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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


Gail Cross, Peachy, 2023.

Gail Cross, Peachy, 2023.



Peach is my favorite color. I love dressing in peach. I also love this hat. I bought it for my granddaughter’s wedding. She was married a year after college, but I remember being in the delivery room the day she was born. It is wonderful to watch my grandchildren grow up, it seems like only yesterday that I was driving them to school. 

On this day, I had nowhere specific to go, but I wanted to wear that hat. I wanted to dress in peach. I look like I was going to a tea party, yet I did not want to go anywhere. I was bathed in soft light that glistened on my hat and shawl. My softly shaded face was in thought. I was focused on taking this picture. 

I was thinking about my granddaughter but also about sailing. I sail and learned to sail with Warrior Sailing. I love it. I was sailing the boat in the picture behind me. That picture was taken during the pandemic. You cannot see the details, but I was wearing a mask. I persevered, that is how much I love being on the water. Warrior Sailing saved me. It took me out of some really dark places. I experienced the same camaraderie in Warrior Sailing as I had in the military, and I made new friends, friends for life. 

I am grateful for my family, and friends and have led a rich life. This is MY portrait in Peach. It is a reminder of my favorite color, my favorite things, my family and so many cherished experiences. I am reminiscing while dressed in peach and cradled in shimmering light. 



Gail Cross, Annie Warrior, 2023.

Gail Cross, Annie Warrior, 2023.

Gail Cross, Reflection of Living Room in Painting, 2023.

Gail Cross, Reflection of Living Room in Painting, 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.