Art therapist: Meet 15-year-old Lexie of Art for the Heart


For the second year, students at Maricopa High School are hosting Art for the Heart, Maricopa’s community art festival selling creations to benefit the American Heart Association. Displaying her art and helping organize the event is Assistant Director Lexie Nordhoff, a 15-year-old student-artist working with graphic design teacher Maria Pour.

Raven Figueroa at the inaugural Art for the Heart in 2019.

What: Art for the Heart Fine Arts & Crafts Festival
When: Feb. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Copper Sky Lake, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Info: 520-568-8100, ext. 4136,


Lexie Nordhoff. Photo by Brady Stamps


The daughter of Teri and Steve Nordhoff, she has lived in Maricopa since she was 5 years old. Through her art, she also explores human psychology, but she has displayed other skills as well. Two years ago, she was the MUSD Spelling Bee champion, and she is on the MHS swim team.

What to know about Lexie Nordhoff

Residence: The Villages
School: Maricopa High School
Year in school: Sophomore

How did you first learn you had an artistic talent?
When I lived in Indiana, my parents owned a pottery store, and I began painting pottery at a young age. This was the beginning of my artistic career. I loved the smells and tactile experience of painting ceramics. My parents always supported my artistic endeavors. As I grew older, I moved away from painting the various bisque structures to painting on canvas.

What is your favorite medium?
Watercolor. I enjoy the freedom and ease of the medium, even when I make a mistake with watercolor, I can incorporate it into the piece. The medium is often difficult to manipulate, which has made me become a stronger artist than I was without it.

What is your favorite genre?
I appreciate surrealism; it allows me to remove myself from my preconceived notions of art and escape from reality.

Describe your favorite piece of art.
One of my favorite pieces is rather strange. It is a Monet piece titled “Pheasants and Plovers.” What I enjoy about this piece is it’s wispy and ethereal; it draws you in and captivates the audience with its peculiarity.

With which of your own works are you most pleased?
My favorite piece that I created is a surrealistic/pop-art portrait of a girl with a hand coming out of her mouth. It is titled “Pink Ladies,” which is a street term for barbiturates, which are highly addictive sedatives. This is a part of my sustained investigation based on indulgence. My work has explored many types of indulgences from gluttony, materialism, infatuation, abuse, cosmetic alterations and even celebrity culture and the negative effects that come with fame. The hand coming out of her mouth represents the struggles being masked by drug abuse.

Outside of art, what are your hobbies/interests?
Leadership, which I pursue with the MHS Graphic Design CTSO, being their vice president, and community services, which I accomplish as being the assistant director of the Art for the Heart Festival.

What do you plan to do with art as an adult?
I would like to pursue my passion for psychology. Art therapy is an avenue I want to explore. Art is a reflection of one’s psyche, the internal toil, happiness and things that we keep from others. That’s what a therapist helps others with.

This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.