Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art’s
Howard Cooperman says his gallery is valuable to nationally known plein air artists because it allows them to tap in to the strong collector base in his area, a base with which they might not otherwise make contact.

Cooperman points out that the Bucks County area was home to the New Hope School, a group of painters who pursued impressionism in Pennsylvania. “Their work is selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they couldn’t sell their work for $50 when they were alive,” Cooperman says. “This area is still rich with the history of the Pennsylvania impressionists, and I want to continue that tradition.” Undoubtedly the lesson from the New Hope School’s skyrocketing painting values is not lost on the collectors around Bucks County.

The “Grand Salon” is another of the gallery’s eight rooms.

Cooperman says that the area, strategically located between Philadelphia and New York, still teems with talented artists. Focusing on plein air work, and focusing on artists known outside Bucks County, provided him with a niche. “By reaching out to artists from across the United States and into the New Hope/Bucks County area, I thought it would open up some doors for the artists, for this gallery, and for the collectors,” he says. Not everyone who comes into Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art is familiar with names like George Gallo and Kirk Larsen, but Cooperman says collectors often see a piece in his gallery, go home and do some research on the artists online, and return with plans to buy. The gallery has a lot of room for shows — eight rooms and 3,400 square feet over two stories, to be exact.

His focus on plein air coincided with his hosting of Local Color Weekend, an annual plein air competition Cooperman started in 2012. It was a chance to showcase the plein air people on his roster, opening up the scenic land in Bucks County to a new generation of painters. Cooperman was bit by the plein air bug, and the participating artists got to explore the countryside beloved by legends such as Redfield, Baum, Garber, and Lathrop. “When the artists heard about this event, they were thrilled to come here and paint because they had heard of this area and its history,” explains Cooperman.


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