About Cynthia A. Cooper

Award-Winning Artist

Cynthia Cooper is a professional clay artist working in Goshen, IN since 1992. She received a Lilly Grant entitled, “Dive Down to Change the Coral Reefs through Art.”  Inspired by her underwater photography of the coral reefs, the high fired bas-reliefs on large jars give the viewer an experience of environmental awareness and the unique beauty of the reefs.

Work History

Cynthia is a founding member of the Goshen Clay Artist’s Guild and also spent a quarter of a century as an art educator at Goshen High School, organizing more than 40 exhibits for her students to display their work.


  • Produced and sold pottery and sculpture at Goshen Clay Artists’ Guild at weekly market and biannual Shows
  • Helped create and run ”The Empty Bowl,” selling 30 or more handmade bowls per year  to give donations to Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • Taught and continues to teach 12 week adult ceramic classes each year
  • Made glazes and fired gas, electric, raku, wood, pitfire, low, mid, and high fire kilns
  • Built pitfire, raku, gas, and salt-fire kilns
  • Taught various workshops including pitfire, raku, horsehair, handbuilding, and throwing on the potter’s wheel
  • Established and maintained productive working relationships with 25 members to resolve operational difficulties and to promote interdisciplinary collaborative approaches to running the guild smoothly
  • Helped write manual for Goshen Potters’ Guild to establish policies and procedures
  • Interviewed prospective new artists for possible membership


  • Documented student attendance and progress against goals
  • Met with parents to resolve conflicting educational priorities and issues
  • Facilitated group sessions and provided one on one support
  • Developed lesson plans surrounding various types of art, history, and culture
  • Planned over 40 in-school and external student exhibitions
  • Planned and executed activities to promote handbuilding, wheel throwing, and glaze application
  • Assisted senior students in coming up with and executing detailed final projects for exhibition
  • Fostered meaningful relationships among students through student field-trip retreats and teamwork community service projects
  • Developed activities and integrated technology to diversify instruction
  • Worked collaboratively with school administrators to implement intellectually challenging visual arts program that creative outlet for students
  • Researched best practices for arts integration and visual arts trends and applied new techniques to lesson plan material
  • Yearly Scholastic art show
  • Started Yearly Art auction
  • Yearly Annual student art show
  • Started Spring break Art inspired by the FL Keys, art program piggybacked on GHS  Marine Biology in the Florida Keys
  • Art Club Sponsor
  • Art  Department Head 20 years
  • Ski Club Sponsor


Cynthia earned her Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Science in Art Education and Art Therapy at the University of Evansville, and also received her Master of Arts in Ceramics from the University of St. Francis. 


  • University of Saint Francis – Fort Wayne, IN

        –Master of Arts, Ceramics,  June 2003

    University of North Texas, Denton, TX,  Education courses, 1994

    Collin County Community College, Plano, TX, Ceramics courses, 1986-1994

    University of Dallas, Irving, TX, Ceramics courses, 1984

    Richland College, Richardson, TX, Ceramics courses, 1981-1984

    University of Evansville – Evansville, IN

         –Bachelor of Art, Bachelor of Science, Art Education K-12, Art Therapy, May 1980


Cynthia is a highly acclaimed potter and educator. Her work has been selected for exhibits across the country, including Indiana, Texas, New York, Florida, and New Mexico. She has also presented workshops and spoken at events from Wisconsin to Florida. 

Cynthia was awarded a Lilly Creativity Fellowship Grant in 2013 that allowed her to study underwater photography and incorporate the scenes into her artwork. 



2021Cynthia A. Cooper:  One Piece at a Time, Goshen College Abner Hershberger Gallery

2021Eklhart 2 awards from Elkhart Museum of Modern American Art 

2020 Received 2 awards from Elkhart Museum of Modern American Art 

2020 “Carving Clay” Workshop, TAS, Marathon, FL

2019 Received 2 awards from Elkhart Museum of Modern American Art

2019 Chosen speaker at Elkhart Museum of Modern American Art

2016-2019 Michiana Pottery Tour

2019 Chosen Best teacher of Joel Lara:  Lilly scholarship choice for Independent colleges; Goshen College

2019 “Cynthia A. Cooper:  24 Years, Work by a Teacher and her Students” Art Show

2018 Received award from Elkhart Museum of Modern American Art

2016 Founding members of Goshen Clay Artist’s Guild Show:  Goshen Historical Society

2014 Presenter at NCECA, “Material World,” Milwaukee, WI

2013 Received Lilly Creativity Fellowship Grant:  “Dive Down to Change the Coral Reefs    through Art.” 

2008 Show at Bonefish Towers, Marathon FL

2006 Duel Show at 212 Washington Street Gallery, Goshen with Donna Arnold

2003 Work of Cynthia A. Cooper, solo show at Goshen Clay Artist’s Guild

2003 Saint Francis Master’s Show, University of Saint Francis

1999-Present: Biannual show and sale at Goshen Clay Artists’ Guild

2000-2020 Began and continued, “The Empty Bowl”show, sale, event to benefit Interfaith Hospitality Network

1999-Present founding member of the Goshen Clay Artist’s Guild

1999-Present Annual Fall and Spring Show at Goshen Clay Artist’s Guild

2000-2002 work displayed in Goshen Gallery

1999 Gallery W. Members Show at 212 Washington St. Gallery, Goshen

1997-1998 Goshen Artist’s Roundtable

1988-1995 Selected Galleries in Dallas, TX, McKinney, TX, Charlevoix, MI, Taos, NM

1994 “Fire and Water” Ceramics and Photography of Cynthia A. Cooper and Lucy Boody, Home of Michael and Celia Reid, Denton, Texas

1992-1994 Dallas Outdoor Art Show Circuit

1988-1994 Collin County Community College Student Art Show

1987 Stony Brook Academy, Long Island:  Raku Art Works by Cynthia A. Cooper

1985 TCA’s Cynthia A. Cooper and Wally Linebarger duel exhibition in the home of James and Claudia LaFurney

1984 Richland College Art Solo Show:  Cynthia A Cooper, Soft Earth Gallery

1981-84 Richland Community College Student Art Show

1980 Children’s Arts and Ideas Foundation Summer Art Collaboration 

1979-1980 University of Evansville Student Art Show Award

1979 Evansville Museum of Art Mid-States Juried show Award

1979 New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art

1978-1980  Summer Salt glaze Workshops New Harmony

Career Highlights

years as a professional potter

bowls sold each year to raise money for Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network

years spent as art teacher at Goshen High School

exhibits organized for student work


“Working in Goshen has been such a blessing for me. To be able to be a part of this community and see the arts grow, and to look out over the race, it’s something I do not want to take for granted. There’s something about being here, and being surrounded by nature, that drives my creativity.”

Cynthia’s Sketchbook

Thoughts from Cynthia and news about upcoming shows.

Cynthia Cooper: Gifts of the Sea Exhibit

Fire Arts Inc. invites the public to a truly unique exhibit by clay artist Cynthia Cooper.  “Gifts of the Sea” will be open September 2, with an opening reception on Friday, from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. Fire Arts Inc. invites the public to a truly unique exhibit by clay...

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