Wes Valdez lives and works near 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 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 Lecturer in Glass, and also as an Adjunct Professor at the Salem Community College Glass Education Center in Alloway, New Jersey. He is also the founder of Blob Blob Studio.
His past works were informed by personal narrative through memory or dream and often explored themes of wholeness, mortality, duality, and ideals of perfection. With glass, he explored the fallibility and fragility of the human condition in a world fraught with imperfection.
His more recent work involves a more lighthearted approach of investigation of form through playfulness. By intuitively collaging materials and processes, he highlights impulse, desire, and beauty. Using color, optics, light, and texture, he creates simple yet visually satisfying sculptural forms.
As an educator, Wes teaches a variety of glass manipulation processes including kilnforming, flameworking, off-hand blowing and sculpting, and coldworking. 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, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Third Degree Glass Factory.
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.