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. They grew up in PA, but she moved back to Philadelphia for high school and a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art (aka University of the Arts).
After college, she was introduced to catering, tailoring and ballroom dance costume dressmaking, and creating props for a non-profit theater groups until she decided to continue studying sculpture and venture to California! Prior to the move, a couple trips to her father’s family in Bogotá and a small village where the family had lived for generations, provided many unresolved questions. Keeping ties to this part of her family became more important and continues to be, although both parents deceased, the ties are more like tangled whirls 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 influenced by raising her son, art students, workplace drama, and the inundation of constant information, connections and interactions with the world around.
She still maintains a small studio in SF exhibiting her work in the Bay Area and nationally. When not making art, she tutors students with learning differences, teaches art, gardens, and makes handmade books.