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March - April Exhibit

Mardel Sanzotta & Doreen St.John

PUBLIC OPENING March 9, 2012 7-9 PM

Mardel Sanzotta

Doreen St.John

As a self-taught painter with remarkable composition skills, Mardel Sanzotta has mastered a variety of painting media.  Versatility, lyricism and poetry are evident in her work.

She was born near the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, and is influenced by having lived and worked in the Northwest wilderness of Montana, as well as the Midwest of the United States.

Mardel believes that the charm of art lies in its perpetual invitation to the artist to break down any limitations of medium or skill that might interfere with the goal of visually expressing subtle and moving revelations which arise by seeing into, rather than only looking at a motif. Increasingly, her attention turns to visually exploring the simple fact that things are rarely what they seem to be.

For three decades, she has conducted painting classes, lectures, and workshops in several states, maintains a full commission schedule, and has had many one-person and group shows, winning awards locally and nationally. 

Over 100 major corporations, as well as Veterans’ Administration Medical Centers, children’s hospitals, and at least 400 long-term care facilities have purchased her work. She is the originator of therapeutic three-dimensional art primarily for Alzheimer’s facilities, which has received national recognition. 

Her portraits, wildlife, nature, figural and landscape art can be found in private and corporate collections across the U.S.   Many galleries and designers nationwide have sold and represented her work.  The Franklin Museum in Philadelphia and the Cleveland Zoo own her paintings.

A partial list of shows & exhibits:

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Ducks Unlimited
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH
Gannon College, Erie, PA
C.M. Russell Invitational Show, Great Falls, MT
Annual Juried Western Art Show & Auction, Spokane, WA
Beck Center for the Arts, Lakewood, OH
Pastel Society of America, New York
Ohio Watercolor Society
COSI – Center of Science & Industry, Columbus, OH
From the Heart of Nature Show – Holden Arboretum, Kirtland, OH
Woman II Group Show, Lakeland Community College, Kirtland, OH
Geauga Nature Arts Festival, West Woods Park, winner of People’s Choice Award ’09, ‘10
Penitentiary Glen at Lake Metroparks – one-person show, 2010
Chagrin Falls Valley Art Center – Venus Envy Invitational Show, 2009
Geauga Parks’West Woods Nature Center-Nature Art Show-two-person show-Spring, 2011
Lake Farmpark solo show 2011
Beachwood Ohio Community Center group show, 2011
Beck Center for the Fine Arts, Lakewood Ohio holiday show, 2011

Inspiration for Doreen St.John’s emotive semi-realistic landscapes comes from her love of nature and natural forms.  St.John’s watercolor and oil paintings have been characterized as powerful but sensitive, employing strong values and rich color.  “I want my work to engage the viewer… to capture the spirit of the subject or scene… evoking an emotional response or memory.”  Li Po, an 8th Century Chinese Philosopher, said it best:

 “I would not paint a face, a rock, nor brooks, nor trees,
Mere semblances of things...but something more than these. That art is best which to the soul’s range gives no bound.Something besides the form, Something beyond the sound.”  

 St.John has given workshops and exhibited her watercolors nationally in juried outdoor art shows, has been represented in galleries in Canton, Akron, and Columbus, and has won numerous awards, including “Best in Show”.  After taking several years off from painting to pursue a Master’s degree, St.John started painting plein air works in 2005. A member of the Ohio Plein Air Society, St.John won Third Place in their 2005 annual competition. Most recent awards include “Best Watercolor” in both the 2008 annual competition of the Ohio Plein Air Society and 2009 May Show at the Little Art Gallery in North Canton, Ohio. St.John paints both plein air and studio works and has recently branched out to include works in oil. 

     Born and raised in the art center and resort town of Saugatuck, Michigan, Doreen St.John exhibited artistic ability even as a small child, receiving art instruction from Cora Bliss Taylor, a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute and a well-known local artist. Although St.John pursued undergrad and graduate degrees in education, the need to create was always a driving force. St.John took her first watercolor classes at the Canton Art Museum in 1980 and later studied under Bette G. Elliott of North Canton and also with other nationally recognized artists such as Edgar Whitney, Frank Webb, Frederick Graff, Marilyn Hughey Phillis, Stan Miller, and others. She was chosen to be the “Artist in Residence” for a community art project called “Leave Your Mark” in Canton, Ohio in 2008.  

     St.John’s work can be found at Turner Fine Art Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, and Cyrus Custom Framing and Art Gallery in Canton, Ohio.


Little Art Gallery, North Canton, Ohio, May Show

*Best in Show, 1987

 *Best Watercolor, 1987 and 2009


Ohio Plein Air Society Annual Competion

   *Third Place, 2005

 *Best Watercolor, 2008

 *Spirit of New Philadelphia Award, 2008


Juried Exhibitions


Little Art Gallery May Show

Ohio Plein Air Society Member’s Exhibition *2008, 2009

 National Juried Show, 2nd April Galerie, Canton, OH

 *9/09; Two paintings accepted

 Juried Sale Shows

 Cocoa Beach, Fla. National Show, 1985

Art is Alive, Canton, Ohio, 2007-2011

“Artissimo”, Canton Cultural Center, 2008

Jackson Parks “A Brush With Nature” show, 2009-2010

Kris Kindle Markt, Canton, Ohio, 2009

 Solo Shows

Gallery 400, North Canton, Ohio, 1997

Maurer Gallery, Canton, Ohio, 1999

Kistler Gallery, Akron, Ohio, 2000

Julz, March 2008

Turner Gallery, Columbus, Ohio, 2011

 Website www.doreenstjohn.com

Samples of my “plein air” works can be viewed at the Ohio Plein Air Society website at:   www.ohiopleinairsociety.com in the ‘gallery’ section













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