Looking at art through a colorful lens
Alexis Leon-Guerrero paints with vibrant colors to evoke emotion and she photographs illuminating light sources to show movement and feeling.
Leon-Guerrero, a Class of 2019 Wilsonville High School graduate, gravitates toward acrylic on canvas and photography, where she photographs the movement of light sources like flashlights in dark areas to create light streaks and designs.
At the gallery at the Fred Meyer Starbucks, 30300 Boones Ferry Road, highlights from Leon-Guerrero's senior portfolio are on display through the first week of August.
Fred Meyer has allowed the fine arts program at WHS to select rotating artwork for display at the Starbucks inside. The rotating exhibit features work by students, graduates or faculty who have a connection to the school.
Though Leon-Guerrero honed her artistic skills in high school, she has considered herself an artist since she was a young child.
"My mom said one time I was in an airport and I just drew the plane on a piece of paper. I was looking at it and drawing it and she said that it turned out really well," Leon-Guerrero said. "There was (also) this one time where I was playing with my food when I was a little kid, it was spaghetti, and I just did it (laid the noodles) on the table and none of them were touching. It was an art piece, so I've been an artist my whole life."
For Leon-Guerrero's senior portfolio she chose to use her younger sister as her primary muse for her paintings.
"Another part of my theme is food so the first one is pizza because I did that one over the summer and I was like, 'Hey, what do you want to eat?' And she (my sister) was like, 'I just want pizza.' So that was the first one," Leon-Guerrero said.
One of her favorite paintings though, was a piece she created of her grandmother from a memory she had when she visited her in Guam during a Day of the Dead watermelon-eating contest. She featured the light coming from the back of her grandmother's head — light is an aspect she enjoys using in her artwork. She's also proud of a cupcake painting because she had fun using the single light source radiating from the candle.
"Light's used every day and you kind of get bored of some light sources like the pizza one isn't that interesting because it's a normal light source," she said, adding that using light in different ways can brighten a mood or make the visual more dramatic.
A painting that was challenging for her was one featuring a marshmallow because it incorporates many different visuals. Her piece depicting Doritos in space was also difficult to create, she said, because it involved a lot of details.
"I don't really like detail but it looks good," she said. "Detail is amazing but it's not my specialty so that one was a lot of work."
Though Leon-Guerrero does not plan to pursue a career in art, she wants to continue practicing her hobby. She will attend the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall and hopes to take art courses as an elective, and explore more abstract art. Leon-Guerrero eventually wants to be a mechanical engineer and says that her art ability relates to her career goals.
"You need to imagine things like what the future is going to be and design, that also helps, like designing something like a car, a phone, computer chips, shopping bags," Leon-Guerrero said. "It applies to a whole bunch of things machine-wise, not really what this (art display) shows. It's more technical I guess."
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