Donnie Copeland (b. 1977, South Carolina) is an abstract painter who works primarily with painted paper to produce non-objective, collaged canvases that emphasize pattern, texture, color and mark. His works are a synthesis of the visuality of landscapes, such as the planted fields and prairie that run along the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers, as well as that of peoples and cultures local and distant, rural and urban.
“Bent curvilinear bands are painted on paper and then affixed to the canvas which in turn serves as a platform for the abstractions. There is a definitive point of distinction between the paper, paint and canvas. Copeland’s paintings suggest cross-sections of ambiguous natural forms or… geological structures and sedimentary materials. Through his investigation of charcoal, acrylic and paper, Copeland’s lyrical strata emerge as both rich and detached. The worked-over surface of the collage elements contradicts the austerity of the pristine canvases.” – Eric Sutphin, Boundary Hunters: Four Parts to Every Story. Exhibit Catalog, 2012.
Copeland’s paintings were recently featured in a solo exhibit entitled Interrupted Paths (2015) at the Aughinbaugh Gallery of Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. His work is also included in Abstract AR(t) (2016) at the Alexandre Hogue Gallery at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2012, Copeland’s work was part of Boundary Hunters, an exhibit featuring seven contemporary painters at Alfred University’s Fosdick Nelson Gallery in Alfred, New York. Other showings include exhibits at the Kansas City Artist’s Coalition, the Arkansas Arts Center and exhibits in Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
Donnie Copeland earned a BA in Studio arts from Ouachita Baptist University and then continued his education at the University of Dallas where he obtained a MFA in painting. Copeland currently serves as Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at Ouachita Baptist University where he teaches painting, drawing, and art history. He and his wife and three children live in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.