The top five artists in each category were given awards in the 7th Annual Leaves & Petals 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 7th Annual Leaves & Petals Exhibition page for contact information.
Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.
Best in Show (Traditional) – Steve Kavalec - "Two Pots" – oil
Steve was born in Spalding, Nebraska, in 1960. His career in art started when he landed his first commercial art job shortly after high school. Deciding to hone his skills in his chosen craft, he applied and was accepted to the Art Institute of Seattle. After completing his degree in Visual Communications, he moved back to his childhood home of Ft. Collins, Colorado. He spent the next twelve years working in various forms of Graphic Design and Print Media.
Always wanting to improve his skills, Steve found himself back in school at the Colorado Institute of Art where he received a degree in graphic design and graduated 1st in his class. He was soon designing web sites and applications. Over the next several years, Steve found that his true passion was exploring and experimenting in the field of fine art. Steve began studying oil painting at the Art Students League of Denver. The League was a good fit. It enabled Steve to quickly learn many techniques from both teaching-artists and students. With the constructive feedback, Steve’s painting skills quickly grew. One of his favorite sayings is, “I always learn something about art from everyone, whether they are an artist or not.”
Steve is currently living in Fort Collins, Colorado. He has been in several regional shows in Colorado and New Mexico. His artwork can be seen at https://www.stevekavalec.com/.
Painting enables me to see and tell colorful and interesting stories. It allows me to take ordinary moments in time, filter them through my consciousness and create wonderful and unexpected images. I was born with a creative sole wanting to express itself. As long as I can remember, the creative process has always been magical to me. I paint for myself. When I paint; there are no thoughts, there are all my thoughts. There is just the painting process, my muse, and my inner child.
Best in Show (Photography & Digital) - Dave Lee - “Kissed by the Sun" – digital art
Dave Lee is a digital artist who creates artwork, using the latest computers and graphics software available on the market today. As a lifelong resident of Indiana, he has been creating art since his early years in Indianapolis.
As Dave experimented with various art-creation mediums over the years and enrolled in various art classes, he struggled to find a style and medium that would enhance his natural art abilities. His attempts to paint with watercolors, acrylics and oils ended with unprofessional work and unsatisfying results.
In the early 1990’s, he purchased his first personal computer to use in graphic design work. This was at a time when virtually no one owned a personal computer. Over the years, as his skills improved, Dave realized that today’s computers and software were the perfect tools for him to use as the new “brush and canvas” combination for digital art creation. With more than 23 years of computer experience, he uses these components to create popular, digital artwork with qualities that far surpass the art he created long ago.
Currently, Dave is inspired to create his digital art based mostly on nature, rural scenes and architecture, and he continues to experiment with different subjects and styles. Today, art creation is Dave's passion and he feels blessed to have considerable time to devote to his artistic efforts.
Dave’s work can be seen on his website.
Best in Show (3 Dimensional) - Victor Oriecuia - "Sacro Fiore" – carrara marble, bardiglio marble, iron
Victor Oriecuia, a Kingston Ontario stone sculptor with 20 years’ experience, is passionate about pursuing and preserving old-world sculpting traditions. Victor’s hand carved sculptures push the perceptions and limitations of marble, onyx, and other hard stones. He is drawn to the intimate nature and devotion required to render sculptures, and the unlimited potential of natural stone. Victor’s exquisite sculptures engage viewers with an art form that has remained virtually unchanged throughout human history.
Victor’s work can be seen at www.artistsincanada.com/oriecuia
2nd Place (Traditional) – Pamm Iannazzo - “The Dark Side of Sunny" – pastel
Pamm has 35 years of art and framing experience as a designer and gallery and frame store owner beginning in Minnesota and ending in Colorado. After attaining a degree in studio art, she went to work for the burgeoning Art Resources Gallery/Twin City Picture Framing and after a few years she and her husband moved to the Boulder Colorado area looking for other opportunities.
Pamm worked at the Boulder Great Frame Up for several years and then opened her own shop in Longmont Colorado. She concurrently began to paint again exploring pastel as one of her favorite mediums and then later oil painting. After a workshop at Ghost Ranch with Chuck Ceraso, instructor at the Denver Art Museum, student of Henry Hensche and his approach of “Color Seeing”, she continued to study with him for a number years. Concurrently she and her husband purchased The Great Frame Up in Boulder and began a journey of promotion of local artists and local art groups.
Pamm and her husband moved to the foothills of the Rockies in 2009 which serves as much of the inspiration for her landscapes and florals. She takes the opportunity to paint in plein air when possible and truly enjoys the ever-evolving process discovery and insight.
Pam’s website is http://iannazzofineart.com
2nd Place (Photography & Digital) - Daniel Horowitz - "Water Lily" – photography
I make images in and around Washington, DC, the Chesapeake, and the northeastern United States, striving for unusual views of the urban scenes, monuments, and natural landscapes that make the area unique.
My training in photography is from the Art League School, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Capital Photography Center. My photographs have appeared in the Alexandria Times, the Zebra, the Naval Historical Society magazine, and exhibits of the Alexandria Black History Museum, the Alexandria Athenaeum, and the Alexandria Art League Gallery. Recently in May 2021 the Art League gave my image of the MLK Memorial at night its "Best in Show" award. Juror Mary Proenza, art professor and writer for Art in America, called the image "immediately gripping" and "a truly powerful work."
In September 2021, Honoring the Future, a nonprofit using art to engage the public on climate change, awarded my image "Flower Power" the Art Optimism Award; Director Fran Dubrowski called the image "a simple, elegant expression of our need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. That dazzling sun, juxtaposed with the dark bars of an electric transmission tower, is eye-catching! It sends an unmistakably clear message about the potential for solar power-- no interpretive signage needed."
Daniel’s website is www.danielhorowitz.art
2nd Place (3 Dimensional) - Jacki Cohen - "Celebrate" – glass
Color. Vibrancy. Bold design. Translating the world into glass ignites my soul and fuels my spirit. Whether it’s a crimson sunset, the cover of Vogue, or a fresh sprig of mint in a celebratory Mojito, my passion is in transforming everyday objects into innovative glass designs through sensory observation, imagination and meticulous technique.
“I’ve played in many visual media. Fused glass is the single art form that allows me unbridled creative expression.”
I love life. I wake up every morning at 5am to exercise. Whether I’m in the gym training or hiking the majestic Arizona mountains, pushing my body to perform is part of my process. As an artist, my outlook informs my approach to my work. Building physical strength, flexibility, and balance enables me to feel the power of nature and translate that vitality into glass. Plus, so many of my greatest designs are inspired by nature!
Art enriches the soul and brings light to everyone. I’ve always been impassioned to spread that luminosity through my connections to family, friends, and community. When someone relates to my vibrant outlook on life, I want them to be able to carry that energy and joy into their own home, office, or share it with friends and family.
My custom work allows me to design pieces based on a client’s unique take on the world. We can work within a specific color palette and design style to create one-of-a-kind pieces, wall hangings, installations or functional decor elements that reflect one’s individual personality and spirit. I am a juried artist in the Sonoran Arts League and the Arizona Artists Guild.
Jacki’s website is www.jackicohenglassartdesigns.com
3rd Place (Traditional) – Zhao Jing - “Flower Language" – watercolor on paper
Chinese artist, Zhao Jing is a master of urban design and associate professor. He loves watercolor, freehand flowers and birds. His work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally.
Zhao Jing can be reached at his email.
3rd Place (Photography & Digital) - Stacy Harder - "Magnolia Sunset" – digital photography
I have always been interested in art as a hobby, and recently picked up my camera and paint brushes again. As I gaze upon God’s creation, I see beauty in the patterns and colors that He has created. I prefer a more abstract approach to photographing nature, looking for the beauty in the details and not necessarily the big picture.
With painting, I use the same approach. While I do like to paint a lovely landscape, a more abstract perspective is what I get excited about. Finding the patterns and “brush strokes” in nature to create something eye-catching brings me joy.
Although I have been an amateur photographer/painter for several years, I am stepping up to work as an artist full time. Currently, I am based out of North Carolina, and enjoy hiking and camping to take photographs and find inspiration.
Stacy can be reached via her email.
3rd Place (3 Dimensional) - Diana Fernández Vásquez - "Golden Flower" – metallic, fiberglass sculpture
It is for me to recognize what can be unearthed: to reveal what magnificence of light and colors of form discover the sensuality that lies within. With a courage gained through experience, I can break into these alabaster stones, revealing their secrets subdued, cloaked in the dusts of our Planet evolution, which is why I love stone sculpture.
And my bronze and iron sculptures are also 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 develop cosmic visions and nature elements is to create new visions of outer space and Nature with inner material, that is why in fiberglass I developed Red Moons and many other possibilities and much more that sculpturally merge with color and shape in a different way of my other sculptures in alabaster, bronze and iron which also represent the universal experiences that surround us.
Diana’s website is www.dianafernandez.art
4th Place (Traditional) – Cher Pruys - “Cone Flower" – acrylic
Although self-taught, her dedication and talent has seen her work juried into 161 International exhibits, as well as exhibits in numerous non juried shows. She has 162 awards for her work in the International Juried Exhibits. Her work has graced the covers of 3 books, 26 magazines, the latest being The Best Of Acrylic Fall 2021, and has-been featured in over 106 international publications. Cher's works have found a permanent home in private and public collections worldwide.
Cher’s website is www.artbycher.ca
4th Place (Photography & Digital) - Cindy Charles - “Burst of Orange" – digital photography
While obtaining her degree, she enrolled in some art classes, which ultimately paved the way to her artistic journey. Immersed in diverse cultures and the joie de vivre of her city, inspiration came quickly in her of exploration of painting and photography. Although, loving these mediums, none captured her passion more than the power of digital art.
After enrolling in a Photo Artistry course in 2017, she soon realised that this would be a life altering experience artistically and creatively. Developing this skill would ultimately lead to exhibits and sales of her art. Photo Artistry encompasses her favourite mediums and allows her to create without abandon, thus pushing her photography to a new level. Her digitally painted, bold, vibrant colours and strategically overlapping images and textures in her architecture and surreal images, are recurring themes in her art work.
Her art has been in many issues of the magazine Living the Photo Artistic Life, where she was recently honoured as the featured artist.
Cindy’s website is http://cindycharlesphotoart.com
4th Place (3 Dimensional) - Hannah Fraser - "Summer Leaves" – plaster
Hannah's art is inspired by nature and uses locally grown garden and wild flowers. Hannah works part time as a Registered Nurse in oncology and established her small business 'Floral Sweeties' in 2019 as a creative outlet. Since then, Floral Sweeties has expanded to offer a wide range of unique art decor, and jewelry using real flowers.
Floral Sweeties art is created using clay, plaster, natural pigment, and handpicked locally grown flowers. Flowers are uniquely imprinted into clay in order to create plaster relief.
Floral Sweeties can be seen on www.floralsweeties.com and on Instagram @floralsweeties.
5th Place (Traditional) – Bhawna Seth - “Himalayan Poppy” – oil
Throughout my life I have been enamored by natural beauty around me, which has inspired my work. I feel most content and relaxed in nature surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, or listening to the ocean waves. My art has given me more peace and hope during recent trying times.
I primarily create using the oil medium on canvas, but I love experimenting using acrylic on canvas and glass surfaces as well. I would describe my style as realistic and someone who loves vibrant colors.
Currently, I work at my home studio and enjoy painting from the colorful compositions in photos I have taken while traveling or get inspired by other works of art.
Bhawna’s website is www.artbybhawnaseth.com
5th Place (Photography & Digital) - Rhonda C R Burton - "Saucer Magnolia3" – photography
My current work represents the elements of nature that inspire me. Formerly a painter, I am using a camera as my current medium of choice. My photographs are printed on a cold press fine art paper and often hand embellished with color pencil and at times rice paper. Color, flowing line, texture and repetition of pattern have always intrigued me. Color is emotion, and my intention is to capture the strength and grace of the nature around us and to highlight the beauty we pass each day.
After dealing with and overcoming a serious illness several years ago, I found I needed a place to restore and heal. Being in the garden reminded me of my grandfather and it was calming, peaceful and restorative. I found a great sense of balance at the intersection of art and the garden. This is what influences my artistic vision and the lens through which I see the world.
Rhonda’s website is http://rhondaburtonart.com
5th Place (3 Dimensional) - Suzie Sullivan - "Summer's Farewell" – polymer clay
Suzie Sullivan a mixed media artist with a constant need to create and experiment. For many years she has been better known as a textile artist working with wool and fibre, but in 2019 she changed direction and started working with polymer clay. This new material has opened-up a whole new world of texture and creativity.
Her work represents a unique vision of a fantasy world of nature, capturing extravagant forms, colours and patterns derived from the natural world we live in.
This latest body of work is titled ‘Oddpods’. These whimsical and otherworldly polymer clay sculptures are intended to evoke dreams and the desire to escape to a world of one’s own making. The sculptures are made with a wire armature built up with layers of polymer clay and embellished with unique colour blends and complex polymer clay cane work, there is no paint applied to these artworks.
Suzie’s website is www.derryauncrafts.com
Fusion Art, LLC
Santa Fe, NM