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Las Vegas, Nevada
|Known for||Chicano Art|
Elsa Flores (Born 1955 in Las Vegas, Nevada) is a Chicana artist. Her mother's name was Maria Valenzuela and she was originally from a small village called San Javier located in Sinaloa, Mexico. She is one of the best known Chicano street art movement propulsors.
Elsa Flores demonstrated interest in arts from a very young age. She spent part of her childhood in California, where Chicanos comprise a large percentage of the state's population. Flores enrolled at the Art Center College in Pasadena. Flores continued on with her studies at the California State University and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts.
Career as an artist
Flores began to gain recognition for her paintings, which have been exhibited around the world, during the 1970s. It was during that decade that she met Carlos Almaraz, a fellow Chicano who was part of the early Chicano street art movement. Almaraz was a member of the famed Los Four artist collective. Elsa Flores and Carlos Almaraz eventually married, and the two collaborated on one of the most famed Chicano murals, the California Dreamscape. While Almaraz was already an icon among Chicanos because of his murals across California (as part of Los Four and as a solo artist), "California Dreamscape" helped Flores become an icon herself among Chicano artists. "California Dreamscape". The 15' x 70' mural was commissioned by the California Arts Council and is exhibited at the Reagan State Building on 3rd and Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles.
Carlos Almaraz was diagnosed with AIDS during the 1980s, eventually leading to his death. After his death, Flores' fame continued to grow. Her paintings have been shown, to critical acclaim, in museums and art houses in places such as Hawaii, New York city and Mexico. She has had solo exhibitions in New Mexico and in Los Angeles. Many of her other exhibitions have been group exhibitions where her paintings have been showcased alongside those of other famous artists.
- "Oral history interview with Elsa Flores, 1997 Feb. 18 - Apr. 30". Archives of American Art. February 17, 1997. Retrieved March 11, 2017.