“Something wonderful happen to me during the summer of 1999: I claimed and discovered my artist. Me! I went to several second hand shops and bought old canvas and found thrown away framed pictures and took them apart, covered them with gesso and started a studio on my patio.”
“Turning old ugly things into something new is so much fun and inexpensive. Messing up, changing my mind and starting all over again satisfied by creative energy. I got lost for hours in the dialogue of mixing color, creation, making meaning through images and mediation.”
“Art in a variety of forms has always been my passion. I love paintings, poems, theater, jazz, singers, poet, actors and actress, photography, great movie pictures, sculpture, rhetoric, comedy, nature, etc.”
“My art intentionally creative what I have missed in my art loving experience, me! I was born into a world that never showed me a lovely black, fat angel. I long to see things that look like me, my people (I love) and my ancestors. This is where it started.”
“I continue today to address the absence of images that I think are important to the stories of my life and culture. I am creating now to preserve and share with others especially my grandchildren what life was like for me growing up. Most of my images celebrate my spirituality which makes life meaningful for me.”
Valerie enjoys life as a mother, wife, professional and grandmother as she pursues goals experiencing God’s peace, love and grace. Valerie shares the life story of struggle of ordinary black women described by Delores Williams as resisting and rising above forces in society…doing what they always do: holding the family and church together; working for the white folks or teaching school; enduring whatever they must so their children can reach for the stars; keeping hope alive in the family and community when money is scarce… a contribution of faith, love and hope to the black family to the church and to the black community in North American. Many of her life’s dreams have been actualized including a successful professional career as an educator, social justice activist, entrepreneur and administrator of non-profit organizations. She is now using all these skills in ministry – as pastor of New Community Fellowship, a ministry she founded and working as an English Teacher for Oakland Unified School District.