Sunrises & Sunsets Art Exhibition Winning Artists – March 15, 2020 – June 14, 2020

The top five artists in each category were given awards in the Sunrises & Sunsets international online art exhibition.  Below are the biographies and/or artist’s statements along with the artist’s websites or emails.

Please visit the Sunrises & Sunsets Art Exhibition Page and contact the artists directly for purchase inquiries or to see more of their work.

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


Best in Show

Rob Buntin

“My art is a modern exploration of classical oil on canvas. Colors layered and woven in deliberate brush strokes deliver a physiological smack to the brain, while light captured across matter and air serve to draw in and calm. I seek out cityscapes and landscapes at dusk and dawn to capture the light at its richest and most interesting moments. I am heavily influenced by the impressionist masters Monet and Signac, but I deviate from the impressionists in the deliberate nature of my work, and significant time attributed to each painting. Hours of planning color, form, and layers are followed by computer renderings, and then sketches and color studies. Every step of the process teases my mind with what is to come, until the final product stares back at me and soothes my soul in the way that I seek to give others.”

Rob Buntin is an American artist raised in the southern United States where his passion for art was apparent at a young age. His skills progressed as he initiated the first advanced placement art classes in his high school and presented perfect scores. Buntin went on to study at Furman University, in Greenville, South Carolina, where his exposure to Olof Sorensen’s love for color spawned a new dimension of artistic exploration. Despite Buntin’s focus on art, he also studied computer science, a combination of propensities that persists in his painting methodology today.

In 2006 Buntin married former Furman classmate, Nicole Judd, who shares an intense appreciation for art. Their house is plastered with paintings by their 10 year old, Marley, and their seven year old, Truus.

Buntin’s work exposes a passion for color and an intimate study of light, where landscapes and cityscapes are arresting in both color and concept. Thirty years of painting has taken him throughout the United States and Europe. His artworks have been featured in magazines and newspapers, and reside in galleries, restaurants, medical schools, government buildings, and private collections around the world. He can be found today in his studio in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

If you are interested in seeing more of Rob’s work, please visit his website.


Best in Show
(Digital & Photography)
Dennis Maida

I first became interested in photography back in 2007 as a means to cope after my deployment to Iraq. I have found myself finding peace and a centering each time I pick up the camera to expose the world to what it is that I see through the lens. Although I lean heavily towards landscape and astrophotography, I do dabble with portraitures. My work has won awards, used in social media by news organizations. Most recently, Nikon USA recognized one of my photos by showcasing it on their social media pages (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) and I was the winner of the 2019 New Jersey Monthly cover contest. I have now taken this passion for photography to start a not-for-profit called The F/22 Project, a means to help veterans with PTSD seek healing through photography.

Please visit Dennis’ website if you are interested in seeing more of his work.



2nd Place)

Laurie Elizabeth McKinley

Fine artist and humanitarian Laurie Elizabeth McKinley has dedicated her life to observing, documenting, and participating in the human experience. She has traveled the globe her entire life, compelled to observe and photograph the stories of vanishing cultures with compassion and humanity. She translates these increasingly rare images onto canvas, so that she might share them with the world and hopefully inspire change to protect diversity and the environment.

Laurie Elizabeth paints in all genres, especially enjoying en plein air in villages throughout the world and capturing that very special “first feeling” — the mystery of the moment, the chi, the magic.

Laurie Elizabeth encourages all to see the imbalances and injustices in the world and be a voice for awareness and change. She wants humanity to see the disappearing cultures, traditions, and heritages of the world. She believes the artist’s duty is to see the beauty in all humans and in Mother Nature.

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


2nd Place
(Digital & Photography)
Elena Chukhlebova

I am California based Professional Photographer and Certified Interior Decorator. My specialization is Photo in Interior – Personalized Photo Home Decor and Home Accents. Now I am working on my stills for to exhibit and be published.

Please visit Elena’s website if you are interested in seeing more of her work.






3rd Place

Lessa Clayton

When I started painting as a teenager, my rush to complete a painting quickly led to my use of acrylic paints. But as I grew older and more patient, I switched to oil painting. I wanted to experiment with the use of glazes. It is a time consuming process to wait for each layer to dry before going over it again, and again. But I love the richness of the colors and the depth they have.

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





3rd Place
(Digital & Photography)
Ulrike Unterbruner

Ulrike Unterbruner (born in 1953) is an enthusiastic amateur photographer living in Salzburg, Austria. Seeing the world through a camera has always fascinated her. At the age of 10, she got her first camera from her father, an amateur photographer, and was sometimes allowed to watch him in his darkroom. She can still remember the magic moment when the white paper suddenly turned into a photo. So photography also became one of her hobbies. But with the amount of new possibilities offered by the digital photography and Adobe Photoshop, the hobby became a passion. She finds her motives everywhere but has a strong relation to nature – flowers and trees, animals, landscapes, water, from the raindrop to the wave, … Not only portraying them in an aesthetic way, but to capture their spirit is challenge and enjoyment for her. Since 2017 she is a member of the Salzburger Fotoklub (

Please visit Ulrike’s website if you are interested in seeing more of her work.


4th Place

Nancy Price

Nancy Price’s paintings are meant to be a visual vacation from the stresses of everyday life. They are meant to capture the essence and mood of a scene rather than a detailed mirror image. Although painting has been an important part of Price’s life for years, her art career turned a corner after she moved from the Midwest to the Southwest. Inspired by the endless skies, seascapes and desert, she began painting almost daily and teaching painting classes as well. Her work has recently won a number of awards and has been displayed in juried gallery shows in Southern California, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Sedona.

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




4th Place
(Digital & Photography)
Brian Heston

Brian’s father, Eugene, studied art in school, won a scholarship to art school and ultimately was offered a job with a California startup called Disney. However, the great depression was underway and it didn’t seem like a good time to be starting a career in art, so Eugene took a solid, dependable job with a large Cleveland manufacturer and never looked back. Brian always had a appreciation for art, coming of age in the era of great picture magazines like Life and Look, with contributing photographers including Pete Turner, Art Kane and Richard Avedon. Brian developed an interest in photography and was inspired to get a 35mm Nikon and learn what he could and began photographing the world around him. Seeing wonder in everyday things, the way a shadow could caress a landscape inspired him to try to capture bits and pieces of the incredible scenes around him.

By 1983 Brian earned his living looking through a lens, shooting for annual reports, magazines and brochures. Shooting both for himself and clients, Brian honed his eye and was privileged to work with some great art directors and designers who furthered his sense of design.

Brian has worked in 8×10, 4×5, 2 1/4 and 35mm formats before digital arrived, He was an early adopter and in 1994 he created an online portfolio of digital imagery when there were few professional photographers on the new World Wide Web. Photon Magazine, a London based photo zine, noticed Brian’s images and featured them on multiple occasions. In the mid 90’s, Brian was invited to participate in a Covent Garden Gallery show billed as the “first ever” show in which all the artists delivered their images to the gallery via the internet. The images were then printed and hung in the London gallery. More recently his work was shown at Calvera Gallery in Italy.

To see more of Brian’s work, please visit his website.


5th Place

Pam Folsom


Cincinnati native Pam Folsom is nationally known for her vibrant, energetic oil paintings of familiar scenes, depicting everything from the rolling farmland of the Midwest to the beaches of Florida’s coast. Her award-winning works have appeared in numerous juried group, two-person, and solo exhibitions. Pam’s paintings appear in private collections internationally, as well as corporate collections. Pam is currently represented by Gingerbread Square Gallery in Key West, Florida; The Eisele Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio; and B. Deemer in Louisville, Kentucky; and had gallery representation in Mary Bell Gallery, Chicago, Il and Gallery on Merchants Square, Williamsburg, VA.

Artist’s Statement

I am drawn to paint on location whenever I can. The colors and sensations around me are my inspiration, and as I place strokes of paint on my canvas, I am very aware of relationships—the interplay between thick and thin paint, between the elements of the composition, between colors and edges. The resulting paintings are beyond reality, but believable so that viewers can enter a dialogue with them, and through them, with me.

These paintings are about slowing down, drinking in the day, stopping to appreciate the moment, and finding the visual language to express what I need to say. Life is intoxicating if you take the time to notice. The most ordinary of subjects—old buildings or trees across a field—are intensely beautiful in their own way when you look with fresh eyes.

It is strictly out of selfishness that I paint; I enjoy it that much. An hour passes, a day, however long it takes. No rules, no guidelines, just creating visual communication with others that appreciate the dialogue.

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


5th Place
(Digital & Photography)
Barbara Mierau-Klein

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.

Barbara’s digital art images reflect her fascination with the beauty of colors and the moods and emotions they evoke. Highly stylized cityscapes and nature are subjects she often turns to. Her images are creatively layered collages of original photography, whimsical elements, rich textures and other effects that add complexity and intrigue to her art.

Barbara’s work has been exhibited at several galleries in the US and Europe and was awarded numerous awards. Her work also appears regularly in international art magazines. She is represented locally by Waverly Street Gallery in Bethesda, MD.

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

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