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In her formative years in Muskoka, Valerie Knapp explored textiles and art with influential mentors, which led her to the Fabric Studio at Sheridan College School of Craft and Design. Quick to form a company, at first, Viverie, then Valerie Knapp, she printed and manipulated textiles, creating her innovative clothing and furnishings collections, designed textiles for children’s wear, volunteered and taught. She went on to studies in education at the University of Toronto, subsequently becoming Head of Textiles, Sheridan College.
Today, Knapp actively maintains a studio creating her varied, printed and embroidered textile and paper-based works, featuring thread, cloth, paper and found materials. Recently, stitched photos, oil painting and encaustic form part of her practice. Her characteristic objects in hand-printed linen and up-cycled materials and continuing education play a vital role. Her work is found in collections in Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Italy. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and has exhibited and published in Canada, USA and Australia.
“I observe and respond to what’s at hand — in the garden, the studio, family, memory, and in life as it comes and goes. Craving serenity and calm, I carve out poetic moments in delicate, precise, layered assemblages, in view to the difficult conditions we’re experiencing, making a kind of peace. I combine the unexpected, and while sometimes I attempt to describe or analyze ideas, memory, or complex relationships, sometimes the work is soothing and subtle. My evocative and synergistic approach is known to draw the viewer near.” —VK