They tore down dry walls in order to expose the building’s original brick, which dates back to 1792.
The rest of the redesign turned Cooley into a makeshift contractor.
His responsibilities included laying down new flooring, re-using the upstairs wooden beams and building a bathroom for two weeks. “I had to tear down partition walls and tear down the old electrical and a drop ceiling and then another level ceiling above it.
He aimed to be a coach and teach high school art once he graduated, but his skills on the field soon diverted those plans.Cooley and Madi were on vacation in Wyoming a few years ago when he heard that Matt Long, a well-known potter in the art world, was staying nearby in Montana. When they got to the town Red Lodge, where Long was supposed to be, they were told he had just left for Helena.“I made Madi drive to Helena with me the next day,” Cooley says.It’s a big night – “First Friday” – and Cooley is preparing, and christening, his space for visitors, due to arrive in an hour.He’s swapped his usual baseball cap and paint clothes for a buzz cut, a sweater and a tie, but he gets on the floor anyway and starts sweeping the front room, scraping up drywall dust and the extra debris still visible after his months of work.