Her Art On Her Sleeve

By junking convention, Valeska Populoh creates an empowering social statement

March 14, 2006|By GLENN MCNATT | GLENN MCNATT,SUN ART CRITIC

The scene: A desolate urban landscape strewn with refuse and trash. Wearing dark Victorian gowns, a solemn procession of women slowly wends its way through the rubble, the hems of their dresses trailing accumulations of garbage that seem indistinguishable from the garments on their bodies.

It is the kind of nightmarish vision that could lead some people to madness -- and inspire others to create powerfully imagined artworks.

Femme Effect Sub-Basement Artist Studios, 118 N. Howard St. Through Friday. 410-659-6950.

Valeska Populoh

Age:

30

Childhood:

Born in Dusseldorf, Germany; raised in San Bernardino, Calif.; Redbank, N.J.; New Hope, Pa.

Education:

American University; Maryland Institute College of Art

Philosophy of life:

"In the grand scheme of things, what is me making a dress really going to do for the state of the world? Not much. But I also felt a need to do something that was going to make me feel more empowered. That's the main idea that has been driving my work: How do you keep hope, and how do you inspire hope?"

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