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State of Wonder

Finding Focus: Elizabeth Leon

Elizabeth Leon is one of the many students mentored over the years by this week’s guest curator, Victor Maldonado.

We liked her strong, vivid photos. And we loved the story of how she found her creative voice.



Elizabeth Leon

Elizabeth came to the States when she was ten. After graduating from Hillsboro High School, she took advice from her art teacher and applied to PNCA. She didn’t expect to get in, but she did.

“I struggled with language when I came to the United States. It took me a year of being silent. And that always marked me. When I came to art school, art was a way to communicate.”

What followed was a journey that led her to explore her own identity and ideas about what she had to contribute.

Leon tells us she’s taking a break from school, but plans to pursue an MFA, possibly going into education. And she’s working through ways to maintain her practice.

“Right now, for me, there’s this connection to identity. My work has developed a reflex to my life. Art has been that tool to survive. I’m not sure if that will change.”


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