Artists-in-Residence (AIR) Program Summer 2019 Em Minyard Oppman

Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence

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Em Minyard Oppman

New Orleans, LA
Early Art Practitioner AIR
Instagram: @EmOppman

Em Minyard Oppman is a visual artist from New Orleans who is currently pursuing a BFA in Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Shaped by their upbringing, they learned how to discuss ideas as serious as gender taxonomies with playful materials from the simultaneous jubiliance and crushing political commentary present in a Mardi Gras float. Oppman creates sculptures with ant farms, Play Doh, and other unconventional materials that parody the legitimacy and assumed objectivity of science.


“My artistic skill of identifying and undoing the invisible but omnipresent structures that shape our reality is a result of my experience as a child in Hurricane Katrina, trying to make sense of watching and experiencing systems seemingly ‘too big to fail’ collapse.”


  • Conversion Therapy with Chromosome Stamp, 2017, homemade play doh, foam, joint compound, paint, 32 x 32 inches

  • Cheeto Spores, 2016, Cheeto dust

  • Bleeding Tooth, 2015, faux fur, latex balloons, chickenwire, 9 x 10 feet

  • Bunny Poles, 2016, steel, enamel, 30 x 28 x 25 inches

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.