"Skies" Art Exhibition Monthly Winning Artists


Seven artists in each category were given awards in the "Skies" international online art exhibition for a total of 14 artists. Below are the biographies and/or artist's statements along with the artist's websites.

Please visit the Skies exhibition page and contact the artists directly for purchase inquiries or to see more of their work.

Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.


Best in Show (Traditional)
Carl Owen

Carl Owen has had many roles in life. He has earned an A.A. degree in applied arts, a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in correctional counseling.  He has received several awards of achievement throughout his life careers. Carl has been a marine, a steel worker, a correctional officer, lieutenant, counselor, court liaison officer, drug treatment program designer/director, senior trainer at UCSD, adjunct professor and an Assistant Mental Health Bureau Chief for the New Mexico Corrections Department. Given the above-mentioned life roles, Carl Owen is an artist. He has always been an artist and shall always be an artist. His first painting was done on Christmas day after receiving his first art set at age four. His last painting has not yet been produced. Carl's artistic approach considers that there is a knife’s edge between order and chaos, between style and ability, between realism and abstraction. He believes there is something deep inside that instinctively knows, appreciates and desires ownership of objects of beauty. After all words, excuses and rationale vanish, it is the work of art alone commanding the viewer to accept or reject it. His efforts are aimed at making a work of art that commands attention. This is his life’s quest.

To see more of Carl's work please visit his website.


Best in Show (Digital & Photography)
Simone Arrigoni

Simone Arrigoni is an awards-winning photographer, a classical pianist and Freediving World Champion. He established 20 Freediving World Records in the sea, lake, under the ice and with dolphins. In photography Simone looks for unusual perspectives, details, lights or symmetries, as it is a powerful means of expression and exploration for him. His photos and reportages have been published in books and magazines - for example Image in Progress, Fotografia Reflex, Il Venerdì di Repubblica - and have received more then 50 awards and accomplishments in prestigious international photo contests, such as 1st Place in PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2017, 1st Place at New York International Photography and Digital Art Contest 2017, 1st Place at FIIPA Fiof Italy International Photography Award 2016 and Best Photographer of UIF Anghiari Photo Contest 2016. Simone is devoted to architectural, macro and astrophotography in particular. The latter has gained to him an EAPOD European Astronomy Picture Of the Day (28 January 2017).

To see more of Simone's work please visit his website.



2nd Place (Traditional)
Rebecca Cameron


Rebecca Miller achieved her BA in studio art with an emphasis in Photography and a thematic minor in Journalism, Art History, and Documentary Photography at the University of Arizona. After graduating Rebecca moved to Phoenix where she currently teaches Jr. High Art, and is a painting instructor for Pinot’s Palette. Over the past few years of living in Phoenix she has shown her photographs and paintings in galleries around the Valley area, recently including Art Intersection in Gilbert, and ASU’s downtown campus.

Artist Statement

The concentration of the paintings is to exaggerate realistic moments found within nature to give the illusion of fantasy. This collection focuses on the vast expanse of the sky both seen from Earth and imagined in space. Contrary to the near incomprehensible size of the subject matter, the work is completed on small scale canvases as a comment on the minute amount of space humans and Earth itself actually take up in the universe.

To see more of Rebecca's artwork please visit her website.


2nd Place (Digital & Photography)
Julie Berglund

As with most of the general populace, Julie spends the majority of her days in front of a monitor, with deadlines looming; white light burning her eyes; and, stress eating away her life on a GOOD day at work. By day, Julie is a virtual hybrid of graphic artist and website developer, able to switch between her artistic and technical hats at the client’s whim. A rare breed in the world of the web. By night (and, morning, and any minute available), her camera comes out and she jumps into her alter ego of wildlife and landscape photographer. Photography is her way of escaping that work stress. She can take her camera and disappear into the woods, or the city, or the backyard, listening for familiar sounds of birds and critters. Looking for that one image that most people never see. She knows she’s blessed with the ability to take a little time here and there to pursue her passion. Not everyone has the time to do that. Her goal as a photographer and artist is to share that passion with others. To facilitate a smile, or genuine awe, from another person; to open their eyes to what is in the world around them if they simply stop and look. That is one of her joys in life.

To see more of Julie's work please visit her website.


3rd Place (Traditional)
Francesca Caputo

Francesca Caputo is a 19-year-old Toronto-based artist who has had a passion for art ever since she was little, and an appreciation for all things beautiful. Having an interest in the human figure, Francesca gravitates towards portraiture and often incorporates female figures into her work. She is fascinated by colour and light, and aims to gain a better understanding of their workings through her art. She is also inspired by the sky and clouds, celestial objects, crystals, and flowers, finding beauty in the impermanence and continuity of the natural world. Francesca works primarily in oil paint or graphite, which was a favourite medium in her childhood, but she also loves to experiment with a variety of other mediums. Her style is influenced by many historical art periods and the techniques that emerged from them, from the Renaissance and Art Nouveau to Impressionism, but Francesca's work exhibits a quality that is uniquely her own.

To view more of Francesca's artwork please visit her website.


3rd Place (Digital & Photography)
Brad Ware


I am a photographer (like James Nachtwey) who believes in the power and strength of bearing witness to what it is to be human, to the beauty of nature and to everyday life.

To see more of Brad's work please email him directly.




Honorable Mention (Traditional)
Ilona Benzel


In her thirties Ilona earned a BA in commercial art from a NH college. Paintings she sold in NH were oils mostly of foliage, fields and creeks. She lost her passion for oils after losing her husband and three elderly dogs before moving to FL in 2007. Oil mixing and clean up was tedious and overwhelming; what re-inspired her was finding acrylics at a yard sale. Her work now is loose, impressionistic, yet obviously representational without being photo realistic. Having discovered the challenge of alcohol inks she enjoys more freedom. She isn’t a one trick pony adhering strictly to one style or subject; which is atypical. There are many ways to envision the mysteries of life and her presentations reveal how she interprets her own life and her new place in the world. She went through an artistic metamorphous as her life changed. She re-emerged from oils to acrylics to multi-media with inks.

Artist Statement

As an artist I don't do the same art over and over. I test different mediums, add & subtract, bring change to my art and grow with it. Acceptance and excitement doesn't come from banality; it comes from an open creative mind and soul.

To see more of Ilona's artwork please visit her website.


Honorable Mention (Digital & Photography)
Jim Tarpo

As a photographer, my particular passion and ability is producing images that can be displayed in sensational quality, detail and size. It is a remarkable feeling to capture a large and beautiful scene in all of its minute detail.

The common way to photograph involves using a wide angle lens to fit the full scene into a single shot. That method does not produce enough pixels to satisfy my thirst for detail in a large print size. Instead, I use an alternate technique of zooming in to acquire the individual portions of a scene, and later assembling them into one. After meticulously adjusting exposure and color levels on a final image that seems the size of a football field on my monitor, the photographs are ready for print.

To see more of Jim's work please visit email him directly.




Honorable Mention (Traditional)
Sherry Lupo


Sherry is an Artist currently living in Northern California. Even with a love of creating Art, she began her own photography business, "Faces Plus" in 1979 after winning several blue ribbon photography contests prior to 1979. Some of Sherry's work was published. Never having to advertise but operating by word of mouth, The business was a busy success. Photography stole time from the Art Studio so she chose to retire in 1999 which took ten plus years to do. Early 2016 Sherry began painting in Acrylics, Watercolors, Charcoals, Pastels, Pencil. June 2016 entering Contests with Photography, Watercolor, Acrylic, Charcoals winning a Third Place, Merit and Special recognition awards Sherry took a break from contests to create more work and since has added Oil based paints in July 2017. The greatest Art influences began with the Old Masters. Now contemporary Artists are impressive and studied.

Artist Statement

As an Artist, I endeavor to create pieces that are both emotionally appealing and thought provoking. Pieces that inspire as well as please the viewer.

To see more of Sherry's work please email her directly.


Honorable Mention (Digital & Photography)
Rossi Fang


Rossi Fang is an amateur photographer who loves mountain photography.

To see more of Rossi's work please email him directly.


Honorable Mention (Traditional)
Sudipta Chaterjee


The Sky is a canvas . Paint your own life with freedom and joy.

To see more of Sudipta's work, please visit email her directly.


Honorable Mention (Digital & Photography)
Nicholas Teetelli

There is much beauty to behold in this world, moments that the eye captures, the wonders it sees... moments that should be committed to perpetual memory, but sadly only to become fragments of a faded recollection, or more often, simply forgotten. I draw inspiration to record these timeless and special moments, to capture them in my mind's eye, and through my lens, transforming each image and committing them to permanent form.

To see more of Nicholas' work, please visit his website.


Honorable Mention (Traditional)
Kristie Moore

I began painting and drawing last August after a very lengthy illness! I had a spinal surgery and acquired a deadly bacteria while in the hospital! It took a year and a half trying to fight this bacteria and unfortunately I was losing! I decided in August to try to occupy my mind and started to draw and paint! After each piece I finished I was getting healthier and healthier! I am now 100% recovered! I think that I was able to get my mind out of the way to allow my body to heal! Now I feel like it is completely engrained in my life and I really don't know what I was doing before this! It is like I have woken up in my life! I believe I was healed by art!

To see more of Kristie's work, please visit email her directly.


Honorable Mention (Digital & Photography)
RJ Lucas

RJ Lucas is a lifelong photography enthusiast with over 40 years experience in a variety of mediums and genres. A multiple award-winning, exhibited photographer, Mr. Lucas is equally at home in fine art and commercial photography. While making his home in the Kansas City area, Mr. Lucas has trained his lens on a wide range of subjects and locations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has also taught extensively on photographic theory and technique, across a range of experience and skill levels.

To see more of RJ's's work, please visit his website or email him directly.