Holly Savas is a mixed media and collage artist whose work is primarily driven by combining dissonant elements in order to exaggerate the visual contrasts she sees in the world around her. In its March 2016 Issue, Mud Season Review notes that Savas’ Containers series “engages with what she describes as the tension created when modern, contemporary colors and patterns are paired with more primitive shapes” as an exploration of the contrast between old and new.
Working from her studio in San Francisco’s NOPA district, Holly is an avid collector of paper debris that can be found blowing through the city. Debris and similar ‘accidentally discovered’ items in her neighborhood lend an element of spontaneity to Holly’s creative process and often comprise a good part of her finished pieces, whether serving as bold subject or simply background material in a series of work. In Holly’s 2014 series Mapping San Francisco in Mixed Media, she set out to capture 49 square segments of San Francisco through the lens of mixed media and debris, sourced by walking through each unique square of our seven-mile by seven-mile city.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Holly has worked from her home studio in San Francisco’s North Panhandle neighborhood for almost two decades. She has also lived in Spain, Southern California and New York City. Holly shows her work in the Bay Area and throughout California, and in 2013 she won the Sustainable Arts Foundation Finalist Award given to working artists with families. She can spend hours pouring through stacks of vintage advertisements, old books and antique wallpaper samples: her next project will be a series of abstract landscapes that make use of sewing patterns from the 1950s and a set of Royal Society hot iron bedspread transfers she found while vacationing in Wisconsin.