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Dayana Leon was born in Mexico in 1991. Only a few months later, she migrated to California with her family where her father, an artist, influenced her to experiment with multiple art mediums early on. When she wasn’t busy being a kid or riding her bike, she devoted her time to making art. Motivated to pursue her dream and to earn an art degree, Dayana transferred to Sonoma State University from Santa Rosa Junior College in 2012. She received her BFA in Painting, with distinction, from Sonoma State University in 2015.

Dayana’s figurative work observes an addicting world of enhancement and exploration during an identity crisis. Her subjects exploit the exaggerated beauty attempts or trends both young and mature women obsess on. She encourages a dialogue about the unrealistic standards of beauty and the pressures that follow. While her paintings confront the physical changes some women go through to fit in, she interprets her own personal and psychological experiences of cultural assimilation through metaphors and the lenses of her subjects.

Determined to help students recognize their full potential, she currently shares her passion for art and higher education with youth and adults throughout Sonoma County. She works with the Imagine Bus Project providing incarcerated youth the opportunity to better explore their identities through art expression. Additionally, she works with inspiring ESL students at the Santa Rosa Junior College Southwest Center in areas of admission and assessment. Recently, she worked with the Museums of Sonoma County to provide art education to 5th and 6th grade classrooms through the Art4Kids Youth Education Program. Gaining great experience, Dayana has successfully managed to balance her art making and exploration with educating and plans to continue this trend.

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