Savanna Barrett’s painting “Mentor” to be shown at the University of St. Gallen


Earlier this week, VCS alumna Savanna Barrett (2013) let us know that her painting Mentor is going to be displayed as part of the contemporary art collection of the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland. This is what she had to say:

A big painting of mine was selected for the contemporary collection of art at HSG University in Switzerland. They have an impressive collection that includes Giacometti, Richter, Miro, Yan Pei Ming and many others. The new program that was recently launched invited international artists, (specifically without gallery representation!) to apply for a rotating exhibition. Mine was selected and is installed there for one year. After a year they have the option to purchase it for the permanent collection. They had me fly there to do a couple interviews, which I’d like to share with you.

In the following video, Savanna talks about her painting techniques and some of the inspirations for Mentor, including ancient stone cairns and the idea of time viewed in reverse.

Here’s a little more about Savanna and her art, excerpted from her online bio:

I’ve painted all my life. Art and creativity were a constant in my family but in Montana I had limited proximity to painting or learning technique, so I taught myself oil painting with books I checked out of the library. I discovered what oil painting could do, and have stuck with it ever since, eventually studying with master painters in Florence and completing my training in Visual and Critical Studies in New York City.

I work in pure oil paints, mostly layered in thick impasto. These large and multi-paneled works are sculptural paintings. Each surface is built up in layers, often inches thick. The sculptural physicality alters the direction as the painting begins to assert itself. Pillars of fire rise above a blackened sea. A barrier denies an unknown future. Twin doorways question which threshold can be crossed… Each image, each story in a transitory state of being.

You can read the rest of the bio on Savanna’s website. It also features images of many of her other recent paintings, including the triptych Oculi, shown below.

We’re really happy to hear about this, and very proud. Congratulations, Savanna!



Visual & Critical Studies