​​​​​​​​Valerie Piraino is an East African sculptor, writer, and educator.   

Her creative path has been revealed through challenges unique to black incarnation, in a life marked by trial and purpose.  Her focus on people of African descent expands through time and worlds, embracing  different lifestyles, traditions, and ways of being.  She seeks clear communication between her physical self and all subtle bodies.  She is currently part-time faculty at the New School, Parsons School of Design in New York City.


bornyear 1981, EARTH

M.F.A. Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, NY
2004    B.F.A. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD


2018     The Wassaic Project, Editions Program

2018     Joan Mitchell Center, Artist-in-residence

2017     Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award Nominee

2017     Offshore Residency                 

2017     Socrates Sculpture Park, Emerging Artist Fellowship                                                                                  

2015     Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Process Space                                                         

2014     Joan Mitchell Foundation, Emerging Teaching Artist Fellow                                                                             

2013     Project Row Houses, Visiting Artist                                                                                                                2012     Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant Nominee                                                                                         

2011     Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant Nominee                                                                                         

2009    Studio Museum in Harlem, Artist-in-residence                                                                                         

2004    Jacques and Natasha Gelman Travel Award


2018     Foundation for Contemporary Art Benefit Exhibition, Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
2017     100 Works, Electropositive, Brooklyn, NY

            The Socrates Annual, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, NY
            A Fast, Moving Sky, The Third Line Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
            Downtown 83 Aljira Benefit and Auction, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ
            Elective Affinities: A Library, Hunter College Art Galleries, New York, NY
2016     Africans in America, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
            Whatever moves between us also moves the world in general, Murray Guy Gallery, New York, NY
            Everyday Redefined, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
            Lucky Draw, Sculpture Center, New York, NY
            Event Horizon, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
            Palatable, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
            CAMSTL Gala, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St, Louis, MO
            Collector’s Club, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX
            SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity, ArtsWestchester, White Plains, NY
2015     Displace, MOCADA, Brooklyn, NY
            Mirror Mirror, Kate Werble Gallery, New York, NY
            Africa’s Out, Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
            After Afropolitan, Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn, NY
2014     The Bearden Project, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
            Retreat, Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL
            “The House Seems All Upset” Contemporary Art Interventions on Critical Whiteness,

                  Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Chicago, IL  

            Lucky Draw, Sculpture Center, New York, NY

2013     Round 39: Looking Back, Moving Forward, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX
            Body Language, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
            Photoplay, Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York, NY
            Reconstruction, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN
            Present Future, Artissima, Turin, Italy, SOLO
2012     Fore, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
            Get it on the Record, Visceglia Gallery, Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ
            The Bearden Project, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
2011     The Third Party, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
            Fidelity, Meyerhoff Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
2010     Usable Pasts, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
            Collective Show, Participant, New York, NY


Soho House                                                                                                                                                            The Studio Museum in Harlem                                                                                                                                  Art in Embassies, Mbabane, Kingdom of Swaziland

ARTIST BOOKS                                                                                                                                                          Witches, beasts, demon slayers, goddess, YOU, Miniature Garden Press, 2017                                                    

A Year Around the Sun, Miniature Garden Press, 2016


The Socrates Annual 2017 and the Emerging Artist Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, 2017 

A Fast, Moving Sky, The Third Line Gallery, Dexter Wimberly, 2017                                                                        SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity, Kathleen Reckling, 2016                                                                               Retreat, Valerie Carberry Gallery, Romi Crawford, Theaster Gates, 2014                                                

Artissima 2013, Arti Grafiche Parni, Moncalieri, 2013                                                                                                 Fore, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Lauren Haynes, Naima Keith, and Thomas Lax, 2012                                

The Bearden Project, Studio Museum in Harlem, Elizabeth Gwinn, Lauren Haynes & Abbe Schribber, 2012           

Usable Pasts, Studio Museum in Harlem, Naomi Beckwith, 2010