WVA Interview with Debra Goley
STATEMENT Art is Debra’s language, and it speaks of how she is innately wired. As an award winning international and inspirational artist, beginning with a career as architect, she is now a full-time muralist, artist, art instructor, illustrator and designer. Her latest love is working with fiber as an exciting extension of her portfolio adding depth to her work after her mom left her with a plethora of fabric and a machine to draw with her needle. With a brush and a pencil in hand, Debra begins her designs by sketching to scale and allowing the form to follow function. Her life’s work is a continued exploration which has its roots in a life lived overseas and the experience of a multicultural community. As a multimedia artist, Debra’s work and teaching style clearly represent a global influence. With each new project her journey begins with research and analysis of a subject which takes her design from concept to expression. Debra is a native Texan, now Goodyear-based artist who lives with her husband and little dog Astro.
“Digging for clues and knee-deep in paint…” –Debra Goley
It’s the mystery I’m after, not the solution. I have been influenced many times over by a background in architecture, a lifetime of traveling and living abroad, and a love of people.
My process involves putting down multiple layers of design, color and composition, pausing after each layer to strategize over the next color mix and brushstroke. I usually have a recent place in mind or a quote I have read that seeks to be captured in the creative expressive movement in my work. I fall into a purposeful path of discovery: switchbacks, places of rest, milestones and the ultimate visual ending. The fun occurs in unearthing it all, in a way that surprises me. The rest is history and the end result is wherever you end up.
Debra Goley, artist, muralist, and art instructor, pursues her passion to create from within. Her passion lies with the journey and end result is always a surprise reflecting expressions of mystery, awe, love, gratitude, nature, and spirit. Debra’s pieces include various media, acrylic, oil, mixed media and fiber. Debra began her art career as a child with a small sketchbook and pursued it at the University of Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Debra is actively involved in the community, using skills to paint murals at the Maricopa County Burn Unit and serves as a private art instructor and showcases in various local businesses and galleries in Tuscon, Chandler, Surprise, Goodyear AZ, Las Vegas, LA, San Diego, and Atlanta, Cedar City Utah and Herndon , Redford and Lynchburg VA. She currently has work at the National Quilt Museum and has exhibited at IQF in Houston TX.
Debra cannot remember when art was not a major part of her life. She began to sketch at an early age leading to her love of Architecture receiving a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas in 1988. Before graduation, her abilities won her the title of “Best of Show” with the Doyle Wilson Development Corporation with attention to creative design and vision for America’s leisure resort destination in Austin, Texas.
After 15 years of practicing architecture in Washington DC, Debra turned to a full time career of painting in 2000. She currently owns Bella Villa Designs, a decorative design and mural business. Debra served as a Board member and Director of Art Education for The Creative Arts Academy of the West Valley. She owns and operates Debra Goley Art, a studio for teaching art to children of all ages. Her special interests include working with children and helping them develop their own personal creative style. She was recently enlisted by a local elementary school to help K through 6th-grade students develop techniques for shade, shadow, perspective and color contrast as they painted their favorite storybook pictorials in the school’s gymnasium. Debra also completed four murals for the Burn Unit at Maricopa County Hospital, spear-heading this volunteer project. She has assisted with planning/visuals of ball field perspectives for grant initiatives with Estrella Youth Sports and supported the City of Goodyear, in which she resides, with charity art donations for both G.A.I.N. events and the West Valley Arts Council fundraisers to name just a few.
Debra is a member of Estrella Mountain Church, University of Texas Alumni, International Decorative Artisans League (IDAL), Studio Arts Quilts Assoc. national, Texas and Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum, Visions Gallery, San Diego, CA, WHAM Art Association, Arizona Artist Guild Juried member, Shemer Art Center and the West Valley Arts Council. Her art has been exhibited at many Phoenix, Arizona civic exhibitions, galleries and businesses, Visions Gallery in San Diego, CA, SUMA, Cedar City, Chandler Center for the Arts and Vision Gallery, group artist FIBER AS ART show and Expressions of the West at HQ Gallery, Surprise AZ and a solo exhibition at The Vault in Culver City, CA. She has exhibited at IQF HOUSTON, AQS Phoenix and Henderson NV annual Arts Festival and won numerous awards. She is published in Art Quilts Studio fall 2020, Directors Cut 2010-2013 quarterly, Life in Estrella as guest artist articles three times, designed two e-book covers, 2 hard print book illustrations, twice seen in SAQA Journal July 2017 and cataloged in Fly Me to The Moon and Herstory: Celebration of Strong Women and Our Story exhibition books. And her article Three Pieced, One Body is featured in Art Quilts Studio magazine September 2020.