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Sisters: Survivors 2015


Sisters: Survivors

Sisters: Violet Fields and Lonnie Graves

September 11-October 3, 2015
Reception: September 11 • 5–8pm 

Sisters: Survivors is an exhibit of hope, dedicated to family and friends and “pink” sister survivors and cancer survivors everywhere. Let's all pray for a cure.


When you are young, running, playing, laughing and dreaming, you don’t think of what types of challenges you might have in the future - and so life continues. You grow up, go to college and have a vision and hopeful plan of what will be the future.

Lonnie Graves and Violet Fields were close siblings. They did play games and shared their dreams as children, went to high school together, and later off to different colleges.  Lonnie studied Journalism and Communications at California State University in Sacramento and Violet stayed with the arts, studying at the Art Institute in San Francisco.

There were many successes, and wonderful time shared with their other six siblings, extended family and friends. The arts have always been a core part of the family. Fine Arts, art openings, dress design, music, architecture, and writing, were all artistic elements shared in the family.

Life however, is not without its challenges. The family core was shaken in 1999 with the loss of their baby brother in a boating accident.  Such a tragedy had an impact on the arts in the family, but they survived and life continued.

After surviving a stroke, Violet was encouraged by her husband, to continue her art.  He passed away in 2001 shortly after the opening. Lonnie and Violet lost their mother that same year.  Artistic creations ceased, for a while, but they survived.

With time comes a kind of healing - but other challenges continued. Violet was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, and Lonnie diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, have decided to be survivors. Both sisters have been blessed with successful surgeries and realize that they can share a hopeful future. They are survivors and want to share the artistic gift that God has given to both of them.

Artist's Statement – Violet Fields

I paint intuitively, and paint from a place of inspiration. My work comes to me from urges and a desire to create paintings anddrawings. Dreams often influence me in my creative process making color and form work together so I can feel the work'senergy.  I often work in series, using a similar palette and I enjoy the contrast that come from dark and light, form and line that occuras the pieces develop.

The paintings on canvasareseries, yet each work stands alone and reflect my approach to abstraction.  Currently I am working less on series, but now on separateworks. I made small work on paper as I was recovering from a stroke. I am now able to work on larger piecesas I progress. I look forward to working with larger canvases in the future.

2015 Violet Fields

Artist Statement: Lonnie Graves

To truly develop an artist statement, I will have to reflect back on very young childhood memories.  My uncles were good at capturing good memories in photographs using the box and single reflex Kodak.  I was immediately fascinated with the camera and the possibilities it offered.  I was hooked, probably at, ` the age of ten when my older brother and I took a summer photography class for children.  We made our own cameras (out of cardboard) and through a simple pin hole, were able to capture an image on a square piece of film that we loaded in a dark room. 

Today, the fascination is still there as I see the beauty around me, a story, an illusion, or a one-time fleeting moment, never to be taken again, through the lens of a camera.  I have also seen and captured human stories yet to be told and images that words cannot describe.  I often deconstruct or modify common photos to find an inner expression and new piece to share.  In some of my work, you may find a cultural component and in others an exploration of an aspect of nature.  I also see this art as a way of exploring and expressing and incorporating layers of whimsy and poetry. 

Though I don’t generally set-out to produce art, but more intentionally seek to capture a moment; I love the challenge of a “themed” call for art.  It challenges me and gives me pause for thought of ways to seek out designated themed pieces, while incorporating my own style and process which may be surreal, but full of depth and color.

Ultimately, writing and photo art are true expression of me that others can see. I am blessed to have such a diverse library of experiences, which together, embodies my choices and expressions in my artistic works.  Conceptually, you will find visual signs, modification, and on occasion texts that allows the viewer room for personal interpretation.  It is the intention of this artist, to provide pieces that can be embraced by the viewer and blended or in contrast with a voice and choice, which can be incorporated in their own private places.
2015 Lonnie Graves