The Value of Art

Art enhances, enriches, and visually stimulates our senses. It awakens us to emotional response with the curve of a smile or the rush of our breath. It makes statements on the value we place in ourselves and the spaces in which we live. Art is the luxurious tangible object in our lives that feeds our hearts and souls, reminding us that we are in the presence of grace.

I have had women who wear my one of a kind neckpieces state that they feel a transformation happen, that they become More. Each one has a different definition of what More is to her, but in each case, they are extremely happy, content, and vibrant. It makes me smile to hear their joy!

Valerie Ostenak-OWV-N-18-108_7142
Old World Vines

I have had people viewing my paintings who tell me my work brings them to a heightened sense of awareness, of connection. They feel a calm come over them, a feeling of knowing that all is possible. Some of my paintings are vast in their cosmic feeling, some are intimate in their atmospheric coloring, but all are accessible to that part of us that longs for reassuring quiet and love. I’ve been told my paintings are healing agents. And that makes me smile too.

Valerie Ostenak Hope-CWS-18-119-sm

To make a positive difference in the world, to create joy and healing in each person who wears and views it . . . this is what I want for my art.

It is the gift I was given to work with. 

Happy Holidays from VOSTENAKstudios

Though we usually don’t blog twice in one day, we wanted to shout from the rooftops to the bottom of our hearts, “Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.” We are so glad to have you here with us.  Feel free to subscribe to all of our updates and blogs throughout the coming months–we have a special contest coming up soon and you will not want to miss the excitement!

Also, we have just two more days to take advantage of the 20% promotion towards a holiday gift for you or someone special in your life.  Don’t forget to use the promotion, HOLIDAY20 through December 25 at SQUARE

Here is the link to the special items that are ready for immediate shipping! Just click on the graphic.


We have Square!

No, we are not square, we have Square. What, you ask?  Square is an app that will make it super easy to take advantage of VOSTENAKstudios 20% holiday promotion!  Just have a look at these special jewelry pieces that are complete and ready to ship, click on the Square link, enter HOLIDAY20 promo code and you will be one step closer to wearing one of these gorgeous pieces….or gifting it to a loved one, which is also quite fantastic.


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In the studio with Valerie Ostenak

Creating a piece of wearable art is much more than simply bending a few wires and attaching a gemstone. Each museum quality piece created by artist, Valerie Ostenak, owner of VOSTENAKstudios, is a carefully thought out process.

Valerie took a short break to speak with me about her sculptural art jewelry–so, please join me for a few minutes in her studio.

 Valerie, what exactly is sculptural art jewelry?
As I define it, sculptural art jewelry is jewelry which falls into the realm of wearable sculpture. A neckpiece becomes a stand-alone item that, were it bigger, would be as beautiful being presented on a wall as on a woman’s neck and shoulders. A ring larger than life would be at home on a display pedestal. Many of the owners of my jewelry do just that . . . they display them in hinge-front shadow boxes on the wall. The pieces are as desirable shown as sculpture as they are wonderful to wear.

So, when you are looking at steel or silver rods, how do you decide what you want to make?
I get inspired by movement and flow. . . water flowing over pebbles in a stream, ocean waves roaring to rocky cliffs, or wind creating wisps and streamers in the clouds, even vines growing and reaching. If I have just spent time at the ocean, my gestural sketches of jewelry are all related to the motion of the waves . . . rolling, wild and pounding, gentle at the shoreline’s edge. The sketches capture the energy in the movement of the waves, above and below the surface. Everything starts with a feeling of transformation . . . turning the metal into motion.

 Do you envision something?
As I am ready to forge the metal, I see the ocean waves in my head. I can see the metal already in the state of movement . . . undulating and weaving into and through each other. I can see how they are all going to interact to create the feeling that I want the piece to have. It is the same whether it is vines or clouds too. I see those things and the metal becomes them for me.

 How do you know when your piece is finished?
Every piece has a point where I feel in my heart that it is complete. Many times a neckpiece will sit unfinished for a week or more waiting for me to figure out what it needs. I’ll put it on, handle it, look at it for days . . . maybe it’s the addition of another element, or to take a piece off. Perhaps something was not enough, or too much because it stopped the movement. When I know what it needs, I will work at any time of the day or night, as long as it takes for it to be complete. It’s an incredible release when it happens!

Do your pieces ever turn out differently than you imagined it? If so, what do you do then?
Each piece starts with a gestural sketch. This gives me an idea of the movement and the general shape that I want the piece to have. A loose gestural sketch, as opposed to a tight technical drawing, means that the piece is allowed to become. In the stillness of the creative, I have learned to listen to the piece as it is becoming real. If a piece starts to change, forcing it to follow an exact representation of the sketch never works out. It never becomes complete until I release myself to the Creative in the universe and allow that to flow through me. Even in its changes, the piece will have the general movement of the original sketch, but they always become much better.



Initial sketching of “There are Treasures” neckpiece


There are Treasures in the Tangled Seagrass
Finished product-exquisite

If you are interested in learning more about how to purchase this neckpiece, please send an email to:

VOSTENAKstudios back from SOFA

In the midst of Chicago partying like it was 1908, from the Cub’s World Series victory, VOSTENAKstudios celebrated its sculptural art jewelry showing with the Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery at Navy Pier as part of SOFA.  The Sculptural Objects Functional Art + Design Fair, produced by Urban Expositions drew thousands of visitors snaking their way through the booths of nearly 70 prestigious galleries.

“It was a wonderful show,” said Valerie Ostenak, owner VOSTENAKstudios. “I am deeply grateful for the experience, the wonderful weather, and hospitality in Chicago.”

“Ten Thousand Ripples,” by artist Freitas Johnson.                                                           Spreading Peace Through Chicago Area Neighborhoods.

The emerging Buddha sculpture represents a symbol of peace and self-realization; when placed in unexpected public spaces it becomes a global symbol of peace. The installation is an invitation to reflect on the possibility of finding peace in our lives and in our communities. The Buddha images serve as a visual platform for the Ten Thousand Ripples project, a collaborative public art and civic engagement initiative, led by Changing Worlds in partnership with diverse Chicago neighborhoods, and many community partners and local artists. For more information, visit Changing Worlds


VOSTENAKstudios is preparing for an upcoming trip to Italy for Milan Fashion week in February 2017. More to come in upcoming weeks.