Wes Valdez was born in El Paso, Texas in 1984 and grew up near St. Louis, Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree specializing in glass from the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale in 2011.
Wes is a second year graduate student at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia where he is working to earn his MFA. His earlier works are informed by deeply personal narrative and social folkways. His current focus is in researching the concept of death and the ways we cope with loss through burial practices, memento mori, and the sublime.
His work has been featured in New Glass Review 32 and 33, published by the Corning Museum of Glass. Most recently he was published in the 2012 spring issue of New Glass in the article “Jiyongians,” and also in the January issue of Ornament Magazine in the article, “Crafting Excellence.” He has received multiple awards including the distinguished 2011 Windgate Fellowship and the Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award.
After obtaining his BFA, Valdez moved to Philadelphia. He works as a studio glass artist and as Gallery Preparator of Wexler Gallery. He plans to attend graduate school to continue working with glass, and then put his knowledge towards teaching at a university level.