Florida Artists Group

  Area VII Member

 Joan Sonnenberg - Mixed Media Artist

Joan Sonnenberg 

Enclaves of Culture and Design II


Portal to Hades



Siamese Twins


Steel City


Joan's Web Site

Contact Email Address

Member of Flag since:
Area Chair 2017 -

Joan's Bio:

Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA - Distinguished Pre-College Art Scholar in Saturday Morning Art Classes
Chatham College - Pittsburgh, PA - College of Fine Arts, 1950 & 1951
Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA - BACollege of Fine Arts 1953, Campus Newspaper Cartoonist
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts - Multi-colored Intaglio Printmaking with George Nama (Tamarind Graduate)
Peace River College, Grand Prairie, Alberta - Non-Toxic Printmaking with Keith Howard

Artist Statement:

My artwork, spanning 70 years, has been a product of the varied experiences and influences of living in many states and countries – seldom regional – but a kaleidoscopic, cosmopolitan reflection of the essence of these different societies. It transcends cultural differences and reflects the contemporary thinking of today and tomorrow.
I feel that the artwork of today is all-encompassing “out of the box” without restrictions and my images represent this new wave of unrestricted and unleashed forms – free from rehashed formal abstraction. I use many old and new materials interchangeably – often combining oil and watercolor mediums to produce 3D-like vibrant impressions. This technique was frowned upon because earlier art categories, i.e. water and pastel, were to remain virginal and true to their inception.
Today my work is very “big-shouldered” and “monstrous” as one 90 year-old artist, Charles Mills in Ft. Lauderdale put it. It also was amusing when a museum docent in the Pittsburgh, PA Carnegie Museum of Art cited me as “John, a very architectural painter!"
A similar situation occurred in 1976 at The Butler Museum of Modern Art in Youngstown, Ohio when I won Best of Show for American Dream, an 8 x 18 foot, billboard-sized painting by a “Woman Abstractionist” – an event unparalleled in the Museum’s history.  According to Clyde Singer, a critic for the Youngstown Vindicator, “This award signified another victory for the ladies!”
Every day I look forward to painting and I feel that l learn something with each new completed work. To me art is an ongoing passion that gives meaning to life – transcending and encompassing the doctrines of abstraction in realism - and realism in abstraction - which harmoniously co-exist in life and art.

Major Awards & Exhibitions:
The von Liebig Art Center (Naples, FL) - Founders Exhibitions 2002, 04, 06, 08, 10 - Best of Show
Coral Springs Museum of Art, 2004 Full Museum Exhibition - 55 works produced over 60 years 
Art League of Bonita Springs, "Hot Hot Hot" Exhibition, Best of Show, "Portal to Hades"
Rossetti Gallery, 2011, Best of Show, "Erosion"
Rossetti Gallery, 2011, Best of Show, "Portal to Hades"
Art League of Bonita Springs - 2011, Portrait Exhibition, First Place, "Art Aficianado" 

The von Liebig Art Center (Naples, FL) - 2010 Annual, Best of Show, “Sad Smile”
Nat’l Assoc. of Women Artists - Armory Art Center, W. Palm Beach FL, First Place, “Hope for Haiti”
Broward College Nat’l (Broward County, FL) - Award Winner, “Global Warming”
Katharine Butler Gallery Nat’l (Sarasota, FL) - First Prize Winner, “Global Warming”
Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh, PA), Associated Artists, 100th Anniversary Prize Winner, “Sad Smile”
Bonita Springs Art Center (FL) - Members Best of Show, - “Sad Smile”

Bonita Springs Art Center (FL) - Members Best of Show, “Neptune’s Icon”

"Urban Expressions", Alliance Center For The Arts, Ft. Myers, Exhibition of Works By Marcus Antonius Jansen and Joan Brechin Sonnenberg
Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburg, PA), Associated Artists, Award Winner, "Footloose"

Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburg, PA), Associated Artists, Award Winner, "Sail Away"
Alliance Center for the Arts (Fort Myers, FL) - All Florida 2D/3D, Best of Show
FL Watercolor Society (FWS)- Annual Exhibition, Daytona Beach Museum of Art - Major Triad Award
FL Artists Guild (FLAG) - Annual Exhibit, Daytona Beach Museum of Art, RU Israels Memorial Award
Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA), Annual Exhibition, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”

Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburg, PA), Annual Exhibition, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
FL Watercolor Society (FWS) - Annual Exhibit, Sarasota Art Center - Major Triad Award
Boca Raton Museum of Art, 2006 National Biennial - Honorable Mention

Art Council of SW Florida - Gold Award in 2003 & 2001 “Super Bowls” from 10 SW FL Art Associations
FL National 2002 “Combined Talents” Invited Exhibition - Two works displayed in FSU Fine Arts Museum
Ljubljana (Slovenia) World Biennial of Art on Paper - 2001 - Invited & Published
The von Liebig Art Center (Naples, FL) - Art Encounter 1999 & 2000 (All Florida) - Juror’s Choice Awards