It's always impressive seeing artist use their creativity in different ways. Fort Collins native De Wain Valentine has always had an interest in plastics and has been using it to create art for decades.

ahisgett via flickr
ahisgett via flickr

It's been more than 40 years since Valentine has had a solo exhibit in his home state of Colorado. Valentine, now living in Los Angeles, finds humor that his exhibit is now at his former High School, the now University Center for Arts at CSU.

Valentine has always had a passion for plastic ever since he was a child. In the 1940's Plexiglas had been declassified by the government and scraps were sent to schools to experiment with. At this point Valentine found his new passion. “You take this big block of plastic and run it through the table saw and sand it and polish it,” he said. “It was just like stones.”

While attending college Valentine was criticized by professors for using plastic as art. Regardless of what teachers would say he would always find a way to incorporate plastics into his artwork. Throughout much of his lifespan he was criticized for using plastic as art, he even lost two teaching positions at UCLA due to his influence on students to use plastic.

In spite of criticism, Valentine has become a successful and highly influential artist. Some of his artwork including the “Triple Disk Red Metal Flake — Black Edges,” can be seen in the National Gallery, in Washington D.C. Other art pieces from Valentine can be seen in the Denver Art Museum, the Chicago Art Institute and the Los Angeles County Museum for Art.

The 'Colorado's Valentine' can be viewed at CSU's University Center for Arts between Oct 1st and December 14th.


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