Valerie James is an artist and contemporary jeweler based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following her undergraduate degree in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM at Tyler School of Art, she continued her educational studies in jewelry and metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design, completing her MFA in the spring of 2019. James is the recipient of several awards including the Tiffany and Co. Foundation Scholarship, a WJA Scholarship and the RISD Graduate Student Project Grant. Her work has been shown at various venues in the United States including the Baltimore Jewelry Center, Society of North American Goldsmith’s Conference in Chicago, 2019 and most recently in a solo exhibition at Brooklyn Metal Works.
James’ practice is centered around reifying the ritual moments of everyday life in the format of jewelry. Her current body of work is an ongoing series of necklaces in which the meditative act of walking is translated into tangible form. Jewelry is not placed on the body, but brings body into place - tracing the curves and landscapes of our physical existence in the same way our bodies conform to the existing land when walking.