Art by Valerie Grace

Veteran/Prinkmaker/Mixed Media Artist

Researchers that study happiness postulate that one of the key components of happiness is a state they call 'flow'. Flow is defined as the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
In college, I found this state building things with clay, spending a day behind the lens of a camera, or working in a busy kitchen. Things just seemed to fall into place effortlessly and I felt both in control and at peace. At some point during the 5 short years I spent in the service of the Air Force, I lost the feeling of flow. Nothing that I was doing in my day to day life gave me that same sense of connection or focus. Over the last few years, I found myself in the company of incredible artists who encouraged my self-discovery and brought me back to an old love, back to my flow and to a renewed commitment to craft.
Though the exploration of photography, printmaking techniques to include screen print, gelatin mono printing, linoleum block printing and cyanotype, my work tackles the subjects of trauma, feminism, and the medical-military-industrial complex. The combination of precise craft and unpredictable results afforded by these materials gives me the opportunity to create work that surprises even me, leading often to more questions than answers