Valerie McGarry is a self-taught mosaic artist living in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. She has been creating mosaics for over 20 years. After a career as a lab technologist in Biochemistry, she returned to her love of art and fell in love with mosaics. Since then, she has continued to develop her own style, primarily abstract designs with a focus on texture. The topic of many of Valerie’s mosaics is how she feels about the social changes that are happening around the world.
Valerie likes to use traditional materials such as stone and smalti but occasionally uses non-traditional materials to create a contemporary feel. Of late, a focus for Valerie has been on the use of colour and tone gradations in stone and smalti.
Valerie’s mosaics are in private collection in Australia, Canada, Italy, the UK and the USA. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She was an organizing member of the first CAME (Canadian Annual Mosaic Exhibition) in 2017 and continues to be a big part of this growing national exhibition in Canada. Valerie teaches mosaic classes and workshops in her home country and occasionally abroad.
PRESENTATION: ‘Using Mosaic Art for Advocacy’
Art is a great way to bring awareness to social issues. As my art developed and my technique improved, I began thinking about what I wanted to say with my mosaic art. More and more, I felt the need to shine a light on the issues of groups of people who felt unheard and unseen. Creating mosaic art, in a small way, helps bring awareness to their voices. My hope is that once a person views a piece of art with a message, they will go home and think about it in a new light and maybe even act upon it.