About Teressa Valla

Artist's Statement

Teressa Valla's work can best be described as a reverence to humanity, movement, space, life, and the unity of them all. Her painting, sculpture, and photography illuminate the harmony of nature and urbanity and the musical lyricism that connects them. Throughout her work, one can identify themes of dance, community, nature, and architecture. These themes are often entwined with one another, showcasing the affinity between people and their environments, both manmade and natural.

Growing up in Vermont, Teressa experienced a strong connection to earth at a young age, and this bond with nature has served as a stimulus and source of comfort, both personally and artistically. Additionally, Teressa began dancing in her early childhood, contributing to her fascination with fluidity in the human shape and nature. Teressa draws inspiration from these experiences; her work evinces a deep love of movement and form, and materials play an integral role in how and what she creates. Elemental materials that bring Teressa back to her childhood home in Vermont are a staple in her paintings and sculpture, and her photography captures those elements in nature and among humanity.

Teressa's creative use of material is a unique characteristic of her work.
Another distinctive quality is the finesse with which she employs vibrant coloration. Lilly Wei beautifully sums up Teressa's use of color: "Her images bloom with a fierce joie de vivre, her palette saturated with pure blues, greens, violets, yellows, reds-she is a whiz with reds-and the brilliance and opulence of gold, the synesthesia effect so strong that you can "hear" the tintinnabulation of the colors, the potency of the rhythms seem to make actual music, a phenomenon that Kandinsky and Rimbaud famously described-as did Oliver Sacks, the celebrated writer and neurologist."

Teressa has long sought cultural enrichment through travel, and exposure to different environments and walks of life has granted her a broader understanding of how humanity and nature interact with themselves and each other. She is manifestly aware of the sanctity of humankind's place among the rest of the living world.  Thus, Teressa uses her work, bringing tangibility to her own inner light, to positively affect emotion. The desire to expand her appreciation for the world and to spread the light within herself has aided in rounding out who Teressa is, as both an artist and member of the global community.

Teressa Valla continues to live and create a block away from Central Park.
Her work is in the permanent collections of The Library of Congress, The Museum of the City of New York, Tribes Gallery, New England Center for Contemporary Art, The New York Public Library, and additional public and private collections. National and international exhibitions are numerous, including "Life of the City," Museum of Modern Art; "Europa," Instituto de Artes Visuais, Palacio Pommel-Lisbon, Portugal; La Ma Ma, New York, NY; Gallery K&S, Berlin, Germany; Maryland Institute; University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, England; Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, Maryland; Exit Art; and Atelier Collectivo, Pernambuco, Brazil. Her work was shown at the Sato Museum in Tokyo, Japan in "Considering Peace," an exhibition to benefit UNESCO. The Jackson Pollock Foundation and Ed Foundation have recognized her work.


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