Meet Valerie Dibble: Associate Professor of Art
Striking a balance
By Lauren Highfill
Photo by Tim Goldman
Dibble (left) with KSU art professor Daniel Sachs and visual arts graduate Staci Kenny.
Photo by Melissa Ray
Dibble (center) conducting a printmaking demonstration for students.
Printmaking professor Valerie Dibble epitomizes the artist-teacher balance. Not only does she focus on her own art, she partners with her students and other artists in the Atlanta area to help everyone achieve success.
As a teacher, Dibble is an advocate for her students. “I’m passionate for the students’ success,” she said. “I actively pursue venues for them to exhibit outside the university system and work hard on their professional practices so that they’re ready to go into the real world.”
Recently, Dibble had a hand in getting artwork from 20 of her students into an invitational show by the American Print Alliance. “I got their work together and sent it in so that they were able to list that accomplishment on their resume,” said Dibble. “Viewers of the show were also able to see the great art that our visual arts program creates. I got a lot of compliments about KSU’s work.”
Students are central to Dibble’s professional satisfaction. “The students here are fabulous. Most of them are just brimming with talent, have a solid background in art and a good attitude about learning. All that creates a partnership between the students and myself to help them do well.”
Dibble’s students appreciate the lengths that their professor goes to to provide them with opportunities to excel. During studio time, while class members worked on etchings, art majors Jordan Youngblood and Amanda Boyer and art education major Danielle Robleto spoke about Dibble’s strengths as a teacher. She gives a lot of demonstrations and is very hands-on, they said. They also agreed that she provides great feedback and gives them independence as artists. “You can tell she really knows what she’s doing and she enjoys it,” Robleto said.
As for her own interest in art, Dibble says, “I’ve always been an artist. There was no divine revelation; that’s just the way it’s always been.” Much like her natural inclination toward art, Dibble’s work is inspired more by what happens in her everyday life than by a singular or grandiose event. “My life inspires my work: my family, the things that I do.” Her interactions with past professors during her undergraduate and graduate school days have also influenced her work, and she recognizes that she has the chance to make a similar impact on her students. “I love teaching,” she said. “I love inspiring people to embrace printmaking.”
Dibble’s most recent artistic accomplishment is an invitation she received to be a guest at Texas Tech University’s “Beyond Printmaking II” exhibition in 2009. “I was in their national juried exhibition last year and they invited me to speak to their students and faculty, exhibit my work and be a part of a dinner held in conjunction with the exhibit this year."
As a member of the Atlanta artist community, Dibble serves on the board of directors of a new printmaking club, the Atlanta Printmakers Studio. “We have a whole printmaking studio that people in the community can use. It’s a great co-op and it’s been wonderfully successful.” In addition to her involvement with the studio, Dibble is active with the Southern Graphics Council and the American Print Alliance’s printmaking group.
Dibble’s engagement with her students as a professor and her pursuit of her own art have driven Dibble to strike that delicate artist-teacher balance. Her future goals include perfecting that balance, increasing her national and international presence and “continuing to be an effective teacher and giving my students the opportunities they deserve.”
Read more about Valerie Dibble here.
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