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Bradley Copeland is an emerging artist who received a Bachelor’s degree in studio art at Auburn University in 2018. She currently lives in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida where she is pursuing her dream as a full-time artist. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, her life has always been consumed entirely by creating art. Her pure interest to learn and absorb all forms of art has led her to take an exploratory approach with her artwork, experimenting with different mediums and styles. Bradley’s recent artistic practices are primarily composed of two-dimensional works like paintings, drawings, and collages. Most of her work illustrates concepts of femininity and the beauty and pride that she associates with it. She has already exhibited her work in several shows in the Auburn and Birmingham area, and she created two paintings for the Coastal Art Center’s permanent collection in Orange Beach, Alabama. She was also recently awarded the Toni Adams Memorial Scholarship at the Alabama Art Colony.

ABOUT MY WORK

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            My current body of work focuses on themes of femininity: the contradicting and inaccurate representations and expectations of the feminine. Femininity is perceived as soft, docile, gentle, and weak. My paintings are an attempt to challenge this notion. I want to depict frilly, pretty imagery but with harsh lines and texture and roughness. I want my paintings to have bite and grit because I’m trying to illustrate feminine toughness. I feel like most people hear the words “feminine toughness” and immediately think it’s an oxymoron. But, this toughness is the most defining characteristic of femininity, not the misconstrued “softness” that is overrepresented, and this unappreciated strength is truly the most beautiful thing about femininity.

I expanded on this nonconventional perception of strength and wanted to depict other feminine symbols in the same manner as my queens. I’ve primarily focused on images of puckered lips and lipstick, something that is inherently feminine. I paint exaggerated, oversized, dramatic lips with bold colors. Using paper, gesso, and modeling paste, I create a thick, rough texture and on top lay my messy, proudly, and unapologetically feminine lips. My paintings of lips are an attempt to redefine the feeling and the connotations perceived when viewing an image of them.

 

I want viewers to capture a sense of dignity, strength, and bad-ass-ness, while staring at my paintings of feminine iconography usually associated with unfitting adjectives like soft, fragile, and cute. I hope for everyone to take pride in their femininity, in whatever it presents itself, and recognize it as a defining characteristic of strength, rather than a semblance of idle beauty and meekness. I ultimately want to inspire people to flaunt their femininity and for those around them to recognize it as raw, unfiltered strength, whether it is pink, or sparkly, or frilly, or not.

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CV

EDUCATION

2018                         

Bachelor’s Degree in Art, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019

Student Fine Art Juried Exhibition, Biggin Gallery, Auburn University,  Auburn, AL

2018                         

Student Fine Art Juried Exhibition, Biggin Gallery, Auburn  University, Auburn, AL

 

2015                          

Featured Young Artists Exhibition, Birmingham Museum of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL

 

COMMISIONS

2018                         

Permanent Collection Commission, two paintings (24 x 36 in.), acrylic on canvas, Coastal Art Center, Orange Beach, AL

 

PUBLICATIONS

2020

"An Interview with Artist Bradley Copeland." The Thirty-A Review 15, no. 5 (Sept. 2020): 24.

 

CURATORIAL PROJECTS

2018                         

Femme-pressionism, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, AL. (co-curator)

 

AWARDS

2015                          

Vestavia Hills Art Association’s Art Achievement Award, Birmingham, AL

2019

Toni Adams Memorial Scholarship

Sarah Carlise Towery Alabama Art Colony, Lake Martin, AL

EXPERIENCE

2018-2019

Apprenticeship under Alabama Artist, Catie Radney