Portrait of an Artist: From Research to Exhibition

with Rodrigo Valenzuela

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Course Description

Every individual exists within the confines and connective threads of a larger network. In this four-hour program, photographic artist and educator Rodrigo Valenzuela takes you through a deep exploration of his creative process, from conceptualization to research, from experimentation in the studio to final exhibition.

Combining autobiographical themes and narratives from day laborers around the world, Rodrigo’s work highlights the increasingly relevant topics of alienation and displacement. Through a diverse range of photographic, videographic, and installation processes, Rodrigo creates a compelling dance between images, structures, and space, raising important questions of how subjects exist in and out of place, and the truth of reality.

This seminar invites participants to ask themselves how images can be amplified by the physical world around them. Join Rodrigo on a Saturday in March as he outlines his steps for conducting a thoughtful research process, including considerations for approaching complex societal topics, and strategies for interviewing and connecting with subjects. Rodrigo also takes students through the installation process, discussing materials such as wood, paper, plaster, metal, and paint; lighting and architectural choices; and how to create an overall interplay between photographs and the physical world.

Following his presentation, participants have the opportunity to ask Rodrigo questions about his inspiration, process, and artistic philosophy. Technical questions surrounding the installation process or materials are welcome. Even if you cannot make the live program, a recording of it will be available for one month for all those registered.

Additional Information


Open to anyone interested in this special program.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

Creative Vision, One-of-a-Kind
Rodrigo Valenzuela

Rodrigo Valenzuela was born in Santiago, Chile and now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, where he is the Associate Professor and Head of the Photography Department at UCLA. Valenzuela has been awarded the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship; Joan Mitchell award for painters and sculptors; Art Matters Foundation grant; and Artist trust Innovators Award. Recent solo exhibitions include New Museum, NY; Lisa Kandl-hofer Galerie, Vienna, AU; Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene; Orange County Museum; Portland Art Museum; Frye Art Museum, Seattle. Recent residencies include Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; MacDowell Colony; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts; Lightwork; and the Center for Photography at Woodstock.

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