About The Artist
Adaja Cooper is a national award-winning, published artist from Little Rock, Arkansas. Born in Magnolia, Arkansas, Adaja has always expressed an interest in artwork by creating drawings and comic strips. At the age of 17, Adaja began to experiment with bright colors and immersive portraits, and has fallen in love with painting ever since.
During the summer of 2017, Adaja was accepted into Arkansas Governor’s School, where she further developed her skills with acrylics and oils. Along with winning multiple state competitions for her art, including AYAA (Arkansas Young Artists Association), she has 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. Adaja’s art has also been published in the Mahyue Magazine, and Hendrix College’s Aonian Literary Magazine. Adaja’s art has also graced the cover of JABSE (Journal of the Alliance of Black School Educators) magazine. She also created a painting for the Central Arkansas Library System, and the art is featured on a billboard in Little Rock, Arkansas. Adaja had been in multiple galleries including The House of Art, Acansa, and The Baum Gallery. Adaja is currently pursuing a Visual Art Degree and Business Minor from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.
With Adaja being of African American and Native American descent, she uses her experience as a Black woman living in America as inspiration for her art. She takes inspiration from photographs, movies and cultural encounters to paint stories of shared black experiences in a creative way. She produces work that include black people as her muse and uses history and culture to help express inner thoughts. Subjects typically have bold and expressive facial expressions, or calm expressions with vivid background to project the energy of the environment. Though her palette varies, Adaja typically uses a combination of warm and cool colors to create contrast between the subject and background. She also combines different mediums to show a difference in time, technique, and theme in her art.