The following information was submitted by the artist's granddaughter Wendi Wiltfang:
Wayne is an acknowledged painter known for his portrayals of Western and Indian subjects. He was born in Creek County Oklahoma, near the small town of Depew. His artistic talents and interests were recognized at an early age. Intense training began with Woody Crumbo, Famous Artists School, Gary Artist League, Valparaiso University, American Atelier in New York City, also in Kerrville, Texas at the Cowboy Artist of America Museum, under such artists as Joe Beeler and Howard Terpening.
His professional career started in 1964 in Chicago and continued to New York City from 1974 to 1981. He then returned to Oklahoma to pain and sculpt western subjects, the familiar sights and scenes of his childhood.
Publications include: Who’s Who in the Mid-West, Who’s Who in American Art, Dictionary of Biographies, International Who’s Who in Art and Antiques, Dictionary of International Biographies, Universal Directory of the Arts and Personalities of the Americans. Also paintings in such publications as Art Treasures of the Oklahoma State Capitol, Historic Tulsa, When Indians Become Cowboys, Oklahoma Our Home (the new Oklahoma History school book), and a new book put out by the Historical Society.
One man shows: New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Houston, Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Breckenridge, Colorado.
Special Shows: Circle Gallery, New York City, Rennes, France, Gilcrease Museum, Oklahoma. Heritage Museum, Will Rogers Museum, Kentucky University, Indiana Capitol Building, New Mexico University, Governors Mansion in Indianapolis and the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Collections of his work can be found in the United States, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Denmark, England, Scotland, China, Japan, Switzerland, Germany & France.
Paintings in permanent collections: Gilcrease Museum, Oklahoma Heritage Museum, a painting of Frank Phillips hangs in Woolaroc Museum. Wayne has twelve commissioned paintings displayed in the Oklahoma State Capitol and is currently working on the thirteenth and fourteenth, some as large as six foot by ten foot.
A lodge in Wyoming has commissioned a seven foot by seventeen foot painting which is currently underway in his studio as well as a seven foot by eighteen foot painting commissioned by Oneok in Tulsa.
The City of Perkins, Oklahoma has commissioned two twelve foot bronze sculptures. One is of local legendary cowboy Frank Eaton, better known as “Pistol Pete”, mascot of Oklahoma State University. The other bronze is of the Iowa Chief “No Heart”. The bronzes are to be displayed in a park on the north side of the city of Perkins once completed. Perkins was the home of Pistol Pete.
Wayne specialized in larges canvasses, which he has painted throughout the last decade. Wayne Cooper’s knowledge combined with his amazing talent to depict such strong feelings and emotion onto the canvas makes him, not only a well sought after artist for collectors, but for museum collections as well.