Carmen Mary Leon Biography

Carmen Mary Leon




Carmen Mary León was born in San Francisco of Mexican and Peruvian descent. on June 19,1940. As a young adult she fulfilled a dream to live in France where she studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975 and a fifth year degree in painting in 1976. During that time she was involved with the Academia del Arte Chicano de Atzlan, painting some of the first murals in Watsonville. For 15 years starting in 1980, she worked as a bilingual volunteer for Hospice. In 1985, she began teaching art in the schools for Spectra, the Cultural Council’s arts in education program, focusing her involvement with the Latino community in South County. She was also one of the co-founders of Galeria Tonantzin in San Juan Bautista, CA. which was a venue for women’s art. In 2003, Carmen was the recipient of the Calabash Award as visual artist of the year in ethnic arts, acknowledging her work in the community as a painter and teacher over the past 30 years. She lives in Northern California where she continues to do painting and sculpture.