Monday, December 4, 2017

The Black Glove - Strindberg Repertory Theater

I'm happy to return to the Strindberg Repertory Theater as projection designer with illustrations for their latest production, The Black Glove, translated by Anne-Charlotte Harvey, directed by Robert Greer.  
© Jonathan Slaff

Dec 2 - 16
at The Gene Frankel Theater
24 Bond St., NYC TICKETS

© Jonathan Slaff

Cast and Crew: Amy Fulgham, Crystal Edn, Diane Perrell, Jo Vetter, Mary Tierney, Natalie Menna, Pilar Garcia, Janet Mervin (costume designer), Gilbert "lucky" Perto (lighting designer), T. Michael Culhane (production mgr.), Charles Casano (stage mgr.)  

 The Black Glove is one of August Strindberg's plays for children.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Exhibit News - CALL OF THE WILD

My drawing of a kestrel is on view in a new exhibit.

 The gallery is located in the Katonah art center. Warm and inviting, the 1902 building has a "home studio" feel and a small library of art books for reference. There is a great offering of mediums to explore at the center from painting to jewelry. Located a couple blocks from the Golden Bridge train station, it is an easy trip for non drivers.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Edgar Allan Poe

Selected work from the Edgar Allan Poe Illustrated exhibit is included in an exhibit at the German Society of Pennsylvania through 2017. It kicks off with the 2nd Annual Edgar Allan Poe Festival on Oct. 27th. This new exhibit curated by Beata Spurza features work by:
Nancy Doniger, Dave Kopka, Donna Miskend, Carol Klio Burrell, Anna Rich, Janusz Skowron, Valerie Sokolova, Madeline Sorel, Beata Szpura, Judith Wilde.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


an exhibition showcasing the literary work of Edgar Allan Poe
 interpreted by contemporary illustrators 
Dave Kopka, Nancy Doniger, Donna Miskend, Carol (Klio) Burrell
special guests: 
Michael Patrick Hearnauthor of the forthcoming An Annotated Edgar Allan Poe, James Armstrong, playwright, Charlie Vazquezauthor and director Bronx Writing Center

Artwork: © Dave Kopka 2016/17The Pit and the Pendulum,  The Premature Burial
Hailing from Chicago, Dave studied illustration at the Pratt Institute and currently lives and draws in Brooklyn. His work revolves around an inspiration from storytelling involving the struggle to overcome, and the humor and misfortune behind internal conflict. Dave engages in books, story boarding, comics, and pre-production work, but is fascinated with exploring a wide spectrum of illustration and being a creative force in visual narrative.

The Cask of Amontillado, © 2016/17
DM: Why did you choose The Cask of Amontillado to illustrate?
DK: What’s so enthralling in Poe’s stories - much more than the acts of horror that entail - are the characters carrying them out. This is no less evident in The Cask of Amontillado. Other than a few defining traits, Montressor is a sort of enigma. We don’t know what crime Fortunado has committed to evoke his own immolation. Are we so ready to accept that Fortunado actually had done something unforgivable? Is Montressor of sound mind to begin with? From the writing, it may seem almost simple enough to believe in Montressor’s resolve, to walk in the protagonist’s footsteps, as if to say there is an element of the sociopathic in all of us. That is fascinating, and a true horror behind this tale.

DM: Did you discover something new or interesting while doing your research for this exhibit?
DK: There was a lot of new territory to explore while looking through Poe's written works. Something that struck me while reading was that many of the stories present themselves for so much interpretation; the poems even more so. For instance, throughout the cast of his characters, we don't necessarily always have a solid grasp on who they are/what they look like specifically. 
The Pit and the Pendulum, © 2016/17
Much of their image is made up of what we project onto them (another reason why I think Poe's writing was so good, it tricks the reader into doing a lot of the work in creating a visual image). This is fantastic, because it allows me as an artist to conjure up something that might look different than someone else's vision of the same story, and opens up a dialogue - visually or otherwise - to learn from folks with different perspectives. There's a lot of potential space to explore creative freedom too. Whether or not it was intended, Poe really lets illustrators take the writing and make it their own. 

EDGAR ALLAN POE ILLUSTRATED EXHIBIT WORK ON EXHIBIT - Each GiclĂ©e is considered as an original piece of art, using high quality archival inks and paper, and will not be reproduced identically in size, manner, method, and quality ever again, with exception for the artist’s promotional and exhibition material. Said promo material will not be for sale. Smaller print runs reproduced in a more economic fashion will be available in the future, but will not have the same appearance and dimensions as the initial Gallery Editions. Frames are included in the purchase for all Gallery Editions. For inquires, please contact the artist at

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Due to family issues, this blog has been rather sketchy in posts. My Conversations blog was on an extended hiatus. I am pleased to return with interesting interviews on that blog, and some catch up posts on both. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017



Dave Kopka, Nancy Doniger, Donna Miskend, Carol (Klio) Burrell
special guests: 
Michael Patrick Hearn, James Armstrong, Charlie Vazquez

James Armstrong, as Edgar Allan Poe

The opening reception started off with a performance reading by James Armstrong of Poe's lesser known works represented by the artists in the exhibit.
James Armstrong and audience reading of The Bells, by Edgar Allan Poe
The last selection was a reading of The Bells with audience participation including Lucy Aponte, Community Associate of Poe Park Visitor Center, and exhibitor Dave Kopka.

AN INTERVIEW with playwright James Armstrong

 conducted by the curator, Donna Miskend

DM: What draws you to the work of Poe?
JA: I love how Poe uses language to create such evocative images. He is always choosing words that have the exact right sound for what he is trying to say. A poem like "The Bells" for instance, fuses form and meaning. The final part doesn't just have a creepy meaning, but it even sounds creepy. The same could be said of "The Raven." Every time I get to the end of "The Raven" and read about how the bird "still is sitting, still is sitting" it gives me the shivers.

DM: Does performing his stories/poems change or add to your interpretation of Poe's work?
JA: Like many nineteenth-century authors, Poe expected his work to be read aloud, and you don't fully appreciate his writing until you hear or recite it. Saying the word "Amontillado" over and over again is a different experience than just reading it in your head. If you ever wonder why Poe keeps repeating certain words and phrases, read the piece out loud. You'll understand.

DM: Does his work inspire you as a playwright?
JA: I've never adapted the work of Poe into a play before, but Poe knew Charles Dickens, and so I worked him into a play called Dickens Condensed which is now published and has been performed all over the place. Poe's one play, Politian, is not generally respected by scholars, but I rather like it. Poe never finished it, and I really wish he had. I think he had the makings of being a fine playwright if he had kept at it.

DM: Who are the writers that influence your work?
JA: I really like writers who create entertaining plays that also make you think. Aristophanes, Henrik Ibsen, and Bertolt Brecht were all great at that. Their plays can have you laughing out of your chair or sitting on the edge of your seat with anticipation, but they do more than that. You finish their plays, and you have all these new things to think about that you'd never before considered. Tom Stoppard also does that, as does Paula Vogel.

DM: Any upcoming performances or your plays or appearances?
JA: My play Capital about Karl Marx and his teenage daughter just finished a run at Detroit Repertory Theatre, and I'm hoping some other theaters will be picking it up soon. I also wrote an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that's going to be touring in North Carolina next year. Stay tuned!

For more about James visit his web site
For more interviews with people in the arts visit Donna's interview blog

July 15th
Poe themed writing workshop
with Charlie Vazquez, author and Director, Bronx Writing Center 
For more information call the visitor center 718.365.5516 or visit their website calendar under Poe Park Visitor Center.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I've curated a new show to celebrate the work of Edgar Allan Poe


Illustrations of beloved tales and lesser known works by Edgar Allan Poe will be exhibited in the Poe Park Visitor Center from June 3 through July 29, 2017

Nancy Doniger, Dave Kopka, Carol (Klio) Burrell, and Donna Miskend


JUNE 10 - opening reception 
12pm  a performance reading by playwright James Armstrong
2pm -  a talk with literary historian Michael Patrick Hearn about his forthcoming book, An Annotated Edgar Allan Poe

July 15
Poe themed writer's workshop with Charlie Vasquez, director, Bronx Writing Center

July 29
Artists Panel

visit for further information