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‘House on a Hill,’ Edward Coppola

On Sunday, Nov. 13 from 2 to 5 p.m., the Wagner College Gallery will host a reception for “In-Island: Staten Island Photographs,” a solo exhibition by Edward Coppola. Coppola documents aspects of Staten Island’s domestic vernacular architecture, and in the process discovers how the everyday landscapes of homes and yards reveal people’s relationships with one another and the world around them. The exhibition runs through Sunday, Jan. 15. Both the reception and the exhibition are free, and the public is invited.

Coppola, who has lived on Staten Island for the past 14 years, considers the place and its built environment to be a visually rich and exciting subject. He is intrigued by the jumbled geometry and dizzying convergences of vinyl siding, chain-link fencing and telecommunication wires. Sometimes he discovers a stillness and a beauty amid the vistas of condos, townhouses and lawns. Often there are sparks of humor or pathos suggested by objects in front yards and driveways. The formal shapes of architectural structures in the glancing sunlight might come together in a classical perspective — a little garage sitting serenely amid large houses, or a fencepost or an orange traffic cone catching the light in a sculptural way.

These photographs walk a thin line between documentation and visual enjoyment. Coppola seeks to maintain the balance and subtlety required by this approach, and hopes that a sense of poetry has emerged.

Edward Coppola is an adjunct professor and tenured chief college laboratory technician in photography at Brooklyn College, where he earned his MFA in 1998. His photographs have been exhibited across the U.S. Most recently, his work was shown at the Photoville festival in Brooklyn and the Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island. See more images at edcoppolaphotography.tumblr.com

Support for this project was provided by a PSC-CUNY Award jointly funded by the Professional Staff Congress and the City University of New York.

Wagner College Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m. The Wagner College Gallery is located in the Union Building at Wagner College, 631 Howard Ave., Grymes Hill, Staten Island, New York. For more information, phone the Wagner College Art Department at 718-390-3192, or email gallery director Bill Murphy at bmurphy@wagner.edu.

 
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