Coral Kappel (b. 1997) works primarily with colored pencils and pastels, building up bold, saturated blocks of color from rough mark-making. Her drawings include portraits of glamorous women, detailed landscapes, and a wide array of creatures. There are galloping horses and restful dogs, but most often, predators : big cats, wolves, and mythological beasts. Her layered slashes of color and warped sense of perspective give them an enticing wildness.
Kappel has been a member of Project Onward for four years. Originally from Indiana, she has spent most of her life in west Chicago’s Harlem neighborhood. She credits her Grandma Diane for encouragement in art from an early age. Kappel recalls hours devoted to sidewalk chalk drawings, sketching a sprawling Godzilla, and an unfortunate incident where a passing bicycle crushed her pinky finger. In time the finger healed and the young artist persevered.
Coral’s desk is watched over by two dragon figurines and a few pictures of her beloved Harley Quinn. Looking at her drawings of a fire-breathing snake creature, a flirty woman in garters, and a cat named Peanut, she says, “It’s cool to draw these characters and think about them - to imagine a backstory!”