Flower Power is Elana Cooper’s first solo exhibition at Creativity Explored. It’s a fitting title for an artist who has made a lot out of her love of flowers. The term “flower power” was coined by Allen Ginsberg during the anti-war movement in the ‘60s. Ginsberg encouraged protestors to bring masses of flowers to the front lines as a visual spectacle and hand them out to everyone.

In a similar vein, Elana disarms the viewer with her whimsical yet serious flower portraits, which exude a graphic visual power. Her monochromatic works are bold and direct. This work, like Elana, has so much personality. Her artwork pays tribute to her subjects in a personal way, capturing the shape and essence of each flower that she paints. The way a stem bends awkwardly across the paper, or the way she stacks different flower and leaf shapes on top of each other, shows us what draws her attention. There is a tenderness and humanity in her flowers that brings the viewer in.

I can’t help but think of the Creativity Explored community when I look at the flowers all together, each of us with our distinct personalities, shapes, and sizes is reflected somehow in her flowers. I am so inspired by Elana. She has had challenges in her life that she has overcome. Just attempting to make art can be a struggle and takes determination and courage. She is tough, as she is quick to acknowledge. In her art practice, she combines this toughness with tenderness, curiosity, and joy. And that’s what this exhibition is about, Elana’s love and joy.

(Eric Larson, Teaching Artist and Curator of Flower Power)