Born in Kingsville, Texas Ray Valdez is of nahua(mexico) / yaqui (yoeme) Native American ancestry and is a tribal member of the Texas Band of Yaqui Indians. Ray’s earliest encouragement for his art was in junior high school from his father. Ray felt accepted for his talent when his father framed and hung one of his paintings in his office. This simple action has influenced him to persevere in the arts. Ray knew then that art would be an intimate part of his life.

Over the years he has created many beautiful watercolor and acrylic paintings for family and friends. Though initially a folk artist he has developed his skills and continued creating both watercolors and acrylic paintings to reflect his own personal experiences, as well as religious visions. Ray has a Bachelorís Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Business Degree from Western International University.

These degrees have helped him maintain his Gallery and Frame shop, as well as actualizing recovery programs in the Nevada Department of Corrections. Ray has been involved in gaining religious rights for himself and other Native American people. Teaching people to view Native philosophy as a legitimate religion allowed Ray and others to seek spiritual guidance, endure their right to gather, to smoke their sacred canupa, and to pray to the Great Spirit.

Ray teaches for Sierra Arts Foundation within the Northern Nevada Community, founded the Art Program at Coral Academy Science and continues to work with Native American Tribal groups in out-reach programs. His strong leadership is influencing many adolescent lives to be creative in the arts, as well as life. Valdez has produced acrylic murals for the city of Lompoc, California and various locations in Reno, Nevada. His works are currently displayed at the Fellowship Gallery (Washington, D.C.), Valdez Studio (Reno, Nevada), Sky Wolf’s Gallery (Teton Village, Wyoming), Western Traders (Folsom, California), Four Winds Trading (San Diego, California), Lilly Vigil Gallery (Nevada City California).

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