Various Small Fires (VSF) is pleased to welcome Patricia Cariño Valdez as Programming Director. Valdez will collaborate with VSF’s founder, Esther Kim Varet, to develop and implement the gallery's strategic vision in Los Angeles, including leading the team in exhibition curation, placing works into private and public collections, and supporting the current roster of artists.
Valdez brings several years of experience directing and curating at non-profit institutions across the U.S., including the Oakland Museum of California and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. She has extensive experience translating an artist’s studio practice into the public sphere, serving for three years on Oakland's Public Art Advisory Committee and several San Francisco Art Commission panels. Valdez earned a BA in History of Art from the UC Berkeley, and an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts. Over the past year, she occupied dual roles of Artist Liaison and Sales Associate at Shulamit Nazarian (Los Angeles, CA), helping to place works into private and public collections, manage artists and exhibitions, as well as onboard new artists into their program.
“I’ve been impressed by Patricia’s leadership experiences in both the public and commercial sectors, especially here on the West Coast,” notes Varet. “Patricia's deep connection with West Coast artists and benefactors has widened her reputation for advancing artist careers at critical junctures. Lastly, as a first-generation Filipina-American woman of color, Patricia brings to the table a baseline of experiences so familiar to many of our artists and staff. That feels important more than ever as VSF seeks to mirror what the next generation of gallerists should—and will— look like.”
Valdez shares, “I am inspired by Esther’s vision: she took risks and advocated for underrepresented artists since 2012 and works with a wide range of artists to uncover and advocate for alternative histories. I immediately gravitated toward her artist-centric perspective. It’s an honor to join her expanding team, and I look forward to building VSF’s next phase in LA and beyond.”
Prior to her time in Los Angeles, Valdez lived in the Oakland/Bay Area, where she developed public programs and exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Center, Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA), Asia Society Texas (Houston, TX), Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, CA), San Francisco State University, and Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (San Francisco, CA).
To contact Patricia Cariño Valdez directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org.