I am Valerie Caesar, an artist and writer born, raised and based in Brooklyn. I work in photography, illustration, design, animation and short film. I have exhibited work in museums like MoCADA and other local and national galleries. My personal artistic practice centers around the revelation of African Diasporic self-discovery, and the magical in urban city centers like Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
I graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with a B.A. in English (with a concentration in Black American literature). During college I interned in the editorial departments of Random House and Lee and Low Books. Following graduation from Cornell, I attended Columbia Law School, where I focused on civil rights law as well as advocating for the legal rights of incarcerated parents. After graduation from law school, I taught in prisons (constitutional and family law), and in youth programs (digital arts media).
In 2012, I was named a Volkswagen Fellow by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. I worked in MoMA’s Education Department as a Digital Media Coordinator, producing digital educational courses and other content on modern and contemporary art and museum conservation. I facilitated in-depth interviews between MoMA’s curators, artists and conservators. The 2014 annual MUSE awards recognized the MoMA project with an Honorable Mention in the Education and Outreach category, and the course Catalysts: Artists Creating with Sound, Video and Time won the Best of the Web in Education award from the Museums and the Web conference.
In 2014, I was honored to be chosen as the Fellow for The Marilyn Nance Archive. I am currently responsible for the organization and preservation of the photographic archive of American artist Marilyn Nance, known for her body of work on African American spiritual culture in America.
In 2016, I presented my photographic work with artists Valerie Maynard and Marilyn Nance on FESTAC ’77 and the Black archive at the Black Portraiture[s] III Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I currently produce media for organizations BRIC Media Art House and Mural Arts Philadelphia, as well as for artists and non-profit organizations, including graphic and web design and video production. I teach advanced media literacy at the Brooklyn Public Library. I am a writing consultant for news programming featured on BBC and NPR. I also serve as an advisory board member of the University of Minnesota’s digital archive of African American art and artifacts.
My poetry is published in Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, edited by Tony Medina & Louis Reyes Rivera, with foreword by Sonia Sanchez, and some of my photography can be found in the upcoming photo collection Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, edited by Laylah Barrayn and Delphine Fawundu, and introduced by Deborah Willis.