Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

It's Only Make Believe...Or Is It? Michael's Night at the NIC

Eric Wimmer, Victoria Copeland, Michael Copeland at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY May 2, 2014
Finally, an opportunity to pull together some thoughts and some of the great images from Michael's recent museum exhibit and reception at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming. First, let me just go on a minute about my husband and my feelings about the evolution of his work.

The first time I saw Michael's work was during a slide-show presentation in 1985. Mind you, this was in our tiny berg in the middle of the desert. To say I was awe-struck is putting it mildly, I remember thinking, who is this guy? I actually asked him directly, in a loud disruptive voice,"Why are you here?" Of course, those of you who know us well know the answer. He was there so we could meet  up for one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" gigs. However, personal relationships, karma, and future marital happiness aside, the question was aimed at what I saw in him and in his work.

France Berkley   14 x 22 Mixed media  gouache on watercolor board 1984

First New Mexico Studio - Tularosa, NM 1985

Interior -  Studio - Tularosa, NM 1985
I have always been drawn to the arts. As a young person, instead of checking out the latest novel at our local library, I would check-out posters of Master's artworks. I hung them in my bedroom, a different print each month. I dreamed of visiting each famous painting in person, and traveling to far-away places just so I could be face-to-face with a Gauguin or Monet. I would lay in bed at night staring at the images, wondering what the artist was thinking while painting, how he created each piece, what materials he used and how they were applied. Most of all I wanted to know what inspired each piece. Pretty heady stuff for a twelve year old. A visit to the Detroit Metropolitan Museum of Art sealed my love of art for all eternity when, as a teenager my grandmother treated me to a Matisse retrospective. Between the bold, symbolic, saturated color cut-outs of Matisse and the permanent images of my city so perfectly depicted by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in the Detroit Industry fresco cycle, I was a goner.

Michael Copeland - Tularosa Studio - 1985

The first time I saw Michael Copeland's work I had that same sensation I had experienced standing in front of the Matisse retrospective that day in Detroit, a knowing, if you will, of being in the presence of something great and by that, I mean something greater than myself. I have come to believe that the artwork which endures; those artist's images that fix in our minds and hearts are generated from a place of vision and altitude which extends beyond our own.  Consider why we keep going back to the Masters. The work keeps us intrigued, inviting us to see more each time we look. The images that move us transcend place and time, culture and gender and tap into a larger truth, they become our touchstone and the artist and his/her work, our conduit. I saw and felt this in Michael's work and I feel the same about his work today. All those years ago, I couldn't believe this talented artist would want to stay in a small town in the middle of nowhere, a tiny place where his work would not be seen or elevated. But he stayed and used the quiet and the space of the desert to bring his particular vision and talent to his teaching, to his artwork and to his life and ultimately, like all things great, his work could not be contained.

"It's Only Make Believe" Michael Copeland Retrospective - Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, Wyoming May 2, 2014
Michael's recent retrospective at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, the gathering together of forty years of artwork in one beautiful venue was an opportunity for me personally to experience the depth and breadth of his talent and vision just as I had at that slide-show thirty years ago. It is an honor for me to continue to be a part of Michael's creative journey.

Both Michael and I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to everyone at the beautifully appointed Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper Wyoming; Executive Director Brooks Joyner, and his wonderful, talented and gracious staff, and to Museum Curator Eric Wimmer for his extraordinary vision, talent and support, as well as wife Maria Wimmer for her creative contribution and support, to Zhanna Gallegos, Coordinator of Education for her inspiration and hard work and to Lisa Fujita for holding it all together. To all the patrons, friends, family, students and residents of Casper who traveled from far and near to make this event one for the books, thank you all! It has been a pleasure getting to know you and it has been an honor to be a part of this event. - Michael and Victoria Copeland

It's Only Make Believe - Left to Right - Luke with Yellow Drip 2008. Collection Richard Owens, Warrenton, Virginia, Incognitus  2011 and Odd Caravan 2013. Collection the artist and No. 4 1999. Collection Jan and Chris Turri Corrales, New Mexico

It's Only Make Believe - Left to Right - France Berkley 1984 and Bones 1983 both collection the artist
Curator Eric Wimmer Introducing the Artist

Patron and Son! Sean Danby, East Hampton CT, and Patron and Cosmic Daughter Heather Wilder, San Francisco. Behind them on Sean's right, No. 4 1999 and to Heather's left, the original Jack 1991. Collection Patrice Case, Geneseo, New York

Maria Wimmer and darling daughters Elise and Cordelia with Bird Man 1990. Collection Patrice Case on the far wall.
Heather Wilder enjoying an early work - Levitating with Support 1982
Crown of Horns 2010 - Collection Kelley and Shawn Quarles Tularosa, New Mexico

The Maestro 2013, flanked by Jack II 2011 and Public Outing II  2012. Collection Rick Allred Santa Fe, New Mexico. 
The Maestro is Now Part of the Nicolaysen Museum's Permanent Collection.

The Exhibition Catalog!

Patron and Brother! Scott Barringer, San Francisco and me, Victoria Copeland - Nearby, Oh Umbria! 2013. Collection of Donald and Cindra Hamer, Longmont, CO and Changing of the Guard 2012.

Patrons Rick Allred, Santa Fe, NM and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Hamer, in the Gallery of Early Works, the '70's
Cosmic Daughter Kendra Fuller, Chicago, IL  with son Sean Danby

Cate, Kendra Fuller, Victoria Copeland, Scott Barringer, Michael Copeland,  Rick Allred,  Heather Wilder, Eric & Maria Wimmer, Sean Danby 
What a blast! More to come...we had a workshop!!

The exhibition catalog featuring all the images for It's Only Make Believe is available on Amazon or can be purchased directly from the NIC. tel. 307-235-5247

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Contemplation

"God knows that a mother needs fortitude and courage and tolerance and flexibility and patience and firmness and nearly every other brave aspect of the human soul" - Phyllis McGinley

Sending love to my incredible mother, Earlene, and to all the great moms across the globe.
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