Oil painter and bronze sculptor Vala Ola visits Knox Galleries in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Oil painter and bronze sculptor Vala Ola visits Knox Galleries in Beaver Creek

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
"Clear Vision," by Vala Ola, from the Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate collection in Avon. The sculpture, the artist said, is a Native American woman who has a sense of the future to come. By her feet is a quartz rattle that lights up in the dark when shaken, which symbolizes her light from within and her calling on the greater light of all.
Special to the Weekly |

If you go …

What: Works in bronze and oil paintings of Vala Ola.

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 7.

Where: Knox Galleries, Beaver Creek Plaza.

Cost: Admission is free.

More information: Call 970-949-5564.

BEAVER CREEK — Oil painter and bronze sculptor Vala Ola will visit the Knox Galleries on Beaver Creek Plaza today and Sunday.

Ola was born and raised in Iceland. Her artistic talent was apparent at age 4, and from the age of 13, she attended classes drawing models from life. Graduating from the College of Hamrahlid, she furthered her studies at the Icelandic College of the Arts and later graduated from The Arts Institute in Bournemouth, England.

She won the Icelandic Design Excellence Award for the first time at the age of 26, and during her studies in England, she placed two entries among the finalists at the Smithsonian Young Illustrator’s Competition. Returning to Iceland, she went on as her country’s sole representative at the Nordic Graphic Design & Illustration Awards.

Ideas Abound

The artist derives her inspiration from her observation of life. Even the most mundane circumstance we find ourselves in daily will spark an idea. Ola’s classical training in Europe is reflected in her art, and both her figurative bronze sculptures and oil paintings are noted for their depth of expression and emotion.

“All we have in life at any given time is the very moment we are living, and that moment is of importance,” Ola said. “I would like to inspire myself and others to have awareness and appreciation for our life.”

Ola has lived in the United States since 1994, and in 2001, she rekindled her interest in sculpting with clay after solely painting with oil for seven years alongside William Alan Shirley. Their portraits were created for families and dignitaries, and immaculate likeness of her subjects and reverence for the technique of the old masters earned her great recognition in her field.

The Flemish artist Vermeer would paint the simple act of pouring milk, elevating it to a moment worth remembering for eternity. In a similar way, Ola will look at a moment usually passed by as moment worth noticing. She sculpts and paints in her studio, and all her sculptures are cast in bronze.

“The bronze gives me an opportunity to mold the sense of life into an everlasting form, from the force of a muscle in motion to a tender human emotion expressed,” Ola said. “That along with the abstract quality of composition is what inspires me. When painting, I get to play with colors as well as composition.”