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Elizabeth Barreto was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. In 2005, she began undergraduate studies at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico in San Juan, the country’s public and most prestigious academy of arts. By June 2010 she received her BFA title in visual arts majoring in painting. Influenced by the local street art and Puerto Rico's popular culture, Barreto specializes her bachelor's degree thesis in the proliferation of new forms of muralism in the community of Puerta de Tierra in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Barreto often questions herself about the roles of being an artist in today’s society and this is presented through her artwork. Her professional experience as an art educator promoting art as a learning tool has allowed the artist to design cultural experiences for her students. Working with children and teenagers from under privileged communities in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic has given the artist the opportunity to explore and reflect on their individual and social values and the necessities that they endure. The results of this research turns into the necessity to create an imagery of the artist's relations with individual and collective struggles of the Puerto Rican society in the midst of a social economical crisis.

Artist’s inspirations mostly come from the cultural encounters and the shared experiences between her and the communities she has worked with. Also the collaborative work with other local artists.

My work’s content has a direct relation with self-empowerment, self-study. My self-experience is always the starting point for creation. In a micro perspective, the story is about my egos, but in a macro perspective is partially a reflection about the history of a colony.
— Elizabeth Barreto Ortiz