Lesli Englert, 32, is a study in contrasts. Although this tall and wispy blonde painter from South Dakota exudes friendliness and small-town charm, she's created colorfully perverse and sharply rendered surreal paintings filled with almost carnivalesque fantastic realism, anthropomorphized animals, and tragic characters boasting huge kewpie-doll-like heads and soft features. These comically twisted works have been inspired by everything from childhood traumas to supernatural talk radio. After bouncing between Portland and Phoenix over the past decade, Englert settled at The Longhouse, a possibly haunted former home for troubled teens near Roosevelt Row, which she shares with her photographer boyfriend Matt Yazzie and fellow painter Christina Ramirez. While these cruel-yet-cute visions have paid the bills, Englert's been experimenting with more abstract styles for an upcoming show at... More >>>