Black Box is a community impact and engagement platform comprising five elements aimed at making black men more accessible outside of the workplace and play space. The ultimate goal is demystification, understanding and connection through discourse. One goal is to replace the “learned” with authentic firsthand experience. (Scan the QR Code)
Originally, from Chicago, Michael Coppage has lived and worked in Cincinnati since 2007. Coppage has recently been featured in print and online after participating in the city of Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter mural and for receiving hate mail for a controversial and provocative series entitled “American +” where he depicts white Americans as monkeys. His work addresses the appropriation of African-American culture, demonization of black men and what he calls the “systematic” destabilization of black people in America. His recent micro-residency at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center entitled “BLACK BOX” is a community impact project aimed at demystifying black men and creating authentic experiences that replace bias and preconceived notions. Coppage earned a B.F.A in Sculpture from Memphis College of Art and an M.F.A in Studio Art from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Primarily a mixed media artist, Coppage has spent a number of years painting. He utilizes an impasto technique called optical color mixing that does not require blending paint and instead focuses on “sculpting” color. He has traveled around the world extensively and has work in a number of private collections. In addition to his more personal works, Coppage has co-created a therapeutic art program called PIECES at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he works with adolescent psychiatric patients to create large-scale portraits. To date over 300 images have been completed and exhibited around the country.