By Randi Somers
Valisa Higman’s show at the Fireweed Gallery entitled, “Here,” depicts scenes of Alaska life and landscape, punctuated by pieces she designed during her recent travels in Mexico, where she studied ceramics with a potter in Oaxaca and Bahrain.
According to her artists biography, Higman was inspired by the vibrant culture, and sought to find a way to recreate it.
Born in Seldovia, she studied psychology and art at the Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. Her work is influenced by her father, a wood-carver, her grandfather and mother who both hand-cut silk-screens.
She began working at a young age under their influence. Her cut-paper artwork starts with sheet of black paper. Carving the black with an exacto knife, her images are revealed in an intricate lacework of lines.
Using the black as her foreground, she fills the negative space by lacing together layers of paper in vibrant colors and textures.
As a finishing touch, she adds the last details and shading with watercolor. Her work reflects her love of community, food and nature.
Most of the pieces in her show were completed over the last year in a small yurt on her mother’s land in Seldovia, she said.
Her artwork has been featured in cafes and galleries throughout her journeys.
Recent juried shows included the Mayor’s Art Show in Eugene, Oregon and the Clay Cup, a national juried exhibition at the George Calet Bingham Gallery at the University of Missouri.
Higman’s work is on display at the Fireweed Gallery on Pioneer Ave. through today. It will be replaced by Julia Stutzer’s art work for First Friday and through September.
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