AUBURN — Jelisa Hamilton is the featured artist for June in the Gritty’s Art and Ale window.

Growing up in the Midwest, her grandparents, Anne and Leonard Snyder, taught her everything about art, nature, literature and music, and she was encouraged to pursue her dreams to become an artist.

Jelisa Hamilton is Gritty’s Art and Ale window featured artist for June.

Hamilton was born with a condition that has affected her vision, causing her to lose her sight over time. Knowing that eventually she would become blind, Hamilton became determined to continue her journey as an artist. At this time she has 2-4″ of sight remaining.

She states,”It’s a combination of taking the shapes and colors of the object I’m trying to see or hearing a description of the item. Thinking back to objects I am familiar with from my past to determine what I’m looking at.” When asked what the world looks like now she laughed and said, “Well, it’s beautiful, it’s blurry but so colorful! Most days, I would describe it like trying to see through a very old rain covered window with patches of black and white fog everywhere, it’s mainly just colors and shapes”

In 2002, Hamilton met the love of her life, Arden Stephens. She learned about the art of origami through Stephens. She began creating flowers and animals and created Moxie Origami Designs in 2010, a small art business which has allowed her to create pieces for clients around the world. In 2016, Arden and Jelisa relocated to Maine.

Pottery and ceramics are one of Hamilton’s favorite mediums from her childhood and she hopes to eventually open her own studio and gallery. Until then, she spends her time focusing on origami art and acrylic painting.

Several of Hamilton’s paintings have been featured in Lewiston Auburn Art Walk, Tree Street Youth’s “I am Tree” event, the Wicked Illustrations Studio and Gallery Summer Show “A Walk in the Garden,” UMVA’s For the Love of Art Event and Fuel the Arts Tattoo and Art Expo, for which she received second place in the 2018 gallery contest.

The Gritty’s Art and Ale window is curated by the Union of Maine Visual Artists LA Chapter. To purchase work or to exhibit, email [email protected]