Ali Calienes is an artist who devotes her talents painting and writing. She came to California at a young age as a refugee from Cuba, and never forgot who she was and where she came from. To paint her storeis, Ali uses pictures and postcards of her beloved San Jose del Lago, the resort in Cuba where she lived as a child.
The Revolution of 1959, altered Ali’s life forever. Two years after a new communist regime was established, she was sent out of the country by her parents on the Peter Pan flights. She was placed with a family in Modesto, California and lived with an Irish American family. Her two younger brothers were placed in an orphanage and her older brother stayed with relatives until her parents came and reunited with all of the siblings a year later and took residence in Los Angeles California.
She graduated from California State University of Fullerton with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in Art.. After her graduation from Fullerton, she immediately went to work for Mountain View School as a teacher at an elementary and middle school for the next thirty years. After ten years of teaching she obtained a Masters degree in School Administration.
During her years of teaching, Ali was trained by Paul Getty Museum in discipline based art for the classroom. She became the school art Teacher of Parkview Elementary School and conducted an art fair every year, displaying Student Art work. Ali also started an after school program in Theater Arts. She wrote and adapted Broadway plays for the Program which culminated in an all school musical at the end of the school year and won the Bravo Award Teacher of the Year of Southern California.
Throughout her life Ali demonstrated her talent in the arts beginning with ballet at an early age. Later she learned piano at the conservatory of music at a French Canadian boarding school, where she started attending at age eight. During her high school years Ali attended Alhambra High School in Los Angeles, California and took theater arts and performed in the school play. She also took up flamenco dancing and performed in the company of Juan Talavera. Today Ali dances salsa in most clubs of Los Angeles and Miami. She has produced and acted in several shorts, “The Lady with the Magic Wand”, “Domino”, and “The Three Bilinguals.”
She currently resides in Toluca Lake, California and Miami, Florida. She is a member of the Peter Pan Group of Southern California. While in Miami, she attends the University of Miami and is involved in ICCAS, the Institute of Culture of Cubans and Cuban Americans.
She uses her brush to paint in oil her pictures. Creativity, love and peace are within us. Art is the expression we use on a canvas that will make us aware of what we have and who we are. Ali finds inner fulfillment in seeking those special moments from her past.

About Ali Calienes Berrayarza