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Poly People Faculty

Laura B. Coppola ’95

  • Charles and Valerie Diker Chair of Visual Arts
  • 718-836-9800 x3730
  • Email
  • Middlebury College (BA), Hunter College, CUNY (MA)

“As a student at Poly, I remember taking ceramics classes with Mallory Randall and drawing studio with Jonathan Waite,” said Visual Arts Department Chair Laura Coppola ’95, who has taught at Poly since 2014. “I recall tracing some images onto a large white board, and spending countless hours practicing light and shadow on a composition of a hot air balloon with some whimsical creatures perched around it. My mom [history teacher Susan Beiles] used to bring me to the Impressionist wing at the Metropolitan Museum and showed me that when I stood really close to a painting, all I could see were brushstrokes, but once I stepped back and changed perspective, I could see images form and stories being told. That was magical for me…but when I really started learning about the history of art, why artists created work, how imagery reflected history and cultural values, that’s when I knew I wanted to study art and art history.” She adds, “I’ve had the chance to bridge my love of teaching with my previous experiences working in museums and with contemporary artists through our new partnership with the Brooklyn Museum and with our artist residency program. But the best part of teaching at Poly is building communities and relationships with students and seeing their commitment to and understanding of art and its transformative power grow.” In spring 2020, Laura began teaching the new Senior Plan course for the Visual and Performing Arts track. Her hope for her students is, “that they become critical thinkers in our very visually oriented world and that they use their knowledge of culture and art in a way that empowers them and gives voice to issues they really care about.”

Arts Middle School Upper School

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