Maria Simon: About the Artist


In January 2010, Maria Simon was featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s acclaimed series “Oregon Art Beat.” This interview shares Maria’s studio practices, from the conception to the completion of a work.

Born and raised in Chicago, Maria Simon began pursuing art as a young child.
With the support of her parents, she attended children’s classes at the Chicago Art Institute. She attended Washington University’s Steinberg School of Fine Arts in St. Louis, studying sculpture and printmaking. She also studied classical sculpture at L’Accademia d’elle Arte in Florence, Italy. After a fifteen year exploration of colored clays, producing decorative vessels and tiles, which she considered a marriage of sculpture and printmaking, Maria returned to her love of sculpture, using her favorite medium: clay.

Maria’s work is especially well-suited to the corporate and medical environment. The work provides a supportive and inviting presence.

Maria has placed works at Longmont Medical Center in Longmont, Colorado and Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Her work has been selected for numerous private and corporate art collections, including:

Breath of Rain detail Breath of Rain detail

  • Northwest Housing Alternatives, Oakridge Park Senior Housing, Lake Oswego, OR
  • Barran-Liebman Attorneys-at-Law, Portland, OR
  • Perkins Coie, Attorneys-at-Law, Portland, OR
  • Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, WA
  • Pac-Com Leasing Corp., Portland, OR
  • Amoco Properties, Chicago, IL
  • Carmichael Leasing Corp., Chicago, IL
  • Hyatt Regency, Chicago, IL
  • Crowe-Chizek Inc., Columbus, OH
  • The Collection of William & Karen Froman, Vancouver, WA
  • The Collection of Gabor & Ibi Temes, Corvallis, OR
  • Collection of Maureen and Richard Cantlin, Palm Springs, CA
  • Collection of Stanley and Kathie Morris, Gresham, OR
  • Collection of Jeff Douglas, Tigard, OR
  • Collection of Craig and Karen Greenleaf, Happy Valley, OR

Maria has been the recipient of several grants and awards, most significantly:

  • 1993 Metropolitan Arts Commission, Individual Artist’s Grant
  • 1991 Metropolitan Arts Commission, Portland, OR – Percent-for-the-Arts Commission to create ceramic tile murals for Portland’s Water Treatment Plant
  • 1987 Oregon Ceramic Showcase, Best-of-Show Award
  • 1983 Illinois Arts Council, Artist-in-Residency Grant

Maria has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.

A significant part of her’s time is devoted to teaching and workshop activities. She teaches classes for adults and children in her studio. She has also been providing Artist-in-Residency programs to the metro area schools in sculpture, ceramics, and mural making through the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington, and as an independent contractor since 1991. In addition, she has presented workshops on her process throughout the country since 1981.