Get to Know Our Art Studio Director!
Hello, my name is Jennifer Valencia, and I am the Art Director here at Promising Futures. I feel so privileged to be part of such a wonderful, empowering program. And I have been blown away by the talent that our clients have exhibited. This is my first opportunity working with the developmentally disabled community, and it has been such a rewarding and enriching experience. Although, I have worked as an art teacher for many years, so that aspect of the job is not new to me.
I received my Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Southern California, where I focused primarily on drawing and painting. Upon graduating from USC in 1998, I moved to the Virginia/Washington D.C. area and began working full-time as an artist for a large mural and decorative painting company. The projects ranged from large to small, interior, and exterior, public, and private, working alone, and on a crew. Virginia was a very exciting time for me as an artist. I was learning and experiencing so much because the clients and the projects were so diverse. Upon returning to my native Southern California, I established myself in the San Diego area and began working again as a muralist. Then, a new, intriguing opportunity presented itself. I was offered a position as an art consultant at a gallery in the Cedros Design District; and I eventually became the Gallery Manager. Working at a gallery broadened my appreciation of abstract and contemporary artwork. Likewise, my move to Japan years later lent me a more worldly perspective and gave me the opportunity to focus on doing my own work rather than commissions.
After spending three years in Japan, I returned to San Diego. I began sharing my talents in a different way: as a teacher at my daughter’s elementary school. It felt good to give back to the community, and to ensure that the arts still had a place in our schools. In fact, I enjoyed teaching so much that I began working as a social painting instructor. This was a unique experience for me because I was now teaching adults. During this time, I simultaneously continued my work as a muralist with my own company, Muse Murals and Custom Paintings. I have been very fortunate to make a living in a field that I love. I have always been steadfast in the belief that you should be passionate about your work, and share that passion with each and every person you encounter. I am blessed to be able to do that here with our clients. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing them filled with a sense of accomplishment when completing a project, and taking sincere pride in their work. That is my perception of success!