top of page



In 1987 Joel Cothran was born in Louisville, Ky. His mother and father’s family being from the Columbia, SC area they moved back when Joel was a toddler and he was reared in the Pine-Tree, Sand, Lake and River landscape of the Soda Capitol City. In 2010 Joel graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.A. degree in Painting. During those college years Joel worked as an airbrush artist, falling in love with the tool and process. A couple of years post college, after moving from Savannah to Columbia and then to Los Angeles the artist landed a job painting kids themed murals across the United States in churches and managing a theming paint shop in Denton, TX. This process of painting larger and quicker opened up a lot of doors and ideas on artistic process and layering effects.


Mark making, critical thinking, observation, writing and visual exploration have always been the building blocks of the artist’s work. Putting them all together is a struggle… “Pocket Paintings” as Joel would call them, or small works of art can have a profound impact for being so small. They allow immersion and spontaneity to emerge without all the effort, money and anxiety that a larger artwork might provide. To the artist this is paramount: “being able to progress at a fast pace is of utmost importance when you want to learn about yourself and make strides in your artistic development visually speaking.”


Joel Cothran currently resides in Columbia, SC.


The roots of my passions lie deep at the heart of existentialism, I need to know Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?


I make art to satisfy a need. My curiosity is the crux of the things I make. When I decide to paint, it is based on things I know. I like to mix ideas with color, I want to see what happens when the surface develops.


I do not know why, but once a thing is started it never finishes. I constantly work, then re-work, all the while starting new things. My studio practice moves with me wherever I go... I wonder what my art will be like in 40 years. Making art is like taming a tornado, and I want to be the best wrangler. A still pictures beauty is secondary to me occupying the space that it exists in. An artwork is a mirror into the artists mind, and all artists see the world differently.


Joel Cothran, Self Portrait, 2008. Oil on Canvas

bottom of page