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The only child of Ramon and Julia Camargo, Elena was born into a family of diverse artistic talent on May 2,1942 in San Fernando, CA. Elena’s maternal great-grandmother, Julia Steelman Nichols, was a scientist, a published poet, songwriter, and a noted artist.  She and her husband, Dr. W. T. Nichols, of Glendale, CA, were patrons of the arts and held many art exhibitions in their home in the 1920's and 30's. Among their many artists friends was the now renowned Early California Plein Air painter, Granville Redmond [1871-1935.] Elena’s grandfather, silent film actor Hosea Steelman, was production assistant to famed movie director, C.B. DeMille. Elena's uncle. Henery Steelman, was stunt double for Mary Pickford, and her mother, Julia, was a noted pioneer Hollywood stuntwoman. It was through the family friendship with DeMille and the legendary silent screen star, Charlie Chaplain, that the Steelman family became lifelong friends with DeMille and deaf artist, Granville Redmond, who coached Chaplain in pantomime. One of Elena’s earliest childhood memories is that of drifting off to sleep while gazing at an oil painting of the sea by Redmond.
 
In 1963 Elena tried her hand at oil painting. However, for various domestic reasons she retired her brushes for nearly forty years. Elena began painting again in 2002, and with the encouragement of her husband, Dr. William Kern, she opened Four Corners Fine Art Gallery in Idyllwild, California, in 2003...and there among  the pines and babbling brook she found her heart where it had always been...in painting.

Elena's motto is: "It's never too late to become what you might have been..."

 " The highest tribute paid to an artist is the reflection of man's noblest work...to inspire."

                                   Granville Redmond
Elena has since relocated her gallery, Elena @ The DVAC, to Hemet as part of the Diamond Valley Arts Council.
Among Elena’s many awards is The Art Alliance of Idyllwild's Artist of the Year for 2005 and 2006, and twenty four first place ribbons.

Elena was also nominated for Senator  Morrell’s 2015 Women of Distinction in recognition of  her community involvement with the Diamond Valley Arts Council and the revitalization of downtown Hemet.

She lives in Hemet, California with her husband, Dr. Bill, and their Scottish Fold cat, Piper...who "helps" her paint!
Hours of Operation
Wednesday - Saturday
11:00am - 5:00pm
123 N. Harvard St.
Hemet, Ca. 92543
          
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