African American Artist, Valeria Watkins (Dr. Valeria) is showing 20 original acrylic paintings in a solo exhibition in the lobby of Hutchins Library this month. The show will run through January 30th. Please join us Friday Jan. 15th from 4:30pm – 5:30pm for the show’s opening reception.
When asked about her work, Watkins had this to say:
“I never imagined this show as a possibility . While I have been in-love with painting since the fourth grade, I never aspired to do more than paint what I enjoyed. Certainly, I never thought that I would be invited to have an exhibition. While I have had several pieces in group exhibits and pieces have sold, yet looking back, I think I have given more paintings away as gifts.
I started painting in oils many years ago, but after relocating to Berea from California, I have been working in acrylics. They are so forgiving. I love color! Using colors to bring an image forward continues to captivate my journey as an artist. I love mixing colors and using colors to bring something from deep within to take direction and shape on the canvas. If I don’t like it I paint over it! My paintings have to feel right to me. Being an artist is exciting, demanding and challenging and I love it.
The majority of these paintings are from 2015. I had the time and creative direction to produce a lot of art. These paintings are predominantly abstract images with a few from the later part of 2014. I love experimenting with textures. I repurpose as many things as I can think of that will help me influence and restructure the flat canvas. Those pieces are designated as multi-media.
It is that quiet space between my thoughts that I work hard to paint from. Freeing myself from the boundaries of right and wrong. That is why I love abstract. Each viewer interprets from their own experience which makes it a more personal connection to the work.