New York-based artist Vija Doks was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany of Latvian parents. She grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and received a BA from Western Michigan University. Relocating to New York City in 1976, she received a MS in Library Science from Columbia University and worked as a Law Librarian until her retirement in 2016. Doks pursued her art career starting in the 1990s, by taking courses at the School of Visual Arts where she studied under Nancy Chunn, Georgia Marsh and Judith Linhares.
Doks' paintings, usually on a field of black emerging in ghostly and luminous white, create a striking contrast between subject and background. Her works showcase the diversity and beauty of animal life, and emphasize their fragile position in our present man-made environment. Doks states, “Through these works, I hope to stir in the viewer a sense of joy and wonder and awaken them to the magic of animals. I am an environmentalist and animal lover and I hope to raise awareness of our interconnectivity through my art.”
Her exhibitions include a solo show at the Brooklyn Parsonage Latvian Center, NYU's Small Works Shows curated by Ronald Feldman and Richard Witter, Exit Art, CurateNYC, Hudson Guild among others. Her painting Red Ibis was featured in the 2012 movie, The Oranges. In addition, Vija has published a cartoon cookbook Letts Eat, and her writing has been published in Paragraph and Law Lines.