Hung up on body image 

With striking ceramic tiles, a new Colorado Springs artist explores cultural concepts of beauty

click to enlarge Explore societal constructs of beauty at Heebee Jeebees - through May. Wearing makeup to the exhibit is optional.
  • Explore societal constructs of beauty at Heebee Jeebees through May. Wearing makeup to the exhibit is optional.

Elizabeth Copan's framed tiles seem to feature more of the same perfect bodies that we're bombarded with in media every day. But the words splayed across them make the viewer wonder whether the pretty people portrayed in Copan's artwork are as unhappy with their body image as the rest of us.

"Our contemporary culture has become one of dissatisfaction," Copan explains. "Our culture tells us that we define our sense of self by our bodies and by what brand we use."

With Copan's No Satisfaction exhibition at Heebee Jeebees, she says she wants to enhance awareness about the commercial nature of "pretty."

"I am hoping that the viewer will begin to disassociate true beauty from the spoon-fed, cookie-cutter ideal that surrounds us," she says.

For Copan, creating art is a spiritual process. The artist fell in love with clay in high school and continued her passion at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she graduated in 2006.

No Satisfaction is her first show since moving to Colorado Springs, and her skill as a ceramic artist shines. Some of the pieces are made up of what Copan describes as layered paperclay, thin folds of clay that become sculptural in her wall tiles. Other pieces recreate printed images on clay through a process involving digital manipulation, scraping and shaping and re-firing the tiles.

No Satisfaction

Heebee Jeebees, 318A E. Colorado Ave.

Show runs through May 25.

Call 635-0620 for more.

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