Nina Pivirotto to show textile works at Straight Line Studio
Textile artist finds inspiration in valley’s red hues during residency
Nina Pivirotto is no stranger to the mountains and no novice in drawing inspiration from them.
An artist-in-residence at Straight Line Studio, Pivirotto comes to the Roaring Fork Valley from Carnelian Bay, California, a small community on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. She’s been in Snowmass Village for about a month, with plans to return home later this week; her work will be on display from 5 to 9 p.m Friday during a show at the Base Village studio.
“When you go to a place like Aspen or Tahoe you spend so much time outside,” Pivirotto said. “We’re so fortunate to have such a direct interaction with the elements.”
That direct interaction is often literal: Pivirotto takes her Saori loom almost everywhere with her, deep into the woods and out into the public eye, occasionally in rain and snow.
The works are “visual representations of how I perceive the world,” she said; as an avid motorcyclist, she said those perceptions often lean lateral.
“My favorite thing to do is ride my motorcycle around Tahoe in the summer, obviously, and the world becomes very linear — like when you’re skiing, moving fast, everything moves like this,” she said. “It’s where I do so much of my thinking, and it’s very meditative for me, and so this is very much like a visual representation of that.”
Unlike other, more calculated styles of weaving, the Saori loom lends itself to a free-flowing creative experience, she said.
“Traditionally, any type of weaving or textile art is very mathematical, (but) this is based in that Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic,” Pivirotto said, referencing the aesthetic’s emphasis on the art of imperfection and transience. “I really love that — it’s definitely in alignment with who I am as an artist and who I am as a person.”
She hopes to do more live, public weaving in the future, but even from inside the studio, working near the floor-to-ceiling windows at Straight Line has caught the eye of passersby, she said. A few have even tried their hand at the craft.
“Because it’s such an old, ancient art form, people tend to be quite fascinated by it,” she said. “It’s something that all of our ancestors at some point did.”
The human connection is in part what influences her work; Pivirotto also is a Tarot card reader who draws inspiration from “whatever energetics have come through for me” in recent readings.
Seasonal change likewise spurs tonal shifts in her color selection, from spring pastels to summer golds to winter blacks and purples.
“That connection, that very organic, human connection with the world and the seasons is what inspires the colors,” she said.
Though nature is already a familiar theme in her work, Pivirotto said coming to Colorado allows her to explore new ideas and engage with the rich, warm colors of the region — a distinction from home base in Tahoe, where a mostly gray palette of granite surrounds the deep blue of the lake. She tries to visit the valley at least once a year, sometimes twice.
“What I’m experiencing here, and what’s being reflected in my work, is the majesty of the landscape: here are these rocks, and rocks are so solid,” Pivirotto said. “It’s this very grounding energy, and the red is really fiery, so it gets me really excited to play with different colors and different textures.”
A recent visit to Ruedi Reservoir inspired one of the pieces that will hang on display at Friday’s show, a textile 5 feet long and nearly 2 feet wide featuring burgundy, slate and beige yarns. Pivirotto naturally gravitates toward the use of reds in her work. She was “spellbound” by the surroundings at the reservoir, she said.
“It’s definitely been really expansive for me to be here, and I feel like I have all these ideas of things I want to create based off of my experiences here,” Pivirotto said. “I want to take my art now in this different direction — not different, but art is always evolving, so (I want to) take it in this new direction.”
Most of Pivirotto’s works currently on display at Straight Line are hanging textiles. But some of her art is wearable, too, in the form of woven capes that can be custom-ordered. In that way, the human connection that inspires sparks also is what carries them into the world.
“It’s like an act of being in service, right, to make somebody something that when they put it on and wear it it makes them feel amazing, or something that hangs in their home that reminds them of something they want to see or the way they want to feel,” Pivirotto said.
“It is very spiritual.”