“I am continually inspired by the knowledge that I practice an ancient artistry, creating objects at once functional and sacred. Intact indigenous cultures all over the world still weave and fire their work as I do. That art has provided beauty and sustainability from the first moment. I see myself as standing in a long, line of artisans creating these vessels. As time moves forward, my work will become a part of the natural evolution of this art’s history."
Wyoming artist Valerie Seaberg describes herself as an ocean child destined for mountain life. Her mixed media vessels are like great, tumbled beach combing finds, undulating clay forms encircled by pine needles or horsehair. They are high country marriages between an ancient ocean and raw land. Valerie Seaberg's works are muscular, sensual and convey a deep sense of time, earth, and element.
Seaberg discovered basket making while living and teaching in a remote northern California healing arts school. She was thrilled to craft vessels from the grasses at her feet.
Coiling is slow art. It takes a long time to express an idea and to see the movement of a form realized. It is both meticulous and profoundly meditative work. "I enjoy teaching this craft to others as I believe slow art to be one of the antidotes to the franticness of modern life."
A desire to work more spontaneously led Seaberg to working in clay. She began replacing basket centers with clay forms. The hand built centerpieces became so large that they are now an integral part of her work. "With clay, I feel unfettered I can express ideas with great energy and relative ease. It is currently the great love of my life."
Art making has been a source of incredible joy. I am amazed at my good fortune to be doing the work of an artist. I love that my job entails spending whole days down by the river harvesting or hunkered down next to a smoking pit fire. I am grateful for the way this work surprises and informs me, and always leads me to points as yet unknown.
My intention as an artist and as a person is to look at the world with curious eyes and to be guided by the natural intelligence of the art process. Seaberg, welcomes risk as an essential learning tool. Risk brings exploration, and exploration, illumination. Valerie Seaberg’s intimate art springs from her ever-inquisitive mind and heart. In all her endeavors Valerie Seaberg joyously bears discovery’s weight.
Jackson, WY &