Artista Elisabet infuses artwork with joy, energy, spirituality

Bringing a piece of Artista Elisabet’s artwork into your home brings a piece of the artist’s personality into your home. Joyful. Exuberant. Spiritual.

Collectors feel Artista Elisabet’s beauty and happiness flowing through her mixed media creations, enlivening the spaces they come to inhabit.

Born Elisabet González to Spanish parents in Germany, the artist has lived in the United States for almost 20 years, first in Austin, then San Antonio and Houston since 2005.

Elisabet’s professional profile has grown enormously as the result of an ongoing series of body castings dedicated to supporting, empowering, and inspiring breast cancer survivors. Houston Mayor Annise Parker proclaimed an “I Cast 2 Empower Day” in the city in 2014, so named for Elisabet’s project. In 2016, the Obama White House further recognized “I Cast 2 Empower” for the positive impact it’s making.

Casting a supporter model for “I Cast 2 Empower” art project.

Her dedication to Houston’s philanthropic medical community dates back over 10 years to her time as a volunteer art teacher for the city’s Down Syndrome Association. Using her art as a tool for healing has always motivated Elisabet’s creativity.

That pursuit dates back to her time as a young woman in Germany training in law enforcement.

“I saw a lot of misery there,” Elisabet recalls, her paintings first serving as a tool for selfcare.

Painting wasn’t the only artform the lifelong creative engaged in back home. For many years she traveled as a Flamenco dancer. The kinetic energy, passion and vivid color of Flamenco remains readily apparent in the artwork she’s creating today.

What she calls “the power of color” continues driving her artistic production. As does experimentation. Artista Elisabet incorporates handcrafts on diverse media including canvas, wood, vinyl records and found objects.

“People say that’s trash – oh – don’t tell me that because I’m going to make art out of that! Recycling and upcycling is the most precious thing and it benefits the environment.”

Artista Elisabet, Blossom. Mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.
Artista Elisabet, Blossom. Mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.

Her artworks chatter and buzz and jive as if they want to jump off the wall and start performing. They laugh. They smirk. They wink, seeming to hold inside jokes they’re eager to share.

They’re animated.

They feature a distinct material quality, richly textured – bumpy, lumpy, ridged – possessing a physical and spiritual presence.

Her paintings are infused with essential oils and cleansed with sage. She incorporates stones, gems and crystals, the latter of which she finds particularly important.

“I work with them because I think they’re so powerful, and we can do so much healing on ourselves and the world needs a lot of healing right now,” she told me.

As artist, as empath, as healer, Elisabet connects to an extrasensory perception she has long recognized in herself.

“I was born with a gift,” Artista Elisabet said. “I really can read people.”

From reading people to creating people, her latest series, “be heARThentic and blossom,” involves upcycling empty Christian Dior perfume bottlesJ’adore, Sauvage, Joy and Miss Dior.

“They come in different sizes, shapes and colors, so I did a collection where I use the bottles and made people out of them,” Artista Elisabet explains. “(It’s) a whimsical and fun way to see that we all belong together. It doesn’t matter how we look; the most valuable thing is what’s inside.”

Artista Elisabet, jARTdore. Mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.
Artista Elisabet, jARTdore. Mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.

Belonging was always tricky for Elisabet.

“Born and raised in Germany, as a Brown girl, I was always the Spanish girl, but every time (my family went) to Spain, I was the German girl,” she remembers. “I asked my parents, ‘Where am I from?’ My parents said, ‘You’re from the world,’ and I said, ‘Yes, I am from the world.’”

From the world to America, the artist taught herself English to assimilate in Texas, surprised by what she didn’t find there, “expecting everyone to be riding horses and wearing cowboy hats.” The power of “Westerns” and American popular culture.

A professional career which started at the provocation of a coworker at Univision admiring the paintings Elisabet displayed in her own home has since seen her be exhibited at the Musée Du Louvre in Paris, Art Basel Miami and Times Square in New York. She is currently participating in an artist-in-residence at Gallery Skye in Houston (6423 Richmond Ave., Suite H).

A great piece of art makes the viewer feel something. In the case of Artista Elisabet, the feeling her artworks most arouse is one we could all use more of: happiness.

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