Fremont High student wins $5,000 art scholarship

Thursday , February 08, 2018 - 5:15 AM

PLAIN CITY — Fremont High School senior Cooper Brown received a $5,000 college scholarship along with the honor of having his painting of a Native American girl hanging in the featured spot in a display at the Utah State Capitol.

Cooper was the winner of the 2018 Senate Visual Arts Competition, sponsored by the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts

This year’s contest asked artists to portray a Utah personality.

“I chose to paint a young, Ute Indian girl because I believe the Utes were a great example to the people of Utah,” Cooper said.

Cooper named his painting Winona because it means first-born daughter in the Ute language.

Story continues below photo.

“It basically represents how the Ute Indians would teach their first-born children to be an example to the rest of the people in the tribe,” Cooper said. “It's always nice to have a deeper message behind the piece itself. It's fun to incorporate those details when painting or drawing.”

“I love how this piece turned out and I am so proud of Cooper for creating it,” said Cooper’s Advanced Placement art teacher Michelle Montierth. “This painting evokes an emotional response from everyone who sees it. I am sure he has a bright, artistic future in store.”

Montierth said Cooper pays attention to every detail of his works, down to stretching his own canvases.

“Creating good artwork is not only dependant on talent but also a lot of hard work and Cooper is that kid who puts in the time,” Montierth said. “He is not afraid to spend hours and hours on his works of art. He has done well in many art competitions during his years at Fremont and has won many awards.”

Cooper’s piece competed against about 300 pieces by high school students from throughout the state for the award. There were 25 selected to be displayed at the Utah State Capitol. 

Cooper said he was also chosen to have a painting, “The Playmakers,” in the annual statewide high school art competition in Springville. That piece features the faces of five young boys.

Story continues below photo.

Cooper will use his $5,000 to attend college, he said.

He’s been accepted to Southern Utah University but he also is currently applying to Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at [email protected] or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or on Facebook at

Sign up for e-mail news updates.