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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


Giovanna Delacruz, Suelo estable/Stable Ground, 2021

Giovanna Delacruz, Suelo estable/Stable Ground, 2021


Suelo estable/Stable Ground

The inspiration for the picture came after my recent trip to the Dominican Republic. Every time I go home, I have a list of goodies that I must bring back. This time it was a Muñeca Limé (Dominican Faceless Doll) to replace the one that broke. The inevitable breaking of these traditional dolls is a phenomenon that seems to happen in every Dominican household.

The dolls are a symbol of the Dominican Republic as they signify the mix of cultures and races (Tainos, Africans, Europeans) that resulted from colonization. They are characteristically colorful and have unfinished faces, which leaves room for every Dominican to see themselves represented. Break lines have also become part of their character, telling a story of when they were bumped and dropped by children who were having too much fun. That’s what happened to mine.

At first, I wanted to replace my broken doll, but I decided to repair it and let the break lines tell the story. I’m sure my kids will appreciate that. Before I repaired it, I wanted to capture the doll in its broken state, along with the new doll, as a reminder that there is beauty in brokenness.

When I was brainstorming the composition, I spotted the book “Clap When You Land” by Elizabeth Acevedo on my bookshelf. I had not read the book yet so it was just meant to be a prop, with the only link being it was by a Dominican author. I read the book shortly afterwards and created the picture for Breaking Barriers. My favorite quote from the book, “I hunger for stable ground, somewhere else,” is a representation of the immigrant experience of hoping for a better life. The image quickly became a very intimate representation of my identity and experience as a Dominican immigrant.



Giovanna Delacruz, Homework Comes First, Unfinished Delight, 2021

Giovanna Delacruz, Homework Comes First, Unfinished Delight, 2021

Giovanna Delacruz, Waiting on the Bubbles to Settle, 2021

Giovanna Delacruz, Waiting on the Bubbles to Settle, 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.