Tamara Valdry, MFA ’17
Residence: Los Angeles, California
Profession: Former teacher, urban arts ministry
Medium: Mixed media, fiber
Artist’s Transformation: During Tamara Valdry’s many years of experience as a fifth-grade teacher, she worked to infuse art-based learning into every subject matter. “I see art as the breath that nourishes every other area of study,” she said. “It also cultivates the spirit, mind, and intellect of the learner.” Valdry plans to build on the foundation of her artistic education to reach youth in urban areas and beyond who aren’t exposed to enough creative learning experiences. “I saw that, for myself and others I’ve taught along the way, art builds self-esteem and can be a powerful tool for inner healing and spiritual growth,” she said. In approaching the challenges of graduate-level study in the MFA program, Valdry said she found the opportunity to explore diverse directions in her own art-making while being pushed to excel. She began experimenting with nontraditional materials, including fabrics and expandable foam, all the while connecting back to her vision of art as a healing tool to be shared with others.