top of page


curriculum vitae



2012               Master of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting
                      College of Visual Arts & Design, University of North Texas - Denton, Texas

                   Study with Annette Lawrence, Mathew Bourbon, Susan Cheal, Robert Jessup, Ed Blackburn, and Vincent Falsetta


Solo Exhibitions

2023               Marginal Universe - Latino Cultural Center, Dallas, TX

2022               CASITA TRISTE - Outdoor guerilla installation, Los Angeles, CA

2020               Grit/Grind – Nasher Public, Nasher Sculpture Center - Dallas, TX 

2019               Survival Politics – Safe Room - Texas Theatre, Dallas, TX

2018               MOSS-CHUMLEY AWARD – SMU Meadows Museum, Dallas, TX 

                       CASITA TRISTE - Outdoor guerilla installation, Dallas, TX

2017                Trade Craft – Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX

                        QUIÉN MANDA – Site Specific installation - The MAC, Dallas, TX

2016               Forged Utopia – The MAC, Dallas, TX

                       A Forged Utopia – Art League Houston Sculpture Garden, Houston, TX



​2014               Soft Power - Box 13 Artspace - Houston, Texas.


2013               Frayed Elements – Cohn Drennan Contemporary, Dallas, Texas.

                       New Works – Art League Houston, Houston Texas.

2012               HOMECOMING – Janette Kennedy Gallery, Dallas, Texas.

Group Exhibitions

2020.              Piñatasthetic: Justin Favela, Josué Ramírez, & Giovanni Valderas – Art League Houston, Houston, TX 


2019               500X 40th Anniversary Show – 500X Gallery, Dallas, TX

2018.               Everybody Was A Kid – Davis Foundry, Dallas TX 

                        OC3 Identified – Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Dallas TX


2017                Mind the Gap – 500X Gallery, Dallas, TX


2016                Houston vs Dallas – BLUEorange, Houston, TX

                        Alternate ROOTS – South Dallas Cultural Center, Dallas, TX

                            Structure and Change – deadWEST, Fort Worth, Texas

                        New Art/Arte Nuevo: San Antonio 2016 – UTSA Art Gallery, San Antonio, TX

                        Proxy: Curated by Lauren Cross – Grackle Art Gallery, Fort Worth, TX


2015                Impossible Geometries: Curated by Lauren Haynes – Field Projects, New York, NY


                        Family Ties: Brooklyn|Dallas – 500X, Dallas, TX

                        Curated by Bonny Leibowitz & Julie Torres


2014               Object Object!! - Helmuth Projects, San Diego, CA 

                       Survival Politics - David Connolly & Giovanni Valderas Project Space Collaboration - 500x Gallery, Dallas, Texas.

                       Particularly These -  Lance McMahan, Roxanna Tuff and Giovanni Valderas - BLUEorange Gallery, Houston, Texas 

                       Home - IHR Gallery at Arizona State University - Tempe, AZ

                       Annual Faculty Exhibition - UNT Art Gallery, Denton, Texas.


2013               Hullabaloo - galleryHOMELAND, Houston, Texas


                       Return to Narrative - 500X Gallery, Dallas, Texas.


                       Mayor Mike Rawlings Business/Arts Initiative Invitational – Trinity Groves, Dallas, Texas.


                       Art League Houston 65th Anniversary Gala Invitational - Hotel ZaZa, Houston, Texas. 


                       TX Biennial ★13 - Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas.


                       500X Member Show - 500X Gallery, Dallas, Texas.


                       Austere Measures - Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.


                       10th Annual Invitational Hecho in Dallas Show - Latino Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.

                       College Faculty Exhibit - Cliff Gallery, Dallas, Texas.

2012               Annual Faculty Exhibition - UNT Art Gallery, Denton, Texas.

                       New Texas Talent Exhibition - Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas.

                       9th Annual Hecho in Dallas Show - Latino Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.

                       Jurors: Peter Doroshenko, Maria Teresa Garcia Pedroche and Dr. Roberto Tejada

                       From Here to There: Practice, Form, and Meaning - UNT Art Gallery, Denton, Texas.

                       52nd Annual Voertman Student Art Competition - Unt Art Gallery, Denton Texas.
                      Juror: Clint Willour of  The Galveston Arts Center.

                       Fragment - Art installation, Lago Vista Gallery, Richland College, Dallas, Texas.

                       Maiden Voyage - Art Rover Mobile Gallery, Dallas, Texas.

2011               Now - Juried Exhibition, Lightwell Gallery, Denton Texas.
                     Jurors: Vincent Falsetta & Ed Blackburn


                       Fresh Meat - Juried exhibition, 500X Gallery, Dallas, Texas.
                      Jurors: Cris Worley & Erick Swenson

                       110° - Summer invitational group exhibition, Cohn Drennan Contemporary, Dallas, Texas.

                       Loteria, Loteria! (Tres) - Group invitational exhibition, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.

                       35th Annual Student Art Competion - Best in Show, Juried Exhibition, Union Gallery,
                      Denton, Texas. Juror: David Iles

2009               34th Annual Student Art Competion - Best in Show, Juried exhibition. Union Gallery, Denton, Texas.

2008               OUTSIDE THE LINES 8 - Juried exhibition, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.
                     Jurors: Marty Ray, Elizabeth Mellot-Carreón, Mary Morgan, & Dahlia Woods.

                       Twelve - Senior painting show, Cora Stafford Gallery, Denton, Texas.

                       Dia de los Muertos - Group invitational exhibition, Art Space, Shreveport, Louisiana.

                       Junior/Senior Prom - Open invitational, 500X, Dallas, Texas.

                       Stroke - Rachel Fischer and M. Giovanni Valderas, Union Gallery, Denton, Texas.

                       Slippage - Hybrid forms group exhibition juried by Tanya Synar, College of Visual Arts and Design Building, Denton, Texas.

                       Sophomoric - Junior painting show, Cora Stafford Gallery, Denton, Texas.

2004               Sin Tema - Group invitational exhibition, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.

2003               17th Annual Dia de Los Muertos Exhibition - Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.

2002               11th Annual La Virgen de Guadalupe Exhibtion - Ice House Cultural Center, Dallas, Texas.


                        Dallas Soars! Public Art Event, Dallas, Texas.


2009               “1962” – Commissioned portrait of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta; Adelfa Callejo- Callejo-Botello Foundation.

2007                Adelfa Botello Callejo- Commissioned portrait; Hispanic Law Students Association, Texas.  Wesleyan School of Law.

Community Service

2018 - present - Kimbell Museum of Art’s Nuestro Kimbell

2018 - 20 - UNT CVAD Board

2017 - Cultural Affairs Commission: District 6, City of Dallas

2018 - 2020 - Emergency Artist Support League (EASL) Secretary

2015 - 16 - Cultural Affairs Commission: Chair of Art Sparks Committee

                    Dallas Museum of Art, Learning and Engagement Committee

2014 -16 - Cara Mia Theatre Company, Board of Trustees (Ex-Officio)
Founded in 1996, Cara Mía Theatre Co. is a non-profit theater company whose mission is to broaden appreciation and understanding of Chicano and Latino culture through theater, literature and educational programs.

2014-16 - Dallas Museum of Art, Board of Trustees (Ex-Officio)
The Dallas Museum of Art is both a responsible steward of cultural heritage and a trusted advocate for the essential place of art in the lives of people locally and around the globe. The DMA is transparent, ethical, and takes informed risks. It promotes research, dialogue, and public participation, helping to reveal the insights of artists from every continent over the last 5,000 years.

2013-16 - Cultural Affairs Commission – Chair of Allocations Committee
Vice Chair - Cultural Affairs Commission
Appointed by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and approved by Council members of the City of Dallas to serve a larger role on the commission. The most prominent role is being the Chair of the Allocations Committee, overseeing the Office of Cultural Affairs Cultural Contracts Program, and serving as a member of the Sustainability Committee.

Undermain Theatre, Board of Trustees (Ex-Officio)

Founded in 1984, Undermain Theatre is a company of artists led by Artistic Director Katherine Owens and Executive Producer Bruce DuBose that performs experimental works in Texas, New York, and Europe, collaborates with playwrights, develops original and world premiere productions, supports a theater archive, publishes plays, and sustains a theater in Dallas’ historic Deep Ellum.

Cultural Affairs Commission Appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings of the City of Dallas to serve on the CAC advisory board, the commission is instrumental in overseeing and making policy suggestions on arts initiatives for the City of Dallas.

2013-14 - Education Committee: Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas (CADD) CADD is a non-profit membership organization of galleries formed in 2006 for the purpose of promoting the advancement of contemporary art on all levels.

Press and Reviews

2021 How Much Does a Dallas City Council Vote Cost?: D Magazine, Online publication: May 2021

Valderas is a strong candidate who resonates with a core component of the mixed district. Against anyone but West, whose support is solidified in North Oak Cliff, Valderas could have won. The problem is District 1 is a deeply divided district and the northern part tends to turn out more votes. It will be interesting to see if this year’s redistricting will split this neighborhood again to reflect its two core constituencies.

-Peter Simek

2021 'We Need Tangible Results': Dallas Activists Are Ready To Trade Protesting For A City Council Seat: KERA: Online and radio publication: April 2021

“As a city council member, we can have access to networks,” said Dallas resident Giovanni Valderas. “It opens more doors.”

-Alejandra Martinez

2021 Dallas artist Giovanni Valderas pays tribute to his mother and working class at the Nasher: Online and print publication: November 2021

At first glance, Valderas' new work looks humorous and celebratory, like a piñata. But it has a missing wheel and temporary tags. He says it also addresses “Dallas' inability to do anything substantial for the working class.” The title references the toll of the daily grind on people who sat in their cars for several hours waiting to be tested for the coronavirus and spend a significant amount of their lives commuting to work, if not driving for a living.

-Jeremy Hallock working-class-at-the-nasher/


2021 Arts organizations join Day of the Dead protest of pandemic response: Online publication: October 2021

“Using art as part of a protest is more impactful because it makes us look at things through a different lens,” Valderas says. “Art has always been a catalyst to bring change. This sculpture had to be direct, because it’s only for one day and the message has to be absolutely clear. I wanted to co-opt the red that’s associated with our current government to acknowledge its inability to take care of its people.”

-Jeremy Hallock response/

2019 Let’s Judge the Aesthetics of Dallas’ Municipal Campaigns D Magazine, Online publication: June 2019

Valderas’ campaign put on a master class in visual political communication. His turquoise and pink signs, with an image of his sad-eyed Casita piñatas, are eye-catching. They feel both playful and subversive. There was no greater symbolism in the races this year than his piñata houses, which the artist placed near new construction. It addressed issues of displacement that affect many working class Latino voters in District 1.

-Darryl Ratcliff

2018 Oak Cliff artist using ‘casita tristes' to send message to city council: KDFW, FOX 4: Television segment: Jan 2018.

An Oak Cliff artist is drawing attention with his eye-catching pieces.
The creations, similar to piñatas, are tiny homes simply made of tissue paper and cardboard. They are meant to send a powerful message to Dallas City Hall about the city's affordable housing crisis.

-Natalie Solis

2018 Artist's piñatas protest lack of affordable housing in Dallas' Oak Cliff: WFAA, ABC: Television segment: Jan 2018.

Among the new additions to Oak Cliff, one "building" stands out. Constructed from cardboard, with shifty big eyes and a smirk, perched in Dallas' Bishop Arts area. It is a house by artist Giovanni Valderas who calls his piece Casita Triste or Sad Little House.

- Marie Saavedra

2018 Sad Little Houses, Big Bad Problems: Art & Seek, KERA: Online and radio publication: Jan 2018

For the past few weeks, houses have been popping up all over Oak Cliff. These aren’t the luxury apartment complexes you might’ve seen in Bishop Arts though. In fact, you won’t even see construction crews working on these houses, because they pop up so fast. In this week’s Art&Seek Artist Spotlight, Hady Mawajdeh met up with artist Giovanni Valderas as he responds to Oak Cliff’s gentrification.

2018 ‘Casa triste’ art project spotlights lack of affordable housing: Oak Cliff Advocate: Online publication: Jan. 2018

A new art project from Oak Cliff-based artist Giovanni Valderas features cute little piñata houses. While the works themselves are adorable, Valderas intends for them to shine a light on the city’s lack of affordable housing and the people being displaced by our neighborhood’s rapid redevelopment.

-Rachel Stone

2017 Catching A Glimpse Of Art In Dallas, Circa 2018: D Magazine, Online publication: Dec 2017

It was a year of growth for Valderas’ own practice, too. The Nasher awarded him a microgrant in May, and Tradecraft, his sculptural collage work exploring idioms of the Spanish language and gentrification’s fraying of things treasured, was shown in conjunction with the Texas Biennial.

-Lyndsay Knecht

2016 Sign Language: Giovanni Valderas: Glasstire. Online publication: June 2016

Valderas’ versions speak in a different language. They come plumed in extravagant color that would make an investor blush. He builds them up with wooden armatures, papier-mâché, and brightly colored fringe (materials he’s been incorporating in his work for some time now). They wield this cultural vernacular as armor in an aesthetic skirmish. There is no candy inside these boxes, and they have nothing to sell. They’re here to provoke.

-Michael Frank Blair

An Artist Is Starting a Dialogue About Gentrification with Pinata-Inspired Real Estate Signs: Dallas Observer. Dallas Observer. Online publication: June 2016
“Sitting on the commission really just gave me this insight to civic engagement,” Valderas says. “As a contemporary artist I started thinking about that.” He decided to bypass the gallery system and put his artwork out in the community, guerilla style, setting it next to real real estate signs to see if a dialogue developed.

-Jeremy Hallock signs-8357742

Reinventing Place: Art Blocks Awaken Main Street Square. Arts and Culture Magazine. Online & printed publication: June 2016
Valderas’s work Saludos has the unique opportunity for his work to be on display during the Super Bowl. Valderas is based in Dallas, Texas and comes from Guatemalan, Mexican, and American ancestry. Cultural identity is a frequent subject of his work. Saludos features an image of a common phrase used in the Hispanic community, “ay te miro” (see you later) spelled out on a bed of piñata fringe, a fitting message for the end of the Art Blocks Main Street Square project. “With a population of 43% of Latinos living in Houston (38% living in Texas), I strongly believe having artwork that reflects our community is important,” says Valderas.

-Casey Stranahan

2015 Visual Art: Finally! To Thrive, Dallas Arts Need to be Less Elitist. The Populist ArtPrize Might Help. Dallas Observer. Online publication: April 2015

Someone more interested in supporting artists than in supporting the arts. Someone who sees theater, dance, music and art as a way to expand the city, as voices in how the landscape is built. But this is a two-way street, and one artists are finally starting to walk down...Giovanni Valderas is putting art directly under the city officials noses by helping plan The Seven, an exhibition at City Hall;

-Lauren Smart

Arts & Culture: Finally! City of Dallas to Give Money to Artists. Dallas Observer. Online publication: February 2015
The rumors are true and the official announcement and link for more details are on the way, but this week Giovanni Valderas, Vice Chair of the Cultural Arts Commission for the city of Dallas announced via Facebook that starting February 27, artists will be able to apply for grants that range from $1,000- 5,000. These "Special Support Grants" might be a small, yet mighty step for the city to take, as it demonstrates a direct support of the artists who choose to call Dallas home.

-Lauren Smart

Canvassing: 25 Things Worth Celebrating In The Dallas Arts Right Now. Central Track. Online publication: April 2015
There's possibly no one doing more for Dallas culture right now than Giovanni Valderas. Between making art, serving as the gallery director of The Cliff Gallery at Mountain View College, curating shows at Oak Cliff Cultural Center and City Hall, and serving as the Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs, he's at the forefront of making Dallas an equitable and progressive place for artists.

-Darryl Ratcliff Now

2014 100 Creatives: No. 33 Triple Threat Giovanni Valderas. Dallas Observer. Online publication: December 2014

Giovanni Valderas runs one of the hottest galleries in town. He programs the work of both up-and-coming and established artists in his comfortable, well-lit space. But you won't find his space in the Design District. As the director of the Cliff Gallery at Mountain View College, Valderas has been tasked with creating an artistic culture on the campus of Oak Cliff's community college. And by all appearances, he's more than risen to the challenge. The University of North Texas graduate not only programs and teaches at MVC, he also serves as the Vice Chair on the Cultural Arts Commission, which the mayor uses as his arts community advisers. And Valderas is a mixed media artist whose earned a reputation for his riveting collage art. We chatted with him about his work as all three, and what's next.

-Lauren Smart 7097311

2014 Creating 'Cultural Constructs': Park Cities Bubble Life: Online publication: October 2014

Q&A with Editor Caitlin Giddens, Bubble Life ltural_Constructs_Meet_Artist_Giovanni_Valderas

2013 Dallas Arts Revue, Art Seen Lately #18: Online publication: October 2013

I have no idea who those guys are or were — saints or sinners, but the unity created by the disparate elements gives me pleasure and pause, and I am startled by their presence.

-JR Compton

New American Paintings, Issue #108

Juror Veronica Roberts, Curator of the Modern and Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art, states "Dallas- based artist Giovanni Valderas, creates haunting mixed media portraits of men. Often their faces or clothes are stitched or painted meticulously onto fabric, while their hands or faces dissolve into a thicket of painted wood sticks, forming portraits that seem to involve acts of destruction and invokes loss more than homage."

-Veronica Roberts

Mercado Bilingüe: September Issue

Q & A session: “I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he was also going to be showing his work in the Texas Biennial, which if you’re an artist and art lover around these parts, you know it’s really big deal. “

-Patricia Rodriguez

frayed elements, Solo Exhibition: Arts & Culture Dallas: June 2013

"Giovanni Valderas,“with his piercing satire and crisp subject examination"..."these pieces especially struck me – for the questions they leave the viewer with."

-Kent Boyer

frayed elements, Solo Exhibition. Patron Magazine: Summer 2013

“Giovanni Valderas has his first solo exhibition at Cohn Drennan Contemporary and it’s an auspicious beginning,” “...Valderas deals with culture, relationships, family, and origins, and his artistic language is symbolic, exploring appearance vs. reality and dual identities.”

D Magazine: Front Row, A daily review of the arts

“Striving for exposure and welcoming comradery, these non-traditional venues act as a counterpoint to the often sterile, stereotypical gallery experience. Self conscious and eager to engage, the roving venues were low on pretention and high on conversation, offering these emerging artists and the public a platform for discourse and growth.”

-Ryder Richards design-district/

bottom of page