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Cuban-born Kingston teen gets one step closer to her artistic dream with Visual Paradise Exhibit

Click to play video: 'Alejandra Laria-Aleaga gets one step closer to her artistic dream.' Alejandra Laria-Aleaga gets one step closer to her artistic dream.
Alejandra Larie-Aleaga is one of the young and upcoming artists being featured at this year's Visual Paradise Art Exhibit hosted by the Limestone School Board – Jan 19, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Alejandra Larie-Aleaga is one of the young and upcoming artists featured at Visual Paradise Exhibit hosted by the Limestone School Board.

Larie-Aleaga says she’s “always been a fan of Disney and Dreamworks and those big companies, just being able to create something has fascinated me.”

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Larie-Aleaga didn’t have it easy — she didn’t always have the opportunities that an artist needs.

She was born in Cuba and she migrated to Canada with her family 10 years ago.

Larie-Aleaga found her interest in art when she was a young girl, and at that young age, she realized that she would not get the opportunities she needed to be an artist in Cuba.

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“Most of the people that do art [in Cuba] are more like vendors, on the street, in narrow sort of alleys,” says Larie-Aleaga.

She considers herself very fortunate to be in Canada and to have platforms like Visual Paradise where she can showcase her art.

Event organizer and art teacher Karen Peperkorn says, “This is an opportunity for them [students] to experience what it is to create a gallery, run a gallery, greet the public, do public relations, do publicity. Do all those great things that help you be successful as a professional.”

READ MORE: Here comes the ‘art bus’: Kingston students create a ‘gallery on wheels’

The Visual Paradise art exhibit has been running for 28 years and this year’s exhibit features artwork from 30 different participants.

Larie-Aleaga and her peer artists realize that they are in a very competitive and tough industry that requires passion, hard work and drive.

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Larie-Aleaga excels at science and math and can take up any career path, but she wants a shot at her dream.

“I really want to make this dream a reality one day,” says Larie-Aleaga.

The Visual Paradise exhibit continues until Jan. 28.

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