A Flying Monkey Arts veteran, Denise Hitzfield has been involved in our creative community since 2012, and now has settled into Butterfly LuV Warrior in Studio 263. Although her artistic focus has shifted and grown over the years her roots remain in textiles, currently focusing on a repurposed upcycled clothing line. Denise has been sewing since second grade and her careful stitch now blends cotton, linen, rayon, and silk from retro or gently worn materials to create new fashions. Her love of texture, depth, and high contrasting color comes through in each piece creating a unique personality to each creation – each piece even has a name!

Re-purposing and recycling has allowed Denise to cut things apart without judgement or fear of failure. Making sense out of the pieces helps offer a sense of control to the chaos. Denise’s collection of art is one of therapeutic nature and healing.  After the loss of her daughter Vanessa, her artwork and her creative community helped bring her back from being numb. It changed her focus, direction, and passion. Puzzling together the scraps of material helps Denise as she begins to puzzle back together the pieces of life after loss.

Vanessa lives on in many ways in Denise’s work. For one, the butterfly symbolizes transformation and new life, and beautiful butterflies of all shapes, sizes and materials cover the studio. The V in LuV is also capitalized in the studio name, as it stands for ‘Love you Vanessa’. But perhaps the biggest way the spirit of Vanessa is carried on is through the free resource table outside of Denise’s studio. Vanessa died of a drug overdose, and Denise continues to share her story along with ways those in similar situations can find help before it’s too late. The resource table has grown to include not just information on addiction, but also abuse, mental health, suicide hotline information and more. Denise says ‘truth isn’t always pretty but it’s real and it’s all we have.’ Being able to have these important and vital conversations and continue to share her truth may be the most impactful resources of all.

Stop by and see Denise at Butterfly LuV Warrior Studio 263 and see what she’s been piecing together!