Valerie Bunnell

"As metaphors for the human condition, my figurative works explore the spirit which exists between the make-believe and the real."

Valerie Bunnell creates ceramic and found object sculptures that imagine mysterious characters using form, texture, text, and potential movement. As a child, she was fascinated by dolls, marionettes, automatons, and the mythical figurative art of exotic cultures. She also experienced the mechanical world of her father's concrete block building towers with their chains, gears, and metal parts.

The figures are made in separate stages using slip molds, press molds, and hand-building techniques. They are assembled with wire, providing movement and animation. Glass and found objects of various origins are part of the mix and spontaneity. Treasures discovered at antique markets often jump-start the inspiration for subject matter.

After her first BS in Nutrition, Bunnell worked at several ceramic assistantships. She obtained a BFA from the University of Massachusetts and then an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. After working as a studio artist in Chicago for many years, she relocated to the East Coast. Today, she works in her home studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Excellence in Crafts: First Place Arts Festival, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT, 2016
Award of Artistic Excellence, Art Providence , Providence, RI, 2019
Best of Show: Festival of fine Crafts, The Art Center, Highland Park, IL, 2015, 2012
Best of Show: The Crafts Alliance Fine Craft Show , Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua ,NY, 2011, 2012
Judges Choice Award: Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA, 2006