Valerie Sofranko

Valerie, one of our alumni, is originally from the Pittsburgh. She graduated in 1975 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts as a Sculpture and Painting major. After college Valerie relocated to the San Francisco bay area where she was a freelance sculptor and painter. In the early 1980's she was employed by Lucasfilms Ltd. where she began her film career making 3-D costume accessories for the "Return of the Jedi" principal characters. Val continued working on feature films such as Gremlins, Enemy Mine, Arachnophobia, The Fly, Naked Lunch, Ghostbusters II, Joe versus the Volcano, Back to the Future II, Hook, Nightmare Before Christmas, other films and various commercials. She sculpted, painted, fabricated creatures and puppets, head and body casted actors, assisted with Special Makeup FX and also worked as a scenic painter, modelmaker and puppeteer for 16+ years. Valerie was also employed by the Academy of Sciences Museum in San Fransisco as a sculptor, model maker, painter and Exhibits Specialist. In 2003 she returned home to the "Burgh" to be closer to family and in 2008 received her Master of Entertainment Technology here at the Entertainment Technology Center. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where she taught various subjects in the Entertainment and Industrial Design Department. In 2011 Valerie was invited to join the staff at the ETC as Staff Artist where she does 2D concept work in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. She also gives workshops to our grad students in Props making, Special Makeup FX and soon to be Color Theory. She is always available to our grad students for consultation and assistance on their projects that may involve physical art, FX makeup, props and costume accessories.