JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Renowned local artist, musician and art educator, Cecil Harvey Cooper, has been conferred with the nation’s fifth highest honour, the Order of Distinction (Commander Class).
  • The Prime Minister hailed Mr. Cooper for his contribution to Jamaica and to the nation’s culture.
  • Mr. Cooper was one of the first students to graduate from the Jamaica School of Art, now the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, in 1966.

Renowned local artist, musician and art educator, Cecil Harvey Cooper, has been conferred with the nation’s fifth highest honour, the Order of Distinction (Commander Class).

Mr. Cooper was presented with the insignia by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Patrick Allen, at a special investiture ceremony at King’s House, in St. Andrew, on September 6.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said Mr. Cooper’s “intellectual leadership and artistic integrity have given instrumental foundation” to his many students.

“Many hold him in high esteem, but more importantly great affection,” said Mr. Holness.

The Prime Minister hailed Mr. Cooper for his contribution to Jamaica and to the nation’s culture.

Meanwhile, the Governor-General said the award represented “service rendered that enhanced the quality of life and demonstrated significant contributions to Jamaica”.

He expressed the hope that the award will be a symbol for persons to become more civic-minded.

Speaking to JIS News following the investiture ceremony, wife of Mr. Cooper, Rose Bennett Cooper, said the award was special to her husband.

“When he arrived and saw all his friends, he became teary-eyed. I know that for him this is a significant milestone. This has made him a very happy person,” she said.

Mr. Cooper was one of the first students to graduate from the Jamaica School of Art, now the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, in 1966.

During this time, he was taught by artists such as Barrington Watson and Albert Huie.

Over the years, Mr. Cooper gravitated to a style of painting known as expressive realism.

Outside of art, he was awarded a scholarship by the Government of Jamaica to study music in New York.

He attended the Art Students League of New York and studied under the African-American abstract expressionist Norman Lewis, whose paintings were influenced by music as well as the aesthetic legacy of the Harlem Renaissance.