Maria was born and raised in Pasadena, CA. She spent much of her time in Temple City with her artist grandparents, who were pivotal in her becoming an artist. Her grandfather was a sculptor; her grandmother was a painter. As a child, Maria began working in the studio with her grandfather. During her career, she has developed over 1,000 paintings. Maria attended Cornish College of the Arts for her B.F.A. Maria initiated her graduate work with New York University and achieved a Masters in
Artist Style: Visual: Assemblage, Collage, Environmental, Nature/Wildlife
Artist Medium: Visual Arts: Clay, Earth; mycelium and plant based paint
I am an artist trying to find a common language to talk to each other. I am neither American, European, or any other nationality but simply an artist raising awareness about our environmental causes and new ways to create sustainably. I am a human trying to understand how nature and I co-exist in order to discover ways of creating with the best mutual outcome that serves humanity. I believe in the common decency of all the peoples who populate our individual countries. I respect and affirm all cultural uniqueness in visual art, performing art, music, and literature. I celebrate our diversity of viewpoints. I do not hate, and I do not seek to encourage xenophobia in any nation. I want to understand our differences and seek to find common ground because the ground is where it all begins. In our soil and land we can seed a solution.
I grow my paintings and my sculptures using mycelium, the same substrate used to grow mushrooms. However, my material is unseeded so it will never fruit mushrooms. I use this material to promote healthier materials for a healthier world. I also grow my own painting palette. Each painting I create has its own recipe. My most recent piece is titled Dragonfly Perch. It is 10 x 10 x 1in., and the materials recipe is dragon fruit, roses, red cabbage, mycelium, clay, mica minerals, and water jewels. I work with light and science (the physics of color). After several residencies and working with color practitioners from around the world, I have learned how to make my botanical paint using mushrooms, rocks, earth, and so much more. Look for the giant Lion’s Mane Mushroom booth. Inside you will find the treasures that have ignited my life since becoming disabled in a car accident four years ago. Due to western medicine and amazing health care professionals, I am able to use my arms and hands and continue to create works that inspire curiosity and raise the human spirit.
In 2023, I will open a solo exhibition with The Museum of Infinite Outcomes in Knoxville, Tennessee. The 6ft x 5ft gate is grown out of mycelium and created to inspire continued stewardship of the natural world. My sculpture work is made for and inspired by children. They are our next gatekeepers. Inspiring interest in the natural world and the use of plant-based materials to make art is the goal. The gate is made of over 100 bricks of mycelium, buried in the substrate are some of Earth’s buried treasures. Hundreds of various types of seashells and aquatic treasures, including keystone species, have been grown out of mycelium and into the sides of the columns of the gate like bees, bugs, and birds. There is hope in the world when we create it. I look forward to sharing the growth of the gate at several events over the next year until it’s time to take the gate to Tennessee to grow the arch and complete the project. This project also engages technology. Each keystone species has an RFID tag and QR code embedded into the mycelium. Using a mobile phone, you will be able to point at each species to learn why they are important for a healthy eco system. The natural world does not need humans but humans need the natural world for our survival.
My paintings range in price from $100-$500. I also sell DIY Painting Kits small and large ($10, $15). If you purchase a DIY painting kit, there is an artist only login on my website with a password you receive when purchasing your DIY kit. The webpage is the instructional page on how to make your own eco art using the materials I have curated. These are the same natural materials I use for my own paintings, Myco Stix for the garden ($10), smaller sculptures made with oyster mushrooms ($100-$250), and prints of my paintings start at $40.
The pricing on my website is a reflection of gallery prices. My sculptures are meant for the public and therefore are not sold but donated to museums, organizations and parks. Inspiring children to become enamored with art, science, and STEM programming is how we thrive as a society and continue to dream up ideas that change the world. If children do not know about these materials, then that possibility does not exist. By creating sculptures grown from mycelium, my work acts as a reinvention of possibilities.
Continued Education Courses
Pyramids of Giza, Ancient Egyptian Art and Archeology
Leaders of Learning
Women Making History:10 Objects Many Stories
2007-2009, Schiller International University, Heidelberg, Germany
Masters of International Management in International Business,
Thesis published on Cause Related Marketing:
“Cause Culture, Capturing Social Capital through Marketing”
2006-2007, New York University, New York, New York,
Masters, Visual Arts Administration, (Initiated graduate work-transferred 2nd yr.)
2002, Goethe Institute, Goethe-Institut Mannheim Sprachschule
1994-1998, Cornish College of The Arts, Seattle, WA
Bachelor of Fine Art
1993-1994, De Anza Community College, Cupertino, CA
Art History, Painting, Drawing,
2022 Museum of Infinite Outcomes, Knoxville, TN
2022 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant, New York, NY
2021 Fantastic Fungi Scholarship: Voices From The Underground, Seattle, WA
2021 Seneca Center of California: artwork acquisition for their rehabilitation center
2020 California Arts Council, A State Agency, The National Arts and Disability
Center, UCLA, ‘Arts and Accessibility Grant’, California
2020 The Center For Cultural Innovation, California Relief Fund for Artists
and Cultural Practitioners Grant (Covid-19 related), California
2007 Schiller International University, Benjamin Franklin Award, Heidelberg, Germany
2004 Goethe Institute, Grant/Kulturmittlerin (cultural liaison), New York
2002 The MacArthur Fellows Program, Nominee, Seattle, WA
2001 Seattle Space Needle Artist Studios, studio grant, Seattle, WA
1998 Oculus Gallery, 2nd Place : The Story of The Door, (Installation), Baton Rouge, LA
1997 Cornish College of the Arts, President’s Scholarship, Seattle, WA
1994 Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College, 2nd place award, Cupertino, CA