Artist Vivian Ivey’s work on display at CACWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Artist Vivian Ivey’s work deserves a glance or two — viewers may find secret messages or even a face peering back.
“[My art is] known for hidden images … like hidden monsters and faces and words. I like to do kind of cute mixed with creepy and I like dark mixed with light,” said Ivey, whose work will be on display at the Collingwood Arts Center (CAC) this August.
The show is Ivey’s first solo exhibit, although she has been an artist since childhood.
“It’s something I’ve always pursued. Even as a little kid, I was always doing it,” the Saline native said. Ivey has taught classes at the Saline 212 Arts Center and used to design fliers for The Revolution Collective, a now-closed music venue.
In the future, she hopes to collaborate on a children’s book and do tattoo art.
Ivey, also a musician, has lived in Toledo for about four years and has found inspiration in the places she’s stayed, including the CAC. Some of her inspiration could be considered otherworldly.
“I’ve stayed in a lot of houses that some people might say are haunted. Part of the inspiration for me is the old architecture of the Arts Center … I like to come up with characters who could possibly live there and then draw them,” she said.
Ivey is also inspired by surrealists René Magritte and Salvador Dalí in addition to her own colorful imagination.
“I’ve always been very imaginative. I like to create characters and silly scenarios. I make art to make people happy and to de-stress myself. I make images that are fun or the colors are bright or attention-grabbing. I like stuff to be almost psychedelic or dreamlike,” she said. To create her pieces, Ivey uses colored pencils and then rearranges parts with a collage technique.
“Some people, when they like [my pieces], they really like it usually. Some people don’t quite understand. I think most people can at least appreciate the whimsicalness of it,” Ivey said.
John Dorsey, CAC program director and Toledo Free Press Star poetry editor, is one of those appreciative people.
“To be honest, in my position as the program director, I know you’re not supposed to play favorites, but I’ve always been a really big fan of Vivian’s work,” he said. “I feel like when I look at her work, somehow I feel connected to it. It’s like she’s gone inside my own brain.”
“Her work is very different than the work you see hanging in a lot of galleries Downtown,” Dorsey added. “I hope everyone comes out because this show is something different for us.”
Ivey’s work is for sale for about $100-$200. Poster prints are available for $10 at the CAC or her website. The exhibit’s opening reception is 7-10 p.m. Aug. 3 at 2413 Collingwood Blvd. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit vivianivey.webs.com or call (419) 244-2787.