Barry Cooper

Barry Cooper to headline March 22 SPSA Art Show Awards Ceremony

March 12, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula Times He’s served as accompanist for numerous top-name vocalists and Barry Cooper will provide artful guitar at the 77th Annual Santa Paula Arts & Photography Show Awards Reception on Saturday, March 22 at Blanchard Community Library.

The March 22 reception for the show, the oldest such pre-juried show in the state, will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. with the awards ceremony starting at 6 p.m. The reception will offer refreshments and raffles as well as entertainment by acclaimed guitarist Cooper.

The show, sponsored by the Santa Paula Society of the Arts (SPSA), attracts hundreds of entries from the western states and those selected for judging usually number more than 300 artworks.

Judges for this year’s show are all acclaimed artists: Laura Long, Gayle Childress, Donna Granata and Juror Rex Kochel consider the entries that can win thousands of dollars in prize money including Best of Show, People’s Choice, Jury of Your Peers and others.

SPSA President Kaye Ford is encouraging art lovers to visit the library prior to the March 22 free reception to not only enjoy the works done in Oil/Acrylic, Watercolor, Photography, Mixed Media and Pastels but also to decide leisurely manner on their favorites and cast their votes for their favorites. 

Noted Ford, “You’ll want to avoid the rush,” of voting, which ends Saturday, March 22 at 5 p.m. sharp, and be able to enjoy Cooper’s music.

Originally from Liverpool, England, prior to settling in America in 1977, Cooper had pursued a career as a guitarist working in theater pit orchestras, ballrooms, night clubs and jazz venues, including some radio and television. He toured Europe and later became resident guitarist with Princess Cruises.

Having worked in and around Los Angeles for 30 years he has played numerous top name restaurants, hotels, and country clubs, appearances that led Cooper to become a highly sought guitarist at private parties, mostly in Beverly Hills.  

Cooper has also served as an accompanist for numerous vocalists, including Natalie Cole, Buddy Greco, the legendary Anita O’Day and Maureen McGovern, even playing a concert for country star Waylan Jennings.

Cooper recorded with the Dick Carey Band in Los Angeles, and has a solo guitar album.

Now living in Santa Paula, Cooper is taking a rest from the fast lane, but not from music: his business card notes “Jazz and Cocktails” and he is accepting selected engagements.

The show each year attracts generous sponsors who recognize the history of the arts in Santa Paula as well as it contributions to local culture.

Each year members of the Santa Paula Society of the Arts donate hundreds of hours to staging the show, founded in 1937 by acclaimed area artists Jessie Arms Botke, Cornelis Botke, Douglas Shively and others. 

The art can be viewed and balloting conducted at the library Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (except for the March 22 reception when library hours will be extended).

The show closes April 2. 

For more information about the show and the Santa Paula Society of the Arts visit, or the society’s Facebook page, 

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