Artist Talk "Humanimals in Precarious Positions: Melanie Cooper Pennington"


Melanie Cooper Pennington’s first solo exhibition highlights her large scale anthropomorphic sculptures. Pennington will host an artist talk and exhibition preview Thursday, September 19th from 6-8pm. Tickets are $5 Individual, $3 Student. For student pricing, please contact Artlink at (260) 424-7195.

“I make humanimals. Using bits and parts from my imagination I frankenstein my own creatures - at once more innocent than a human could be, physically more powerful than a human is and located in positions only a human animal would think fitting.

My work is a reflection of psychological states. Though large in scale, these beasts are often situated in vulnerable positions that call to mind human postures and emotions. For more than 20 years I have studied and sculpted the human body with an eye on what can be expressed with its elegant form. I isolate the physical attributes that I find the most expressive and able to communicate my feelings and layer those forms into newly imagined beast bodies - a drooping shoulder, a jutting hip bone, a swayed back, a tucked chin, buckled knees, postures that when observed can be linked to human emotion.

Humanimals are a physical expression of my internal dialogue. They are created to be representational questions to my belief systems, my judgments of my self, others and societal structures. They are a way through for me, a call to adjust my focus on strengths instead of struggles.” - Melanie Cooper Pennington

This exhibition also offers a look at Pennington’s process through drawings, maquettes and figure studies. While the materials and methods vary, the focus of her work remains figurative, exploring a unique conversation that revolves around strength and fragility.

About Melanie Cooper Pennington (American, b 1976 Los Angeles, CA)

Melanie was born in LA, raised in Boston and now teaches sculpture in Bloomington at Indiana University. After 12 years of running an interior design firm in Chicago, she transitioned to graduate school to focus full time on her sculpture practice. She received her MFA in 2016 from Indiana University where she is now fulltime sculpture faculty. Melanie’s recent exhibitions include: Act 1 Play as Production exhibition at ACRE Gallery curated by Lucy Stranger, and Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Juried Regional Show at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Melanie has shown at the Grunwald Gallery of Art, Indianapolis Art Center, and was part of Chicago Parks District year long sculpture in the parks exhibit.