Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Valerie J. Christell

Next month, the Waukesha Civic Theatre will present The Diary of Anne Frank. A powerful reminder of the horrors of war and a testament to the human spirit, The Diary of Anne Frank dramatizes the story of the Frank family and others who spent years trapped in a secret annex to hide from the Nazis. The tragic but inspiring story is perhaps best summed up by the Anne’s own words: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

The art on display Throughout the month of March, the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery, housed in the theatre’s lobby, will display the work of artist Valerie J. Christell. The exhibit, “Reflections on the Holocaust,” is a powerful reflection on human loss and cruelty.   Here is an excerpt of the artist’s statement:

Valerie J. Christell’s photomontages explore aspects of the nature of existence in terms of humankind’s interactions with each other and the environment, analyzing aspects of the destruction of the environment and life.  Creating in black and white, Christell works with figures, shadows and textures, manipulating flat images and/or building layers in order to capture within the piece the essence of specific environments and circumstances.  Her intuitive process in working with this digital form of collage involves letting the images speak to her.  She manipulates either full or partial images while developing an understanding of what the pieces can say for her figuratively and metaphorically, until she feels the piece fully reflects whatever concept has developed within the process.

Inspired by research culminating in a trip to places of the Holocaust across Eastern Europe, Christell’s Holocaust series expresses her experience of the history of human loss coupled with the energy felt while walking through the various memorial settings on that trip.  The creation of these pieces was her way to express the unspeakable and to share so that others may not forget.  The feelings she had during her experiences at the memorials come flooding back every time she views her photographs—an indication to Christell of the power of the spirits and environments of the Holocaust.  The photographs within in this group of works are primarily from the memorial sites Auschwitz, Majdanek, Paneriai Forest and several Jewish cemeteries.

Drop by the Civic during the Waukesha Art Crawl on March 7th or anytime throughout the month to see this poignant display.

Christell has taught studio art and art history courses at Alverno College.  Additionally, she has been a workshop presenter and juror for area art organizations and was chosen by Milwaukee Artist Resource Network as a Mentor. Her work has been displayed in many several local venues, both traditional and alternative.

Tickets for The Diary of Anne Frank are available through the box office at (262) 547-0708 or through our website.


Posted on February 13, 2015, in Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Valerie J. Christell.

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