Off the Field

January 14, 2011
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Pro football player Chris Cooley is also a talented ceramicist.

Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley is one of the few players in the NFL who has a creative and productive hobby outside of football: he likes to make pottery. Although his football career has been a success thus far (he has played in the Pro Bowl more than once), Cooley is also serious about pursuing his art. He began painting when he was an art major at Utah State and has lately been focusing more on pottery. Last year, he attended the conference for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and purchased a new wood-fired Manabigama kiln designed by John Thies and Bill van Gilder.

Cooley and his wife have also recently opened a gallery near their home in Leesburg, Va. The Cooley Gallery features the work of other artists, in addition to Chris's own pottery and paintings. It opened during Leesburg's First Friday event in early December 2010 and has had an overwhelming response so far-the gallery sold out of everything by Christmas Eve. To learn more about the Cooley Gallery, visit

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