Elizabeth Medrano was born in Philadelphia and has resided in San Francisco since 1984. Her maternal ancestors are a long line of progressive Philadelphian Quakers, while her paternal family comes from Spanish and indigenous Colombians in Bogotá. The unwelcomed reactions in each parent’s respective country was too hard to endure and they eventually went separate ways. Later, she and her Colombian born sister, adopted by the stepfather, grew up with two half-brothers in NE PA, but she moved back to Philadelphia for high school and a BFA from Tyler School of Art and the Philadelphia College of Art (aka University of the Arts).
In Phila., after college, she was introduced to catering, tailoring and ballroom dressmaking, and creating props for a non-profit theater group, until she decided to continue studying sculpture and venture to brave it in wild California! Prior to the move, a couple trips to her father’s family in Bogotá and a small village where the family seemed to have lived for generations, provided more unresolved questions. Keeping ties to this part of her family became more important and continues to be, although at this point, with deceased parents, the ties are more like a loosely tangled tornado of threads.
In SF, she began exhibiting her work around the Bay Area, and received an MFA in Sculpture with a Distinguished Graduate Award. Her work with sets, props and backdrops for plays and entertainers had a significant influence in terms of scale of her work in the 80’s and 90’s. After the birth of her son, her studio spaces were smaller, and coupled with full time work in public schools, so did her artwork become scaled down. Never stopping her studio practice, she became more influenced by her son, students, workplace drama, an inundation of information, and people’s connections and interactions with ideas, concepts and each other, mixed with an inundation of news and information.
She maintains a studio in SF exhibiting her work (when accepted) in the Bay Area and nationally. When not making art (besides work), she gardens, cooks, and makes handmade books.