Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 47

holiday-themed sleds, coffee pots, utensils, muffin tins and more.
" Christmas is the biggest holiday for me, " she says. " I paint holiday
scenes on a little bit of everything. "
She says the personalized holiday projects she undertakes are some
of her favorites as they have special meaning. " I'm painting a sled this
year that a customer brought me, " she says. " It was the sled she used
as a child with her sisters. I'm going to paint three snowmen on it representing each sister and paint their names on the scarves. It's a memento of her childhood that will have more meaning now. "
Her biggest sellers annually are specially made hubcaps and personalized antique baseball gloves.
While there are plenty of options for personalized pieces of art, especially from big-box stores and online, Cheryl says there is a difference in
having it done locally by an artist.
" I can make sure it is done exactly the way you want it, on the exact
surface you want, " the Citizens Electric member says. " I think those
items are so much more meaningful when you know the person who
created it as opposed to just ordering it online. "
The Coopers' business is still reeling from a particularly rough 14
months. The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out most of Cheryl's vendor
shows for the year, forcing her to just take orders online or remotely.
But the biggest loss was at a show in late 2019.
" Someone stole our entire trailer that was full of completed items, "
she says. " We lost about 1,000 pieces of artwork in total. We had put so
much time into all of those items. I'll never understand it. It hurt physically and emotionally to lose it. "
So Cheryl has spent the year working to replenish her inventory,
readying for when the shows can safely return. The Coopers take their
art to festivals and fairs across southern and mid-Missouri along with
southern Illinois.
While the past few years have been stressful, Cheryl says art - from
tole painting as a teenager to her painting a custom pedal car now -
has always given her an outlet.
" I started painting when I was a teacher as a release, a stress reliever, " she says. " I've just stuck with it because it's something I enjoy.
Handing over a piece that I worked on to a customer feels to me like I'm
giving a piece of me to them. That makes it special. "
For more information on Cooper Crafts visit www.coopercrafts.weebly.
com or like their page on Facebook.

Above and top: While Cheryl paints plenty of non-holiday
items, she's become known for the Christmas scenes she
paints onto various antiques she acquires. Above left:
Cheryl does the preliminary painting of a snowman onto a fullsize sled in her painting studio in Perryville.
DECEMBER 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

47


http://www.coopercrafts.weebly.com http://www.coopercrafts.weebly.com http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 9
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Rural Missouri - December 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - December 2020 - Cover4
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