WMU News

NWF holiday cards feature Cooper's polar bears

Aug. 4, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Award-winning nature photographs by Western Michigan University alumnus Thomas Cooper continue to gain worldwide exposure in museums, magazines, calendars and now, a holiday greeting card for the National Wildlife Federation.

Cooper's "Beariscope," which shows a mother polar bear and her cubs, is one of this year's featured holiday greeting cards from NWF. Titled "Snuggle Up," the card and matching envelope are available in boxes of 20 at a pre-season sale price of $9.95 through the end of August. Cards may be ordered by calling toll-free 800 477-5560 or by visiting <shop.nwf.org> on the Web.

Photographed in March 2001 in northern Canada, "Beariscope," has earned honors in two international photo contests, has been featured in several magazines and calendars and is part of a world touring exhibition sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Out of 104 award-winning images, "Beariscope" was one of 40 photographs selected by Nature's Best magazine for its International Photography Awards exhibition, which runs through Sept. 30 at the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum in Oklahoma City, Okla. "Beariscope" also will appear on Hallmark holiday greeting cards sold in Australia and New Zealand

In April, Cooper donated a framed 16-by-20-inch print of "Beariscope" to WMU's permanent art collection as a centennial gift to his alma mater. That print is now displayed outside the president's office in Seibert Administration Building.

Another of Cooper's polar bear images will appear in the 2005 Inner Reflections calendar published by the Self-Realization Fellowship.

"Inner Reflections is one of the top calendars in the world for nature photographs," says Cooper. "Competition for getting [photographs] into it is brutal, and most of the photographers who get their images published in it are professionals. I've been trying to get a photo selected for five years, so I am thrilled to have an image going into the 2005 calendar."

A 1980 business-marketing graduate of WMU, Cooper resides near Des Moines, Iowa, where he manages an estate when not off on one of several photography trips he takes each year. Many of Cooper's prints can be seen on his Web site at <www.coopersimages.com>. For more information, contact Thomas Cooper at <thomas@coopersimages.com>.

Related story
Nature photographer Cooper donates work to WMU

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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