Valerie Deas_Headshot_2022.jpg

"My creative process stems from my natural inclination to create from inspiration.  I use various formal skills I have learned over a period of time to discover and explore. I love working with different patterns as well as creating my own. My goal is to use them in such a way as to create a visual statement that is pleasing to me. Sometimes I work monochromatically while other times I use lots of colors that could be primary, complementary, or tertiary. There have been many quilting techniques  I have used such as hand quilting, machine quilting, and appliqué to name a few. The selection of one technique would put me in a box, and I prefer using whatever my inspiration dictates. Pablo Picasso once said, "Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." I never want to grow up! I feel that I am at my best when I work freely.

My nonobjective paintings explore what we reveal and what we conceal. My signature work consists of bold colors and organic shapes that could be flat, textured, or dimensional. My focus is to give an illusion of reality in a surreal way. Recently, I have produced artwork that is connected with my quilting designs. The process for creating is impeccable. I am fascinated with integrating the use of my photography. By capturing the essence of a photo using some aspect of the photo to create artwork. I have been labeled a contemporary abstract artist, a textile artist, and a freelance artist.  I do not own these terms. but I must say I like them! People are talking!"



Valerie Deas was born in the Bronx, raised in Harlem, and has resided in the Bronx for more than three decades.  Valerie has professionally taught art for more than 25 years with the NYC Board of Education and is proud to share that under her encouragement and artist skill, many of her students have been winners of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Contest and Alliance for Young Artist & Writers and have exhibited at the Tweed Courthouse and MoMa PS1. Valerie has a BA and a BS from City College of New York and an MS from Bank Street College of Education. Valerie has taken painting and drawing classes at The Art Students League of New York; drawing, film, and mask-making classes at the School of Visual Arts, and textiles classes at The City Quilter.

Valerie has participated in more than 25 group shows. Valerie's work has also appeared in two international shows, Book Art in  Brazil and  the International Textile Biennial: Beyond Category - Visions of Jazz in Fiber in San Jose, Costa Rica curated by Carolyn Mazoolmi.  Valerie’s solo exhibition, Thread and Paints, took place at Gallery M in Harlem, New York. Valerie's work has been on exhibition at Lincoln Center,  Rush Gallery, Kente Royal Gallery, and Blue Door Art Gallery. Valerie's quilts have been touring with the African American Fiber Art Exhibition throughout the country.  In 2021, Valerie was awarded a City Artist Corps Grant to bring some of her artwork to her community. In 2022, Valerie was one of the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) 2022 Community Engagement Grantees.

Valerie is the current Programming Board Chair of the Riverdale Art Association  and a member of  Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQUA), Blue Door Art Center, Bx 200 Visual Artist Directory, and Harlem Girls Quilting Circle (HGQC).

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