‘Nature and Spirit’ Exhibition Showcased at South


Photo courtesy of Sharon Kopriva

‘Cathedral Green’ reflects a personal spiritual experience for featured artist Sharon Kopriva (2012, Oil and mixed media on photo canvas, 81″ x 186″ x 2.5″).

Art is everywhere. Not all art leaves a lasting impression; that is until an art exhibition is observed from an artist who pours love and passion into her work.

Nature and Spirit ran from March 3 to March 31 at San Jacinto College South Campus. The exhibition featured two and three-dimensional works including both figuration and landscape by artist, Sharon Kopriva.

Dixon Bennett, gallery director and curator at South campus, wanted to showcase an artist celebrated beyond the local level.

“I wanted to expose our students and the community to an internationally recognized living artist,” Bennett said.

Kopriva has permanent work in many leading museum collections including the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: the Menil Collection, and the National Museum of Art in Lima, Peru.

In addition to numerous other awards, Kopriva was named Texas State Visual Artist of the Year in 2005-2006 by the Texas State Legislature, and Texas State Artist of the Year by the Art League of Houston in 2001.

As with many artists, Kopriva’s love for art began at a very early age, and her passion for her craft never faded. “For as long as I can remember, five years old, I have been drawing with crayons or whatever was available,” she said.

Although her work evolved over time, her goal remains the same. “It is important that the art makes the viewer think or be moved,” Kopriva said. “It holds the capability for changing attitudes and opinions.”

Nature and Spirit features pieces created over a span stretching thirty years. Kopriva said her art during that period reflected a personal journey.

“First from the underground burials in Peru, through my reexamination of my own Catholicism and finally to my spiritual encounter in the deep woods of Idaho.”

However, she noted, of all the work she produced during her long career, there are two pieces, in particular, that sit close to her heart.

“First is ‘The Confessional,’ which represents a very important part of my childhood faith,” Kopriva said. “The confessional box was designed after the one in the church I attended in my youth.”

The second piece is “Cathedral Green.” “It is the product of my personal spiritual encounter in the forest,” she said. “In the painting, the forest is actually encroaching upon formal religion, speaking of a spirituality which is totally universal.”

Furthermore, Bennett indicated, Nature and Spirit was an extremely popular exhibition.

“The show has been exceptionally well received with hundreds and hundreds of attendees,” Bennett said.

According to Bennett, Kopriva was very appreciative of the opportunity to showcase her art at San Jac. “She was very gracious and spent hours visiting with and answering questions from our students, faculty and community members during the exhibition opening.”

Although Kopriva presents her art around the world, she said San Jacinto College is a favorite venue to display her work, concluding, “I have never had a better place.”