A Wyoming native, Powell artist Mike Kopriva was born in 1952. His artistic talents emerged as a young boy and were encouraged with a gift of oil paints from his father at age eleven. He studied art in high school, graduating with honors, and twice toured Europe to further his understanding of art. In 1976 Mike attained his M.F.A. from the University of Wyoming. Over the years Mike has taught many college classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, and art history. He also has given many workshops to various art guilds around Wyoming.
Throughout his lifelong career as an artist, Mike has consistently won many competitions for his work in acrylic and watercolor painting, stone sculpture, and metal sculpture. A few of his most notable commissions include an acrylic 8' x 22' mural depicting scenes from Wyoming at the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne, a 4' x 20' steel mural placed in the Rockville, MD Department of Transportation illustrating the history of transportation, and a 12" x 20" acrylic painting of the USS Wyoming Trident submarine; the painting resides in the officers' ward room as a gift to the officers and crew. First National Bank and Trust of Powell has used four of his paintings on their Visa cards. For 2-1/2 years the Bank employed Mike to produce numerous office paintings and murals. They have the largest collection of his work. In 2003 Mike received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement from Northwest College in Powell. Mike's works can be found in local, national, and international corporate and private collections.
Mike lives south of Powell where he works out of his home studio. After his wife Janet died in March of 2003, it was his art that carried him through the difficult times and provided purpose. His love of nature and interaction with the outdoors is reflected in Mike's unique style and realistic approach. His work is recognized for its distinct character.