Vala Ola

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Vala Ola

ARC Living Master TM

Icelandic 21st Century Realist artist

  • Artworks
  • Biography



Vala Ola is an artist who passionately and relentlessly seeks to create artworks that show her dedication to excellence. Her classical training in Europe is reflected in her art. Her figurative bronze sculptures are noted for their depth of expression and emotion. The high quality of her sculpted form has earned her great respect among art appreciators.

"The bronze gives me an opportunity to mold the sense of life into an everlasting form. From the force of a muscle in motion to a tender human emotion expressed. That along with the abstract quality of composition is what inspires me.""

Vala Ola was born and raised in Iceland. She has lived in the US since 1994. After 8 years in Santa Fe, NM, she relocated to Scottsdale, AZ. Vala Ola's artistic talent was apparent early on, and from the age of thirteen she attended classes drawing models from life. Graduating from the College of Hamrahlid, she furthered her studies at the Icelandic College of the Arts, and later graduated from The Arts Institute in Bournemouth, England.

She won the Icelandic Design Excellence Award for the first time at the age of twenty-six. During her studies in England, she was a finalist at the Smithsonian Young Illustrator's Competition. She went on as her country's sole representative at the Nordic Graphic & Illustration Awards. Moving to the United States in 1994, she changed her focus to portraiture, and found herself booked solid for the next 7 years painting portraits in oil.

Vala rekindled her interest in sculpting 2001 and has won awards from the Allied Artist's of America, the International Guild of Realism and placed as finalist at the Art Renewal Center. She is an elected professional member of the prestigious National Sculpture Society. Once a year she teaches a sculpting workshop at the Scottsdale Artist's School.

Her inspiration derives from her observation of life. Even the most mundane circumstance we find ourselves in daily will spark an idea. The Flemish artist Vermeer would paint the simple act of pouring milk, elevating it to a moment worth remembering for eternity, in a similar way Vala will look at a moment usually passed by as moment worth noticing.

"All we have in life at any given time is the very moment we are living and that moment is of importance", Vala says."I would like to inspire myself and others to have awareness and appreciation for our life."

Vala sculpts in her studio in Cave Creek, Arizona. All her sculptures are cast in bronze and can be viewed in art galleries in:

Santa Fe
Palm Desert
Napa Valley, CA.
Beavercreek, CO.


Vala Ola's work can be seen in:
Sage Creek Gallery, 200 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM.
Knox Gallery, Beavercreek, CO.
J. Willott Gallery, El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA.
Jones & Terwilliger Gallery, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.
Shorr Gallery, Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ.


Vala's work has been exhibited in Reykjavik, London, New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Carmel, Aspen, Dallas, Park City, Loveland, Cape Cod and Palm Desert.

2009 "National Sculpture Society 76th Annual Show", NYC. February 09 opening.
2008/09 J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, CA. Ongoing + February 12th 09 opening.
2009 Celebration of Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ. Jan. 16-March 28, 2009.
2008 Elected Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society, NY. Founded 1893.
2008 Allied Artist's of America, Annual show, NY.
2008 Peppertree Art Show, Santa Ynez Valley, CA.
2008 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Ongoing + end of December 08 opening.
2008 "National Sculpture Society 75th Annual Show", NYC.
2008 Art Renewal Center Salon, NJ, finalist sculpture category.
2008 Wichita Art Museum, "The New Reality" IGOR Museum Tour, Kansas.
2008 The Springfield Museums, "The New Reality" IGOR, Massachusetts.
2008 Museum of Texas Tech University, "The New Reality" IGOR, TX.
2008 Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, "The New Reality" IGOR, Wisconsin.
2007 "International Guild of Realism Annual Show", Cape Cod, MA.
2006/07/08/09 Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
2007/08/09 J. Willot Gallery, Palm Desert, CA.
2007/08/09 E. S. Lawrence Art Gallery, Aspen, CO.
2007/08 Teaching a sculpture workshop at Scottsdale Artist's School, AZ.
2007 Fountain Hills, AZ, sculpture placed in public park.
2006 Art Renewal Center Salon, NJ, finalist sculpture category.
2006 Award: "Raymond H. Brumer Award", Allied Artists of America 93rd Annual Show, NYC.
2006 Award: "Best Figurative Award" at the Annual Int. Guild of Realism, Manitou G., Santa Fe, NM.
2006 Award: "Best and the Brightest", 2nd place Professional Award, Scottsdale Artist's School.
2006 "National Sculpture Society 73rd Annual Awards Show", NYC.
2006 "Peppertree Art Show", Santa Ynez, CA. (May)
2006/07 Sanders Gallery, Tucson. AZ.
2006 "The Best and the Brightest" Show, professional cat., Scottsdale Artist's School, AZ.
2005/06/07/08/09 "Celebration of Fine Art", Scottsdale, AZ.
2005 Finalist for a public art sculptures for a park in Longmont, CO.
2005 Finalist for a public art sculpture, City of Peoria, AZ., Peoria Pioneer Memorial
2005 University of Dubuque, Iowa - Dr. Charles Myers- commission bronze statue.
2005 Monument commissioned, "Victory" 7 feet.
2006 Phoenix Art Museum, live art auction, fetched highest bid in Breast of Phoenix.
2005/06 "Sculpture in the Park", Loveland, CO.
2005/06/08 "Peppertree Art Show", Santa Ynez, CA.
2005/06/07/08 Int. Guild of Realism, charter member 04, Annual Show. Dallas, Santa Fe, Scottsdale
2004/05/06 "Phippen Arts Festival", Prescott, AZ.
2003 National Sculpture Society, NY, membership.
2003 Mr. & Mrs. Steven Rockefeller, NY, portrait commission.
2003 Spirit of the Senses, lecture and art viewing, Scottsdale, AZ.
2003 Three life-size bronzes commissioned by Mr. & Mrs. Cameron, OK.
2002 "Celebration of Fine Art, art show", Scottsdale, AZ.
1995 thru 2002 Waterford Marriott Hotel, Oklahoma City. Yearly invitational art show.
2000 The Artist's Magazine, finalist winner in portrait category.
2000 The American Society of Portrait Artists, membership.
1999 Ventana Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM, group exhibition.
1998 National Museum of Catholic Art & History, Rockefeller Center, NY.
1997 CCA, The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM, group exhibition.
1994 Nomination for the Nordic Graphic Design and Illustration Awards, Denmark .
1992 St. Martin's in the Field Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, two woman show.
1991 The Mall Gallery, "BPCA&D Exhibition".
1990 Smith's Gallery, London, UK. "Reader's Digest Young Illustrators' Exhibition".