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Lerida Eva Vega

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I have been an artist most of my life whether it takes tLERIDhe form of drawing, crochet, beading, or painting. My formal art education took place at Southwestern College's amazing art department. This is where I was able to really improve my skills and find my one true love, painting. I am very thankful that nonprofits that focus onthe arts exist, I feel that these are extremely important in creating communities and safe spaces.  These organizations inspired a group of friends and myself to create, Melt Collective, to help create a platform for artist between Tijuana and San Diego. I am still in the process of finding what exactly defines me as Lerida in the art world, but for now I think I can say my art is a reflection of what I find beautiful about people and the way we can communicate without words.


It can take the form of a facial expression, the colors I use in a specific painting, the hairstyles, or even the words I choose to include in some drawings. I hope to continue growing as an artist and finding my place in the art world. Through the use of facial expression, hair styling, and an ever-changing color pallete I try to capture the beauty and joy I find in others, especially in this high-tension environment we are currently living in. Mostly, my art consists of faces with only a neck. I am obsessed with watching people interact and just reading their language through their face. I like to try to have people, especially women, find themselves in the characters I create. 


 Susan Ashley

Instagram | @susan.ashley.ashleyarts

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I love to crate portraits with added details of a person's passions in life behind the face of the person. This helps to tell a story. I love to experiment with different techniques using watercolor, acrylics, collage, and/or digital photos. Color is a strong statement in my work. One juror, Donna Zagotta, said I was a Colorist.  I feature people in portraits. city scenes, or in man-made creations of flowers, landscapes or architecture. Trying to have every artwork I make unique in style and technique.

In her early years, Susan Ashley, took painting classes and workshops. She graduated from the University of California, at Berkeley, with a Major in Social Welfare and took many art history courses. She loved helping people, but also loved art, so she took as many art history courses as possible. At SUUC Berkeley, she met the love of her life, Andre. They married after her graduation, and when he went into the Navy they lived in San Diego.  After having three children, her growing family resided in San Jose, California. Susan wanted to return to school to obtain a master’s degree in Social Work, however the master’s program at San Jose was only accepting Spanish speakers at the time. In order to contribute to her family’s income, she got a job at the Chabot Gallery in San Jose, selling work by artists such as Leroy Neiman.  After a few years with the gallery, she sought out to do more creative work, she became an interior designer, creating draperies and upholstery. She soon began to paint with watercolors, and studied ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging.

She began showing her work, and people started taking notice. She was asked to display her work in flower arranging at the Bouquet of Arts at De Young Museum in 2009. She made art her full-time profession. Moving from San Jose to San Francisco, in 2007, she won a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Art.  She has received the Signature Membership in California Watercolor Association and has had her work sold in several galleries. SUSAOne gallery at Art People in San Francisco, sold and shipped one of her pieces to Japan. She has entered national shows and continues to enjoy painting. She enjoys the contemporary art of collaging and finds it interesting to manipulate the structure of the paper to make it appear as if it was painted onto her pieces. She won the International Manhattan Arts award for her collage, self-portrait, Just A Woman, in 2015. Just this year, she was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for a collage cityscape from the National Association of Women Artists.  After several decades living in the South Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has now moved to Chula Vista, to be near family. She finds San Diego to be a very artsy community.  



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