Here are the final semi-finalist bios. We look forward to announcing the finalists, from among the talented 20, in the near future. In the meantime read up on Marguerite de Messiere & Tsvetomir Naydenov, O’Neil Scott, Tyler Fuqua & Jason Hutchinson, Matthew Geller, Steve Seigel, Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein, Joshua Sarantitis & Athena Steen, Robert Goodman
Marguerite de Messière & Tsvetomir Naydenov– “Inner Charge (Birds)”
Marguerite de Messieres is a painter whose subjects consist mainly of landscapes and portraiture. She has a BA in Art from Wesleyan University and studied art conservation and museology at Studio Arts College International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. Additionally she studied the art of woodcarving at National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria. de Messieres is highly involved with the Hyattstown Mill Arts Project and Naydenov creates unique furniture and sculpture out of his studio in Boyds, Maryland.
O’Neil Scott– “On The Horizon”
O’Neil Scott was born in Jamaica, but now calls Pennsylvania home. He is a self taught painter who creates amazingly realistic portraits. Scott’s paintings usually make a political statement or feature a subject from a minority group. Scott’s portraits have been best in show or finalists in a number of competitions in recent years.
Tyler Fuqua & Jason Hutchinson– “Mechan 11”
Established in 2007, Tyler FuQua Creations (TFC) builds amazing things out of their studio in the Portland Oregon area. Founder Tyler FuQua and his business partner Jason Hutchinson, along with their crew, create psychedelic sculptures, suits, stage sets, and much more. They have been featured in a number of popular museums, fairs, and music festivals across the country.
Matthew Geller– “Copper Cooper Crossing”
Matthew Geller graduated from Connecticut College with a BA and University of Delaware with his MFA. Over the course of his career he has changed the focus of his art from traditional sculpture to video work capturing his own public installations. These installations, both permanent and temporary, always combine the outdoor environment and industrial infrastructure to create works that have been described as ‘urban earthworks’ and ‘industrial baroque settees.’ He published multiple books and has exhibited his work across the country.
Steve Seigel– “Debris”
Born in 1953, Steven Siegel is an American born artist who is well known for his sculptures made from recycled materials. Siegel graduated from Hampshire College and received his MFA from Pratt Institute. Then in 1983 he found the inspiration for much of his art in the rock formations in Scotland. Much of his sculptures copy the aesthetic of the rocks’ shapes and forms. A majority of Siegel’s sculptures make a statement on humans impact on nature. When Siegel looks at the amount of waste that humans create, he considers it to be a “new geology,” hence the naming of his first sculptures made from newspapers.
Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein– “The Phoenix Festival”
Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein have worked together as The Myth Makers for over ten years, installing large public art pieces across the nation. Donna Dodson graduated from Wellesley College where she further developed her passion for Egyptian art and her pre-med studies. She has been creating art through wood carving for almost twenty years. The overarching themes of her work a strongly grounded in “feminine beauty, humor, grace, power, and emotional strength.” Over the years she has held multiple, international residencies and held two solo shows. The second of the shows, Zodiac, has since toured at the Fuller Craft Museum in MA and the Noyer Art Museum in NJ. While her works range in size from intimate to monolithic, she is now engaging the public with her statement pieces.
Joshua Sarantitis & Athena Steen–“Touching the Earth”
Joshua Sarantitis has been creating murals and city gardens throughout the United States for over 20 years. His monumental artwork can be found in many major metropolitan areas, such as San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia. These public installations make a statement on our communities everyday lives and the art surrounding them. Much of his projects incorporate hands on learning experiences for the local communities.
Joshua Sarantitis and Athena Steen hopes that their art can speak to a wide audience. Based in Arizona, Steen focuses on promoting cross cultural experiences and preserves traditional adobe style buildings. Her team has installed clay plaster works internationally and work domestically to educate the public about natural building and handicrafts.