top of page

May Ling Kopecky: To-Do List

May 23, 2024 - August 18, 2024

Images from left to right:   May Ling Kopecky Self Portrait - Multiple Sclerosis and My Body, 2022  colored pencil, ink, and graphite on Dura-Lar and graph paper; 71" x 30"  ︎︎︎Image description: The portrait of a woman with brown hair is made of drawings of various parts of her body created using various techniques. Next to each drawing is a description of the portaied symptoms.   Benjamin Merrit Care is, 2020                                                              etching, aquatint, drypoint, sugarlift, spitbite; image 18 x 24”, full sheet 22 x 30”            ︎︎︎Image description: One black and white print, consisting of “care is” written in white on the top half, and a white rectangle on the bottom half. The text is sitting on a dark field of texture and gestural marks, the blank rectangle consists of faint texture.   Kym McDaniel Screenshot from Exit Strategy #1, Exit Strategies Series, 2017-2021  video series; 40:23 min  ︎︎︎Image description: Silver spoons arranged on a table

Pick a Task Series (Detail), 9” x 12.5” each, Printed digital drawing with stickers on

clipboard, 2024

May Ling Kopecky: To-Do List

On view May 23, 2024 - August 18th, 2024, Corridor Gallery, Rochester Art Center

Artist Spotlight tour on Saturday, July 27 at 1 PM

Curator: Zoe Cinel

Jurors: LaVanda Mireles, Heather Hanft, Zoe Cinel

The Rochester Art Center presents a solo exhibition of drawings and multimedia installations by artist May Ling Kopecky. Kopecky’s exhibition proposal was selected through a juried process among a pool of applicants. This exhibition is sponsored by the MFA Program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design as a part of an annual partnership.

May Ling Kopecky was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when she was fifteen. Due to the “invisible” nature of MS, she was often met with skepticism while talking about her illness. In response, she started creating artworks that visualizes how it can feel to navigate the world with MS. As Kopecky writes in her statement: “My recurring MS symptoms include debilitating fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and vision/mobility issues. Some days I check everything off of my to-do list; other days I must prioritize the absolute necessities. I often feel guilty about my low levels of productivity on bad days, and many other people with chronic illnesses have voiced similar experiences.” 

The exhibition features 100 original drawings and an interactive installation that encourages visitors to participate, learn and connect with these underrepresented topics. In To-Do List Kopecky portrays the erratic nature of illness and disability bringing attention to the difficulties of preserving energy while chronically ill. How challenging is it to manage a list of seemingly simple tasks when living with a chronic illness? In the artist’s words: “We are often frustrated with how draining “simple” tasks can be, and how little others understand. My hope is to spread awareness about the chronically ill experience, while also helping others with chronic illnesses feel seen, heard, and understood.”


May Ling Kopecky is an artist based in Plymouth, MN. She received her BFA from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). Her work has received multiple awards in exhibitions across the US. Kopecky was a grant recipient of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council’s Next Step Fund in 2019. In 2022, Kopecky was awarded Second Place for the Kennedy Center VSA Emerging Young Artist Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She has been featured in publications such as New American Paintings, the National MS Society’s Momentum magazine, Fox 9 news, and the Star Tribune. Kopecky has been an art instructor for both adults and children, and currently works in the Learning Center and Accessibility Services department at MCAD. Through her work, she strives to spread disability awareness and advocate for people with invisible illnesses.

MCAD’s Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies program is a community of makers, thinkers, researchers, and creative professionals working in a mentor-based, interdisciplinary environment. Our four-semester curriculum is designed to expand your thinking as you take advantage of the Twin Cities’ vibrant art and design scene. Students are invited to be strongly self-directed as they set personalized goals to guide each semester, as well as their overall time in the program.

bottom of page