##24/7 VALENCIA: COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR LIFE AND ART?
LESLIE AGNELLO-DEAN: “I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I created my first journal at the age of five and made stuffed animals for my friends throughout elementary school.
I went to a university in Los Angeles where I painted, stitched and discovered Art History….looking at how other people created. The love of creation was the element that intrigued me. I moved to the Silicon Valley and spent my work life analyzing how other people learned, created and worked….not in art, but in business.
It was the best of both worlds. In business, I was driven by my clients’ needs, but in art, I could draw, paint and doodle just for me.
I married, had a son and moved to Chicago. I owned consulting companies …working during the day and creating art during my free time. It was easy to find like-minded creatives…the artistic spirit is everywhere. I co-founded a group of women collage artists—-the Collage Sisthars. With them, I participated in mixed media art exhibitions at local galleries and town halls.
I retired and moved to beautiful Valencia. I found the creative atmosphere of Valencia immersive. Every neighborhood has its own vibe. Living in El Carmen I am surrounded by art…from the ancient structures to newly minted wall murals to the local restaurants and boutiques. When Refugio asked if I would show my art at this innovative neighborhood restaurant, I was honoured to add my voice to the local scene.
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Valencia…in each location I have found the friendship, camaraderie and inspiration of local artists. These painters, crafters, musicians, writers and chefs have shared their imaginative spirits with me, and I am grateful every day.
Some people start their day with meditation.
Some start with a morning run.
I start with art.
I am a mixed media artist.
For me, the power of art is addictive.
It alters my mood.
It transforms a space.
It turns an everyday, overlooked object, into something unexpected.
I consider this power akin to alchemy… and therefore each day I create.
One day I’ll draw or paint with watercolours.
The next day I’ll discover a brochure, post card, or newspaper…coaxing it into a fierce female or a playful puppy.
Sometimes it is an old journal entry ….asking for new texture, colour, or context… so, out comes the sewing machine to add new marks that bring a new object into existence.
I love the feeling of not knowing what will happen but trusting that something new will unfold.
That… to me, is alchemy.”
Interview by 24/7 Valencia team
A COLLECTION BY LESLIE AGNELLO-DEAN
(May 27-July 25)
C/ Alta, 42