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Local Artist Feature Wall: Valerie Guth Boyd

Displayed on our Local Artist Wall in the Gill library, a series of portraits of brilliant and accomplished women, by artist Valerie Guth Boyd, P '17, '19.

Boyd grew up in Missoula, Montana: where she drew creative inspiration from the mountains and rivers. Before moving to Dallas in 2013, Boyd lived in a variety of locations, including Atlanta, Chicago, Avon (CT), Edmond (OK), and then for the longest stint, thirteen years in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the past, Boyd has Chaired our Fine Arts Network at  and has two children who attended school here. Her son, Kirk (ESD '17), is a senior at Trinity College, and her daughter Grace (ESD ’19) is a sophomore at Dartmouth College.

The women in Boyd's portraits can be described as having “engaged in seemingly impossible activities and having achieved success in a manner that renders all onlookers completely awestruck.” (Sgtpepper727, 2007)

Boyd has recently published a book highlighting 100 of these oil-based portraits. Preston Hollow People Newspaper recently interviewed her about her book; the following are a couple of excerpts from that Q&A.

What inspired you to create this book? "I set a goal to paint the portraits of 50 women before I turned 50. I met my goal of 50 well before my fiftieth birthday, and I continued until I surpassed 100 works that commemorate activists, artists, educators, humanitarians, scientists, politicians, actors, athletes, and leaders in an array of fields. While painting each woman, I felt a powerful connection to her and her story. I am inspired by all of the women on my 'wall of women.'” 

“Some of my paintings feel more technically successful than others because I improved as I painted and painted, face after face. I also enjoyed experimenting with color, style, and interpretation. If I had to choose favorites, I would select portraits for their representation of the techniques I have explored: Barbara Jordan, Amelia Earhart, Mary Oliver, RBG, Barbara McClintock, Marie Curie, Lucille Ball, Lee Krasner, Hillary Clinton, and Julia Child, but I particularly enjoy it when viewers share the portraits that they like best."

Boyd dedicates her book of portraits to her daughter, Grace.

Many thanks to Valerie for sharing her talents with ESD. For more information about her book, please contact her at