Tampa To New York Via India

Congratulations to USF’s Leslie Elsasser, a graduate student in the College of Fine Arts. She recently left for a year in India as a Fulbright Fellowship grantee. She is USF’s first College of Fine Arts student to earn the prestigious grant.

Elsasser, a native of New Jersey who grew up in New York, is already an accomplished artist, with numerous exhibitions of oil paintings and drawings to her credit. She will work with miniatures in India. Her works will specifically depict women through the lens of Hindu mythology. The lion’s share of her time will be spent at Banaras Hindu University near New Delhi.

Next year she returns to USF to defend her thesis. She plans a “Women Series” exhibition for her master’s thesis show.

Then she looks for opportunities to be a teacher and an artist — in New York. But it’s nothing against the Tampa art scene, she insists.

“There are some absolutely fabulous artists here,” she said. “And a lot of bright, artistic minds like Paul Wilborn. I go to New York all the time — to Chelsea and Queens and Williamsburg — and come back and I’m impressed with what’s here. The cultural awareness is not as sophisticated, but it can be. But the art being made there is no better than here.

“But it’s too hot here, and I don’t like to drive,” she explained. “I like the subway.”

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