Episode 7: The Language of Painting: Interview With Artist Anna Valdez

In this episode, Kat and Anna Valdez share a few drinks and dive into Anna's incredible journey as a painter. We chat about how her experiences in archeology and anthropology influenced her current work. Anna talks about her love of processes and rituals and explains the inspiration behind her beautiful paintings.

Born in 1985 in Sacramento, California, Anna Valdez’s interest in cultural formation and collective consciousness began in her hometown. Exposed from a young age to a uniquely Californian cultural milieu, her proclivity for collecting and crafting a poignant and meaningful visual vocabulary took root during time spent sharing in the traditions and environments of people within her community. Her fascination with the ways in which cultural identities intersect lead her to pursue a career in sociocultural anthropology.

It was on an archeological dig in Ireland that Valdez first discovered her skill for art making. Valdez was encouraged to keep a sketchbook of the site, creating scale drawings and maps. Visually reinterpreting these “abandoned sites” allowed Valdez to explore the connection between anthropological and artistic methods of cataloguing and record-keeping.

Today, working across painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and digital media, Valdez examines the relationship between material and cultural identity. Valdez incorporates articles found in domestic spaces such as plants, textiles, vessels and keepsakes into her work as a method of storytelling.  Her colorful work invites the viewer to consider objects as emblematic of personal and collective experience, shifting between still life and portraiture. 

Anna Valdez received her MFA in painting from Boston University in 2013. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States. Valdez’s work has been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine, New American Paintings, Booooooom.com, and Daily Serving. Her work has recently been exhibited at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Masur Museum of Art, the Danforth Museum, Boston University Art Galleries, Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, and Parts Gallery in Toronto Canada.

Anna's Work:
http://annavaldez.com/

Recent Museum Exhibition at Crystal Bridges:
https://crystalbridges.org/exhibitions/georgia-okeeffe/

Anna's Instagram

Photos by Nora Lowinsky