Rachel Popowcer – bio

Originally from New Jersey and Atlanta, Rachel Popowcer is a mixed media oil painter who received her BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and her MFA at UNM. She has exhibited her work extensively, both locally and nationally, and has participated in artist residencies such as the Vermont Studio Center. Rachel is currently adjunct art faculty at CNM and also teaches private painting workshops; other positions have included the UNM Art Department, UNM's Continuing Education Program, The Harwood Art Center, The Albuquerque Museum, OASIS, and more.

Artist Statement

My most recent works involve an ongoing conversation around essentialities, resiliency, sanctuary, and space.

Utilizing imagery that includes portals, birds, bullseyes, the body, and repetitive pattern, I seek to create a space where these symbolic pictures can interact and elevate my pieces from the personal to the universal. The hummingbird serves as a visual metaphor for myself; denoting my sometimes frenetic pace and sense of inner chaos. The bullseye acts as both a target and a protector; in one painting seemingly a shield, while in another, a place to shoot. Obsessively drawn and painted dots, hatch marks and text, speak to the reckoning of time and the exertion of control over unknown outcomes. The collection of these and other images are often familiar, sometimes disquieting, and central to my story. New characters are added that enrich my visual narrative while also moving me forward to a place of greater understanding.

Through multiple glaze layers, complex surface textures, and a dedication to color, I juxtapose image and technique in an attempt to connect in some visceral way with my viewer. I’m not tied to having my exact experiences interpreted, but rather, I hope to stimulate dialogue and reflection that leads to a deeper looking.