Former AGCC Studio Artist
Valerie Bechtol received her degree in fine art at the American Academy of the Arts in Chicago and the Chicago Art Institute. She subsequently studied mask making with the Sanufo and the Baule tribes of the Ivory Coast in Africa. She also lived in Barcelona Spain to apprentice with the influential weaver Grau Garriga. Valerie traveled extensively throughout Europe with him presenting weaving workshops. She also worked with Rachael Rosenthal in Performance Art.
Valerie has taught art at Orange Coast College and at the Art Center in Medecino California. She was a founding member Orange Coast Cultural Arts (OCCA).
Valerie participated in the Laguna Beach Arts Festival for many years. She was involved with The Women’s Building in Los Angeles and worked on Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party”.
Valerie has been represented by Soho 20 Gallery in New York, and the Edith Lambert Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In “Artweek”, in 1985, art critic Elanor Wells stated, “Valerie Bechtol’s work reflects the teaching of African and Native American cultures, seeking to promote a conscious dialogue between life and art. She summons the powers of ancient symbols and traditions. Thru hierarchic symbols and archetypal imagery she explores the possibilities of manifesting a collective consciousness through art”.