J. Marie Valdez, MFA


Office Address: UAC 229
Phone: (281) 649-3626

Director, Undergraduate Studies in Art
Assistant Professor of Art


  • BA, Psychology, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • BFA, Studio Art, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • MFA, Painting, Boston University

Courses Taught

  • Art Methods and Materials
  • Painting I: Basic
  • Painting
  • Water Media: Painting
  • Drawing: All Levels (I/II/III)
  • Life Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Senior Seminar

Teaching Focus

As an educator Ms. Valdez is interested in guiding and facilitating creative growth in her students by encouraging a strong foundation in liberal arts and articulate expression. Through exploring the antecedents of our current artistic milieu, teaching through observation/documentation, students are provided with the tool needed to make art in a constantly changing environment. On a fundamental level, students are provided a means for representation, as well as the mastery of various tools and techniques. From a macro perspective, students develop the investigative and critical thinking process that allows them to truly see and grow creatively as well rounded individuals.

Additional Information

Professionally, Ms. Valdez is a visual artist whose research is concentrated in the media of painting, printmaking and drawing. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in venues located in Massachusetts, Texas, England, France, Italy and Mexico. Ms. Valdez holds various awards such as the Ester B. and Albert S. Kahn Career Award, the Dean’s Scholarship and a Visual Arts scholarship from Boston University. She was candidate for the Joan Mitchell Award and the Hunting Art Prize. Ms. Valdez was selected to exhibit in the international exhibition Go West at UNESCO’s headcounters in Paris, France and locally at Williams Tower in 2011. She was a driving force for spearheading the first Global Art Competition for UNESCO’s Multi-Cultural and Religion Workshop/Conference on Human Vulnerability in Rome, Italy.  With over 230 submissions from 23 different countries, 11 artists were selected by 6 jurors to exhibit in the Global Art exhibition. As a board member her work will be exhibited in conjunction with the exhibition in Rome.
Her professional research has focused on the archetype of home through investigations of architecture and proximity, both locally and abroad. Since 2008, with the calamity of hurricane Ike, her interests have been even more focused on her immediate environment—the landscapes/cityscapes of Houston, Texas. Recent work explores how architectural structures (contemporary/historical buildings, houses, highways, streets, refineries and factories) function in identifying our community. The compositions have a duplicitous nature, taking on investigations of space and simultaneously defining an identity of place. “Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.” With Thomas Aquinas’ quote in mind, the element of light in Ms. Valdez’s artwork functions as a metaphor and catalyst for spirituality. The exploration of the varied elements that create the illumination of light coupled with contemplation provides a means for the viewer to move beyond the senses and into a spiritual/divine experience.