Bio - Daniel Koplin

Daniel was born in 1977 and grew up in Lake Mills, Wisconsin where he was fortunate enough to have spent his formative years alongside his grandfather – a carpenter, barber, wine maker, and rose gardner.  Thus, Daniel received ample training in carpentry, looking neat, drinking, and enjoying the beautiful things in life.  In 1996 he relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he sought his BFA at the University of Minnesota, Department of Art.  Daniel received his BFA in 2000 with a thesis exhibition titled Slow Time - An environment for meditation.  Slow Time was a mix media installation where viewers where invited to enter and interact with the work.  Materials included: a leather water bladder, living plants and mulch.  The motive of this work was to break down the boundaries of 'high art' often found in a gallery setting and bring the viewer into an environment created to invoke contemplation of the natural world and how humanity fits within it.


In the summer of 2000 Daniel was awarded a teaching assistantship with Stephen Whittlesey at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine.  While there he worked with students in the wood shop to create furniture out of recycled, reclaimed, and found materials.  After working for two years in the building trades Daniel sought his MFA at University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, College of Visual and Performing Arts - Department of Artisanry located in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  His experience working with Stephen Whittlesey at Haystack compelled Daniel to seek out further study with him at UMass.  Between 2002 and 2005 Daniel was able to create a strong body of work under the tutelage of Stephen Whittlesey and other gifted professors in the Artisanry Department. While at UMass, Daniel, was awarded teaching scholarships in each of the three years of attendance there.  The opportunity to teach as teacher of record throughout his time at UMass gave Daniel strong professional experiences while he was pursuing his graduate studies.  Daniel taught two sections of introductory sculpture classes to first and second year students, as well as an introductory and intermediate furniture making course to upperclassman.  In May of 2005 Daniel had his MFA thesis exhibition, featuring three large scale kinetic sculptural machines; The Last Grass Machine, The Cistern Fantapparatus, and Mobile Life Support Unit - Model A.


After completing his graduate work in 2005, Daniel decided to return to the midwest to work with the Architectural Design/ Build firm of III AD located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Over the next 5 years, he continued his studio practice while working for III AD and exhibited widely, participating in a major exhibition every year between 2005 and 2010.


In the summer of 2010 Daniel decided to join the United States Peace Corps and is currently serving in the West African island nation of Cape Verde as a Vocational Education Volunteer.  Daniel teaches Technical English, Drafting, and Machining at the Centro de Formação Profissional da Variante located on the Island of Santiago.  He is also working on several conservation projects there, including a rain water catchment system, an effort which received Small Project Funding through Peace Corps and the USG.  While in-country, Daniel is continuing his art practice with cast concrete and found materials.  Please check back often for updated photographs and tidbits regarding Daniel's exploration.


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