Visual artist Anna Valdez was raised in Sacramento, California, in a richly diverse environment. In her neighborhood of predominately second-language English speakers, Valdez stood apart in that English was her only language, and that her parents had strong roots in the United States. This ‘outsider’ perspective instilled in her an interest in how culture is formed and lived out in daily life, which ultimately led her to study anthropology and archeology at UC Davis. It was on an archeological dig in Ireland that Valdez first realized her aptitude for art making. Keeping a sketchbook of the site, Valdez was encouraged to create scale drawings and maps. Visually interpreting these “abandoned sites” allowed Valdez to understand how she could create meaningful elucidations of heritage through image making. Today, working with painting, drawing, print-making, collage, animation and digital media, Valdez explores the meaning of memory and identity. Valdez incorporates articles from her home, such as plants, fabrics, vessels or records into her work as a form of self-representation, and understands the domestic sphere as emblematic of personal and collective experience.
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 New American Paintings, Big Red and Shiny, Dialogist, 365 Artists | 365 Days and VIA Publication. Her work has recently been exhibited at Masur Museum of Art, the Danforth Museum, Boston University Art Galleries and Gallery Bergelli. In 2013, Valdez’s work won a juried prize at the Danforth Museum.