If this item is out of stock, please email us the SKU number to see if the artist can create another.

Please note that during this time, shipping can be delayed up to 5 days.

Papercut framed

21" X 17"


Valerie Rangel


Valerie Rangel, Santa Fe papercut artist and professor of earth science at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, grew up in close proximity to graveyards and knives.


“Maybe this,” says Rangel, who is acutely aware of how interconnected different aspects of her life are, “is really how my interest in papercutting arose. I grew up by a graveyard, and used to cut the spines out of cacti for my mother. My brother and I would throw knives for fun. These early experiences are surely connected to my interest in making artwork by cutting paper as well as the themes that I like to show in that work.”


Rangel started making papercut art in high school as a hobby, using an exacto knife and black paper to create silhouette images from her own sketches.

“I have always been an introvert,” she says. “My friends in high school were all Goths and rejects. Papercutting takes a lot of alone time, and it was a healthy way for me to channel some of my darker energy into something creative and positive.”


After high school, Rangel was showing some of her papercuts to the owner of the restaurant where she worked as a hostess—he thought he could help her find somebody to help her commission her artwork—when she was stopped by a customer. The man was film director and actor Lou Diamond Phillips. The two started chatting, Rangel says, “because he is also native, and an artist.” Phillips told Rangel that he wanted to buy one of her papercuts: an image of a man with his ankles and wrists bound hanging upside down from a tree over a fire. It was the first papercut Rangel had ever made. Six months later, he contacted Rangel to tell her that he had hung the piece in his LA home, and he didn’t ever want her to think that her artwork was trash.”


In 1999, Rangel moved to New Mexico to study the Navajo language, Native American studies, ethics, and green environmental science at UNM.

“I was interested in studying my own heritage, history, culture and language,” says Rangel, “and this was a place where these could all come together with my interest in the natural sciences.”


“My papercuts are all one contiguous piece of paper,” she explains, holding up a cut of the Buddha. “When you hold it up, it all holds together. Nothing is taped or pasted. When I papercut images of the Buddha, or Jesus, or St. Francis, it is about how they are all wise fools—they were all outsiders, who worked for what they believed in—and for me, about how interconnected they are. I have come to realize that art is not just about creating something because you feel like it, it is about finding meaningful images and communicating something.”

"Chief Joseph" by Valerie Rangel

SKU: 107684
  • You will be contacted with shipping after purchase of all fine art.

Can't find what you're looking for?  Contact us for custom requests, sizings, commissions or general questions.

Have a question?  Please view our FAQ for care instructions, shipping and handling, and other questions you may have. 

NOTE on Patterns and Color Variations

Many of our items, including but not limited to, Weavings, Jewelry, Pillows, and Fetishes are made one at a time by hand.  Because colors of natural dyes, striations of stone, and other natural variances unique to natural materials and the being hand-crafted, items can vary slightly from pictures on our website.  If you have a concern or question about the actual product on hand or if you have a special request, we encourage you to contact us directly.

NOTE on Shipping and Handling for Fine Art and Sculpture

Because shipping prices are contingent on size, weight, and distance in our larger pieces, we don't calculate shipping until after the purchase has been made for all Wall Art and Sculpture.  After your purchase, we will call you with an exact cost of shipping and handling based on these factors.

Falling in love with an artist?  View all their works and learn more about them below.