Art, Community, Edge

UM alumna’s portrayal of minority children wins her prestigious artist residency

Bright hues of blue, yellow and red paint outline and capture the innocence of black and brown children as they run and swim in paintings that line Jacqueline M. Gopie’s home studio walls.

Gopie, an artist and University of Miami alumna, said she hopes viewers will not see race in her paintings, just children in motion.

“The main focus of my work is children because I feel that they don’t have the same racist baggage that people associate with the faces of older black men and women,” Gopie said. “I thought I could change the negative images through creating more positive images of children.”

GOPIE-Headshot.JPG

Jacqueline M. Gopie, University of Miami alumna and recent winner of an artist residency in New Orleans, poses with some of her artwork. Photo credit: Suzanne Rieger

Gopie, 58, was recently awarded a residence in New Orleans under the Joan Mitchell Foundation. In 2016, she received the foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant, and this year, she earned the Artist-in-Residence Achievement. She is one of 32 artists— the only one from Florida— who will work in a private studio for a two-month residence in New Orleans beginning this month.

Milly Cardoso, the museum gallery manager at the UM Wynwood Gallery, said this is a huge achievement in the art world.

“We are beyond proud of Jackie for achieving such an incredible opportunity at the Joan Mitchell in New Orleans,” said Cardoso. “She is a wonderful person and deserves to be there.”

“Every day I wake up and I can’t believe my life,” Gopie said. “I never would have thought that painting would take me this far. Getting the Joan Mitchell Grant in 2016 was huge for me. Artists tend to feel ignored a lot, and it’s so satisfying when an artist finally gets that recognition.”

Gopie applied to UM while she was still enrolled in the Army. She decided it was time to retire after 21 years of service and was awarded a half-tuition scholarship.

“I’m glad I did it when I did it because I was in the Pentagon during 9/11, and I realized that I was going to see stuff that I might never unsee,” Gopie said. “So, I feel really lucky that I spent that much time in the military, and I’m sane, and I don’t have PTSD or any crazy injuries. And I spent six years in Alaska and six years in Hawaii.”

Gopie decided to study painting at UM, where she received a BFA in 2005 and her MFA in 2012. Since graduating in 2012, she has dedicated herself to painting at her home studio.

10755537536_IMG_0840.JPG

Gopie's art aims to capture the innocence of black and brown children before they become affected by racism and prejudice. Photo credit: Suzanne Rieger

During her residency in New Orleans, Gopie said she plans to incorporate the tradition of second line parades into her art. Second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans. The “main line” or “first line” is the primary section of the parade, including the members of a brass band and members of an African-American social aid club. The audience that forms behind the parade to join in the festivities is called the second line parade.

Gopie imagines that her paintings might include children wearing bright sequined costumes behind a brass band parade.

“My goal is to try to capture something of the history of New Orleans through the bodies of the children,” Gopie said.

March 28, 2019

Reporters

Suzanne Rieger


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ The Canes find themselves in the mix for a couple o ...

It was May 2015, and the Miami Herald was reporting for a feature on high school football players ab ...

Deidrick Stanley had his eye on the Miami Hurricanes long before his hometown school finally offered ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ UM has only two Rivals.com five-star recruits on the ...

Even five months ago, it would’ve been hard to picture Jaylan Knighton winding up with the Miami Hur ...

A former UM professor started a company dedicated to publishing books on African-American culture, h ...

A group of School of Architecture students visited the Caribbean nation to learn about the historic ...

Faculty with the Miller School of Medicine and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science w ...

Patricia “Trish” White, dean of the School of Law, is stepping down at the end of the academic year. ...

At the annual Hug the Lake, sustainability manager Teddy Lhoutellier was honored for improving the e ...

The Hurricanes will open an eight-game homestand with a midweek matchup against crosstown FIU on Wed ...

Talking Track is a series that features current members of the Miami track and field program, while ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame announced that Trajan Bandy is the 26th recipient of the ...

Stone played in 85 career games at University of Florida. ...

The Miami women's tennis team continued its ascent up the national rankings Tuesday, moving up ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.