Wes Valdez lives and works in Philadelphia, PA as an artist and educator with his wonderful partner and two adorable canines, Eos and Clem. He holds two degrees in glass, a BFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Currently, he works at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, as the Glass Studio Supervisor and Instructor. He is also the owner of Blob Blob Studio, which creates handmade art for everyday use.
His work is informed by personal narrative through memory or dream and often explores themes of wholeness, mortality, duality, and ideals of perfection. With glass, he explores the fallibility and fragility of the human condition in a world fraught with imperfection. His most recent work delves into an intuitive and playful collaging of materials and processes, highlighting impulse, desire, and beauty.
As an educator, Wes teaches a variety of glass manipulation processes including kilnworking, flameworking, off-hand blowing and sculpting, and coldworking. His latest class explores the process of kilncasting interlocking and movable mechanisms in glass. He has taught and assisted teaching glass at the University of the Arts, Salem Community College, The Main Line Art Center, Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Third Degree Glass Factory, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
His work has been featured in New Glass Review 32 and 33, published by the Corning Museum of Glass. He has received multiple awards including the 2011 Windgate Fellowship and the Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award.