Dena is a process-oriented mixed media artist who explores the narrative potential of found and repurposed objects. Her childhood fascination with building houses from books led her to pursue a career in architecture, where she developed an interest in how spaces affect the people within them, as well as “the way people come together as a process to build a community.” Dena’s art integrates her interest in the textural understanding of objects and her background in architecture. Dena holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree with an emphasis in adaptive reuse from Woodbury University in Burbank, California. Along with collage, her work includes oil painting, wood working and product design.
Currently, Dena works as the Product & Merchandise Senior Manager at the Downtown Women’s Center, located in the heart of Los Angeles’s Skid Row. Dena oversees a unique vocational education program that empowers homeless and formerly homeless women to create handmade products for sale at the Center’s social enterprise café and gift boutique. Along with collaborating with local designers and activists to lead product design workshops, Dena works directly with the women of the Downtown Women’s Center to break down social barriers, increase self-esteem and re-engage with the Los Angeles community.
Dena is one of the participants is the British Council's Cultural Exchange International programme.