Tamara Becerra Valdez (b. 1984 Corpus Christi, Texas) is a visual artist living in Mexico City. Her work utilizes artistic research through a variety of mediums: video, photography, field recordings, performance and printed matter. In bridging disciplines of archival research, ethnography and visual arts, her practice blends intuition and inquiry; affect with historical and contemporary analysis. Valdez explores ways in which we preserve memory, recover personal histories and share narratives. She restages artifacts and reveals overlooked and forgotten details found in the vernacular. Valdez has worked alongside staff in museum collections and special initiatives at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Harry Ransom Center, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum and most recently, the Mississippi Arts Commission. In 2015, she co-founded LOS LIBROS DEL FUTURO, an art books press based on the art of the archive and the recognition of the transnational identity of the Texas/Mexico borderlands.
2019 University of Illinois at Chicago — MFA Moving Image (expected 2019)
2014 University of Texas at Austin — Graduate Seminar Archive & Ephemera
2012 Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine — Native Texas Medicinals
2010 Southwest School of Art & Craft — Advanced Metals
2008 University of Texas at Austin — BFA in Studio Art and Anthropology
2007 Ox-Bow School of Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
ACRE Projects; Chicago, Illinois (curated by Josh Rios) TBD
Aquí Estamos y No Nos Vamos, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center; San Antonio, Texas (curated by Rebel Mariposa)
Your Name Is Mine, Companion Gallery; Austin, Texas (solo exhibition)
Araki/Huidobro El Doble De Mí Mismo, Museo de la Ciudad; Querétaro, Qro, México (curatorial support with artists Luis Safa and Nando Murio)
The Schizophone Calling Son Jarocho, SEM Sounding Board, Companion Gallery; Austin, Texas
Just Some Me Time, Museum of Human Achievement; Austin, Texas
Young Latino Artists 20: Within Reach, Mexic-Arte Museum; Austin, Texas
New Works with Jesse Kees, Lower Left; Austin, Texas*
The Bureau of Memories: Archives & Ephemera, The Schizophonic Archive, HIERARCHY; Washington D.C
For you, unearthed, the dirt, my hands, Common House Gallery; Austin, Texas*
Layers, Museum Of Human Achievement; Austin, Texas
Closing, Wardenclyffe Gallery; Austin, Texas
In Spite Of, Holland Project Gallery; Reno, Nevada
PUBLIC ACCESS, MASS Gallery; Austin, Texas
2017 UIC School of Art and Art History Department Fellowship
2017 UIC Humanities Graduate Research Assistantship: Humanities Without Walls
2016 ACRE Resident Artist
2016 Human Sciences Resident Artist in Education: LOS LIBROS DEL FUTURO
LECTURES / WORKSHOPS / PRESENTATIONS
2017 Marfa Public Radio Documentary Media Class, Artist Talk, Marfa High School; Marfa, TX
2016 La Figura de lo Cotidiano / The Figure of the Everyday, Workshop, Studium; Austin, Texas
2016 In Conversation: LOS LIBROS DEL FUTURO, Artist Talk, Studium; Austin, Texas
2015 Proyección: Chulas Fronteras, Artist Talk (with Luis Safa), Little Mule Studio/Búro Búro; Mexico City, Mexico
2015 Social Media + New Practices in Documentation and Exhibition, Panelist with Jennifer Joy Jameson and Mary Margaret White in conjunction with The New Southern Cultural Workers Summit; Como, Mississippi
2015 Curatorial Practice + Contemporary Works: Engaging Folklore & Southern Cultures in Studio Practice, Artist Talk with Brit Hessler in conjunction with The New Southern Cultural Workers Summit; Como, Mississippi
2015 Recalling Memory Through Sound and Object, Workshop in conjunction with group exhibition YLA 20: Within Reach, Mexic-Arte Museum; Austin, Texas
2015 AIGA: UNDER THE RADAR Design and Lecture Series, Artist Talk, AIGA; Austin, Texas**
2011 Art of the People: Thinking Through the Pink Flamingo, Guest Lecturer, WKU Department of Folk Studies & Anthropology; Bowling Green, Kentucky
2011 Domesticana: The Entanglement of Rasquachismo and the Discourse of Kitsch in the Mexican-American Home, Paper Presentation, American Folklore Society Annual Meetings; Bloomington, Indiana
2017- present Contributor, Southern Foodways Alliance; Oxford, Mississippi
2017- present Bicentennial Folklife Curator, Mississippis Arts Commission; Jackson, Mississippi
2016- present Digital Editor, MAC: Mississippi Folklife; Jackson, Mississippi
2016- present Co-Founder, LOS LIBROS DEL FUTURO; Mexico City, Mexico
2014- 2015 Digital Collections Assistant, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library & Museum; Austin, Texas
2014- present Collective Member, The Schizophone Project
2014-2015 Instructor, Mexican American Cultural Center; Austin, Texas
2014 Research Coordinator, Texas Folklife; Austin, Texas
2012- 2016 Designer, Botanicals Folklorica
2010- 2012 Library Assistant I: Special Collections, Harry Ransom Center; Austin, Texas
2010- 2011 Curatorial Assistant, Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage; Washington, D.C.
2017 Archive of Absurd Collected Papers + Feelings: Tamara Becerra Valdez, Women Artists, Vol. 4, January 30.
2016 Interview with Jen Vitale, TIDE gazette by Association, November 24.
2015 Nancy Flores, Inside the studio of artist and herbalist Tamara Becerra Valdez, Austin American Statesman, July 12.
Caitlin Greenwood, Tamara Becerra Valdez and Jesse Kees at Lower Left Gallery, The Austin Chronicle, March 5.
2016 Claire Cottrell, A Conversation with Tamara Becerra Valdez in Mexico City, Book Stand, June 11.
The Curve Report: La Jefa, NBC Universal, May 29.
Rebecca Marino, Q + A with LOS LIBROS DEL FUTURO, Conflict of Interest, May 18.
2015 Creative People To Watch: What Creative Austinites Plan To Do In 2016, Austin American Statesman, December 28.
Emily Cross, Humans In Studios: Tamara Becerra Valdez, Humans In Studios blog, February 25.
2013 HOTBOX Podcast: Jill Pangallo Talks with Tamara Becerra Valdez, MASS Gallery, July 22.
* two person exhibition
** first invited female/Latinx speaker in AIGA series- Austin chapter