Monday, September 9, 2019

Sharon Kopriva, Hilliard University Art Museum, To Hell with Time and Space

Sharon Kopriva, The Cardinal, 1994, Papier Mache and
Mixed Media, 50 x 48 x 48 inches

"...I’ll bet you an expensive bottle of booze, Sharon did exactly that when she floated through walls.."

Sharon Kopriva, Hilliard University Art Museum, To Hell with Time and Space

In late June, Sharon Kopriva sent the following note, which I shortened.

Hello Virginia. The Hilliard Museum will be doing an exhibition of some of my works in September. Is there any way we can reproduce a part of the interview you did with me in the catalog. I feel you touched on issues of my work in a unique way from anyone else. … I just cannot imagine a catalog coming out of Lafayette without you being part of it. Please let me know. We are putting it together as we speed. Thanks for your friendship and support. I love and appreciate your special words. Sharon

FAR FRICKIN-OUT Sharon! I adore it when people put my stuff in their Books. It's particularly fun when I don't have to compose anything new. That's hard work.!

The interview article Sharon wrote about is Beyond the Physical: Sharon Kopriva Speaks which appeared in THE GREAT GOD PAN IS DEAD in June 2014. Sharon didn’t tell me which sentences from our interview are excerpted into the museum’s catalogue, I won’t know that until I go to the Hilliard and see the book. However, I’m duplicating below a few I consider noteworthy:

Virginia Billeaud Anderson: After a number of years of incorporating nature into your work, the landscapes should now be thought of as established orthodoxy. Self-portraiture on the other hand, numerous examples of which appear in your solo exhibition Illuminations (at Deborah Colton Gallery through June 26), is relatively new. It’s my assessment that depictions of your flying nude body in paintings such as Time Traveling and Riding the Pisces Moon, similarly to those of dogs that fly through forests and gothic cathedrals, originate from something buried in your psyche. This will probably piss a few people off, but have you ever floated out of your body?

Sharon Kopriva: Only one other person has ever asked me that - Walter Hopps.

VBA: The late Walter Hopps organized your solo exhibition at the Menil Collection in the year 2000.

SK: I floated through the walls. My out of body experience took place almost twenty years ago when I was in the hospital. I realize now that if I had not been there in the hospital I probably would not be here today. The thing I remember most as I look back was an incredible freedom, and I recall having absolutely no fear. It is the only time I remember flying THROUGH anything, and it was different than any dream I have ever had. It was very real. I do remember hearing my name called, and called again, and I came back to a doctor who looked more anxious than I was.

VBA: My father did that when he was a kid. He slipped through an inner tube, and found himself up in the sky looking at his body on the pier, and he told me he saw the older kids who were supposed to be watching him crying and screaming. Then he was back in his body vomiting water and crying. Surely Hopps recognized out of body reality in your art.

SK: That conversation with Walter was a very brief but memorable moment when he asked me if I had ever “traveled.” Walter was special, on the edge of many things. He sometimes called in the middle of the night. For him time was eternal.

VBA: Even if you hadn’t admitted to floating around the hospital, openness to extra-dimensional reality is easily detected in the sculptural dead, decaying and mummified figures, and paintings of ghosts and phantom dogs. Have you experienced other things not of this world?

SK: Pop, the man who raised Gus, appeared to me after he died. I saw him clearly. He had something important to tell me. It was very personal, advice I followed. I think we all have these opportunities to communicate. Most of the time, we do not allow them to happen. Your questions have allowed me to think about the few times in my life when I reached beyond the physical. They are being revisited in my memory.

Why, you might ask, did I bother to duplicate these sentences from a 2014 interview?

Having cancer put me back in touch with my life-long goal of trying to understand our multi-dimensional existence, including life after death, and extraterrestrial reality.

How will I manage to do that? By deepening my meditation, for one thing. And studying a broad range of metaphysical and spiritual material, including philosophy and comparative religions. I investigate our cosmic source. As well, the quantum effects of consciousness on physical matter, whereby the physical world which appears solid is in fact vibrating subatomic particles that can be altered by consciousness. And I’ll bet you an expensive bottle of booze, Sharon did exactly that when she floated through walls.

For me, Sharon Kopriva’s art inspires contemplative awareness of realities beyond the visible and known universe.

Sharon’s show is Sharon Kopriva: No Small Thing, September 13, 2019 - January 4, 2020 at Hilliard University Art Museum, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

(Selected Articles on

Consciousness Screwing with Us: Rice University’s 2023 Archives of the Impossible Conference

Garland Fielder Weighs In on Architectural Design and the Creative Process
A Talk with Angie Dumas About Her Blog "Da'Stylish Foodie" - Interview

Eating Garlic Beef at Mai's Vietnamese Restaurant - Mai's Immigrant Story

Discovering S.P.Q.R. and Miraculous Oil at the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere

Visiting Azienda Agricola Casamonti in the Chianti Classico - Wine and Cinta Senese Pigs
My Visit to Houston Farmers Market

Visiting ShyKatz Cafe on Galveston Island, Historical Architecture

Eating Oysters at Topwater Grill in San Leon at Galveston Bay

A Tribute to Legendary Wildcatter Jim Bob Moffett

A Talk with Food Guru George Graham about - Graham’s New Cookbook “Fresh From Louisiana: The Soul of Cajun and Creole Home Cooking” - Interview

Ryan Baptiste - The Light Beyond The Blight - Redbud Gallery - Echoes of New Orleans

Bar Boheme - Houston Bars - Drag Brunch - Architectural Preservation

Billeaud's Too, Calvin Trillin, and Jacking with Cajun Boudin

Martha Stewart Visits Lucullus Antiques - Patrick Dunne - New Orleans

Jimmy Domengeaux Chats about His Louisiana Wetlands Photography Exhibition – Interview

Long Live Irma Thomas - Essay

Notes on van Gogh’s Irises, Walter Annenberg, Louisiana Politics - Essay

A Closer Look at Christy Karll’s Painting “Swerve” –  Interview

A Closer Look - Beef Empanadas with Olives - Seco’s Latin Cuisine - Essay

Giacomo Restaurant's Foradori, Rotaliano, Trentino 2015" - Red wine produced by Elisabetta Foradori in Trentino Italy - A Closer Look