2 min

The art in Valorie Preston

Local talent with a world of experience

SOCIAL CONSCIENCE. Valorie Preston has made significant contributions to our community. Credit: Capital Xtra files

She has been an experimental artist for 16 years. Model for youth in the GLBT community, mother and partner, Valorie Preston is excited that she now has an expansive new studio and display space in which to work and show her art.

Preston’s new studio is the culmination of her artistic and life experiences.

“I have played with colour. With line as energy, motion and as figure to create a new way of looking at energy and life force,” says Preston.

“I began a trek when I started playing with circle, then Chinese calligraphy, then into line. What I have now is my own line concept.”

Ten series and about 500 paintings later, Preston continues to hone her passion, occasionally mixing business with pleasure. Travelling the world, she shares the impact of her experiences when her paint brush hits the canvas.

“In 1999 or 2000, I went to the Yukon and attended an aboriginal healing circle,” Preston says. “That had a profound influence on my life. It reinforced my sense of community and circle as community. My work takes a look at that and how life force wanders until it can form its complete circle, which of course is its end,” she explains.

“When the circle is complete, we are finished. As long as we keep the circle strong by adding elements of strength to it then we have one of the strongest shapes on the world.”

Preston’s artistic strengths and outstanding contributions to the community have proven to be both empowering and thought-provoking.

“Aside from attending shows that were sponsored and part of the funds donated to gay projects, I have donated pictures to auctions, for example, Egale,” Preston says.

“I can give my art to charities and they make money from it. That’s good.”

Preston’s next philanthropic contribution will be to the Aids Committee of Ottawa’s Stage for Aids gala.

“I’m thrilled about her donation,” says Brent Oliver, executive director of the Aids Committee of Ottawa. “Without people like Valorie these fundraisers just wouldn’t be as successful.”

The corporate world has embraced Preston’s art with open arms as well.

“The first time I saw her work I was moved,” collector Dr Monique Andrews says.

“Her work draws you in. Whether in your home or corporate space, it has a dramatic, striking effect. It goes beyond the colour and texture of her work. There’s something extra special about it.”

Andrews adds that many offices and prominent places are decorated with Preston’s work. She feels they are drawn to Preston’s art because she has something for everyone and everything.

The owner of After Stonewall, David Rimmer, proudly displays Preston’s work in his store. What attracts him to her art work is the variety of its forms and her use of color.

“She is an extremely intelligent woman with a strong social conscience,” says Rimmer.

Although she has never entered competitions for her art work, Preston sees the rewards of her work in creating the art itself.

“I do art because I love what it does for me, what I feel when I look at it, and love what I feel when I do it. I believe that all of us have artistic talent. Most of us just don’t allow it to develop. Artistic talent can be in words, painting, designing a great table. It’s the ability to see beauty and life through words and color.”