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Elizabeth_Hilton     @elizahilt on Instagram
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About Elizabeth_Hilton

I was born in West Boise back when it wasn’t quite suburban sprawl. There was the irregularly interspersed neighborhood among the more frequent farmland and dusty dirt roads. Plum and locust trees converged on the many ditches and canals which bisected the ground it their particularly man made way, all straight lines and right angles. The neighborhood kids and I would build forts in these dark forests. We were always sure to bring supplies, which usually included; one jar of peanut butter, a bag of chocolate chips, some saltines and one ratty old quilt that would soon smell of mold. We left home at breakfast and didn’t come back until dinner, in the summer anyway.

Across the street from my elementary school was an old bar, I forget the name, but its’ neon lights were on when I got off the bus to go to school in the morning. There were also abandoned farm houses scattered here and there across the fields, tattered curtains still hanging in the window and a rusty box spring collapsing in the corner. During the long bus ride through Meridian and then back to Boise I was able to become very familiar with the fading area. My favorite was an old white church with a broken window, just large enough to squeeze through. Inside, all the pews were pushed together in the center of the room and there was a large water stain on the ceiling that I thought I could almost see Jesus in. Along the sides of the one big room were benches piled with crates and boxes full of “a lot of old stuff�. One day I decided to take home a rusty antique cherry pitter, my mother made me take it back.

Throughout my life I will sometimes get these whiffs of nostalgia. I can smell the mold and feel the wet grass under the blanket. I can see stains on a blue striped mattress and touch the springs sticking out in rusty spirals. I keep imaging the story told in the descent into abandonment, the people that lived there and then left. With painting I can go back there. I love to find that crazy old wallpaper or fixture (something my mom won’t make me return) and use those things to create something new. Then for me these paintings are both, the past and the present. 

I received my BFA from Boise State University with an emphasis in painting. I specialize in oils, and mixed media such as vintage wallpaper, paper, old wood and pieces of vintage scrap. My style is definitely process oriented, I love to start with some surface texture and go from there. I also like to build my work around old objects or even old images. From there it can become more modern and architectural, or sometimes very nostalgic. Who knows! 

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