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Valdez has been participating in International Sculpture Symposiums since 2004, working in a variety of situations, countries and cultures. Unlike academic symposiums, sculpture symposiums have traditionally been a place where the sculptor actually creates work. They are held outdoors in the environment of the stone, usually close to a quarry having available facilities. Symposiums provide the opportunity to create a large scale piece without the pressures of the marketplace. The artist in the symposium is their own master and willing to tolerate sun, rain, sand and wind for the freedom of expression.