Ali Hval currently lives and works in Iowa City. In 2019, she received her MFA with Honors at the University of Iowa in Painting and Drawing with a minor concentration in Ceramics. In 2015, she was chosen as a Windgate Fellow by the Center of Creativity, Craft, and Design in Asheville, North Carolina. Ali graduated summa cum laude with Honors from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 2015 with a BFA in Painting and Drawing.

An avid muralist, she has completed over seight murals in various communities across Iowa, and plans on continuing working with cities to make art more accessible to the public. Beyond being an artist, she is a devoted cyclist, baker, and professional petter of dogs.

Process | Work

My current work spotlights how I establish relationships with the sheer amount of stuff I encounter and how I absorb those encounters with my own sensibilities. I am eternally fascinated with the ways everyday products are packaged, displayed, and presented to a viewer, such as how how hurriedly store window displays are replaced by something newer, better, and grander: constant fixes and updates to the previous iteration. 

Nearly symmetrical and definitely ostentatious, my work is cradled in a place of domesticity and archetypal femininity. The sculptural wall pieces I make are an unconventional marriage between era-specific jewelry, bodily forms, objects of pleasure, and home decor. They frolic in and out of fast fashion, sensuality, and plastic glitz, reaching toward certain specificities but holding back when pinned, like all-too weighty jewelry on limbs, against whimsically painted walls.  My pieces have certain requirements to meet, ways in which they must be dolled up, pieces and parts that must trickle into them to give them a desired fullness of value form. These tapering forms, which may be dipped in metallic pigments, faceted with rhinestones and jewelry parts, or dotted with gilded features, seek to balance themselves with painted spaces that are more playful and open. In flux, they flirt with the idea of what they are and what more they could become.

Rather than hurriedly moving from one object to the next, I savor the transitions between, enjoying slow transformations in a world where things are eager to move on.   My work settles down to reminisce, glistening actors in their well-loved homes.