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The beauty of the Earth touches my soul

The earth that I step on when I walk, the one I see in its nature or when a flower buds, the one I touch and caress day to day, the one my ancestors planted, the one in which we all share our love, the one destroyed with horrors, the one full of blood from wars, the one melting minute to minute, the one that moves and roars with violence, the one approaching the sun searching for its warmth, the one that calmly and inevitably awaits its end, or the one whose brightness brings us joy every day, the one that is a small celestial body in an enormous galaxy……that is what inspires me: the earth, its struggles and tribulations.

I crystallize in a canvas through my colors the fruits that she spawns, the immensity of its power, and the impotence and indifferences of humanity. This is my struggle, to reach the eyes, souls, minds and hearts of many, and try to prolong the life of my BELOVED AND BEAUTIFUL EARTH.

Born September 15, 1964 in Medellín, Colombia. She is the second of six children from the marriage of Alberto Escobar and Consuelo Villegas de Escobar.

Her first discoveries of color and form happened during her childhood when she excelled over her peers at drawing. At Our Lady of Lourdes High School her professor of Lineal Drawing realized her aptitude during a drawing contest where Manena was awarded first prize.

This young artist at 14 years old, stood out for her manual abilities and drawing skills.

Noticing her abilities, one of her uncles took her to the studio of Maestro Antonio Herrera where this young woman learned different techniques, such as acrylic, oil, and pastels. Even though she was the youngest student of the Maestro she stood out for her discipline, perseverance, and the love she devoted to her art work. With this group she had collective exhibitions at different places in Medellin like Simeza and the JH Art Studio.

In 1982 she began her studies at the Colegio Mayor of Antioquia as an Architectural and Engineering Drafter. Here this young lady established her knowledge of color theory, charcoal pencil drawing, gouache, watercolor, and pointillism. This is where through her Art History studies she discovered a very important affinity with the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The works of this Master inspired a style all her own between surrealist and contemporary.

While continuing her studies as a Drafter she excelled in Perspective and Color which she proudly thanks her Professor and Architect Augusto Maestre. He became her mentor and  eventually asked her to be his assistant teacher in the Architecture faculty at the National University of Medellín.

During this time Manena married her first husband, with whom she had three children. A few years later she got divorced and that made the artist go into an artistic recession. She dedicated herself exclusively to her children to provide what was needed for her family; tirelessly working she became an entrepreneur.

Nevertheless, through these difficult times she entered the school of Projectual Design to study Fashion Design. Another aspect in her love of art flourished putting together her previously acquired knowledge with the study of anatomy in figure drawing, and the creativity of designing.

In 2002 she moved to Bogota, Colombia where besides working on her own enterprise, she made a sequence of miniature paintings of the different places that she has traveled.

In 2005 she married Eric Elvira, son of the Maestro and Musician Rafael Elvira. She moved to Miami, Florida, and with the unconditional support of her husband she starts making important works. She studied art at the Miami Dade College, and started traveling to different museums and galleries around the nation and becoming known as an artist.

The work of Manena praises the fertility and sensuality of life. It is the representation of the voluptuous and the sensual in a perfect mix of lively colors and forms.

She is an excellent drawer and a vibrant painter that moves you with her art work.

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"The pictorial work of Manena, Maria Elena Elvira, is pure nature alive."

The handling of color, the tenuous shadows, and her subtle figures make her paintings a gift to the observer.
 
The green in her leaves with perfect details, the stylized anthurios with a touch of femininity, her fruits with surreal forms, and the crystalline waters in a serene sea are the complements to her effort to achieve an art in tune with the times.

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