Grand Island, NE
Alena Freeman was born in 1971 while her parents were on a road trip from California to Nebraska. Her mother went into labor in the Grand Canyon and barely made it to the hospital in Cortez, Colorado in time. This, Alena jokes, is why she has such a wandering, restless spirit. As a “military brat” she grew up on Marine Corps bases all over the US, spending most of her childhood in southern California, near the ocean. She holds a the bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She spent most of the past two decades in the Chicagoland area and recently relocated back to Nebraska to be closer to family.
One of Alena’s fondest memories is quilting with her mother and great grandmother. She comes from a long line of crafters and do-it-yourselfers, whose examples of ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness filled her with inspiration. Her first love has always been art and as a child she was obsessed with drawing unicorns and dragons (she still is). Long before Alena dared to call herself an artist, someone else had. Mrs. Scott, her third grade teacher made her the “official classroom decorator”. This beloved teacher also paid for Alena to attend a summer art program, and encouraged her parents to support her art development. Over the years her creative pursuits have included sewing and pattern drafting, drawing, painting, jewelry-making, creative writing, singing, and playing the violin.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been the greatest challenge and biggest blessing in Alena’s life. Art in various forms provided a way to cope during difficult circumstances and provided a healing path from the pain. This gave her the courage to pick up a paint brush, and life would never be the same! Her studio provides a comfortable, engaging and health-promoting environment from which she feels enabled to meet the ever-changing adventures of life... and make beautiful art. Alena’s colorful, playful, dynamic work stands in stark contrast to her life experiences and offer a glimpse of the transformative power of creativity. Art enriches. It communicates. It heals. Alena hopes that by sharing her artwork and her story that she may bring a bit of beauty, joy, and hope to the world around her.