A Totem to Compassion: "Kinde" Opens at Boland Hall Gallery

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (August 28, 2012) - The creatures that populate Kaitlyn Coppola's ceramic sculptures twist and turn and pile up on one another in an explosion of ambiguity. The fantasy figures in "Kinde," which could be animals in distress, trapped by their partner's limbs, or could be mutants comforted by their intertwined connection, will be exhibited at Saint Joseph's University's Boland Hall Gallery Sept. 2-28. An artist's reception will be held on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 6-8 p.m.

While her characters, which are fashioned from unfired clay, are of an ambiguous taxonomy, Coppola, who is a member of SJU's Class of 2010, is certain of the feeling that motivates her work. "My practice as an artist comes from a place of profound connection and caring for the world around me," Coppola says. "I have long been interested in issues of gender inequity, animal rights, environmental concerns and issues of abuse, submission and control. It all seems to boil down to our capacity to compassionately connect with the world around us."

"We are very excited to welcome Kate back to Hawk Hill to exhibit her recently completed graduate thesis work," says Associate Gallery Director Jeanne Bracy. "Her animal-like totems are anything but ordinary sculptures; they are delightfully uncomfortable and exemplify her growth as a budding sculptor." 

Coppola calls her densely grouped creatures an "army of the meek," and adds that the creations are always the underdogs. "They are meek, mild, turning the other cheek, throwing their eyes up to heaven. They are meant to be devolving, becoming less natural and reflecting their twisted natures. The unfired nature of the clay forces the work into a state that is vulnerable, ephemeral and deeply ingrained with the potential for change," Coppola says.

A 2012 M.F.A. ceramics graduate of the Tyler School of Art, Coppola majored in art at Saint Joseph's and received her B.A. in 2010. She has exhibited her work in the Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery, the Saint Joseph's University Gallery and at the Flux Space in Philadelphia, and at Genessee Pottery in Rochester, N.Y.

Boland Hall is located on Lapsley Lane, off of City Avenue, between 54th Street and Cardinal Avenue in Lower Merion. A campus map may be viewed at sju.edu/map. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840, or visit http://www.sju.edu/gallery.

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Senior Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240, patricia.allen@sju.edu


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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