I first saw Val's art during an Art Crawl in the Arcade in downtown. I was impressed with the unique vibe of her gallery as well as the attention to detail in her work. Her work covers ancient themes while executing great skill in painting. I was intrigued and was happy when she agreed to a studio visit to talk about her work.
What is the theme of your work?
I generally stick with a central theme for 5 pieces of art, so that I have a small collection/series based upon an idea. For example, the Ancient Series is both Egyptian and Greek inspired. The Animals Series is based on fables and sayings that have meaning to me ( except the rooster and pig which I was asked to paint) with the theme that ties them together being that they are all animals. So I guess I might read something or see something that inspires an idea and then I compose in my mind 5 or so pieces to create for that series. The paintings you saw in my home are the next series that I am calling "In The Garden.” While it will still be nature based it will also have elements of literature intertwined.
What inspires your work?
I am inspired by ancient forms of art that include mosaic tile work, aboriginal art, and Huichol beaded sculpture. I am also inspired by God, nature, ancient script literature and mythos, fables, legends and mathematics. I try to weave ancient ideas in thought and literature with ancient art forms and give them a modern twist. I call this mesh of ideas "Mosaic Pointillism" because it isn’t quite one thing or the other…it just simply is a fusion of many ancient forms of art, literature and mathematics. There are many more modern artists that I adore. I cannot say that they inspire my work because I do not create the way they created, but they do open me up to new ideas. My first and favorite is “The Veiled Rebecca” by Giovanni Benzoni, but I also am in awe of Roy Lichtenstein’s works, M.C Escher, William Blake’s wood blocks, Da Vinci works (mostly from his sketch book of odd ideas) and last but not least the incredible world of Erte. My favorite art movements are the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods and I think there is a small bit of that peeking though my pieces.
What are the goals for your work?
I have a couple different goals. Yes I would like someday for my art to be in a museum. This may never happen, but I work on every piece like that it is where it might someday be viewed. Secondly, I'd like to find an art agent. I am new to having a gallery and want to keep a gallery, but an agent could open opportunities for me that a gallery can not. I would also like to have several small galleries throughout the United States and perhaps expanding beyond to showcase artists that create pieces that are uniquely their own.
What are your thoughts the on Nashville Art Scene?
I feel like the Nashville Art scene could be so much stronger than it is now. It feels like it is disconnected and working against itself. For example, I would love to support the Wedgewood Houston Art Crawl but I can’t because I have my gallery open in the Arcade during the Downtown Art Crawl. It reminds me of that line from Pink Floyd…”United we stand, Divided we fall.” There are so many talented artists in Nashville and I love meeting them and looking at their work. I guess I wish people would put whatever differences they have aside and make an art scene here that is more united. Separation, only hurts the art movement.