To-Do List | May Ling Kopecky

To-Do List | May Ling Kopecky

The Rochester Art Center presents a solo exhibition of drawings and multimedia installations by artist May Ling Kopecky.

Curated by Zoe Cinel
Jurors: LaVanda Mireles, Heather Hanft, Zoe Cinel

The Rochester Art Center presents a solo exhibition of drawings and multimedia installations by artist May Ling Kopecky. Kopecky’s exhibition proposal was selected through a juried process among a pool of applicants. This exhibition is sponsored by the MFA Program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design as a part of an annual partnership.

May Ling Kopecky was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when she was fifteen. Due to the “invisible” nature of MS, she was often met with skepticism while talking about her illness. In response, she started creating artworks that visualizes how it can feel to navigate the world with MS. As Kopecky writes in her statement: “My recurring MS symptoms include debilitating fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and vision/mobility issues. Some days I check everything off of my to-do list; other days I must prioritize the absolute necessities. I often feel guilty about my low levels of productivity on bad days, and many other people with chronic illnesses have voiced similar experiences.” 

The exhibition features 100 original drawings and an interactive installation that encourages visitors to participate, learn and connect with these underrepresented topics. In To-Do List Kopecky portrays the erratic nature of illness and disability bringing attention to the difficulties of preserving energy while chronically ill. How challenging is it to manage a list of seemingly simple tasks when living with a chronic illness? In the artist’s words: “We are often frustrated with how draining “simple” tasks can be, and how little others understand. My hope is to spread awareness about the chronically ill experience, while also helping others with chronic illnesses feel seen, heard, and understood.”

Artist Bio:

May Ling Kopecky is an artist based in Plymouth, MN. She received her BFA from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). Her work has received multiple awards in exhibitions across the US. Kopecky was a grant recipient of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council’s Next Step Fund in 2019. In 2022, Kopecky was awarded Second Place for the Kennedy Center VSA Emerging Young Artist Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She has been featured in publications such as New American Paintings, the National MS Society’s Momentum magazine, Fox 9 news, and the Star Tribune. Kopecky has been an art instructor for both adults and children, and currently works in the Learning Center and Accessibility Services department at MCAD. Through her work, she strives to spread disability awareness and advocate for people with invisible illnesses.

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