Elizabeth Sanjuan was born in Hollywood, Florida of Cuban immigrant parents. Following a 21-year career with American Airlines, she retired in 2015 to devote herself full-time to her photography and to the support of young artists from around the world. An avid traveler, she has visited nearly 100 countries on 6 continents. She is not stopping anytime soon.
Elizabeth has been photographing for over 30 years, during which time she has exhibited and sold her work at galleries in ten states and two countries and has studied with renowned photographers like Arthur Meyerson, Sam Abell, and JP Caponigro. She was a prominent art gallery owner in Florida for over 5 years and continues to collect and sell art from both emerging and known artists through her company, Gallery 2014 LLC. Elizabeth is a champion fighter for women’s rights and environmental issues, and regularly takes on those who would infringe on the integrity and beauty of the natural world.
When Elizabeth is not traveling, she is at home focusing on her long-term projects, such as Self Revealed, a journey of discovery for women to define beauty on their terms. Recuerdos de mi Abuela explores the culture, heritage and influence of her strong matriarchal grandmother, who shaped the woman she is today. Small: Journeys to Places Left Behind is an in-depth look at the rise and fall of small-town America, where global social and economic forces have had widely different impacts on these very small communities. Hokkaido: Land of the Ainu, chronicles her three visits to Japan’s northernmost island in search of the secret to the peace, beauty, strength and resilience of one of the harshest winter environments on the planet. She was also co-founder of Girl Noticed, a nationwide mural project to highlight and notice local girls and women that is now successfully continuing under the leadership of artist Lori Pratico.
Elizabeth and her husband created the Sanjuan-Brown Hollywood Arts Foundation in 2013, a charitable corporation, to own and operate Gallery 2014 in Hollywood, Florida. The purpose of the foundation and its non-profit gallery were to foster global understanding through the arts, and to advance opportunities in art for emerging artists, particularly women. Over a period of five years, the gallery and foundation supported dozens of local artists and provided scholarships and funding for local students and arts organizations. In addition, Elizabeth served on advisory boards for several local charities and community arts organizations in south Florida.
For many years, Elizabeth also chaired the annual gala for Hispanic Unity, a 501(c) 3 organization devoted to assisting immigrants assimilate in the United States. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Elizabeth was a major funder for Hispanic Unity’s childhood care and language education programs. Elizabeth and her husband are also major investors in Immigrant Food, a Washington, DC-based restaurant group that combines a menu inspired by immigrant recipes while also advocating, educating, and celebrating the importance of immigrants to the United States’ cultural diversity and economic well-being.
Elizabeth Sanjuan’s passion is to celebrate the vast mosaic of people, lands, and cultures that the world offers; and to record, as faithfully as she can, the incredible panorama of color, pattern, and energy that bombards the receptive eye. Photographing people gives her the opportunity to observe, but she believes that the lens intensifies her ability to truly understand. Elizabeth wants to explore the world’s incredible variety of women of all ages, races and sexual orientation; believing that we are much the same regardless of the physical characteristics that seem to make us unique. She is constantly reminded that even though people live worlds apart, we are truly all the same. Our hopes, dreams, loves and losses are all captured in our faces. The camera provides objective proof of our commonality.