June 6th – July 5th, 2020
Haven Gallery is excited to present a collection of new work from Washington based artist, Valency Genis, for her first solo show at the gallery. Valency’s exhibition aptly titled “Beast Bazaar”, will feature forty of her playfully chimeric animal sculptures à la taxidermy, but instead, made from hand sculpted and painted parts comprised out of epoxy clay and wire. Each creature finds itself affixed to a taxidermy plaque, with large, bright eyes and exuberant expressions. Sometimes her mythical critters find themselves accompanied by an unusual companion, small in size, but symbiotic in nature; while other times, independent homages of individual animals beam brightly.
Valency’s art melds the characteristics of multiple animals into her own unique creatures, adorning them with ribbons, name tags and a delightful array of color and pattern work. Highly inspired by her time as a child out in nature, but also from her love of television and video games, Valency’s sculptures merge the two worlds together, creating one of her very own. A surrealistic twist on a historic art-form of preservation and study with the imagination and wonder of mythology and contemporary character motifs. The artwork of Valency brings warmth, imagination and mirth to its viewers; a sharing and connectivity through familiar pastimes and innovative designs.
Valency Genis is an artist with a head full of never-ending creatures. Her magical ability to bring her vivid imagination to life is evident in her amazing sculptures of fanciful hybrid animals. She originally hailed from the Republic of Cascadia, entering the world as a 12-pound baby, born in Portland, OR. After her father passed away when she was a baby, she then grew up in the heart of Seattle, WA.
She was utterly obsessed with television and video games for most of her life, so it is ironic that a summer spent on Flathead Lake, Montana in an electronics-free log cabin when she was 10 years old would change her life forever. Searching for diversions to alleviate her interminable boredom, she happened upon an old taxidermy shop. A dusty pair of “unborn beavers” caught her eye in the window display, and it forever imprinted on her naive adolescent mind. The stunning array of animals presented in the rustic store drew her in with their beauty, but she was bereaved by their demise.
While later studying for her BFA at the University of New Mexico, Valency discovered that she had the power to create creatures and control their aesthetics, while minimizing the tragedy associated with taxidermied animals. She takes an almost Dr. Frankenstein-like glee in crafting her unique animals, drawing on influences such as Dr. Seuss, Jim Henson and Tim Burton.
Her first solo show, Heterodoxy, was at the John Sommers Gallery (UNM) in November 2011, and it garnered Ms. Genis summa cum laude honors from The UNM Department of Art and Art History (which she proudly added to her summa cum laude baccalaureate honors). Valency recently moved from Albuquerque, NM to Lacey, WA, finally returning to her beloved Pacific Northwest.