Giovanni Valderas is a mixed media artist who makes three-dimensional works that address his relationship with his Guatemalan, Mexican, and American ancestry. Valderas incorporates and deconstructs elements of the traditional piñata in order to transform the piñata’s original identity as one of gratuitous celebration, into one of cultural construct. He challenges dominant power structures through what he views as the most frivolous of means: tissue paper. His pieces utilize Spanish idioms and characteristics of the piñata to engage audiences and provoke discussion, self-reflection, and an examination into one’s circumstances. A native of Dallas, Giovanni Valderas Valderas graduated from the College of Visual Arts & Design at the University of North Texas with a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing & Painting. He has taught several painting and drawing courses at the University of North Texas, Richland, and Mountain View College. He is currently the Assistant Gallery Director at Kirk Hopper Fine Art, and previously served as an appointee by Dallas City Council as Vice Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission. His work has been featured in the 2013 Texas Biennial, New American Paintings Magazine, Impossible Geometries: Curated works by Lauren Haynes at Field Projects in New York City, and 14×48.org’s temporary billboard public art project. Valderas recently received the Moss/Chumley Award and a micro-grant from the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas for his guerrilla site-specific project. Most recently, Valderas finished his reappointment to the City of Dallas, Cultural Affairs Commission having served under Councilman Omar Narvaez.