Maria Medina-Schechter is a bio artist who was born in Pasadena, California and raised in Northern California. Her unique practice centers around reverence for the natural world and investigation into living matter, specifically mycelium as a medium. Maria refers to her paintings as dimensional works on paper. Using only living, organic materials, she calls her paintings recipes. Her mission as an artist is to use healthier materials for a healthier world. Her arrangement and composition in design employ positions found in ikebana. She uses a historical botanical palette comprised of foraged materials. Enamored with using natural materials to visually articulate sacred dimensional space, she thrives on developing carbon negative sustainable works. After the loss of her father to Covid-19 in 2021 and experiencing the Northern California Wild Fires as a former employee of Cal Fire in Saratoga, CA, Maria is aware of how climate change and the pandemic has brought us to the tipping point for the growing awareness of our relationship to nature. Her journey into the natural world began at the age of 16 with a trek into the world’s largest ice cave located in Austria. Understanding that we are a part of something much larger than human life, she finds reverence for the natural world, which is at the centerpiece of each work she now creates. For 26 years, her work has shown with cultural institutions, including recent pocket exhibitions with the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA. Maria has achieved a number of grants that include The Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grant, 2022; The Fantastic Fungi Global Summit Scholarship, 2021; Arts and Accessibility Grant, UCLA 2020; and The Center for Cultural Innovation, 2020. She has traveled through seventeen countries, living in both Thailand and Germany. Maria’s work has been written about in Ecological Citizen (July 2022) and Eluxe Magazine (August 2022), the world’s first sustainable luxury publication.
In 2018, Maria was in a car accident which left her permanently disabled. She had a nerve root impingement in her spine which caused partial paralysis in her arms and hands. After 6 surgeries and 5 years of recovery, she has developed a process and practice which allows her to visually articulate herself. The use of mycelium as a medium is an integral aspect of her practice. Mycelium is lightweight and allows her to create large-scale pieces that weigh only a few pounds. After losing her sense of touch and slowly regaining strength and sensation, her works have become a terrain of textural dimensions.
Maria @ Volunteer Park, Conservatory, Seattle, WA
Painting archive currently lives here.
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