May 7, 2011 in Washington Voices

Outside the box

Artist Valerie Lindberg thrives on unpredictability, eclecticism
Jennifer Larue, Jlarue99@Hotmail.Com
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

Artist Valerie Lindberg is also an art teacher at Central Valley High School. Her focus is commercial/home interior, and includes stained glass, sculptures, photography and paintings. Below is “Maggie’s Tree,” an oil on canvas.
(Full-size photo)

Art quote of the week

“To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual.”

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), artist

On the Web

If you were to have happened into Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave., last month, you would have seen over three dozen works of art there – photography, stained glass, and paintings done in many styles including abstract, impressionism, pop art, and realism. You would imagine that at least a half-dozen artists were displaying their work because of the diverse nature of the exhibit, but it was just one.

“If I was to describe my work I would say eclectic,” said artist Valerie Lindberg. “I don’t think my work is totally recognizable because at this point it varies significantly. That appeals to me and I like that approach because I don’t like to be stuck in a box. Predictability stifles me.”

Though always creative, Lindberg’s first choice of a profession was tennis pro. At the age of 7, she sported a Wimbledon T-shirt and swung a mean racquet. She ranked No. 1 in the Pacific Northwest in the age 12 bracket and went on to compete in high school. She also played volleyball.

At Western Washington University in Bellingham, Lindberg had dreams and drive – theater maybe, or interior design, something dramatic and beautiful. She ended up taking an art class and settled there, graduating with a bachelor of arts/art education degree in 2002. During her art studies, she took a drawing and painting workshop in Italy the summer of 1999.

Lindberg went on to share her passion with students. When she and her husband moved to Spokane five years ago, she was hired as a fine arts teacher at Central Valley High School. She still works there today while creating her own art well into the night.

Lindberg, 34, is constantly inspired. Things like shadows and shapes, looking through a windshield, faces, voices, people, circles, sunlight, heartache, confusion, love, life, and water are all represented in her work. She captures life in bold images; simple objects become continuous patterns, black and white photos become statements, and thick brush strokes become textural universes.

When asked “What’s next?” she replied, “A pop art series … pink cupcakes, bacon, eggs, cigars, books, more coffee, more wine, Q-tips, golf balls, bagels, soap dispenser. … A pebble series focusing on different lakes around the area using circles, an abstract series focusing essentially on the elements of art and principles of design, and a series of vibrant skies with barren trees.”

She has shown her work in Bellingham and Yakima. Since moving to Spokane, she created a series of pasta-inspired pieces for a show at Italia Trattoria in Browne’s Addition, showed at Barrister, and, through May, will have her work at Left Bank Wine Bar, 108 N. Washington St.

In an artist’s statement, she writes: “I am inspired to create art for specific spaces and as a result am stimulated to create by a variety of things, spaces and people around me. I find exploring this varied approach challenges me as an artist and keeps me open to new possibilities, invite the unexpected and enables me to continue taking risks. I will continue to create.”

The Verve is a weekly feature celebrating the arts. If you know an artist, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, band or singer, contact correspondent Jennifer LaRue at

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