Valerie Smith, United States
As a photographer, Valerie Smith carefully observes the world around her — searching in the details and attempting to capture the essence of what she sees. Through her camera, she isolates forms and extracts rhythm. Even before she was classically trained in photography, Valerie was involved in the arts. She dedicated all her time to training in the performing arts space including ballet and modern dance. In college, she switched her focus from dance to photography. Photography became her means of creative expression. After college, she lived in cities that gave exposure to incredible art scenes and helped advance her creativity. Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris have all shaped her photography and artistic skills. Her time in these cities not only expanded her love for the arts and photography but have led to key opportunities such as exhibitions and world-class educational opportunities. Valerie currently is obtaining a master's degree at Columbia University. Her photography and travels have also cultivated a love for architecture. Her undergraduate degree in photography and a graduate degree in architecture will represent the intersection of her passions and will allow her to continue her pursuit of finding the essence and in the creative space.