September 22, 2016-JEREMY MULFORD Digital Editor in Chief
Art inspires truly great things. It can lift us from the depths of hell or cast us down from the heavens. Gabby Ledesma 34, is a special needs art student who has a passion for her craft. Ledesma hails from the Mojave Desert area and is now part of the Disabilities Students Programs and Services (DSPS) here on campus. She came to the North County area to be closer to her mother who is also a student here. Ledesma is not ordinary by any means. She is an International artist who is influenced by modern artist Andy Warhol. Ledesma has installation pieces displayed at the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork County Republic of Ireland.
Crawford College of Art and Design, just inland from Ireland’s southwest coast, hosts a program that is building on the success of their 2013 Art of Inclusion Exhibition. Ledesma was a featured artist in this exhibition. This year they are celebrating their previous success by hosting the Perceptions exhibit, which remembers the past and looks toward the future. So, once again Ledesma’s installations are on display in Cork Ireland.
This year’s Art of Inclusion Exhibition celebrates special needs artists working in all different mediums. It opens the door to artists who normally would never have been given the opportunity to cultivate their talents. Ledesma is thrilled with her art being displayed in the Crawford College exhibition again. “I saw a couple people on Instagram taking selfies in front of my pieces,” said Ledesma about keeping tabs on the show this week’s via social media.
Before coming to Oceanside, Ledesma was involved in Claraty Arts, a day program in Santa Cruz, California that’s geared towards adults with developmental disabilities. Claraty’s program puts the focus on taking those thought to be in a perpetual learning state, and putting them in a position of teachers and leaders to those who are new to the program.
Along with Warhol, she accredits Vincent Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keefe as inspirations for her art. She exudes a light and confidence within herself, and has a purpose moving forward with her arts and education here at the college. “I don’t care. I’m proud of myself,” said Ledesma when asked if she minded a photograph. As she should be, she is an international artist and another MiraCosta College success story.