There’s a most unusual art show and exhibit in Santa Rosa on Sunday, July 18, and if you drop by I’ll bet you’ll be happy you did.

The exhibit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  at the private gallery of Jack Leissring, the former owner of Santa Rosa’s McDonald Mansion, will feature the art of a young woman who survived a horrendous childhood and now brings beauty to the world.

Maria de Los Angeles Cornejo is 21 and a standout graduate of SRJC and the ArtQuest program at Santa Rosa High. Her parents brought her and her siblings here from Mexico when she was 10.

The family’s life in California has been no fairy tale. After years of tumult, Maria’s father has gone off to nobody knows where and Maria’s mother and several of her siblings are living in a homeless shelter.

Maria has done so well academically and artistically that she has received a partial scholarship to Brooklyn’s esteemed Pratt Institute of art. She needs to raise a substantial amount of tuition money on her own, and she’s doing that by painting and drawing for hours a day and offering her art for sale at reasonable prices.

If you’d like to see her work, and Leissring’s impressive collection and gallery, drop by Sunday at 622 Davis Street, a bit north of Railroad Square.