University of South Florida home page

USF Main Links: A-Z Index | Campus Directory | Calendars | Search

USF Home > College of The Arts > Institute for Research in Art

Breaking Barriers logo




Still in Motion Home  //  Leslie Elsasser - Introduction  //  Selina Roman - Mind Currents  //  Christian Cortes

Roxi Cato - US Army  //  Wildalys Class - US Air Force  //  Agustin Collazo Jr. - US Navy and Marine Corps  //  Michael Congdon - US Army  //  Giovanna Delacruz - US Air Force  //  Amanda Dodd - US Army  //  Dawn S. Hargrett - US Navy  //  Evan Fountain - US Air Force  //  Mark Freeman - US Army  //  Robert Kidney - US Coast Guard  //  Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps  //  Alicia Morales - US Army  //  RaeAnne Swanson - US Air Force

James Alexander - US Air Force  //  Wildalys Class - US Air Force  //  Dwight English - US Army  //  Loretta Fields - US Army  //  Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps  //  Matias - US Marine Corps


Alicia Morales, Mom’s Soup, 2021

Alicia Morales, Mom’s Soup, 2021


Mom's Soup

Like my mother, I was born in Puerto Rico. I brought the soup terrine to Florida, and it is the only object I have from my mother. This terrine was dear to my mother. She had it for sixty or seventy years, all my life. My mother served soup in the terrine but only for special occasions. She wouldn’t allow anyone to serve themselves, she would serve them lest the terrine might get broken. 

Despite her small size, my mother had a strong personality. She was very smart although she only completed the eighth grade. She was incredible in mathematics, needing no paper for complex addition or subtraction, she could visualize the computations inside her head. My mother worked as a hospital nutritionist for many years and later owned her own lottery franchises. 

We were poor but never lacked necessities. There were seven of us kids, four girls and three boys. My mother was a great mother, a leader, a wonderful cook, and she raised all the kids by herself. She was both our mother and our father. 

Mom’s Soup was inspired by seventeenth century Dutch still life paintings and created during the Breaking Barriers workshop as a tribute to my mother. Many of the ingredients for the soup such as calabaza and platanos are native to the island. This was my mother’s recipe. Yet, the still life is also a family portrait. Of course, there is a picture of my mother and the terrine. But each of the ingredients embodies characteristics of my brothers and sisters. Whether they were picante with red hair or shy like the hidden layers of the cabbage, we all belong in the same terrine, raised by our mother with care and love.



Alicia Morales, Hidden Life, 2021

Alicia Morales, Hidden Life, 2021

Alicia Morales, WaterIce, 2021

Alicia Morales, WaterIce, 2021



For more information:
Email Leslie Elsasser at

Breaking Barriers is a project by USFCAM in collaboration with the USF School of Art and Art History, with Support from the USF Office of Veterans Success, Community Arts Impact Grant Program of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Love IV Lawrence 2020 Waves of Change Grant, and additional support from the ACE Arts for Community Engagement Fund and the Florida Department of State.