Visual Artist: Painting
Valerie Aranda-Artist Bio 2016
Valerie Aranda, a painter, muralist and educator from Arizona, teaches art at Georgia College. She received her BFA in painting from Arizona State University and her MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. In describing what motivates her work, Aranda says: “Social justice issues have been central to my personal art, community-based projects, and in the classes I teach. With community-based murals, the focus is on empowering community groups through participatory art-making processes resulting in imagery that reaffirms the experiences and goals of that community group.”
In her paintings and drawings her artwork centers on her Chicana identity and the experience of moving to “the south” from California. “Transplanting myself from the southwest to the south has been both reaffirming and confounding… through my paintings, I explore the intersection of shifting cultures, environments and experiences that at times seem very familiar, but are so different. The paradox of these experiences, cultures and environments are a source of inspiration for me.” “Drawing from my Mexican roots, I examine the negotiating between differing worldviews within the U.S. and across the Americas and my use of culturally affirming imagery is a decolonizing strategy.”
Aranda’s community-based projects include murals in, Milledgeville, GA; Memphis, TN; Athens, GA; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; and Phoenix, AZ; additionally she served as an artist in residence with the California Arts Council Artist in Residence program and with San Anto Cultural Arts as their muralist in residence.
She has exhibited her paintings in national venues including: Promega Center, Madison, WI; El Museo Alameda, San Antonio, TX; The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; Plaza de la Raza, Los Angeles, CA; El Centro Cultural de la Raza, San Diego, CA; La Posada Cultural Center, San Jose, CA; the Carter Art Center in Kansas City, MO; Spruill Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Douglasville Cultural Arts, GA. Aranda’s professional work also includes nine years of service as a board member with the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures who is dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of the Latino arts field.