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Artist Valerie Hanks Goetz

Valerie Hank GoetzToo see someone smile when looking at work of my hands is the greatest compliment I can receive because it means they are sharing my smile.  It was in search of my smile that I discovered the artist in myself.  I left corporate America in May 1999 suffering from burn-out and broken spirit.  I wanted to do something that I enjoyed, something that wouldn't need to be upgraded or replaced in a year, something that would bring honor to my family and tribe, the Muscogee Nation of Florida.  My heart returned me to the traditional, and "Native Works" became a sustainable company. Now I have many more reasons to smile!

My passion to find art in unusual places has grown from the Muscogee belief that everything has a purpose and nothing should be wasted. To me, there is great satisfaction in taking something readily available and creating eco-friendly art with function and artistic beauty.  Using salvaged copper, pre-owned leather, home grown gourds, reclaimed clay, recycled glass, pine needles and horse hair, each piece of art I create has at least one renewable component.

While traveling the country, I personally exhibit my work at approximately five locations per year. My art is displayed in galleries and retail locations from coast to coast. Pieces of my art are also on display in private, international collections. I frequently participate in "Art Walks", cultural festivals, and share my love of storytelling (an audible art). In the fall of 2005, my work was featured in a showing of Native American Basketry at the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels, Belgium.  Recently, I participated in the Arkansas Arts on Tour 2006-2011 Rosters, Arts in Education Roster 2010-2011, the National Basketry Organization's 2007 Exhibit , "2008 Members Exhibit" at the Bascom-Louise Museum, 2008 "Ekwabet Exhibit",  and the"Arts In Business Exhibit" touring Florida airports in 2007.  I was certified as an Indian Artisan by the Florida Creek Indian Council in 1996 and by the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana in 2006.