and oil paint on canvas.


"'To Glisten' is one of my favorite paintings!" Cooper says. "The piece is of my younger cousin while we were at the pool. It was such a beautiful day, and I remember asking her to pose for multiple pictures. I came up with the title because of the way the water glistened off her skin and seemed to reflect everything around her. I tried my best to capture as many details as possible due to this, which resulted in the painting taking six months to complete from beginning to end."

Adaja Cooper is an award-winning 20-year-old artist from Little Rock, Arkansas. Since the age of 17, Cooper has experimented with bright colors and immersive portraits, and has fallen in love with painting ever since.

During the summer of 2017, Cooper was accepted into Governor's School, where she further developed her skills with acrylics in oils. Along with winning multiple state competitions for art, including the Arkansas Young Artists Association, she has also been to national competitions competing with her paintings. In 2019, she won third place in the painting category at the National NAACP ACT-SO competition in Detroit.

Cooper’s art has also been published in multiple books and magazines. Some of her pieces are currently being displayed at local galleries and coffee shops around the state.

With Cooper being of African American descent, she uses her experience as a Black woman living in America as inspiration for her art. She produces work that includes Black people as her muse. They typically have bold and expressive facial expressions, or calm expressions with vivid backgrounds.

See more of Cooper's work on her website adajacooperstudio.com, on Instagram at @adajacooper or currently on display at Community Bakery in SoMa.