Nature takes center stage in Owasco artist’s work

A Cloudy Afternoon

Victoria Savka’s prints of animals on display at Schweinfurth

AUBURN, NY (April 9, 2022) – As a child, Owasco artist Victoria Savka was fascinated with the natural world.

“I can remember finding ladybugs outside after school and collecting them in small Mason jars,” she said. “I would watch them interact and wonder what they might be saying to one another in privacy.”

That interest continued as she grew up. Her current exhibition of drypoint prints at the Schweinfurth Art Center is clear evidence of that. Cows, sheep, ducks, and Mr. Fox peer at visitors from their frames, frozen in time. These are the animals that Savka passes when she bikes every morning.

“Animals have been my muses for quite some time,” she said. “Their fur, feathers, and wool provide wonderful texture, but it’s their personalities that shine through.”

Savka’s exhibit, “Im-pressed Muses,” in on display in Gallery Julius through May 15. Also on display are “Made in NY 2022” and “Recycled Light,” a solo exhibit of neon light by Skaneateles artist Lorne Covington.

In drypoint printing, artists use a sharp, needle-like tool – in Savka’s case, an X-acto knife – to scratch images into a plate to form an image. The process doesn’t use chemicals to create the image, as in etching, thus the name drypoint.

Traditionally printmakers used copper plates for drypoint printing, but currently many use laminated cardboard, zinc, and Plexiglas to create their images. Once the image is scratched into the plate, the printmaker adds ink to fill the scratched crevasses, wiping away the excess ink on the surface. The printmaker flips the plate over onto dampened paper and rolls both through an etching press to create the print.

Victoria loves the storytelling aspects that making multiple prints allows. “Through the possibilities of multiples, I create variations where I experiment with different colors, layering images, and pushing a more moody or whimsical atmosphere,” she said.

She adds color with watercolors, oil pastels, and chine collé, a technique that allows artists to add color by adhering thin, tissue-like paper to the thicker base paper. She doesn’t limit herself to one medium, neither as a college student at the Rochester Institute of Technology or a full-time practicing artist today.

She also makes intricately designed pottery – mugs, bowls and candlesticks – that are covered with brightly colored flowers and animals. And she currently has a second solo exhibition of her visual diaries, which she calls Mindmappings, at Kinetic Gallery in the MacVittie College Union at SUNY Geneseo.

“The world will always be in my work as they are the stories I know,” Savka said.

If you go…

WHAT: “Im-pressed Muses” exhibit
WHO: Owasco artist Victoria Savka
WHERE: Schweinfurth Art Center, 205 Genesee St., Auburn
WHEN: March 26 to May 15, 2022
HOURS: 10am to 5pm Wednesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 5pm Sundays
ALSO ON DISPLAY: “Made in NY 2022,” featuring New York State artists, and “Recycled Light,” a 3D display of 2D neon lights by Lorne Covington
COST: $10 per person for Schweinfurth admission, or $15 per person to tour Schweinfurth and Cayuga Museum next door