Open To Interpreation Valerie Savarie . Miki Harder . Nicole Grosjean
1: Miki Harder: “My Mom, Her Thoughts, and Dad”$550 Oil on canvas, 15" x 30" DEEP: Sooo... my Mom has Alzheimer's. I don't even want to capitalize the world because it's so icky. But it's someone's name, so.... This is my Mom.. stuck deep in ... something. .. the diving bell of dementia.. Her thoughts are ethereal jellyfish that float to the surface with no real order ( but infused with meaning we can't quite decipher) .... and up there, at the surface is my Pops, with his life boat...ready to assist, and yearning to make her unwanted deep dive somehow more tolerable.
2: Miki Harder: "It's quite a ride , but still ..."$550 Oil on canvas, 15” x 30” ANCHOR: I was lucky to "stumble across some big black birds in my early 20's~ I was skiing and ravens were in the trees guffawing at us humans ...aaand I fell in love. Painting, drawing , sculpting ,researching and raising ravens has been a constant... they have been my people, my thing, my other... it's like a looong sweet marriage ..I appreciate how they've just Been There.. like I can just fall off their wings and Be.
3: Miki Harder: "By The Stars"$550 Oil on canvas, 15" x30" MIGRATION: Did you know that some birds migrate at night? Indigo Buntings are such. They use the stars to navigate ...they use directional information from star patterns... In a study (using a planetarium ) , star patterns were reversed and buntings changed their orientation 180 degrees... now just let that fuel more "wow" bird explorations for you! They have been my people, my thing, my other... it's like a looong sweet marriage ..I appreciate how they've just Been There.. like I can just fall off their wings and Be.
4: Miki Harder: "A Moment In Time"$550 Oil on canvas,30"x15" SERENE: I can only think of this word being a fleeting (but not with anxiety) feeling of "ahhh".
5: Miki Harder: “Who Named This Beautiful Bird??" $180 Oil on panel,8"x 6" GHOST: I'm on a bird theme again.... you know what's a ghost? Extinct birds! Approx 1690 the last Dodo was , umm, hunted.
6: Miki Harder: “Maurice"$150 Oil on Panel, 8" X 8" WILD: When I see this word ... really all I can think is of "Where the Wild Things Are". Now I dunno about copyright infringement, but this was fun as heck to draw 🙂
7: Miki Harder: "You Are Here”$100 Oil on panel, 12" X 12" HOME: These are Wild times... and when I can make no head nor tails... I find comfort in the cosmos.... that we are a random planet circling a random star.....I think I'll leave it at that...
8: Miki Harder: "What's a Hoatzin?"$550 Oil on canvas, 30" x 15" ANTIQUITY: Def: "the ancient past, especially the period before the Middle Ages." Now I Know "antiquity " is mostly based on human ideas(civilization).. but humans these days.... we're weird ~ so I thought...what's Really old? Well... BIRDS. But Especially the Hoatzin! It is estimated that its species branched off the rest of the avian branch about 65 million years ago... now That's Antiquity.
9: Miki Harder: "RA"$350 Oil on canvas, 12"x12" ANTIQUITY: Randomly Googling the word "antiquity" , explanations revolving around early civilizations emerged.. especially about Egypt for some reason. Random fact,I love hieroglyphics... I appreciate the simplicity of an image depicting global meaning. I especially like the bird glyphs.The people creating the images had SUCH a perfect knowledge of the form of the bird, they distilled it to a figure that you see and say YES that's an Ibis, or Yes, that's a Falcon. Here's an homage to them.
10: Miki Harder: "Midsummer’s Eve"$150 Oil on panel, 8" x 6" TWILIGHT: I call it the magic hour... when everything is cast in an impossible glow...it's like Mother Nature is Totally showing off...... 🙂
11: Valerie Savarie: "Sisters of Twilight"$800 Altered book, acryla gouache, vintage thread, watercolor, wax 5.75" x 8.5" x 1.25"d Book used: The Classroom Teacher: Index, Handbook, published 1929 TWILIGHT: This piece is based on a photo of my great grandma Gertrude Biller who passed away at the age of 29. My father has been working on the family genealogy and it turns out Gertrude and I have the same birthday. Twilight is the time between day and night as well as night and day. For me, this piece represents that time between our births - a twilight of a soul passing from one body to another.
12: Valerie Savarie: “The Haunting of Rosalie”$640 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, vintage thread, wax, vintage wallpaper 5.75" x 8.5" x .75"d Book used: Immortality: The Scientific Evidence, by Alson Jesse Smith, published 1954 GHOST: I used a book on immortality as it seemed the perfect fit for a ghost piece. In my mind, most ghosts are lost souls, wandering in that thin veil between the living and a world beyond that - unable to free themselves from their physical existence. The longer they stay bound to this world, the more of what they used to be wastes away until all that is left is that light of their soul, and then, they are finally free.
13: Valerie Savarie: "Scenic Route"$740 Altered book, acryla gouache, vintage thread, wax 10.5" x 7.25" x 1.5"d Book used: Standard World Atlas by Rand McNally, published 1956 MIGRATION: This was a fun piece to do research for as I didn’t know of all the different species of creatures that migrate. The snowy owls live in the Arctic Cirle most of the year. Starting in mid October through mid November, they migrate south to Canada and northern parts of the US. An atlas seemed perfect for book for this piece and when a map of Newfoundland happened to line up while thumbing through the pages, I knew what I needed to create.
14: Valerie Savarie: "Beyond Depths Unknown"$750 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor Book used: Astronomy, published 19758.5"w x 11.25"h x 1"d DEEP: This was the last piece I created for the show. Deep has so many different meanings to me and I wasn’t inspired by any of them. I originally was going to use a very thick book (almost 3” deep) however at this point, time was running out and that didn’t seem like a doable option. So I decided to meditate on it for several days. I needed to find one more frame so I headed to the thrift, found a frame and as always, I swung by the book section. There it was, the perfect book - Astronomy! Everything came together on multiple levels - the deepness of space, the deepness of the oceans, the deepness of meditation, the deepness of our own creative soul. The deeper we dig, the more we learn about ourselves, the more we open up to possibilities we never even knew existed.
15: Valerie Savarie: "Wild Soul"$700 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, acrylic ink Book used: Essentials of Geography, by Brigham and McFarlane, published 1925, 8" x 10.25" x 1.125"d WILD: I have a show coming up this December at Kuehl Fine Art in Trinidad titled “Guardians of Feral Lands”. I have a vision of what I want the pieces to be and so I decided to create a “test” piece for this show. Foxes are such wonderfully wild creatures that we as domesticated beings can relate to. They are playful, sly, resilient! As much as I love to paint eyes, I felt that leaving them unpainted reinforced that sense of unknown wildness that we humans no longer possess.
16: Valerie Savarie: "Purrrfectly Peaceful"$520 Altered book, acryla gouache, vintage thread, watercolor, wax 5.5" x 8.5" x 1.75"d Book used: The Best Loved Poems of American People, published 1936 SERENE: How does one only use one of our senses to convey something that encompasses sound, touch, smell and the subconscious as well as visual? As I sat contemplating this one night, my black kitty jumped on my lap lap and started to pur. As I started petting his soft fur and found myself hypnotized by his purr it slowly came to me that he embodies the meaning of serene (at this moment).
17: Valerie Savarie: "Siren’s Song"$680 Altered book, acryla gouache, vintage thread, acrylic 7.25" x 10" x 1"d Book used: My Bookhouse: Vol. 8 Flying Sails by Olive Beaupre Miller, published 1950 ANCHOR: One of my favorite volumes of books to use is the Book House series. It is a multivolume children’s book series with wonderful stories and illustrations. Flying Sails has stories, poems and illustrations centered on the theme of ocean adventures. Normally, I avoid using covers with with artwork, however I decided it would be fun use the art as a way to create depth. The sails in the top continue into the cut out anchor, as do the waves and the boat. A compass at the top serves for navigation and “Firtha”is Scottish for “arm of the sea”. The “rock” that the mermaid is sitting on is actually part of the cover cut out for “Wild Soul”.
18: Valerie Savarie: "Home Is Where The Heart Is"$780 Altered book, acryla gouache, acrylic, wax, vintage thread Book used: The Young Folks Treasury, Vol X, Ideal Home Life, published 1909 5.75" x 8.25" x 1.5"d HOME: Home is a feeling, a collage of visual and emotional memories. We can feel at home with people we love and feel out of place where we grew up. Normally, I only see my family once a year when I travel back to Wisconsin for an art festival. This year, my younger sister came out here with her boys for a visit. It was the first time I realized that when we are together, I feel at home. We have bouts of laughter, lots of warm embraces, share our true selves all surrounded by a deep love that keeps up safe.
19: Valerie Savarie: "Espíritu del Pasado”$600 Altered book, acryla gouache, ink 11.25" x 7.5" x 1.5"d Book used: La Faisa Cubanidad de Saco, by Luz y Del Monte published 1941 ANTIQUITY: Whenever friends and family travel abroad, I ask if they happen to come across any unique books that are reasonably priced, to pick one up for me. Several years ago my mom had the opportunity to travel to Cuba. There was an outdoor market where someone was selling old books. She picked up one that was affordable. I could tell it had been rebound at some point - because of all of the embargos that been in place for decades, anything that can be given a second life gets one (or more). The book was fragile and I knew that doing my normal cutting wasn’t going to be a possibility. So it sat for several years. From what I could gather, the book talked about the colonialism that took place in Cuba, leaving the indigenous Taíno people near extinct. I wanted the character to embody the soul of the Taíno people, ancient, tattered yet still existing in a more ethereal form. The title translate to “Spirit of the Past”.
20: Valerie Savarie: “Audacious"$700 Altered book, acryla gouache, oil, thread 5.75"w x 7.5"h x 1"d Book used: Classical Myths That Live Today,Silver Burdett, published 1958 ANTIQUITY: When I think of antiquity, my mind goes to the Greeks. They left us so many literary works as well as art and architecture. Their mythology is a constant inspiration and one that I feel I can adapt to my own story telling style.
21: Valerie Savarie: "Reflecting On The Past"$600 Altered book scraps, charcoal, vintage doily, vintage mirror in frame, vintage frame 9.5" x 14.5" x 1.5"d ANTIQUITY: This piece was created from several scraps from past pieces - the hand was from a commission piece, part of the crown was from I piece I made in 2019, the decorative paper “collar” was from a piece earlier this year, I can’t remember where the book page came from. The vintage doily, frame and mirror are from someone else’s past. all of these items could have easily been thrown away however I have passion for preserving the past in order to create a new future.
22: Nicole Grosjean "Seren Waters"$750 Etched Glass, 23K Red Gold Leaf, Enamel Paint, Synthetic Opals, and Mulberry Paper9.5"x9"x2" SERENE: I have really been exploring meditation and mindfulness recently. I wanted this work to feel peaceful, and also pay homage to the Eastern cultures that we so often appropriate into our practices. The lotus is such a powerful symbol as well as an exquisitely beautiful plant. This one floats on calm waters and glows warmly in sunlight.
23: Nicole Grosjean “Honoring the Gods” $1500 Etched Glass, 24K Gold Leaf, Enamel Paint, Shell Veneer, Carnelian, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Spinel, Red Corundum, Opal, CZ Stones, Papryus, and LED Lights12"x9"x2” ANTIQUITY: I have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt. I don’t know why I have such a strong affinity to the arts and artists of that time, but I definitely do. To see such craft and care in objects so old connects me to the hands and minds of those ancient craftspeople. I knew I wanted this piece to pay homage to that connection and the gods they honored with their meticulous work. 24: Nicole Grosjean: "Woven With Care"$850 Cut Paper, Watercolor, Gouache, Mulberry Paper, Wood, Acrylic Paint, Dried Vines, and Museum Glass 10"x10"x1.5" HOME: To me, home means the mountains and family. I grew up in the Rockies on a large acreage property against BLM land, so it was filled with wildlife. Almost everyday I could hear the chickadees singing in the mornings. This sweet mother songbird has woven a wonderfully safe home for her new family.
25: Nicole Grosjean: "Growing Wild"$950 Cut Paper, Watercolor, Gouache, Paper Clay, Mulberry Paper, and Museum Glass 9"x11"x2" WILD: I have always loved the wildness of flora and fauna. To see such exquisite structures thriving in their habitats, and knowing how many millions of years it took for them to be here now is just profoundly awe inspiring. With this piece, I wanted the wildness to spread from the ‘window’ out onto the structure of the mat, like a wildflower growing from concrete. Nature thriving on a man made landscape.
26: Nicole Grosjean "Magnolia Fireflies"$650 Cut Paper, Gouache, 12K Moon Gold Leaf, LED Firefly Lights, and Museum Glass10"x10"x3" TWILIGHT: The first time I saw fireflies was visiting family out East. I was absolutely enchanted by their ethereal beauty and mesmerizing patterns. Twilight is such a magical time between the warm safety of day and the cool mysteries of night, and fireflies are the perfect creature to live in this unique moment.
27: Nicole Grosjean: "Mother" $1800 Cut Paper, Gouache, Etched Glass, 24K Gold Leaf, Silver Leaf, Shell Veneer, CZ Stones, and LED Lights 11"x13"x4.5" GHOST: I have always loved ghost stories, and that connection they give us to the past. From Edgar Allen Poe to Guillermo del Toro, ghost stories are both ancient and contemporary. This ghost from ‘Crimson Peak’ certainly looks terrifying, but is actually a mother protecting her daughter. She is surrounded by moths and butterflies that inhabit both the light and dark parts of the world.
28: Nicole Grosjean: "Safe Passage" $1400 Cut Paper, Watercolor, Gouache, Resin, Fiber Optic Filament, Shell Veneer, Museum Glass, and LED Lights 12.5"x15.5"x5" MIGRATION: Migrations are such interesting parts of the natural world. They speak to the rhythms of the earth and changing of seasons. This migrating bloom of jellyfish have a protective mermaid shepherdess looking after them.
29: Nicole Grosjean: "Window To The Deep"$1200 Vintage Porthole, Custom Powder Coat, Oak, Cut Paper, Acrylic, and LED Lights 15"x9.5"x4.5" DEEP: I have always been facilitated by the creatures of the deep ocean. A few years ago I bought some vintage ships’ portholes to use as frames, but wanted just the right idea to make work for them. The jellyfish is such an ethereal creature, mesmerizing and sometimes dangerous. This one floats in deep water and changes colors with the light.
30: Nicole Grosjean: "Kracken & Anchor" $900 Etched Glass, 12K White Gold Leaf, Glow Pigment Powder, Sunstone, and Mulberry Paper 9.5"x10"x1.5" ANCHOR: I have always loved the sea and stories of monsters living in the dark waters. The depths hold such secrets still that we often look at them with the same wonder as the ancient peoples, dreaming of what might be down there. This glowing kraken has taken away the anchor of some great ship, and left the vessel adrift on the waves.
31: Nicole Grosjean: "Times Past and Present” $1900 Cut Paper, Watercolor, Gouache, Walnut, Brass, Acrylic, and Dollhouse Lights 15"x23"x5" GHOST: Another favorite from my childhood. After seeing so many Disney animations, I was fascinated by the realism and even occasionally grotesque style of the film. This was another piece I’d been dreaming about making for long time. I knew I wanted to use a lot of natural materials and Celtic style knot work as a nod to the roots and textures of the burrows and warrens in the backgrounds.
How we see the world is based on our own personal experiences. When communicating, the words we use can mean something completely different to each person depending on these experiences. Sometimes this leads to misunderstandings between friends and other times it can lead to a deep connection with a stranger. In their third show together, Savarie, Harder and Grosjean explore the words: Anchor, Antiquity, Deep, Ghost, Home, Migration, Serene, Twilight and Wild. Each artist creating a visual of the nine words using their own experiences to draw from for inspiration. Antiquity, Ghost and Twilight were selected by Valerie. Anchor, Home and Migration were selected by Miki. Deep. Serene and Wild were selected by Nicole.
VALKARIE GALLERY & STUDIO . 445 S SAULSBURY ST, LAKEWOOD, CO 80226 . 720-220-7587 HOURS: W: 4- 7 TH:4-9:30 F: 4 - 8:30 SA: 12-6 SU: 12 - 5 M&T: CLOSED