Visual Arts

Photos: Valerie Savarie's Me, Myself and You show opens Friday at Zip 37

Valerie Savarie's Me, Myself and You, which opens Friday, March 15, at Zip 37, is an exploration of the artist's relationship to the viewer. For this participatory show, Savarie is asking gallery visitors to share their reactions to her work, good or bad, on postcards that she plans on mailing back to them with a creative response.

In advance of tomorrow's opening, Savarie talked with Westword about building this reciprocal relationship and what her manipulated, book-style pieces have evolved. Keep reading for a sneak peek at Saravie's new show.

See also: - 100 Colorado Creatives: Artist and Westword Artopia star Valerie Savarie - Navajo Street Art District shines during Summer Solstice Celebration - Artist Valerie Savarie on co-ops and why she likes Navajo's art district more than Santa Fe's

The focus of Savarie's latest show is her trademark book sculptures, which focus on a particular set of encyclopedic texts.

"Half of the books I'm using for the show I purchased on eBay, because last year I had eight books that I did from a really cool encyclopedic collection that I found at a thrift store," says Savarie. "The set I'm using this year are from 1938, I believe. It's interesting, going through the same publisher but different years -- the paper is a lot poorer quality in the '40s, because there was still a war going on. There was a lot of recycling and efforts going toward the war, but they had a lot brighter colors. With the books from 1938, the colors are more subdued but the paper quality is a lot better."

Savarie is always on the lookout for older books. "I try not to use any books that were published after the '70s -- part of it is a quality, part of it is nostalgia. Part of it is that a lot of books that I find are from the '70s, and earlier the ones you most frequently find in thrift stores." In addition to texts, Savarie has been working with new materials. "Usually when I have a show, I have two totally different types of art. This is the first time I've really focused on several things, (but) they are all part of this same collection of repurposed art," says Savarie. This work uses recycled materials -- but from a commercial standpoint versus a textual one. "I have two recycled Jose Cuervo boxes that were a limited-edition print from different artists and I've cut inside them," she says. "I've added additional elements so that the previous artists' art isn't just totally usurped."
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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies

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