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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


Crimi Arrieta, The Essence of You, 2023.

Crimi Arrieta, The Essence of You, 2023.

CRIMI ARRIETA - Relative of US Army Veteran

The Essence of You 

I created this image to experiment with light and shadow, however, as an observer a wave of nostalgia washed over me. This image takes me to the liminal space between past and present. 

My model, who happens to be my partner of 30 years, portrays elegance, poise, beauty and the wisdom that accompanies the passage of time. The light lands on this image like rings on a tree trunk depicting its age. 

Her gaze has a reminiscing quality. With respect and love for her I dare think that she may be reminiscing of our shared adventures, sorrows, joys, hopes, fears, dreams... 

Ours has been a long journey, we have witnessed an evolution in the fabric of culture for acceptance of what once was taboo. Diversity and inclusion remain goals but not as elusive as they once seemed. 

Love comes in all forms; love has no labels. 



Crimi Arrieta, A Reflection of Me, 2023.

Crimi Arrieta, A Reflection of Me, 2023.

James Alexander, Slipped-relaxed-spinet, 2022.

Crimi Arrieta, Immortalized Fantasy, 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.