AN exciting exhibition of prints and original paintings by well-known local artist Michael Cooper has opened at Strode Theatre in Street. 

He has been recording country scenes with his paintbrush for more than 35 years.

Old and vintage tractors rusting away in the hedgerows, cider orchards and the assorted livestock of the Somerset Levels are all a source of inspiration for the artist.

His new cow paintings, animal and pet portraits have added greatly to the collection. Michael received no formal art training after leaving school but wrote and illustrated children’s books and worked for some time on a Somerset farm, an experience that stood him in good stead when it came to painting the farming scenes he now specialises in, capturing a way of life that is fast disappearing and will soon be gone forever.

In 1984 Michael opened his first studio gallery at Crispin Hall in Street and became a fulltime artist.

A few years later, after an exhibition at Harrods, his paintings started to attract attention and he discovered a demand from collectors around the country and throughout the world.

In 1996 he moved his gallery to Clarks Village in Street and although he is now retired from the day-to-day commitment of running his own gallery, he still paints in his studio on the edge of the Somerset levels.

Michael Cooper – Paintings and Prints can be seen at the theatre until December 16.

Original paintings and framed and unframed prints are on sale.

The exhibition is free and open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm, as well as on performance evenings.

For more information, visit or call Strode Theatre on 01458-442846.