3rd Annual Women Artists Art Exhibition Winning Artists

The top five artists in each category were given awards in the 3rd Annual Women Artists international online art exhibition.  Below are the biographies and/or artist’s statements along with the artist’s websites or emails.

To contact these artists directly for purchase inquiries or to see more of their work, please visit the 3rd Annual Women Artists Exhibition page for contact information.

Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.

Best in Show (Traditional) – Cher Pruys – “The Artist” – acrylic

Cher Pruys was born in Regina. Over the years she lived in many places including Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Fort Frances, settling into her present home in Devlin, on the banks of the Rainy River with her husband Mark, 4 dogs and 2 cats.

By age three, Cher was seldom found without a drawing tool in hand. She worked in pencil, charcoal and ink over the years, until, she picked up a paintbrush at the age of 35. Beginning with oil paints, she found her chosen mediums in acrylic, water color and gouache.

Although self taught, her dedication and talent has seen her work juried into 99 International exhibits, as well as exhibits in numerous non juried shows. She has won 75 awards for her work at the International Juried Exhibits. Included in these awards, the first recipient of a major Canadian National Award, The Mary Pratt Crystal Award of Excellence at the 2014 SCA Open Juried Exhibition, The SCA 1st place award of distinction twice respectively, 2016, and 2017 at The Canada’s 150 show. The Gold Medal recipient for Figurative Painting in The Mondial Art Academia’s International 2018 Competition. The Aviation Week & Space Technology Award Best of the Best, and the ASAA Award of Distinction for the best painting in the ASAA International Space & Technology Exhibit & Competition, consecutively for 2 years. She has had 14 solo exhibits. Cher is also an avid fused glass artist, and a certified teacher of piano and guitar.

Her painting “The Bubble” had the honour of being part of the Masterworks from The International Guild of Realism Tour. She Was Elected to the American Society of Aviation Artists as an artist member in 1996, and eventually Was elected as a Foreign Affiliate Artist Fellow, one of only two Canadians receive this honour. Her work has graced the covers of 3 books, 14 magazines, and has-been featured in over 50 international publications. Cher’s works have found a permanent home in private and public collections worldwide.

Cher’s artistic style can be described as Realism with a hint of Abstract in her latest works.

To see more of Cher’s work, please visit her website.

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) - Roxy McHaffey - "Into the Light Cave" – digital photo manipulation

My work focuses on creating alternate representations of reality using photography as the source material. I take photographs whose sense of space is already ambiguous and create a new reality through digital manipulation. I turn the photograph into a digital pallet, and use the original source material to construct a new image, world, or reality that blurs the lines between photography, painting and collage.

To see more of Roxy’s work, please visit her website.

Best in Show (3 Dimensional) - Diana Fernández – “Bloom” – bronze sculpture

Biography: Diana Fernandez is a recognized Guatemalan sculptor with 290 national and international exhibitions and 20 solo shows. The International Sculpture Center said she revitalizes alabaster with a contemporary language. She received the National School of Arts Unique Sculptor Award and the Guatemala Biennial Honorable Mention also the Tribute to her Sculptural Work by FUNSILEC, 2016.

Also awarded with the Goya Award at the Barcelona Biennial in Spain and the Caravaggio International Award Experience in Rome, Italy. Additionally her sculptures appeared in the Euroairport Mega Screen in Basel, Switzerland. Curator Vittorio Sgarbi recognized her with the Milan International Art Award.

In 2018 she participated in ARTROOMS London successfully and in Art projects New York.

Artist Statement: My bronze sculptures are a summary for the concept of art responsibility because are very durable, able to withstand the elements for many years when properly prepared. Finally, the ability to use corrosive materials to create a patina allows to create a vibrant coating, because bronze is an incredibly important historical art medium for sustainable sculpture.

To see more of Diana’s work, please visit her website.

2nd Place (Traditional) – Kait Schoeb - "Yeah It's That Good" – oil on canvas

Contemporary realist and pop-art expressionist, Kait Schoeb is nationally known for her painting skill in both acrylic and oil. Proud former Pittsburgh Native, Kait now loves and calls the Pacific Northwest her home. While many of her works are created in a hyper-realistic style, Kait captures whimsical and surreal elements within each of her paintings. Her work has been exhibited in cities around the United States, including a solo show at in Chicago’s Art District. Painting since 2008, Kait has won numerous national and international awards, including the Congressional Award for art.

Working in both large- and small-scale paintings, her art is sought after by private and corporate collectors. Kait has been commissioned for works of all kinds including portraits of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as creating the Hall of Fame portraits for The University of Pittsburgh where they hang on display at the Petersen Event Center.

To see more of Kait’s work, please visit her website.

2nd Place (Photography & Digital) - Esther Byrt - "Tail Feathers" – digital

Esther fell in love with art as soon as she was able to hold a crayon. As a child she whiled away many hours colouring or drawing comic book characters. Like many adults, family and job obligations derailed her art pursuits for a number of years and Esther trained as a computer technician and ran a computer repair business.

When time allowed she experimented with sketching in various mediums and later ventured into oil, acrylic and watercolour painting. Ah, but when she discovered digital art she finally found the niche she loves. Now she has the means to use her passion for photography and art together and the techniques to combine them into her vision.

Esther draws inspiration from everything around her. She is constantly searching the landscape for a great picture and staring at strangers thinking they would make a great model. She also loves to read science fiction and fantasy and finds many imagined scenes spark her creativity.

To see more of Esther’s work, please visit her website.

2nd Place (3 Dimensional) - Ani Mollereau – “Mother Nature” – bronze on bog oak

Biography: Ani Mollereau, born in Dublin, is a wife and mother of 4 children. She is a sculptor and has exhibited extensively and won broad acceptance from the arts world and many prizes for her work, including the Oireachtas sculpture prize. Her materials are bronze, silver and bog oak, and her techniques cover an extensive range from the rock strength of Giacometti and Henry Moore, to a delicacy born of a feminism that transcends gender to communicate on a spiritual level.

From the maternal power of bronze pieces to the mixture of earthiness and spirituality found in the bog oak and silver collection entitled “Women in Celtic mythology”, to the extraordinary jewellery collection entitled “Life’s secrets”.

She has a great love of horses and animals and she has an affinity with them, which she expresses through her art. The power and delicacy of the artist’s work tells us with certainty there is much, much more to life than mundane existence. This is the purpose of art.

Artist Statement: With my sculptures, my aim is to inspire people who see my work to look more carefully at the world around them to discover beauty at a glance through their, tactile and visual simplicity and I want to challenge the spectators imagination. Through my sculpture I free my Spirit that is within and tell my story but I also want the viewer to be inspired to see their story too that is my motivation to create. My inspiration is life and the world around me, the visible and the invisible, expressing emotion, imagination, identity, story , life force and nature. As I work the clay I get immersed in the energy of creation and we grow together. My art is my life.

To see more of Ani’s work, please visit her website.

3rd Place (Traditional) – Natalia Ayas Bezuglova – “Polar Bears” – soft pastels

Natalia Ayas Bezuglova is a 29 years old Russian painter born and raised in Murmansk, currently living and working in Prague, Czech Republic. Since childhood, spending plenty of time in the village outdoors, Natalia admired the beauty of nature, especially she was fascinated by various animals and flowers. Painting them was and still is her favourite pastime.

Primarily self-taught, Natalia has completed painting and drawing courses at several on-line and local art schools being supported by talented and remarkable painters. Regularly participating in art workshops and learning from foreign and local artists, Natalia broadens her skill set and develops her own unique style.

Having experience exploring and experimenting with a variety of art materials and techniques Natalia found soft pastels to be the medium she wants to perfect herself in. Rich, pure pigments of soft pastel allow color vibration and visual mixing – qualities difficult to capture with other mediums. In this way, animals and flowers appeared to be the ideal objects to depict with this flexible material.

Using pastel Natalia creates detailed, realistic and at the same time soft and airy work, inspired by the beauty of nature and light. Showing the fragility and delicacy of the flowers’ petals, softness and texture of animals’ fur.

Trying to maintain realism while leaving a space for viewer’s imagination. Natalia’s paintings reside in private collections across Russia, Turkey, Czech Republic and USA. Also, she has produced numerous commissioned works of art.

To see more of Natalia’s work, please email her directly.

3rd Place (Photography & Digital) - Mariana Blinova – "The Female Prohibitions" – photography

I’m contemporary mobile photography. It is important for me to live in art every day, every minute. I hold my Mobile phone always in my hand. Sometimes it becomes a natural extension of our hand. It is a tool of "instant creativity". I emotionally reflect and photograph my impressions from the moment. I also create photos in which my presence changes the point of reality. Modern technologies expand that opportunities. For example, gives the opportunity to be in several guises at the same time. I am an idea author, model and photographer at the same time. Thus, the photo becomes three-dimensional.

While most of people want to change the world, I try to understand it. For me, making Art is a universal tool for that. You can do everything using Art as a instrument: travel, explore the world, engage in dialogue with people, express yourself, release emotions and work with the energies of space. I like to express myself through color, texture and shapes on the canvases.

I have visited about 40 countries, over 300 cities, many extraordinary corners of our land. My work is reflection of traveling to the most amazing places on the planet. I share with the viewer an instant impression of our Earth’s beauty. Studied painting at the studio of Viktor Trotsenko, a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine. Was born in 1988 in Kyiv. Life credo: Art is a great journey.

To see more of Mariana’s work, please visit her website.

3rd Place (3 Dimensional) - Jill Miyabara – “The Drifter” – clay

Biography:  Jill Miyabara has always been captivated by the movement and the stillness a figure can create. But it wasn’t until she took a sculpture class taught by Robert Copskey did she truly develop her interest in working with the figure in clay. She graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art, with a BA in Animation, and then went to train academically at the Florence Academy of Art in drawing and sculpting.

Artist Statement:  In my work I feel like I'm still in the beginning stages of understanding and appreciating what’s in front of me. What does it mean to really look at the subject, to see an individual in all its totality?

For me the whole experience of working with a live model, the daily interaction and cultivating a bond between the model and the artist, has helped the ongoing quest to capture a person’s essence. I want to acknowledge who these people are by listening to their personal experience of how they see the world and how the world views them.

My work is a collaboration of my own interpretation of the model and how the model views themselves.

To see more of Jill’s work, please email her directly.

4th Place (Traditional) – Yildiz Grodowski – “Reconciliation” – acrylic mixed media

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey Yildiz Grodowski resides in USA and combines both cultures in her art. She is an abstract expressionist, painting with acrylic and watercolor. Dancing and painting are her passion. “Places and relationships inspire me. In my art materials are not as important as are the ideas and the expressions! And the interpretation of those ideas” she says.

Yildiz holds an BFA & MFA from the State Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, an MS from Boston University, and a Certificate Degree from NH Institute of Art.

She is a member of multiple Art Assiciations. Her work is exhibited in solo and group shows, and collected both nationally and internationally.

To see more of Yildiz’s work, please visit her website.

4th Place (Photography & Digital) - Shelley Benjamin - "Nocturne" – digital photography

Shelley Benjamin, a resident of southeast Florida, is an award winning digital artist. She has been published in “Living the Photo Artistic Life”, Somerset Digital Studio and “Awake Photography magazines. Her work has received Best in Show, and top 10 in the “Fusion Art” online gallery and top 10, Honorable, Mention and Special Merit in the Light Space and Time Gallery. She has exhibited in group shows at the Louvre, the Cornell Museum, and Grounds for Sculpture.

She received a BS in Textile Design from Cornell University. After a career as a textile designer and weaver, she became interested in mixed media, and ultimately, photography. Ms. Benjamin’s experimentation and involvement with digital photography began after she purchased her first DSLR camera. During the learning process, she joined an international group of digital artists. With the advanced training she was able to develop her skills, which has allowed her to transform her images to reflect her vision. The inspiration from the group opened up the possibilities of taking photos into a new realm.

She is motivated by the art she sees in museums and galleries. From the time she was young she has always been an avid museum visitor. Her background in weaving exposed her to the art of fine crafts and the masters in those fields.

Shelley uses her photos as the foundation for a digital painterly approach, utilizing modern technology to enhance and transform the original image. Drawing upon her textile design background, she imparts a tactile feeling to her work. She is inspired by color, reflections, light, the changing seasons, nature and architectural elements.

Shelley is always searching for extraordinary visual imagery in very ordinary environments. Ms. Benjamin states that her goal is to share the beauty around her and impart the uplifting feelings to the viewer that are the source of her inspiration.

To see more of Shelley’s work, please visit her website.

4th Place (3 Dimensional) - Latana – “Hands of Time” – marble sculpture

Latana is a multi media artist working with photography, sculpting, drawing. painting and digital processes. She has traveled, studied and exhibited in Switzerland, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and the Pacific Rim. She began her career in fashion photography and continued to expand her craft while traveling the world, capturing images in India, Southeast Asia, China, Armenia, and Siberia.

She has authored three books; "Fragments", a conceptual collection of images of an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Italy. "The Phukthar Monastery” which benefit children and the monks of the monastery and "Barely Exposed" which explores the visual realm of sixty young adults, geographically and ethnically diverse in background, united through this unique series of intimate portraits.

Latana’s latest work unites photography and sculpture, creating unique works that cross traditional boundaries. Her use of strong contrast and emotionally charged imagery seeks to ignite a sense of passion and mystery for the viewer.

“My art deals with self-expression. I capture an instant in time and hold on to it until I find a way to transform it to fit my private world. It is a way to hold on to the passage of time and control it. I can hold on to my loved ones, linger in quiet spaces and cling to life a bit longer.”

To see more of Latana’s work, please visit her website.

5th Place (Traditional) – Lillianne Ruiz – “Catching Time” – acrylic and oil on canvas

Lillianne Ruiz Truque is a visual artist from Costa Rica and the United States. For Lillianne, art is a record of a moment in time, a reflection of our world from different perspectives and an expression of oneself. Her work is an anachronistic game where she explores different art mediums through different moments in time. Her technique consists of going back and forth between tangible painted works and digital collages. She creates digital collages, that are then hand drawn and painted on canvas. Through this process, Lillianne combines both traditional and contemporary techniques to take the best from each and create a world very much her own.

Her desire is that her work enhance the duality of life and interdependence of our world through an eclectic mix of appropriations, moments and concepts. Many of her works are dream landscapes created in acrylic and / or oil on canvas.

Lillianne confronts the real world through the imaginary, where the beauty of nature is combined with the beauty of interconnected life - reflecting our world and interdependence. Despite our own individual realities, she would rather focus on life’s more positive aspects. So even when the theme she wants to address is a current challenge our world is facing, she will address it by focusing on its positive opposite, or at the very least, will find a way to communicate the subject matter with a hint of hope.

Lillianne has participated in numerous solo and group exhibits throughout Costa Rica, the United States and other international venues as her collectors continue to grow domestically and abroad. She is an ACAV (Asociación Costarricense de Artistas Visuales) active Member, and was part of its board between 2012-2013. Participating with the first art work created for her Happiness project, Lillianne was among the 42 artists selected for the 2019 Salón Nacional Biennal in the National Art Museum, San José, Costa Rica. Also noteworthy is her representation of Costa Rica in "Art All Night DC" with her solo exhibition "The Duality of Dreams" in the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington DC (2016).

Today, Lillianne (Lilly) lives and works in Escazú, a small sunny tropical town in Costa Rica with her husband, her son and the beautiful mountains around them. Drawing upon these inspirational surroundings, memories and dreams, Lilly continues to explore and follow which ever path it leads her.

To see more of Lillianne’s work, please visit her website.

5th Place (Photography & Digital) - Barbara Mierau-Klein - "Teal and Green Bamboos" – digitally enhanced photography

Barbara Mierau-Klein is a digital artist recognized for her multi-layered, imaginative and colorful fine art images. A native of Germany, Barbara lives in the Washington, D.C. area but often travels the world as a passionate landscape and nature photographer since her teenage years.

Much of Barbara’s work is highly stylized and focuses on beautiful moments and evocative moods across a wide range of subjects. The inspiration for her images comes from many sources, often her own nature photography, but also books, song lyrics, movies, and works of other artists, old masters as well as contemporary digital artists.

Barbara’s work has been exhibited in a number of galleries in the US and Europe and has received numerous awards. Her images also appear regularly in international art magazines. Barbara is represented locally by Waverly Street Gallery in Bethesda, MD.

To see more of Barbara’s work, please visit her website.

5th Place (3 Dimensional) - Cathy Engel-Marder – “Daddy Plays the Blues” – mixed media

Cathy Engel-Marder creates assemblage objects and mixed media images. Her work is about pulling dreams into reality and remaining playful in a stressful contemporary environment. She begins each piece with a general concept--a line from a song, an image from a dream--and lets the shapes and textures on her workbench guide her from there. She sees building structure from the inherently random as a universal challenge, one that can only be met through curiosity, humor and the willingness to take risks.

Engel-Marder's original dream was to become a playwright. After years of designing costumes and sets for the stage, she managed to turn out a single script--a children's musical titled "The Trouble with Being a Frog." It was produced in 1981 by the Los Angeles Museum of Craft and Folk Art and won the 1982 University of Southern California President's Award for Student Achievement.

Engel-Marder has earned two masters degrees, which led her first to a career as a Spanish interpreter in the Los Angeles County criminal courts and later as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In her second career, while providing therapy to families affected by violence and trauma, she developed an interest in the relationship between art and healing. She regularly incorporated art-as-process into her work with abuse survivors and others struggling to express themselves in words.

She has lived in Spain and has a particular fondness for Barcelona and the people of Catalonia. Now retired, she lives in Los Angeles and devotes her time to travel (except during pandemics) and mixed-media sculpture.

To see more of Cathy’s work, please email her directly.

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