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Pavia Justinian

From the Medicine to Art

Pavia Justinian has several works of art displayed all over town, and beyond. There is a very good chance you have seen her work. Her sculptures ‘Felicia’, ‘Sigma’, and ‘Zafira’ are all displayed on Main street in downtown Grand Junction. She also has a painted transformer box at Horizon Dr and G Rd named ‘King of the Trail’. She did a mural painted on the Little Salt Wash Trail in Fruita titled ‘Undercurrents’, and another mural for New Emerson Elementry titled ‘Confluence’. She is also the creator of a solar illuminated sculpture in Palisade named ‘Cahaya’. 

Pavia has several awards under her belt. During her studies at Colorado Mesa University, she received 6 awards before graduating. Since then she has received 10 more awards in her 6-year career as a professional artist. Some of those include;

  • People’s Choice Award - Art for the Mountain Community, Evergreen, CO

  • Best in Show/First Place - Art on the Corner, Grand Junction, CO

  • People’s Choice Award - Sculpture on 73rd Ave, Denver, CO

  • Commissioner’s Choice Award - Art on the Move, Longmont, CO

  • People’s Choice Award - Moab Art Trails, Moab, UT

  • Third Place - Art 2C on Havana Street, Aurora, CO

And last but not least she won the 30th Annual Colorado Winefest Art Exhibit in Palisade. 

Pavia didn’t set out to win all these awards. In fact, she wasn’t going to pursue art at all. She originally started school with plans to enter the medical field, until one day, her husband, Shanachie Carroll, encouraged her to pursue art as a career. Ever since then she has been working with paint, salvaged chrome, cement, old rusty metal, epoxies, glass, and other objects. She loves the unevenness of the textures and how the colorful paints she uses to interact with those textures. Pavia is also fond of the parts of the sculpture we don’t see or don’t tend to think about. Such as the metal frame of her sculptures. Designing, cutting, and welding the metal that stays unseen is all part of her creative process that she enjoys. And it’s not just sculptures that Pavia enjoys: murals are another favorite of hers. The mural painted at New Emerson Elementry was fun for her, and she is glad that the students of New Emerson got to play some part in the creation of that mural. Her favorite part of doing murals is knowing that people can just happen across art and enjoy it. She would love to see more of that kind of exposure to art in our community. 

Pavia loves the beauty of Colorado, and who can blame her? Colorado is a beautiful place with wild mountains, vivid sunsets, and desert landscapes. She believes that art can positively impact our community and desires that the arts continue to expand around the Western Slope. It’s because of this love of creating art for people to enjoy, that she seeks the opportunity to show her art. However, she also does work for clients as well. She has done several pieces for people’s homes. When asked about the creative process for privately commissioned pieces she couldn’t help but smile. First, she consults with the client and goes to see the space where the art will be placed. The space dimensions play an important role in how the art will be made in regards to not only dimensions but also color and composition. Pavia will spend a lot of time on her Ipad in those beginning phases planning the piece. When asked if she likes client involvement, Pavia replied that each commission is different. Some people really enjoy being part of the whole process, while others give her complete control. Either situation and everything in between, is enjoyable.  

Pavia draws inspiration from many sources. She enjoys works from Picasso and Henri Matisse. A lot of her inspiration comes from her mentor Dave Davies. Dave, who was a titan in our community, started the Art on the Corner program. The idea came after the valley’s infamous “Black Sunday”. In 1982 thousands of Exxon employees were laid off from work and they all packed up and left the western slope. Dave wanted to boost the community’s morale, so he got his friends to donate sculptures to display downtown for a year. What is especially fascinating is that this program has gone on to be replicated by several communities in Colorado and beyond. 

When Pavia isn’t reflecting from inspiration, welding a frame for a sculpture, or painting for a client, she likes to read and listen to books authored by Ann Rice and history books. She also enjoys listening to Jefferson Airplane or the Doors. When she has more time with Shanachie and their dogs, they love to take spontaneous road trips where the journey is the destination.

  • Winefest Contest Winner