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Leslie Elsasser - Introduction
Christian Cortes

Crimi Arrieta - Relative of US Army Veteran
Patricia Colbert - US Army
Gail Cross - US Air Force
Dr. Charlie Ferrer - US Army
Janine Hargrett - US Army
Valerie Larson - US Air Force
Kevin Lipton - US Army
Dolores Matteo - US Army
Karidad Ramis-Hartman - US Army
Roger St. Julian - US Army
Monika Sutton - Spouse of US Army Veteran
Viana L.M. Tavares-Fischer - US Army

Manfredo Bobadilla - US Army
Agustin Collazo Jr. - US Marine Corps / US Navy
Amanda Dodd - US Army
Evan Fountain - US Air Force
Derek Hopkins - US Air Force
Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps
Alicia Morales - US Army
Chris Smith - Spouse of US Army Veteran
Kimberlee Nicole Smith - US Army
RaeAnne Swanson - US Air Force


Chris Smith, Mother Nature, 2023.

Chris Smith, Mother Nature, 2023.

CHRIS SMITH - Spouse of US Army Veteran

Mother Nature 

“A Mothers Love” 

Nadya has always been the most excited and rambunctious person in her family. The “youngest daughter”, the “star of the show”, and the “go-getter” are just a few labels she held. When she became a wife, she dreamed of also having the label “mommy.” 

Pregnancy is not easy for women, and for Nadya it would be no different. The challenges of conception while maintaining her personal health became a struggle and at times left her feeling hopeless. Nonetheless, Nadya always showed the outside world her joy and eternal optimism and unwavering belief that motherhood was in her future. 

Morning walks through nature provide a calming and nurturing environment to begin the day, and it was after a morning walk that Nadya got the news about her impending motherhood. 

A myriad of emotions came over her yet none of them was greater than love. 

Staring into the eyes of her daughter as she gazes into the distance, they attempt to blend into the scenery, but the sun has other plans. It’s casting an ethereal glow upon them which truly encapsulates a mother’s love. 



Chris Smith, Family Focus, 2023.

Chris Smith, Family Focus, 2023.

Chris Smith, In Her Eyes, 2023.

Chris Smith, In Her Eyes, 2023.



For more information:
Email Leslie Elsasser at

Breaking Barriers is a program by USF Contemporary Art Museum in collaboration with the USF School of Art & Art History, is supported by the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, USF Office of Veterans Success, Community Arts Impact Grant of the Hillsborough Arts Council, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, Love IV Lawrence, USFCAM ACE (Art for Community Engagement) Fund Patrons, and the Florida Department of State, Florida Arts & Culture.