Leslie Lopez, known as “DIME” born and raised in Oakland CA, and 4th generation artist in her family began painting murals on the walls of East Oakland at the age of 10, and tagging graffiti when she was 12. She now uses that technique to create beautiful yet powerful public art. Her self taught work bridges graffiti and fine arts -as a muralist, painter, print-maker, designer and educator. Well known for her funky graffiti letters and beautiful fierce characters that blossom beyond a canvas -Dime has exhibited her work in galleries, museums, apparel, print and fashion. Her inspiration comes from her surroundings, her neighborhood, and the beautiful resistance and stories of the people -where she continues to bring her art, style, and big heart to many low income and struggling communities – she organizes large projects and free events with her husband to give back and uplift the block. Dime, began her path as an educator and mentor while still attending High School. She was only 16 when she began to assist teaching art at other schools- bringing her art teachings to continuation schools, after school programs, University workshops, and youth re-entry schools. Later she went on to develop her own curriculum that focused on the empowerment of young teen girls through visual art – called SHE’Rose- which she taught at many Middle and High Schools. Dime, is a founding member of Few and Far Women. A member of BSK Bomb Squad Kingz and part of the collective core of EastSide Arts Alliance- where she developed her commitment and love for serving the people. She has worked collaboratively with artist and communities from all over the globe using all different mediums- including og print-makers and artist like Emory Douglas, Juan Fuentes, Malaquias Montoya, Rupert Garcia, Jesús Barraza, and Xochitl Nevel Guerrero. Some of her collaborations are painted with youth and are seen in walls all around the city and beyond, reaching an intergenerational audience.
Currently, she is the Visual Arts Director of EastSide Arts Alliance, where she curates shows, coordinates visual arts classes and brings art opportunities & programing to youth. Dime, is a natural storyteller that has a passion for using art to heal, build and empower communities of color!