Sandra Severson grew up immersed in the Philadelphia art scene as the daughter of noted artists Gerardo and Edith Belfiore. Under the tutelage of her parents, she won the Henry Coscia Award for Painting at Da Vinci Art Alliance and Third Prize in the Philadelphia Teen Art Competition at the age of 13. Her deep love of horses and other animals led her to move to the family farm in 1980, where she developed hands-on skills and anatomical knowledge of her equestrian subjects as a horse owner/rider, 4H leader, and Horse Show Mother. After studying drawing and portraiture at PAFA and pursuing an opportunity to study with Nelson Shanks, she was accepted to show at the Kentucky Derby Museum and the International Museum of the Horse, becoming an associate member of the American Academy of Equine Art. Sandra’s paintings have appeared on the covers of the Chronicle of the Horse, Oasis magazine, and the American Lipizzan Registry.
Alternative art shown under her maiden name of Belfiore won her First Prize for Painting at Woodmere Art Museum and the Jamison Award at Wayne Art Center.
Internationally, Sandra won First Prize at Corso Nationale Arte Figurativa in Salerno, Italy, and has been commissioned to paint the British steeplechase horse Tagamet, Brazilian cutting horse champion Magella, and other portraits in Belgium and Morocco.
Sandra has had solo shows at the American Artist Gallery, the American College, and Chester County Art Association. She is featured in the book, “The Four Seasons of Chester County; The Artists”.
Sandra’s paintings have been selected for the 2013 Dressage at Devon Poster and the 2015 poster for the Devon Horse Show.
While painting technique and composition are important to Sandra’s work, the pivotal factor is joy, laughter, and connection with the profound beings that we call animals.
A signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, Susan Bankey Yoder has an accomplished background in the field of wildlife art. She has always had a passion for animals and the outdoors. Her work is inspired by countless encounters with wildlife. “Nothing makes me happier than being out in the field studying and observing all that nature has to offer”. While her paintings are highly detailed, she still manages to capture the soul and feeling of the subject she is inspired to paint. “I am an emotional and sensitive painter. With each animal, I tell a story or invoke a feeling. I can only put my full effort into each piece one at a time”. Susan has won many awards and honors for her work. Among her accomplishments are the Pennsylvania and Indiana Trout Stamps. She is a two-time winner of Pennsylvania’s Working Together for Wildlife conservation print competition and has toured with the Society of Animal Artist’s, Art and the Animal National Exhibition to name a few. Susan’s art has been in numerous publications and her paintings enhance private and corporate collections.
Katja Topalovic is a young artist from Belgrade, Serbia. Katja found her interest in art looking at the illustrations of Russian fairy tales that are read to her before bedtime, and then developed them further at the University of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She has participated in over 20 group exhibitions in Serbia and abroad, she has been a member of several art colonies all around Europe, and since May of 2016, her illustrations are exhibited in the gallery "Mala galleria" in Kennett Square, in USA.
In addition to classical watercolor and oil painting, which she enjoys the most, she also worked on the installation of "Inspiration Belgrade", along with the Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren, in 2012, on images for advertising campaigns "Canyon Serbia" as well as company New Balance Serbia 2016. Her illustrations have been published in a book of children's poems "Book Full of Soul," and several magazines.
She lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.
She had lived under dictatorships for decades, fear and repression a constant part of her life, in places where honest self-expression could land you in jail or a grave. But then came the day when Helena Stockar was finally free to do anything she wanted to. And on that day, Stockar took a canvas out in the yard of her new home, and she began to paint. Avondale resident Stockar has lived through situations most Americans simply cannot imagine. Born in what was then Czechoslovakia in 1933, Stockar was still a little girl when the German army overran her country in the early stages of World War II. Writers, professors, and other members of the intelligentsia were taken away to concentration camps, including many of the men in her extended family. Her family members survived, but came out broken men, and did not live long afterward. Her own father was detained but allowed to go free, and came home shaking with fear at his close escape. The newspapers often published lists of people the Germans had executed. Food, clothing, everything was rationed. “The stores were empty, you couldn’t buy anything,” Stockar says. The Germans had taken over her school building, and classes were held wherever room could be found. When the war ended, the Communists were in control, and that was “even worse,” Stockar says. “You have to listen, everything is by order.” People suspected of opposing the regime would disappear, never to be seen again. People were afraid to talk honestly to anyone, and the authorities used the threat of arrest to coerce people into spying on one another, even within families. But life was not entirely bad. Stockar studied the piano, eventually helping to support her family by giving lessons. And she went to school for graphic arts. The school director made a point of inspiring and motivating the students by taking them to art museums. Tickets to concerts and other cultural events were very affordable. Stockar married and had two children. Her husband, Ivo Stockar, managed to escape to the West, and when Stockar tried to join him the authorities detained her and interrogated her for months, But then, in 1968, came a brief period of more liberalized government called the Prague Spring. Stockar was allowed to leave the country and the family was reunited in Rhode Island. Stockar was fortunate; later that year, Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia, ending the Prague Spring. “I felt sick about my country,” Stockar says. And she missed her family and former home. Every time she heard an airplane overhead, she felt the homesickness welling up. Already an accomplished artist who had exhibited at home in Prague, Stockar took to painting while her husband, an architect, was at his office. She painted faces etched with fear, confusion, and doubt. She painted figures that seemed to bend and sway as if they were buffeted by some fierce wind. Fear from the past, homesickness in the present, the knowledge that others in the world were suffering, it all poured out onto Stockar’s canvasses in vivid, dramatic, arresting images. When she began exhibiting in Rhode Island, viewers praised her work, even if they found it disturbing. “They liked my stuff,” Stockar says, “but they said, ‘Your stuff is so sad.’” Stockar remembers this with a laugh. And though it deals with serious themes, her work has won approval from art lovers around the world. Stockar exhibited in Scotland, the Czech Republic, New York City, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California, and now Pennsylvania. Her work has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and is found in private collections across Europe and the United States.
Helena Stockar passed away in 2013, after a short illness. She left behind thousands of pieces of artwork for future generations.
Award winning artist, Susan Stefanski has studied art at Villanova University, and local art centers since 1999. Susan is drawn to representational painting in oil, watercolor and pastel. Painting is spiritual and serene and promotes a feeling of contentment and joy to be shared with others. She has had solo shows at the Great Wayne Frame Up, Thomas Moser Gallery and Villanova University, resulting in a several commissions, one to paint Irish landscapes to cover the walls of a Philadelphia restaurant. Her representational work, predominately landscapes, capture light, color and feelings falling under an umbrella of “God’s Gifts”. Susan took second place at the Brandywine Plein Air Festival for “Morning Warmth, Point Lookout”. She won the Marie Brobeil Memorial Award in the DVAL Jenkins Arboretum Exhibition for her painting “Groundcover”, First Place for “Cassablanca’s and Fruit” for DVAL Penn Med Valley Forge among others. She is in the Villanova University Art Collection along with many private collections. Susan is a member of ARTsisters, Artist Equity, DVAL, PA Guild of Craftsmen, Haverford Chapter. She is represented by North End Trilogy, Barnegate Light, NJ, ADM Gallery, Newtown Square, Hardcastle Gallery, Centreville, Delaware, Second Look, New Castle DE, Mala Galleria, Kennett Square, PA.
Temre Stanchfield studied classical figure painting at University of Puget Sound in Washington State, Studio Art Center International in Florence Italy and at U of A, eventually earning her MFA in 2001. She turned her artistic focus toward the organic world when working as the Artist in Residence at the Trolley Museum of New York in the Hudson Valley in 2009. While there, her paintings depicted the natural process of renewal, embodied in the ever-changing landscape. Later her focus transitioned into working with ideas of renewal through flowers and plant parts. She remains fascinated with and currently explores the phases of aging, disintegrating, disseminating and re-birth in the plant world.
Making sculpture for me is an ongoing exploration of how materials effect the space it occupies. I am always searching for new ways to invent and organize space. My welded sculptures, created from found materials (repurposed steel), are modeled in a spontaneous and improvisational manner. This style of modeling creates a lively sequence for discovery. Once I begin to work I often see things unfold that I did not visualize before. Ultimately, I strive to breathe new life into the discarded material to create forms which deliberately deny their past history in order to serve a new formal purpose.
Lynnette Shelley is a Delaware native who moved to Philadelphia in 1999. Her artwork has been displayed at various venues across the Philadelphia metropolitan area, including the 2008 Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST). Some of her creature drawings were featured in the animated short “The Spider Is the Web” shown at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, while more of her artwork was featured as part of an on-screen art show at the 2008 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. Lynnette has more art shows currently scheduled for 2009. Please see her website for the latest events. Deeply influenced by Celtic, Eastern, Asian, art nouveau, Aboriginal, abstract expressionist, and medieval artworks, as well as zoomorphism and mythological stories and legends, Lynnette fuses these styles into her strikingly unique illustrations. Lynnette's artwork strikes a primal chord in many viewers, with almost Jungian associations to the colors and shapes. Her animal and creature illustrations are both primitive and sophisticated, and have been likened to images from an as-yet-discovered ancient civilization or culture.
Philadelphia based milliner/designer Milica Schiavio has studied, worked and traveled around the world. She gained a BA from Drexel University in 2002 and an MA in International Relations with a concentration in Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 2011, having studied at both campuses Bologna, Italy and Washington D.C. Milica Schiavio brings passion, drive, and creative design to the forefront of a woman’s look and uses hats as a form of self-expression. Her statement pieces are colorful, bold, striking, conversation pieces. Her vibrant avant-garde headpieces has been featured by numerous local media outlets, including Main Line Magazine, Main Line Suburban News and the Main Line Times. She is on the Radnor Hunt Race Committee through the Brandywine Conservancy and serves as one of the Judges for the Race day Chapeau Contest. Milica has also served as a Board Member of the Tesla Science Foundation since its inception. She regularly collaborates with photographers, makeup, hair, and clothing designers on photo shoots where her hats are used as accessories. In addition she has designed special hat collections for Diner en Blanc New York and Diner en Blanc Philadelphia 2013. She is married with one daughter who serves as her inspiration for her recently launched kids hat collection. Hats and fascinators by Milica in the Hat Millinery are intended to captivate and stand out of the crowd.
Jeff Schaller paints in the unique medium of encaustic, creating textural art pieces which incorporate representational form with the printed word. In essence, the visual and written symbols merge to create a unique aesthetic language that is both provocative and whimsical. Schaller’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States. He is frequently published in magazines and newspapers, chosen for juried art exhibitions and selected for special projects, commissions and murals. Currently he is working on a 30 feet mural for the Philadelphia Arts Commission to be placed in their transportation centers. His work can also be seen on the set of “Friends” for the 2002 and 2003 season. In 2002, Schaller received a highly coveted fellowship from the Common Wealth of Pennsylvania. In 1998, Schaller was the recipient of the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art Purchase Award. Recent juried exhibitions include ‘’Encaustic works ‘01 and ‘03’’ (he was one of 15 artists selected for the exhibit from a field of 200). Schaller is a philanthropic and committed artist who lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three small children.
I’m a self-taught artist and musician … have been as long as I can remember. Becoming a professional artist has been the joyful culmination of a lifelong search for peace and spiritual fulfillment. The meandering river that has been my professional trajectory has taken me from biochemist…to being signed to an indie-label with my band … to owning a decorative painting business…and finally to fine art. Funny how that works out. The subjects I am inspired to paint have one thing in common…a sense of serenity. As a result, most of my paintings are impressions of the natural world. My goal is to reflect the emotional response I have to a subject, and evoke a similar feeling of peace within the viewer. In this small way I feel that my contribution to the world is helping people slow down and re-connect with the poetic beauty of nature. My intention is always to produce pieces that inspire, awaken, and soothe. My process begins with a walk, a bike ride, a trip of some sort . . . I take lots of reference photos and make sketches and take notes. I take it all back to my studio and, along with my memory and imagination, I design a composition that is compelling to me. Lately I’ve been working bigger, which is more challenging, but also more exciting. It takes a lot of trial and error, along with faith, to get to the place where I feel like I should stop. The process is completed when a piece finds a good home.
John Rush (b.1965) fell in love with woodworking while attending Kennett Square High School. Through the school's industrial arts program he developed a specific interest in wood, and his craft grew from there. In 1984 he visited The Wharton Esherick and was inspired to continue his love of woodworking by adding a sculptural approach. He spent the next twenty years finding his style and learning to work with and not against his medium. Now he finds that the perfection of his work is in the imperfection of his medium.
"It is about looking at what it is unique to a piece of wood and highlighting that beauty within the sculpture."
Margaret Saylor finds a ton of fungi to paint in her native Berks County, Pennsylvania: the stranger, the better. She earned her BFA from Kutztown University in Communications Design, and in June 2013 Margaret was awarded a certificate, with distinction, in Botanical Art & Illustration from The New York Botanical Garden. She has developed and taught botanical art classes at Chanticleer, PA; Mt. Cuba Center, DE; and PCAD, Lancaster, PA. Margaret is the Editor/Designer of The Botanical Artist, ASBA’s quarterly journal. Exhibiting her work in solo and juried shows, Margaret paints in her home studio in Mt. Penn, PA. Her painting on vellum, Dryad’s Saddle, was accepted into the 17th Annual International at The Horticultural Society of New York.
Master of Fine Art. His art works are represented in many private collections in Europe, America, Australia and Asia. He is increasingly in demand internationally to conduct his watercolor workshops and demos. Member of The Association of Hungarian Fine Artists and The Association of Fine Artists of Serbia.
Rinal Parikh's art reflects the heritage and vibrant culture of her native India. Rinal, a self-taught artist, draws on a childhood fascination with color and composition, portraying spontaneity and energy with saturated color in various media. Her subjects are influenced by life in India, and she studies the many different styles of Indian painting that vary from state to state: "Although they are from the same country," she says, "they are very different from each other- I find it intriguing." Rinal's work has appeared in India in group exhibitions and on magazine covers. In the United States, she made her debut with a solo exhibit at The Creative Living Room in Swarthmore 6 years ago, and since than her work has been featured in many juried exhibits at venues like Demuth Art Museum, Rittenhouse Square Art Festival, Swarthmore Borough Hall, The Plastic club, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, numerus community art centers in the Philadelphia area to name the few. Rinal has been recognized for her work on various occasions. She has conducted Artist talks for adults on “Indian folk art and my modern take”. Recently, Rinal’s work was published in Philadelphia Stories, winter edition 2015. She teaches children and adult watercolor classes in Swarthmore. Rinal’s artwork are mainly found in private collection in USA, Canada, and India.
Born in 1959 in Yerevan, Armenia, Saré graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in her hometown. Along with her job as a set designer (over 40 productions in theater and 4 in cinema), she explored several techniques to give life to her characters, ranging from ceramics to bronze sculptures, through etching and monotype. Since her moving to Paris in 1991, she devoted herself almost entirely to oil painting. Her works are in many private collections and museums.