Artist-in-Residence to speak at Peninsula College on Thursday on sculptures

PORT ANGELES — Artist-in-Residence Shalene Valenzuela will speak at Peninsula College’s Studium Generale on Thursday.

The sculptor, whose work has been on display at the Pirate Union Building (PUB) since April 4, will speak at 12:30 p.m. in the Little Theater at the Port Angeles campus of Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

A reception for her will follow at 1:30 p.m. in the PUB Gallery of Art.

Both events are free and open to the public.

“My work is a form of trompe l’oeil with a twist,” Valenzuela said. “In using clay to reinvent everyday objects, I play with the notion that things are not what they initially seem to be.

“The object being referenced remains recognizable while the illustrations are imperative in creating the narratives that create various dialogues and statements within and about the physical object.”

Valenzuela — who was born in Santa Barbara, Calif. — received a bachelor’s in art practice at the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s in ceramics from the California College of Arts and Crafts.

She has participated in artist residencies at the Clay Studio of Missoula, the Archie Bray Foundation and Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts.

She has taught at Flathead Valley Community College, University of Montana, Oregon College of Art and Craft, The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula Art Museum, Richmond Art Center, ASUC Studios at UC Berkeley and CCA Extended Education.

“Exploring issues focusing on women is important to me for many reasons,” Valenzuela said. “My investigations speak to a greater issue of how women in general perceive themselves and are seen in society, historically and today.”

Her exploration of these issues addressing self-perception and expectations reach beyond purely feminist concerns, she has said, explaining that she aims to explore how all people strive to attain impossible ideals based on what others define they should be.

Valenzuela has been a guest artist and speaker at a number of art centers, colleges and universities. Her work has been featured in several group and solo exhibitions nationally and is included in numerous private collections. She was the recipient of the Jessie Wilber and Frances Senska Individual Artist’s Innovation Award from the Montana Arts Council in 2013 and is the executive director at the Clay Studio of Missoula.

For more information, contact Michael Paul Miller at mpmiller@pencol.edu.

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