The Peterborough Examiner
Artist making a colourful impact
Trent University student Claire Valant’s unique, colourful artwork is popping up all over town. Most recently it was at the Vegan barbecue and on posters for Sadleir House’s Sad Fest event. It’s also shown up on show posters for the Peterborough band Television Road and on the cover of Trent University’s Absynthe Magazine throughout the 2016-2017 school year when she served as the magazine’s graphic artist.
“I really enjoy when people ask me for art, it’s so flattering and I get really into it,” says Valant who has been interested in making art most of her life. “My favourite thing to do was draw.”
A native of Mississauga, Valant took art lessons from a young age through Visual Arts Mississauga and later was accepted into the visual arts program at her local high school, but she quit that program in grade 12 to pursue physics. Following high school, she went to Trent University for her BSc in Physics and is presently completing a Spanish course as credit for her Honours degree.
Valant’s medium of choice is linocuts. In this method a design is cut or carved into a linoleum block which is then rolled with ink and used to print the carved design on paper or fabric. She also uses watercolours, markers, ink and coloured pencils.
“In high school, I did poorly in printmaking, which is funny because now it’s my favourite. I’ve played with silkscreens but I mostly do linocuts … most people carve one big scene but I like carving many small stamps and making a few unique prints with them,” explains Valant.
Valant’s subject matter is an eclectic mix of realism, fantasy and architectural features. Her inspiration comes from an equally wide-ranging list of sources.
“I really like drawing cubes and hands. My biggest inspiration in general is the producer/musician/artist called Grimes. I’m inspired by miniatures, clouds, plants, anything 3D and geometric (like the works of George Greaves and Tishk Barzanji), unconventional architecture, and fantasy characters and landscapes from Adventure Time to Roger Dean,” Valant says.
When she’s not studying or creating art pieces, she’s also interested in languages, computer programming, space, and music. And she used to play guitar with the Peterborough band Kitty Pit!
Valant’s one-of-a-kind art is worth a peek. A selection of her pieces can be seen on her Instagram account @zesty_94. If you would like to get in touch with her to do a piece for you, she can reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peterborough Field Naturalists’ Sunday morning wild life outing Oct. 15 will be led by expert birder Chris Risley. Meet at the Zoo at 8 a.m. for carpooling. Bring binoculars. Accessibility level is easy to moderate.
Also on Saturday an outing is planned to Cranberry Marsh in Whitby, led by Martin Parker, to take part in the annual fall hawk watch, as hawks and other raptors migrate westerly along the north shore of Lake Ontario looking for a way around the lake. Meet at 9 a.m. in the Tim Horton’s parking lot at the Canadian Tire/Sobey’s Plaza, Lansdowne St. W. for carpooling. The trip will return late afternoon. Bring a packed lunch, binoculars, a portable chair and dress for the weather.
Accessibility is easy walking.
LEARNING IN LEISURE: Tomorrow from 9:15 a.m. until noon at Northminster United Church with speakers Tom Mohr Ontario (Archaeological Society); Doug Lockington (Polio Eradication by Rotary International). $25 for membership or $5 per session. Luga-mug for cookie/coffee break. Wheelchair accessible. Visit www. learninginleisure.com
PINE TREE TALK: Presented by Chanie Wenjack School of Indigenous Studies Wednesday from 12 until 1 p.m. at Nozhem First Peoples’ Performance Space, Enweying Building, Gzowski College, Trent University, featuring dance artists Brian Solomon and Aria Evans.