2nd Animals Virtual Art Exhibition - May 2024

Best in Show

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Cécile Carrega



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Drawing each shadow, each relief, each hair, each nuance of an animal to little by little see it come to life on paper is my greatest pleasure. I like to transcribe the soul of my subject, it requires a lot of patience and observation. When I draw, time passes without me noticing and I completely escape, it’s a special moment between me and the animal I’m drawing. Working to order, the most beautiful moment is when I reveal the portrait to the person who commissioned it. It’s always a great emotion for her to see her animal represented. My art gives happiness to the one who commissioned it from me and that is my greatest joy.

Where wildlife


wonder … 

1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Winners

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1st Place

Maxwell G.  Miller

“Portrait of Olive”

oil on panel


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My career began in the theatrical arts as a specialist in theatrical puppetry. I always enjoyed the process of visual problem-solving: How can I take rigid materials and manipulate them to move in a fluid, life-like way? As I refined my techniques in the visual arts, I discovered that by manipulating charcoal and oil paint in the same way, it is uniquely possible to contain the entirety of a complex story in a single image. I developed a particular interest in mythology and history painting, and my work has become an extension of this style of storytelling.
Realism gives me the ability to clearly communicate through recognizable imagery. I find inspiration in other artistic media that focuses on storytelling – music, movies, tv shows, folklore, mythology – but I’m most inspired by theatrical arts and puppetry. I enjoy creating artwork containing several figures or dense still-life, and most of my work falls somewhere in that range.
There is a revival of realism happening now that I strive to be a part of. My sense of theatricality has continued to influence my compositions and has developed into a portfolio of dramatic portraiture and dense still life with a focus on storytelling.
Portrait of Olive is a depiction of the artists family pet. Much beloved by the artist, Olive was a daily companion in the art studio for many years. Her signature expression of curiosity is captured, seated loyally at the artists side, looking on as he works.

Hanna Bewley




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Throughout my life, I have always had a passion for art, specifically drawing. The ability to accurately depict images on paper through the use of graphite or other media, and the excitement and fulfillment I experience from that is unparalleled. My central focus has always been on creating highly detailed and realistic drawings. People and the natural world have been my greatest inspirations. I continually admire God’s handiwork that is evident down to the smallest details in creation. Graphite is my main medium of choice, as its delicate and precise nature allows me to render forms realistically, down to the last detail. I graduated from Mississippi State University in 2021 with a fine art degree. It allowed me to develop my artistic skills, strong work ethic, and passion for creating. I was fortunate enough to have awarding-winning artwork displayed at state, national, and international level in various shows and competitions. As I continue to advance my technical skill set, I aim to combine my love for people, nature, and the pencil through thoughtful and captivating compositions that “draw” the viewer in.

2nd Place

3rd Place

Christopher Palbicki

“Forced Perspective”

Acrylic on panel


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Inspired by Carl Jung’s quote, “Whatever you’re resistant to, follow it,” my paintings are a compelling study of complex social, environmental, and psychological themes. Adopting unexpected, immersive points of view, such as a cutaway of an urban golf course or an exposed patch of polluted ocean, I invite viewers to examine what lurks beneath the surface, both figuratively and literally. Existing at the confluence of three enduring passions – the natural world, the social sciences, and cinema – I offer a unique vision of humanity’s paradoxical relationship to one another and nature that playfully straddles the realm between fantasy and fact.

With time and experimentation, these passions evolved into their present form: an ongoing series of meticulously crafted acrylic paintings. Inspired in part by natural history dioramas – mixing two and three-dimensional elements into singular narrative scenes created to entice and inform – my work aims to raise awareness not only about the precarious state of our planet, but about the equally perilous state of our inner lives – the shared ‘soul’ of humanity – and how these seemingly opposed worlds are, in fact, elemental to one another.

Born and raised in southern California, I have many fond memories of hiking into deserts, through forests, and along the rocky coast that enveloped my childhood home. These times spent exploring diverse ecological zones, along with the archeological ruins of the indigenous Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi peoples, helped cement my beliefs about the sacredness of all life, across species and cultures. Add to this a steady diet of visits to natural history museums – rich in fossils, ancient human artifacts, and exotic animal specimens – and a deep love for cinema which taught me about the power of dynamic imagery combined with the subtleties of effective storytelling, and you have the makings of a would-be 19th century naturalist living the quiet, reflective life of an artist today.

At its core, my work doesn’t pretend to provide easy solutions to enduring dilemmas, nor does it seek to pacify our emotions with some naive measure of closure. Rather, it asks that we merely begin the process of rebuilding our world and ourselves by fearlessly facing the world’s we’ve collectively created. As the ancient aphorism reminds: “As above so below, as within so without, as the universe so the soul . . .”

Artwork was judged on a variety of criteria:



Theme Relevance



Honorable Mentions

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