Christina Marie Valenzuela



The objective of my studio practice is to use painting and drawing to investigate the complexity of human experience through the ideas of phenomenology, mental illness, pain and suffering, and morality. I am interested in the tension between the mind and body, which defines the human condition, emphasizing psychological states exhibited by the body in my work. I explore how the multiplicity of being — our many selves made up of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical components — resists interpretation.


Christina Valenzuela was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Graduating with a BS in Marketing from Indiana University and a BFA in Painting from Arizona State, she moved to Seattle and has pursued an MFA in Painting + Drawing at UW. She creates work that explores what it’s like to be a person in a body in the world, drawing on topics such as phenomenology, religion, and emotion. In approaching her work, she asks, how does our psychological makeup affect identity? Her most recent work explores her connection to Christina the Astonishing, the Catholic patron saint of mental illness.


  • David Brody
  • Sangram Majumdar
  • Ann Gale
  • Philip Govedare
  • Zhi Lin
  • Helen O’Toole


  • MFA, Painting + Drawing, University of Washington, 2022
  • BFA, Painting, Arizona State University, 2020
  • BS, Marketing, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2018


  • 2022 – Meet us in the Afterglow, SOIL Art Gallery in Seattle, Washington
  • 2021 – The Reordering of Things, Jacob Lawrence Gallery in Seattle, WA
  • 2021 – SUMMER: a Summer Works Exhibition, Sand Point Gallery in Seattle, WA
  • 2020 – Work in Progress, Sand Point Gallery in Seattle, WA
  • 2020 – Break the Stigma, New City Studios in Phoenix, AZ
  • 2019 – Growing Down (Solo Show), Xico Arte y Cultura in Phoenix, AZ
  • 2019 – The Square, Modified Arts in Phoenix, AZ


  • 2021 – Graduate Study Equity & Excellence Tuition and Graduate Supplemental Award, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 2021 – Boyer and Elizabeth Bole Gonzales Scholarship, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 2020 – Top Scholar Award, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Excerpt from interview by Jordan Amirkhani

As I’ve always been interested in self portraiture, I found that portraying my figure or my face was too general as a way of representing my personhood. Just as our bodies are made up of many parts that form a whole, identities are composed of many qualities and beliefs as a result of our experience in the world. Prescribing blanket terms to people is vague and boring — I’ve always been more interested in the details that provide specificity.

Read full interview.