Frances ValescoAlameda, CA
Often I begin work during artist residencies in other parts of the world and continue when I return to my home in Alameda, California. They are observations about the environment and of particular nuances of place. Many themes are about objects I pick up on my walks. Sometimes the smaller paintings or prints are placed into larger groupings to accommodate different size spaces.
I work from the premise that small items, carefully observed, then drawn and painted, can become metaphors for abstract ideas. It is my attempt to describe the world and to gain new insights based on gestures, symbolic attributes, and the relationship between drawing, mixed media and photography. Making art helps me grapple with change and adversity and to find solace and understanding through the process.
I feel like John Muir, who said: “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
Frances Valesco teaches monoprinting at City College of San Francisco and has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University, and UC Berkeley. She has chaired and appeared on panels at Southern Graphics and MidAmerica Print Council Conferences and has written articles on technology and the art making experience for Leonardo and Kala Institute. Her work has been included in over three hundred group and solo exhibitions in museums, galleries and cultural centers and she has consigned work in over fifty galleries, nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Ohlone College, Fremont, CA, and the McAllen International Museum, McAllen, TX. Recent group exhibitions have been at the Berkeley Art Center, Sebastopol Art Center, Central European Cultural Institute, Budapest, Hungary, Tophane-I Amire Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey, and Huan Tie Art Museum, Beijing, China. She has completed thirty-three indoor and outdoor murals in the San Francisco Bay area, the most recent at the Ed Roberts Campus, a consortium of disability organizations in Berkeley, CA. Her work is in the collections of the New York City Public Library, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and Galeria Nacional, San José, Costa Rica. Slides and documentation are at the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, San Francisco Public Library, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC. Her BA is from UCLA and her MA from California State University, Long Beach.