| Rogoway Turquoise Tortoise Gallery | Tubac AZ

“My roots as an artist are in drawing, I like to start with the eyes and see who or what appears. My characters become their own stories, conveying complex ideas within the simplest renderings, which I strive to accomplish by the use of energy line work and exaggerated form.

I think of all mediums as interchangeable. My use of mixed media is an effort to connect what lays outside the canvas, taking simple, easily recognizable materials, and elevating them symbolically to a place of importance within the composition. My focus is spontaneous expression, and exploration where foreign matter is just matter, and paint is just matter, and it’s all the same, in and out, up and down, and so on. I combine collage elements with my characters in a way that eliminates the boundaries between location and image by giving the character and the environment equal billing. This includes my choice of palette…bringing my work to the point where the character is the location, the collage is the paint. As for the images, they are a direct lineage to my own inner complexities..” ~Michael Copeland

Michael Copeland has been creating works of art for over 40 years. Originally from Riverside,

California, Michael earned his B.A. in Fine Art from California State University, studying with the

noted artists O.K. Harry and Joseph Moran. Michael’s humor and post-modernist satirical style

are also informed by illustrator and 70’s cultural icon, Charles Bragg; as well as post-modernist

artist Robert Rauschenberg, who often incorporated found objects and images into his work.

Subsequently, Michael brings his own visual and conceptual vocabulary to the canvas, using a

figurative mode of representation that conveys meaning other than the literal. His allegorical

images often contain, but are not limited to, irreverent and humorous characterizations.

An art educator for 28 years and an art gallery proprietor for 20, Michael is deeply devoted to art

education including experiences beyond the classroom. He conducted trips abroad for his

students in the past and currently offers, along with his wife Victoria, adult painting excursions


Michael’s work can be found in private collections in the U.S. and abroad, most notably in;

the Nicolaysen Art Museum Permanent Collection, Casper, WY, Marriott Hotel’s Corporate

Collection, Atlanta, GA., New Mexico State Capital Permanent Collection, Santa Fe, NM, the

Otero County Art in Public Places Permanent Collection, Otero County, NM. He was recently

honored with a 40 year retrospective exhibition,“It’s Only Make Believe” at the Nicolaysen Art

Museum in Casper, Wyoming which resulted in a 61page exhibition catalog containing all 43

works from the show.

.Michael currently makes his home in Southern New Mexico with wife Victoria and their two Jack

Russell Terriers, Guinness and Zen.

Are you interested in purchasing Michael Copeland’s work? Please contact Rogoway Turquoise Tortoise Gallery for more information.