Nataliya Koppes

Artist Statement

I was born in Ukraine and left my Homeland when I was 30 years old. Since I was a little girl I loved to spend time with brushes and could spend hours by looking at photos and pictures in books.   Any visual artistry always drew my attention. When my time came to choose a career, I made the decision to pursue something in the medical field and became a nurse in Intensive Care Unit.  It was an incredible experience and I am grateful for a life lesson I learned at an early age to appreciate life.

As our lives consist of ups and downs, we try to do our best every day and we, all as humans, are looking for the inspiration and motivation to strive for our best. I would like my art and my journey to be that inspiring source for my viewers, I would like them to be able relate to my art.   It always makes me think: What do I want the viewer to feel while looking at my artwork? It’s very important for me to inspire people, to feel hope, to never give up and always look on the bright side.  Maybe that desire came from my past nursing experience and maybe not, but it ultimately all came together for me. Finally, being able to pursue my dream and inspire others with art.

The Ukrainian experience influences first and foremost everything I see and feel. My Ukrainian heritage has an effect on my art and Ukrainian symbolism unintentionally sneaks even into my abstract pieces. I do not mind it, because that’s who I am. I personally believe that art that comes from the heart will touch and move other hearts. And that’s what matters to me the most.

A critical mission for me as a Ukrainian artist in America is to help people to celebrate different cultures, ways of living, and ways of thinking. Everyone should learn how not to just tolerate differences, but to truly celebrate them.

I explore different media such as charcoal, ink, and acrylic, but my favorite media is oil. I started my art career at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. For the past three years I completed work required for assignments, but I am looking forward to branching out. I enjoy balancing my life, between being the mom of a teenager son and being a full-time art student.

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Nataliya Koppes