Val Sivilli


About Val

email.    or   cell. 908-268-2843


As an Artist interested in creating community, I have found myself in the role of Arts organizer and sometimes curator in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Currently and for the past 2 years, I have been working with a team of artists in Hunterdon County. We have created  THAT: The Hunterdon Art Tour.  2017 was our first open studio tour, 2018 will be our second year. Recently, I co-curated and exhibition called “Keepers of the Chroma” at the Center for Contemporary Art, in Bedminster NJ.

I was born in Brooklyn raised on Long Island. I am a visual artist. My undergraduate studies were done at both SUNY Purchase and Alfred University. My graduate work was at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers. From 1984 to 1991, I was the studio assistant to both Nancy Spero and Leon Golub in NYC.  There I actively exhibited mostly in the downtown galleries. After moving to Frenchtown, NJ, in Hunterdon County, I raised my family and ran a graphic design & t-shirt printing company called Civilian Art.

I currently, and for the past 15 years, teach Color Theory, Drawing, BookArts and Printmaking as an Adjunct Professor of Art at both Raritan Valley Community College and Bucks Community College. Feb 18th – March 18th 2018, I have an exhibition of my work at RVCC with Heejung Kim.

Currently, the faculty at Bucks County Community College is seeking a Curator for an exhibition planned for Jan 2019 called FEMINIST CURRENTS. Please contact me if you are interest in creating a proposal for this exhibition.

ABOUT The Circus:  

Ever since a Jester entertained the royal court to our modern day Cirque de Soleil and to the recent demise of Barnum & Bailey, the cacophony of humanity resides within the body of the Circus.   It was during the 2016 American Presidential Debates that I began the work:  “An American Side Show Spectacular”. This work led to further investigations into rich and varied world of the Circus. This new series of paintings are very much a work in progress.

ABOUT My Process

Mostly I tell stories.  Sometimes it is a tiny little story, a simple line or two. And sometimes it is a seemingly endless story – a rambling excess of meandering quagmire. Either way, I like it a lot when the text integrates into the image.  Then you can view the piece without being distracted by the written word’s reference to spoken language. I try to defer to a simple narrative if possible, although that’s not always possible. It’s the honesty of the moment that engages me. As the painting, or series of paintings, take shape, the story takes shape. They inform each other. Sometimes the narrative finds a happy home in a single painting. Other times it takes a few paintings. Sometimes the story requires more air. Sometimes the story and the painting demand that there be no text in the picture. Regardless of the narrative, if there is one, it is COLOR as it resides in FORM and CONTENT that drive my painting. Creating a resonant and reflective home for what lies beneath and among the breath of the lines, the energy of the mark,  is a goal of this work, whether the actual text is embedded into the image or simply the title of the work.

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