Elena, a self-taught visual artist from Spain, is volunteering for a second year with ArtCorps. Elena’s specialty is crafts, both textiles and accessories, and through this work she tries to promote the use of recycled and recyclable materials. Elena enjoys finding uses for broken and discarded items, and incorporating natural materials such as seeds, wood and leaves into her works to render unique and imaginative creations. Art has had a profound influence in her life—through art she has learned to channel her imagination and her creativity. Before becoming an ArtCorps Artist Elena worked on various projects as a social worker throughout Europe. She worked with Latin American immigrants settled in the Netherlands, and in her native Spain, Elena volunteered as an immigrant advocate and with homeless children.
Elena´s time in Guatemala working with rural indigenous communities has taught her important lessons about injustice and poverty. As she worked in the communities she discovered how difficult it is to share art with people whose basic needs are unmet. This reality led Elena to view art as a vehicle for social protest. Elena returns to her community in 2010 with an understanding of the challenges it faces and renewed energy and motivation to build local leadership.
“Really, all that one creates is a form of expression and communication with the world outside and within each one of us. How this expression and communication will reach people is up to everyone else.”
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