5 questions with Valery Guignon
Valery Guignon is an artist who is nationally known for her hand-dyed fashion accessories and for her welded steel sculptures. She also volunteers with AIDS Arms Network, and her three of her sculptures will be featured in Art 4 Life, an AIDS Arms benefit set for June 29.
How did you come to work in two such diverse artistic mediums?
I have worked in a number of different mediums, including glass and clay. I really loved working with fabric. It is such a painterly medium. Then about five years ago, when I met another woman artists who was welding steel, I said, “‘I really love this.’ So I got myself a set up and my partner and I started doing sculpture together. Now I am on the board of the Texas Sculpture Association.
Was it difficult to move from one medium to another?
No, not at all. I have been an artist all my life, and I think my talent will show up in whatever medium I apply myself to. Give me a pile of cut grass and I will make something with it.
How did you first get involved with AIDS Arms?
I was at a party and met a really neat artist who asked me if I would head up a project to redesign the fence at AIDS Arms Peabody Clinic. They wanted a different artist to do every third fence panel as a piece of art, and they wanted me to do three-dimensional pieces for the front of the building. We were getting everything ready to go, and then Hurricane Katrina happened. Now the project has been put on hold because they have had to spend every spare penny caring for the 44 AIDS patients who came here after being displaced by Katrina.
What is it you enjoy about working with AIDS Arms?
AIDS Arms has given me a number of opportunities to help out and to show my work at the same time. I really appreciate that. They are finding a lot of ways to use my talents to raise funds for the organization. I did the AIDS Arms jacket for the DIFFA Dallas Collection this year.
What do you do besides create art and volunteer for AIDS Arms?
I spend time with my partner, Robin Hawke. She owns Talon Construction. She also does sculpture and builds houses, among other things She is a helicopter pilot and also remodels antique autos. I enjoy doing sculpture with her, and we both like to ride bikes and kayak and ride on her yellow Indian motorcycle.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 09, 2006.