Valya: She



Valya: She presents artworks that reach across generations. The central symbol, a 25-foot tall tree of life, is based on imagery found in an ancient Ukrainian embroidered towel made by an unknown folk artist. Also on display, CUTS is comprised of the remnants of felt from the tree of life, reminding us that we are all cut from the same matter and that every piece is critical. “You can trace the human race back to one origin, back to one place where we all began,” says Valya. “We are all the same— we all have the same emotions. We should be unified throughout the world, not pitting one against another.”

Although the fabric is soft and adaptable it is also enduring, speaking messages of feminism, empowerment, family, and the interconnectedness of our ancestral roots. Toned in sanguineous victory red, Valya’s project sends a highly contemporary message told with traditional art forms. She says, “My art is a metaphor for my personal journey on the road to self-realization. The colors and images of my work are a direct translation of how my soul sees the world. Each work tells a chapter of my life and functions as a vital part of my whole life experience.”

Valya Roenko Simpson was raised and trained in Ukraine and has since been influenced by over a decade of living in the United States, most recently in Oceanside. For 30 years, the contemporary artist designed silk fabrics and textiles for a large Ukrainian textile manufacturer. After moving to Oceanside she began creating large hand-painted silk constructions. Her luscious designs were imbued with movement and drama and she gained a reputation as a sophisticated fiber artist. Following the success of a solo exhibition of floor-to ceiling hand-painted silk constructions, Valya was ready to move on to a more challenging medium. She began experimenting with a combination of silk and felt which led to her current body of work in felt sculpture. Felt offered depth, dimension and manipulation. “I chose felt because it is the oldest fabric that clothes were made from, it has a similar history to the ancient cells within us,” says Valya.


  • Exhibition Reception
    Saturday, February 23, 2019

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