Announcing Our 2016 Winners!

Please welcome us in congratulating our StoriesToArt Top 12 Winners and Honorable Mentions! We are thrilled to have them joining our family.

Top 12 Winners

1st Place: Impossible Burden by Ira Upin

Oil on Door Panel
36″ x 36″ x 0″

Impossible Burden

Story: As we age, what defines our true strengths and weaknesses?

2nd Place: The Lights On by Elizabeth Williams


Please click on the image to listen

Elizabeth Owens

Story: We’ll leave the porch light burning for a year, honey. (Story provided by StoriesToArt).

3rd Place:  Phoenix by Isaac Smith

Graphite and White Pastel on Paper
16″ x 12″ x 0″


Story:  She was just a passing stranger, but her face was so intriguing to me. It drew me in as if she had a secret she held close to her heart, or a dark past that had forged the quiet confidence I saw in her eyes. She had a face that would have anyone who saw it guess at the thoughts and feelings that were hidden away inside—a face that would haunt me forever.

4th Place: Jali by Antonius Bui 

Hand-Cut Tyvek
9′ x 5′ x 0″


Story: A turquoise butterfly landed on my father’s nose. I must have been 7-years-old, max… I remember thinking it was the funniest thing ever and then the sun hit the butterfly and half of it turned to gold. It was magical. (Story provided by StoriesToArt)

5th Place: Pearl by Sia Aryai

Handmade Print / Painted Paper with Metallic Acrylic
10″ x 8″ x .02″


Story:  I explore female beauty through the filter of my own childhood in repressive Tehran, Iran, where as a boy I sketched female figures from contraband magazines. In this series”foto nostalgia,” I portray Pearl with an empty gaze and pleasing, beautiful face. I seek to reduce the effects of cultural dictates about appeal and attraction and to highlight the essential, timeless qualities of Pearl. Pearl reflects a perspective about beauty that was formed by the restrictive circumstances of my youth and that has since become a key element of my identity as an artist.

6th Place: Steven Baumgardner by Chris Pontello

White Charcoal on Black Paper
42″ x 28″ x 0″

Steven Baumgardner

Story: Steven Baumgardner is a man of many hats. He’s been the host of Hip-Hop night for eight years, he has recently been voted as the best DJ in Savannah, he has taught break-dancing for fifteen years and he plays folk music during open mic nights at multiple locations around town. 

7th Place: Here In the Deep by Dave Heumann


Please click on the image to listen

Dave Heumann

Story: This song speaks of the hidden empty spaces within a person’s psyche; at once pondering the potency of one’s hopes and dreams, and making peace with one’s own mortality.

8th Place: Chrysalis by Darcy Meeker 

White Italian Alabaster
7″ x 7″ x 4″


Story: A turquoise butterfly landed on my father’s nose.  I must have been 7-years-old, max…  I remember thinking it was the funniest thing ever andThen the sun hit the butterfly and half of it turned to gold. It was magical. (Story provided by StoriesToArt).

9th Place: Lemon Portrait by Mary Michaela Murray 

Oil on Canvas
22″ x 30″ x 0″

Lemon Portrait

Story: The pink and white tablecloth made the kitchen of Grandmom’s island cottage so cheery. We would come in from the beach feeling windswept and rosy to find Grandmom ready with plates of orange cake and iced tea. I loved to watch her working in the kitchen, happy as could be.

10th Place: Just Keep Swimming by Serena Stevens

Oil on Canvas
26″ x 26″ x 0″

Just Keep Swimming

Story: I have never been as confident about swimming as I want to be, and I could never ski. Each time I tried I would emerge from the muddy water, freshly mixed with tears and snot, coughing and convinced I had nearly died.

(Tubing I could handle, and I was up for a challenge. Go ahead, make a figure-eight.)

Nonetheless, Holly said, “Like this,” and because I couldn’t, I watched, and eventually we grew apart.  But I remember being so lucky I never lost my swimsuit bottoms when I crashed; I would flex my feet, as if sinking my heels in, and I could catch them at my ankles. Otherwise, it would have been tricky to get out of the water.

11th Place: Wilbur Before He Passed Away by Mikyoung Osburn

Oil on Board
14″ x 11″ x 0″

Wilbur Before He Passed Away

Story: Mary-Jane is 94 years old. We became fast friends through our shared experiences of being stuck in dysfunctional marriages. She divulged that her husband of many years was unfaithful to her while he was alive. She spoke of her disappointment, yet kept her cheerful demeanor. I loved her so much and wanted to give her something that she never had. I gave her the picture perfect husband.

 12th Place: Brighton Beach Melodies by Deyva Arthur

Black and White Photograph
13″ x 19″ x 0″

Brighton Beach Melody

  Story:  “We come here every day.  Even if it snows.  It’s not like the home in Russia.  We talk of those times.  They were good and they were very, very bad.  But we talk of what we choose.”

Honorable Mentions

Congratulations to these talented artists as well!

Harlem Roots: South East by Michele Brody

Handmade Paper
11″ x 21″ x 4″

Harlem Roots: South East

Story:  Do you remember that horrendous storm, when the lights went out and we hid in the closet? Do you remember the next morning when that rainbow spilt over Glacier Park? You said nothing beats nature. (Story provided by StoriesToArt).

Early Morning Before the New Year by Julie Crews

48″ x 48″ x 2″


Story:  I choose to see a beautiful life amidst the mundane.

Jump (from Meaning Series) by Elizabeth Williams

Digital Photography
17″ x 24″ x 0″


Story: When I was a girl, meaning was self-evident. I search for the small things, now.

 MS839: UP by Lisa Lackey

Medium: Fabric and Thread on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″


Story:  As I walk up the stairs to my classroom, I smell the pancakes being served for breakfast down in the cafeteria and I am reminded that every day is a chance to start fresh.  The floors shine with optimism.

Texas Longhorn by Donna Johnson

Graphic Design
16″ x 20″ x 0″


Story:  Love farm animals especially since I was raised around them. Moving to Texas

was a blessing especially when I can go down and see the Longhorns and still feel like

I’m in the country.

“Crossing Paths” Dog Salmon & Grizzly by Robert Mullen

Acrylic on Board
15″ x 24″ x 0″


Story: Alone crossing Alaska’s Brooks Range for three weeks, with multiple packs, flash floods, glacial torrents, tangled alders, and boot-thieving black bears, I was overjoyed when the river grew large enough for the canoe to carry me rather than the other way around. Then, only a few hours into my first day afloat, I was ambushed by a grizzly. A rifle shot past his ear stopped him. Not ten minutes later I was shocked by an aggressive trio (sow and cubs), woofing over my head on a cut bank. I scared them off, but was coming unglued and starting to irrationally imagine a gauntlet of bears behind every bush.

15 minutes later, the river widened across a straight. And at the far end was another bear; a big one. There was no hiding. Slowing the canoe, I drifted downstream – closer and closer. Ignoring me (I relaxed a bit and grabbed my Canon), he calmly entered the river and walked across, gave a shake, and ambled off like I didn’t exist. I found myself liking that bear.

[He had a very distinctive look and amazingly, I am certain that we met him again this past August on the Kobuk River. It was like meeting an old friend, but that’s another story.]

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