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Bloomington, Indiana is an oasis of plush forests, expansive grassy hills, and wild lands where trails sweep you through what was once a great ocean. Walking trails line the city. In geological terms, we are living at the bottom of what was once an ocean. Today, its textures, colors, trees, and other natural formations serve as Maria's primary inspiration. It is a long way from Pasadena, California, where she was born. She was raised in the Bay Area and went to high school in Cupertino, California, across the street from the Apple headquarters. As a teen, she was often found at the beach, in the redwoods, or observing clouds in a park. She co-founded The Earth Savers Club and Art Club at her school. The Earth Savers Club focused on training to become a wildlife rescuer and the Art Club focused on teaching other students how to throw and work in the sculpture lab. Her formative years were spent in Baden-Württemberg Germany. She participated in a high school program to improve her German speaking skills and learn about her culture in a deeper way. While in Austria, she climbed the world’s largest ice cave. At 22, she received a MacArthur nomination for her co-creation of an arts collective turned non-profit WhatIsArt - WhatIsSound. Maria was inspired by the devotion of her grandparents, who were artists. Their influence and commitment to their own practice and each other led her to the life she knows today. As a bio artist, she spends most of her time foraging for color, processing color into archival and lightfast palettes to working with mycelium as a co-creator in all of her works. Maria has been an artist for 26 years and a Buddhist for 28 years. As a bio artist, she holds the same objectives as ecologists.


Maria is enamored with the natural world, which is highlighted in her new body of work Hollow Earth. Her methodology and practice are science based and include aspects of biology, ecology, symbiotic relationships, and the fungi kingdom. Her work is meticulous, careful, and immersive. Her sculpture work, grown from an unseeded mycelium, engages youth in ecologically sound practices that encourage the innovation of climate change solutions. She engages youth in STEM education by creating a space where innovation can happen. This empowers youth to be their own thought leader. Maria's ultimate goal is to develop work that inspires stewardship of the natural world. Her mission as an artist is to inspire others to use healthier materials for a healthier world.

Maria Medina-Schechter

Painting archive currently lives here.



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