Shalene Valenzuela was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She received a BA in Art Practice at the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA in Ceramics from California College of Arts and Crafts. In 2007, she moved from her longtime home of Oakland, CA to participate in a long-term residency at The Clay Studio of Missoula. She currently maintains a studio in the historic Brunswick Building and serves as the executive director at The Clay Studio of Missoula.
Shalene has participated in short term artist residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation (2006), Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (2004, 2011), and the LH Project (2016). She has taught a variety of classes at Flathead Valley Community College, University of Montana, Oregon College of Art and Craft, The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula Art Museum, Richmond Art Center, ASUC Studios at UC Berkeley, and CCA Extended Education. Shalene has been a guest artist and speaker at a number of art centers, colleges, and universities. Her work has been featured in several group and solo exhibitions nationally and is in a number of private and public collections.