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Linda Leshay was born and raised in Queens, New York.  Her family originated in eastern Europe of Ashkenazi descent.  Her parents grew up in the Bronx, met at CCNY, and were both teachers that traveled widely during their summer vacations.  Growing up, Leshay was intrigued by how I was able to use paint, paper and pencils to tell a story.  Art created an outlet for her to express her emotions as she quietly observed how people expressed themselves and related to one another.   Linda studied fashion design, illustration and fine art at Pratt Institute.


Rafael Guadalupe was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in New York City.  Due to neglect and poverty, Rafael and his siblings were placed in orphanages.  From age seven to twenty-one, Rafael lived in an Catholic orphanage, group home and foster home.  The impressive church filled with stained-glass icons, sculpture, relief carvings, and classical music left an indelible mark on Rafael.   Rafael attended an academic Catholic school and a vocational school which have both influenced his interests in belief systems, crafts and design.


Leshay went to Pratt Institute where she met Rafael and through his family was exposed to enormous diversity and sharp contrast in socio-economic terms. They have  a son Julian, who is a photojournalist who travels and photographs social issues.   Their daughter Gabrielle is enrolled at NYU for a Masters of Arts in psychology and mental health counseling. Linda and Rafael have been married for 35 years.  

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