Carol S. Poppenga's artmaking is a life-long pursuit and interest. Her first formal art sale -- the work was a pen and ink portrait of a neighbor's English Bulldog -- was made when she was a fifth grade student. By high school, Poppenga's creative output included original cartoons, strips, and caricatures in the form of posters, flyers, logos, letterheads, greeting cards and commercial signs. She also continued to draw pedigree dog portraits, the majority of which were commissioned by members of the English Bulldog Club of America.
After high school, Poppenga enlisted in the United States Air Force and initially worked as a military newspaper journalist and editor. She later cross-trained into the history field and became the first woman active-duty historian in the Strategic Air Command of the Air Force. Following active-duty, Poppenga joined the Montana Air National Guard and went into the operational intelligence field. She retired with the rank of Master Sergeant in 1995.
1991-92 Alberta College of Art (ACA), Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1988-89 ACA, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1985 University of Great Falls, Great Falls, Montana - Bachelor of Arts in History and Art 1984 University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITS
2008 "Anchored in a Sea of Grass" Montana Art Dealers/Galleries Association (MAGDA) touring exhibit, Carbon County Depot Gallery, Red Lodge Montana;
School House History & Art Center, Colstrip Montana; MonDak Hertiage Center, Sidney, Montana
2007 "Latent Images - Return to Montana," Lewistown Art Center, Lewistown, Montana
2005 "Pot Potpouri," Grapefields, Walla Walla, Washington
1989 "Autumn Equinox II," Juried, Paris Gibson Square Museum, Great Falls, Montana
1989 "Charlie Russell Art Auction," Juried, C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana
1989 "Charlie Russell Auction Quick Draw," C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana
1988 Seeley Lake 200 Dog Sled Race Benefit, Seeley Lake, Montana
1988 "Autumn Equinox I," Juried, Paris Gibson Square Museum, Great Falls, Montana
1987 Ducks Unlimited Auction, Seeley Lake, Montana
1987 Seeley Lake 200 Dog Sled Race Benefit, Seeley Lake, Montana
1986 Toppenish Mural Society Benefit, Toppenish, Washington
GRANTS AND AWARDS
2012 Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) Arts in Education (AIE) Artist residency (Drawing, Printmaking, and Book Arts) in Baker, Oregon 2011 OAC AIE Artist residency (Drawing and Printmaking Program) at Pendleton Art Center, Pendleton, Oregon 2010 OAC AIE Artist residencies (mural projects) in Irrigon, Canyon City, La Pine, and Redmond (all in Oregon)
2009 OAC, AIE Artist residencies (mural project) in La Pine, Mitchell, and Unity (all in Oregon)
2008 OAC, AIE Artist residency (Drawing Program) in Pendleton, Oregon
2007 OAC, AIE Artist residency (Drawing Program) in Burns, Oregon
2006 Artist-Wilderness-Connection Residency. Program administrators & sponsors: Hockaday Museum of Art, Bob Marshall Foundation, US Forest Service
Flathead National Forest, Hockaday Museum of Art and Swan Ecosystem Center (all in Montana.)
2006 Oregon Percent for Art Public, Mural Commission, US Army Armory, Baker City, Oregon (awarded 2006/completed 2008
2006 "Best Donated Work" Nightingale Gallery, Eastern Oregon University. Juror M.J. Koreiza, Director Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, and Dan Scott, artist, Renton, WA.
2006 "Honorable Mention" Nightingale Gallery, Eastern Oregon University, La Grande. Juror M.J. Koreiza, Director Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay and Dan Scott, artist, Renton, WA.
2006 Montana Arts Council Opportunity Grant, Artist Designed street amenities, Lewistown, Montana
2006 OAC AIE Artist residencies (mural projects) in Frenchglen and Lakeview, Oregon
2005 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Fossil, Oregon (2nd residency at this school)
2005 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Irrigon, Oregon
2005 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Fossil, Oregon
2005 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Seneca, Oregon (2nd residency at this school)
2005 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Heppner, Oregon
2004 President's Award, Regional Art Exhibition, Carnegie Art Center, Walla Walla, Washington
2004 Entry of Merit, Expressions West Exhibition, Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon. Juror James Mattingly, Professor of Art, emeritus, Western Oregon University
2004 Honorable Mention (Runner-up) Isle Royale Artist Residency, National Park Service, Michigan.
2004 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Elgin, Oregon
2004 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Ontario, Oregon
2004 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Cove, Oregon
2004 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Hermiston, Oregon
2003 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) in Milton-Freewater, Oregon
2003 Best of Show in 2-D, East Oregon University Nightingale Gallery Season's Faire Exhibition, Juror Paul Hoelscher
2003 Carnegie Art Center Regional Juried Art Exhibition Juror's Award, "Regional Juried Art Exhibition," Juror Lee Musgrave, Curator, MaryHill Museum, Washington.
2003 OAC AIE Artist residency (mural project) La Pine, Oregon
2003 OAC AIE. Artist residency (mural project), Ontario, Oregon
2002 Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Salem Oregon. Walla Walla River Mural
2002 Milton-Freewater Community Foundation, Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Walla Walla River Mural
2002 OAC AIE. Umatilla River Ecology Mural with students, Pendleton, Oregon
2002 Pendleton Arts Center. Drawing workshop with elementary students, Pendleton, Oregon
2002 OAC AIE. Artist residency (mural project) in LaGrande, Oregon
2002 OAC AIE. Artist residency (mural project) in Seneca, Oregon
2001 OAC AIE. Artist residency (second mural project) in Hermiston, Oregon
2001 OAC AIE. Artist residency (mural project) in Hermiston, Oregon
PUBLIC ART WORKS 2012 City of Lewiston, ID, benches/bike stands, collaboration with metal fabricator
2011 City of Idaho Falls, ID, “Snake River Greenbelt Park” bench design, collaboration with metal fabricator
2010 City of Helena, MT, Veterans Memorial Park Band Shell Mural (entire shell, arches, and wing walls)
2009 Completion of Commission for street amenities (benches/bike stands/trash receptacles), City of Lewistown, Montana and Economic Development Planner. Collaboration with Warden Bourne, Metal Fabricator.
2008 Commission Percent for Art mural panels for US Army National Guard at Baker City, Oregon
2007 Mural Commission, City of Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada
2007 Mural Commission, Oregon Percent for Art Public, US Army Armory, Baker City, Oregon (IN PROGRESS 2007-08)
2005 "Art You Can Sit On" Bench commission for City of Idaho Falls, Idaho
2005 "Peace," Mural commission for St. Mary's Hospital, Walla Walla, Washington
2005 "Leap to a New Pad," commercial Mural, Milton-Freewater, Oregon
Now playing: "Carefree Highway" written & performed by
Gordon Lightfoot. (As it appears on his 1973 album, "Sundown")
PHOTO at LEFT:
September 2006 - Returning to the vehicle at the Owl Creek Trail Head, concluding a two-week self-directed artist residency for which I backpacked supplies 15 miles into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. During the two weeks I walked total of almost 60 miles. Weather was mixed: Alternating sun, rain, sleet, snow, and even a little hail. My residency was sponsored by the Bob Marshall Foundation; the Hockaday Museum of Art; the Swan Ecosystem Center; and the United States Forest Service Flathead National Forest (who granted me use of two wilderness shelter cabins and which were especially appreciated on the rainy days/nights.)
The artist in 1973 stationed at Lackland Air Force Bace, Texas for Military Basic Training.
Since returning to Montana, I primarily paint landscapes observed in the central high plains and island mountain ranges around Lewistown. The region's diverse geography -- mountains, prairies, coulees and
river bottoms -- coupled with the spectrum influences of skies and seasons provide motivating inspiration.
Travel beyond my home region also inspires and new vistas are incorporated in my work. For example,
in September 2006 I completed an artist residency in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
My paintings are collectively titled:"Latent Images -- Landscapes Remembered."
While recognizeable as particular locations, the paintings are not photographic renditions of observations. Rather, they are the manifestation of the "latent image" as it is retained in and recalled from memory. Working this way evolved from pondering what becomes "real" to each person over time and how memory transforms physical reality. I coined the phrase "selective realism" to classify my paintings.
To create a painting, I may refer to loose drawings made on-site but more often I paint only from the latent image in memory. Each painting begins with a small pencil or charcoal drawing that explores the composition
in a pattern of lights and darks. Once an initial composition is discovered I begin painting, starting with gestural brush marks that are distinctly linear. Layers of linear marks build an interesting surface which influences the painting outcome.
Oil is my primary medium; canvas, paper or wood panels are my preferred painting supports.
After sizing and priming the support with gesso, I paint directly with the oil paint and follow the "fat over lean" rule. I don't use a drier additive as there is a risk of compromising the paint film. Sometimes I add small quantities of beeswax as I like the textural and refractive qualities it imparts.
While the constantly changing landscape is challenging to paint, I find the ultimate challenge is to create an artwork that stirs the latent image and remains visually engaging over time.
My objective is that my paintings are so imbued.
--- C.S. Poppenga
Poppenga earned a B.A. in U.S. History and Art (summa cum laude) from the University of Great Falls
in Montana. She continued her formal art education at the Alberta College of Art (ACA) in Calgary,
Alberta, Canada. There, she focused on the human form, drawing/painting live models in the studio and
at theater and dance rehearsals. Poppenga also drew at the Calgary Foothills Medical School's teaching morgue.
In 1994 Poppenga became the Home & Family Editor with the Lewistown News-Argus in Montana. The work was enjoyable but left little time for art making. Still, Poppenga believes the experience was valuable, and recognizes its influence in the artwork she produces today. Other work experience includes Executive Director of the MonDak Museum in Sidney, Montana and, most recently, Studio Arts Technician for the Art Department at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Today, however, Poppenga is giving her full creative energy to the making of art on a professional level. Her artworks are in business and private collections in the U.S., Canada and Germany.
Serious inquiries are welcome.from galleries in Montana, the United States and Canada.
When contacting by email, please write Gallery in the subject line.
Barbara Wilson,a wonderful painter I met while working on the mural in Sussex, Nova Scotia, Canada. Click on her name to visit her web site.