Valerie Aranda

Artist Bio

Valerie Aranda is an artist from Tempe, Arizona. Based in Georgia, she has been teaching at Georgia College, Georgia's Public Liberal Arts University, since 2002. She received her BFA in Painting from Arizona State University in 1992 and her MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, in 2000. Along with teaching, Aranda has a studio practice in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she continues to experiment and create new work while also working on community-based projects and taking commissions.

Working with various mediums, sizes, and subjects, Aranda's work includes mixed media drawings and paintings where she creates textures and imagery that converge natural, artificial, and surreal worlds. Using cultural symbols, varied landscapes, built-up textures, and juxtaposition, she negotiates the terrain of art-making until landing a place reflecting her identity complexities. Her paintings are hybrids of natural and artificial environments to create realms that reflect on her human experience. A recent project with Impronta Casa Editora based in Guadalajara, Mexico, allowed her to work sequentially using linocut printmaking as a new medium to explore identity, migration, and sense of place.

Projects include murals, exhibitions, and residencies in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, California, Texas, Chicago, Missouri, Wisconsin, Guadalajara, and service with the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture based in San Antonio, Texas.

Artist Statement

My art-making process is a direct reflection of my identity regarding how I use materials and methods to create expressive artworks. In my art process, I mix paint, layer materials, and peel back surfaces which all speak to my constant search for a sense of place and belonging. I am from here, but in different instances, the environment I live in tells me that I am not. My art is both reflective and affirming. Using cultural symbols, varied landscapes, textures, and juxtaposition, I negotiate the visual/material terrain until landing a place that reflects my identity's complexities. In a sense, my art digs out a space reflecting my reality. The action and process of piecing together and painting and drawing in are ways I excavate ideas and emotions embedded in the materials, ultimately reflecting a hybrid form and a personal identity.