As a printmaker and photographer, Valerie Dibble has served the Visual Arts department since 1996. She has a background in printmaking, papermaking, and photography and was trained at Arizona State and the University of Florida.
Under Valerie’s supervision the printmaking area strives to stay current with the most contemporary non-toxic techniques. We cover all traditional processes as well as new processes that incorporate the most recent technology. We have a Digital Darkroom equipped with Macintosh computers, photo quality scanners, card readers and large format archival printers as well as a Xante platemaker for transferring digital images to polyester lithographic plates. We have etching presses and a lithography area as well as silkscreen and relief. Our studio houses a darkroom and flip top exposing unit so we can incorporate photo processes for printmakers in the advanced courses. We engage in alternative processes and will experiment with any new process we hear about! We actively engage with the art community around us in Atlanta. Our studios are as environmentally friendly as we can possible make them, and we continue to look for the highest industry standards for our students in that area. With our Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, our department is enjoying new growth in the areas of photography and printmaking as we continue our efforts to prepare our students for their professional lives.
I find the inspiration for my art in things close to home, or especially dear to me. Within each of our lives there are universal experiences, common yet set apart, ordinary while consummately extraordinary, mundane while sacred. These kinds of ordinary experiences that have such simplistic beauty make up the majority of my existence. The role of caregiver is central to my life and my art. This is the most important thing I do. My intent for my art is to visually examine my intellectual and emotional responses to the experience of being a homemaker, wife, mother and teacher-the server rather than the served. I also address formal issues that center around the play of light on forms. Through the manipulation of light I strive for an equilibrium between representation and abstraction. The relationship between light and shadow is the focus of this manipulation. The still life of ordinary household objects is often my choice for this expression. I choose to use still-life subjects with which I interact several times a day and therefore have the opportunity to observe throughout that daily cycle of light. Also by using everyday common objects as the subject of my work, I hope to bring awareness and honor to the role of caregiver. Caregiving is often unpaid labor that our society does not value. My work is an attempt to open the viewers' eyes to see the ordinary as extraordinary. My choice for medium is almost always something in the printmaking field, but I often incorporate other mediums as well such as the computer, photography or hand coloring.
Another very important area of my work has been in the field of the arts in medicine. I have been an Artist-in-Residence in a cancer center and worked extensively with cancer patients and their families. I started a weekly workshop for patients, staff and families that incorporated the visual arts as well as other art forms such as music, storytelling and the art of laughter! This has been a very rewarding area of sharing my love of art and I find that it mirrors my work at the university as I am educating people to recognize the fulfillment that art can provide in their lives.