B. 1963, HAVANA
As a multi-disciplinary artist Juana Valdes’ work traces, recollects, and records her own personal experience of migration. Her artwork is informed by her Afro-Cuban ethnicity and the experience of growing up in America. Throughout her career, Valdes has participated in a range of exhibitions and residencies most currently at the European Keramic Work Center in the Netherlands (2012), the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (2009), the Artist Residency at the Center for Book Arts (2007), and the Smack Mellon Studio Program (2004). Past exhibitions include a solo show at SENSEI Gallery as part of the SENSEI Exchange Series Part 008: In the Fold in New York (2013), and travelling exhibitions Multiplicity: Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture (2007-08) and Multiple, Limited, Unique: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Center for Book Arts (2011-13).
Along with the above recognition, Juana has been the recipient of residencies that include the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Lower EastSide Printshop, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center International and National Studio Residency Program, and a recipient of the National Association of Latinos Arts and Culture, Visual Artists (2009). Her work has been seen in a series of public art projects such as the Off Axis in St. Barbara, CA. (2006), Accessibility 2005 in Sumter, SC., the Jamaica Flux: Workspace & Window (2004) and the Brewster Project in upstate New York (2001). She is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts, Sculpture (2011), the Cuban Artist Fund Grant, the Pollack-Krasner Grant, and a finalist of the Cintas Foundation. She was awarded the Cosby Fellowship to attend Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1995).
Her artwork which began as small individual sculptures has expanded to large installation room size works. In New York, her work has been exhibited at a combination of alternative spaces, galleries and museums, including: Hudson River Museum, Art in General, El Museo del Barrio, WhiteBox Gallery, Bronx River Art Center, P.S.1 Contemporary Art, Center and Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art, and Nohra Haime Gallery. She was one of a four artist exhibition at the Newark Museum, The Caribbean Abroad: Contemporary Artists and Latino Migration . She has participated in international exhibitions like Un-staged at Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam, D’ailleurs – I Won’t Play Other to Your Same at Galerie Art & Essai, University Rennes, France. Her artwork has also been showcased in exhibitions in Holland, Germany, Australia, Belgium, France, and Poland. Juana’s work can be seen at the Newark Museum in their permanent collection and in private collections throughout the US.
Juana Valdes completed her M.F.A. in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 1993 and her B.F.A. in Sculpture at Parsons School of Design in 1991. She was born in Cabañas, Pinar Del Rio, Cuba and came to the United States in 1971. She currently teaches as an Assistant Professor of Printmaking in the Art Department, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, College of Humanities and Fine Arts.