Valerie C. White lives in Denver, Colo., and has been creating mixed media art quilts for more than two decades. Her work can be found in numerous publications and private collections internationally. This includes recently appearing as the featured artist in the Studio Art Quilt Associates journal; BY HAND 2019, a look book featuring artists from around the country; a featured artist in Art Quilting Studio Journal (Summer 2017); The Lowry Aviator (2016), a community-based publication; and FABRIGASM 2021, a publication dedicated to lovers of African Textiles. Valerie’s work also has appeared in several books by acclaimed author, curator and artist Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi.
In 1998, Valerie retired from the District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, DC, after 25 years of committed service as an Art educator and Guidance Counselor. Valerie earned a B.F.A. from Howard University in Washington, DC, and an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Virginia Polytechnic University in Blacksburg, Va.
She continues to share her passion for textiles presenting lectures, teaching nationally and devoting her time to creating Art in her home studio.
My art tells stories that I feel are important, connecting spirituality, tradition and nature. Growing up in a family that loved and respected the earth was an enormous influence. My parents cultivated a fall and summer garden, and enjoying the process of working in “good soil” were my early inspirations and the beginning of my love affair with roots, clay, and wildflowers.
It is the process of creating compositions that suggest multiple layers that fascinates me. I’m attempting to produce cloth that is mysterious and opulent; the idea of seeing almost invisible images created by color and stitch intrigues me.
As a textile artist, my work begins with white fabric and is manipulated using a variety of wet materials. I’m fascinated by what is best described as magical when dye, fabric markers, discharging agents, textile paint are applied to the fabric. The process of layering in cloth is what particularly attracts me. I’m attempting to creating cloth that is mysterious; the idea of seeing almost invisible images created by color and stitch intrigues me.
I appreciate and enjoy working in a series. For me a series provides an opportunity to explore different aspects of an idea or subject. In this “Roots and Refuge” series I’m encouraging one to consider roots as metaphors. Roots, like people, are intertwined and connected. My intent is to challenge the viewer to see the beauty and complexity of roots. As I moved forward with the work, questions arose: are the shapes and colors of roots influenced by where they grow? Would the roots under a church where there are many prayers be different from those that grow under a school? Lastly, who was there before the roots?