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It’s back . . . Del Mar College Art Program’s 56th Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show; Juror Sharon Kopriva giving guest lecture Feb. 17

Article by: Rosa Linda Reynoso

It’s back . . . the Del Mar College (DMC) Art and Drama Department’s 56th Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show, a juried exhibit that attracts entries created by artists from all over the United States.

Founded by late artist, educator and former Marine Joseph A. Cain, this long-running competition spotlights some of the nation’s best artworks in two- and three-dimensional formats submitted by talented creators around the world.

Nationally and internationally known artists are attracted to serve as juror for the national show. This year’s juror is Sharon Kopriva, a Houston-based sculptor and painter, who will deliver a special lecture on her life’s work and career. Known for blending religious iconography with Peruvian and Australian cultural influences, Kopriva’s work resonates with the vibrant communities of Corpus Christi. 

Kopriva will present her lecture on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. in Richardson Performance Hall on the DMC Heritage Campus, Ayers and Baldwin. 

The College will hold an opening reception––including hors d’ oeuvres and cash bar––the following evening, Feb. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. for the national art show in the Joseph A. Cain Memorial Art Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Center on the Heritage Campus (Ayers Street).

Both events are free and open to the public. For more details about the Feb. 17 lecture and Feb. 18 reception, contact the DMC Art Office at 361-698-1216 or art@delmar.edu.

(Click on each photo to enlarge and get artwork information)

During the reception, the juror is expected to announce the three prize-winning works, selected from this year’s unusually strong and diverse lineup. Although it is impossible to identify a single, unifying theme across Kopriva’s selection of over 50 artworks, Del Mar College’s art gallery coordinator, Dr. Benjamin Ogrodnik, states that “there is a strong feeling of empathy, compassion and cultural empowerment shaping the exhibition as a whole.”

The works on view range from intimate and revealing self-portraits, to immersive landscapes, to compelling pictures of life under the COVID-19 pandemic. The show is a tour-de-force of contemporary art practice, with a surprising breadth of materials, medium and genre represented throughout. Ogrodnik adds, “Many works are available for purchase. Discover some unique pieces to add to your personal collection, decorate your home and help support the arts.”

This year’s national art show features 31 two-dimensional pieces and 24 sculptures selected by Kopriva out of 387 entries submitted by 115 artists representing 24 states. The exhibit includes the work of 49 artists who were selected. 

The free exhibit will remain on display in Cain Gallery through May 6. Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon. The College will be closed for Spring Break the week of March 14.

For more than 30 years, Kopriva has worked in both two and three-dimensional media. Her visual journeys have taken her through investigations of pre-Columbian cultures in Peru, a lengthy examination of her Catholic faith and finally to a convergence of formal religion with the encroaching light and spirituality of the green forests in the Pacific Northwest, redefining and connecting her personal spirituality forever with Nature.

Among honors and recognitions, Kopriva was awarded the Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist by the Texas Commission on the Arts (Austin); the Texas Artist of the Year by the Art League of Houston; the Houston Millennium Makers Award and the Best Artist Editor’s Award by HoustonCitySearch and the Mid-America Arts Alliance/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award in Sculpture. 

Kopriva earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and a bachelor’s degree in art education from The University of Houston. Learn more about the artist by vising her site at www.sharonkopriva.com.


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.