100 Colorado Creatives: Artist and Westword Artopia star Valerie Savarie

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"Intergalactic," Valerie Savarie.
#92: Valerie Savarie
A storyteller through her art, Valerie Savarie uses the physical manifestation of stories -- books -- as an integral part of her process. The Zip 37 member's work is often small in scale because hardbacks are her chosen medium, but her ideas are hardly limited; among the paper cut-outs, the artist incorporates varying textures, colors and shapes.

A participant in Westword's Artopia 2013 coming up this Saturday, February 23, in the Golden Triangle, Savarie talked to us about her format and who in the community most inspires her as one of our 100 Colorado Creatives.

See also:
- Event: Artopia 2013
- 100 Colorado Creatives: Onus Spears

- Reed Weimer talks new work, gallery drama and the birth of Navajo Street Art District

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Westword:What are you most excited about presenting at this year's Artopia?

Valerie Savarie: There are two things: I have a few new works of altered book art that have strayed from my traditional style. Instead of painting onto canvas (which I attach to the book,) I have painted directly onto the book page itself. There is a wonderful translucence that happens with the text and paint that I am liking and playing with. These pieces lend themselves more to portraiture, where most of my other altered book art pieces focus on the figure and its surroundings. These pieces are a sneak peek for an upcoming show.

The other thing I am looking forward to presenting is on a much larger scale -- but still relatively small for art -- where I take paintings that, for whatever reason, I never completed. I trowel on some paint, add a little cattle marker and then sewn-on elements cut out from other paintings, as well as designs that relate to the piece. I haven't shown these before, and so am interested in what the response will be.

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"Art Living Inside Art," Valerie Savarie.

Are you working on any project/collaboration coming up that you're looking forward to sharing with the community?

I have a solo show coming up at Zip 37 that opens on March 15: me, myself & thou. I want people to engage themselves in the art -- my work is small, so people will have to get up close and really look at the details to see the full picture. I would like the public to document their connection or feelings they had about the show or specific piece -- I'll have blank postcards for people to fill out with their thoughts and then I will mail it back to them with a small painting, drawing, collage or poem inspired by what they shared with me.

I want people to realize that as different as we are (or told we are) from one another, ultimately, we share a lot of the same experiences and emotions. We need to rid ourselves of all the labels and categories we are fitted into, and embrace one another as simply another human who is looking for a happy, healthful and peaceful existence. In saying that, we also have to understand that the paths leading us to that goal are going to be different and we must respect those differences. There will also be a piece up for silent auction with all proceeds going to Radio 1190.


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