Valena Broussard Dismukes, of African, Choctaw, and European heritage, is a Los Angeles based photo-journalist with a special interest in portrait, travel, and street photography. In addition, she is a writer and sculptor. Originally from St. Louis, she moved to California in 1960 and taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District, serving as mentor teacher and compensatory and gifted coordinator. From 1993-95, she was administrative assistant for the Educational Consortium of Central Los Angeles until her departure for a six months tour of Europe with her sister, Mary Ann Rock, who is also an artist.
In the main, people are the center of Dismukes' work. She uses photography to explore and understand the world, as it brings her in contact with fascinating people and their varied histories and cultures. Her travels have taken her to over fifty countries on six continents. She recently returned from Morocco.
Dismukes has been a photographer since 1972. Her photographs have appeared in various publications including World Tennis, Essence, Cowboys and Indians, and Mother Earth.Dismukes has participated in over fifty solo and group shows and has been the recipient of from the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, , the Long Council, the Indiana Humanities Council, and the Missouri History Museum.
A co-founder of the Alliance of Native Americans of Southern California, Dismukes has lectured at numerous institutions on the topic of Black Indians.
She is the sole proprietor of Grace Enterprises, that also serves as a conduit for her photography and sculpture.
Dismukes will be signing her books at the Leimert Park Book Festival Saturday June 26 from 10 am to noon and from 2-4 pm. Look for her at the Black Librarians booth.