THE ARTIST

Sebastian Martorana is an artist living and working in Baltimore, MD.

He received his BFA in illustration from Syracuse University, where he also studied sculpture, including a semester in Italy. After graduating he became a full-time apprentice in a stone shop outside Washington, D.C. Sebastian received his MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Rinehart School of Sculpture.

His current studio is part of the stone shop at Hilgartner Natural Stone Company in downtown Baltimore where he undertakes and directs commissioned stone carving, restoration and design, as well as his own sculptural works. Many of his works involve incorporating salvaged marble architectural elements from the city and their re-incorporation into individual and site-specific sculptures. Sebastian is also an adjunct professor in the Illustration Department at MICA.

His works have received numerous awards and are included in various private and public collections. One of his pieces, Impressions, was featured in “40 Under 40: Craft Futures,” the 40th Anniversary exhibition of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The sculpture was acquired by the museum and is now part of their permanent collection.

Sebastian has been a guest lecturer and Let’s Make Partner at the American Craft Council’s annual Baltimore show for the last three years. In 2015 Sebastian was recently one of five artisans selected by Anthony Bourdain to be part of The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection tour.

Sebastian’s fine art work is represented by Aesthetica Art Services, LLC. For a current catalogue, gallery information or to schedule at studio visit, please contact Debrah Dunner at dunner@aestheticaart.com or 301-738-0347.

THE WORK

How to Make Carving Tools on the Cheap

Part 1: Chisels [see below for Part 2: Mallets] As with a lot of specialized trades, just knowing where to get the right tools if half the battle-- the other half is finding a lending company to take out the loan required to purchase trade specific...

read more

Unseen

"Unseen" began as a reflection on the amount of artwork that is produced but never seen. How many people actually "see" artwork? Most people that "see" artwork actually haven’t. They have seen pixels. Fewer people have actually seen my artwork in person than have...

read more

Latent

Often, the most exciting pieces I make happen when collectors say: "What do you really want to do next?" This can be intimidating since you are being put on the spot and there is pressure to have an idea immediately. Luckily for me, my work takes so long that I will...

read more

We Both Wear Pants

This piece is both portrait and admission. It comes from the same place as a series of pieces I began years ago. Yours, Mine & Ours, was my attempt to visually describe the unique personalities that make up my family. My wife is the smooth, folded bath towel to my...

read more

Glove: Engineer

Finally some killer photos by Geoff Graham of the second glove in the series focusing on some of the hand-wear I've accumulated. This  railroad "engineer" style glove reminds me of the type of gloves my grandfather wore. His family immigrated to the States and worked...

read more

A New Icon: Sam

I was recently asked by pair of supportive collectors to revisit a series I began a few years ago. The latest in the Icon Series is based on, American Icon and Muppet, Sam the Eagle. Sam occupies a unique place in the wacky crowd that is the Muppets. He stands in as...

read more

THE HISTORY

Exhibitions

2018

  • The Unveiling. Brooklyn, NY
  • Unveiled. Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD
  • Sondheim Semi-finalist Show. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

2016

  • Connections. Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

2015

  • Rinehart’s Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
  • Hand / Made. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

2014

  • Strange Bedfellows. Visarts, Rockville, MD
  • (e)Merge. International Art Fair. Washington, D.C.
  • Sondheim Semi-finalist Show. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

2012

  • Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibition. University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD
  • 40 Under 40: Craft Futures. Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Unlived Histories. Flanders Gallery, Raleigh, NC
  • House Show. Case[werks] Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2011

  • 80WSE Presents. Curators’ invitational show. 80WSE Gallery, New York University, New York, NY
  • (e) Merge. International Art Fair. Washington, D.C.
  • Sondheim Semi-finalist Show. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
  • Exposed. The Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD
  • Successions. In/Flux Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2010

  • Uncommissioned Memorials. Solo Exhibition, Irvine Contemporary, Washington, D.C.
  • Sondheim Semi-finalist Show. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
  • Hammer and Thread. Area 405, Baltimore, MD
  • Forum of Forty Champions. Minstallation Gallery, Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD

2009

  • MANIFEST HOPE:DC. Inaugural show, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
  • Sondheim Semi-finalist Show. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

2008

  • Habitat. Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College, Baltimore, MD
  • Introductions4. Irvine Contemporary, Washington, D.C.
  • Artscape Festival. Outdoor Sculpture Show, Baltimore, MD
Collections

Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia A. Young – Washington, D.C.; Kathleen and Kevin Buchi ­– Malvern, PA; Capital Broadcasting Company – Raleigh, NC; David Akiluan – Washington, D.C.; Erik Smith – Washington, D.C.; Aaron M. Flynn – Washington, D.C.; Kate Nicholson – Washington, D.C.; Myra and Stephen Kurzbard – Arlington, VA; Dr. Mildred Wang – Arlington, VA; Dr. Subir Jossan – Manassas, VA

Awards and Honors

2018

  • Semi-Finalist for the Janet & Walter Prize Award, Baltimore, MD
  • Make Space Partner, 2018 American Craft Council Show. Baltimore, MD

2017

  • Make Space Partner, 2017 American Craft Council Show. Baltimore, MD

2016

  • Nominated for the American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Award. Minneapolis, MN
  • Make Space Partner, 2016 American Craft Council Show. Baltimore, MD

2015

  • Make Space Partner, 2015 American Craft Council Show. Baltimore, MD

2014

  • Emerging Voices Nominee. American Craft Council Award. Minneapolis, MN
  • Individual Artist Award, Maryland State Arts Council, Baltimore, MD
  • Conversation Corner Guest Speaker at the 2014 American Craft Council Show. Baltimore, MD

2013

  • Juror’s Choice Award (2nd Place Overall) Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibition. UMUC, Adelphi,MD
  • Individual Artist Award, Maryland State Arts Council, Baltimore, MD

2011

  • Semi-Finalist for the Janet & Walter Prize Award, Baltimore, MD

2010

  • Semi-Finalist for the Janet & Walter Prize Award, Baltimore, MD

2009

  • Semi-Finalist for the Janet & Walter Prize Award, Baltimore , MD

2008

  • Residency at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT. Provided though grants from the Vermont Studio Center and Maryland Institute College of Art Graduate Studies Program.
  • Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship – Honorable Mention, Office of Graduate Studies, Maryland Institute College of Art

2007

  • The William M. Phillips Scholarship, Outstanding Figurative Sculpture student MICA, Baltimore, MD

2006

  • Nominee, Jack Kent Cooke Fellowship, Syracuse University, Graduate Student Grant Application, Syracuse, NY

2003

  • Bruce E. Arnold Memorial Award, Outstanding Illustration student , Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

2002

  • Study Abroad Grant, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Department of International Programs Abroad, Syracuse,NY

1999

  • Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • Founder’s Scholarship, Academic Scholarship, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Selected Carving Work
  • Archdiocese of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD. Group of 3 carved wooden coats of arms for Archbishop Lori.
  • St.Rita’s Catholic Church, Baltimore, MD. Statue replacement and restoration.
  • Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, MD. Carving of granite stars
  • Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.  supervision and execution of carving for building restoration
  • Johns Hopkins University, Gilman Hall Capital Campaign donor plaque, Baltimore, MD.
  • Carving The Mivkvah of Greater Washington, D.C.
  • Cornerstone carving at Baltimore City Hall, window surrounds. Baltimore, MD. carving.
  • Polo Ralph Lauren, Co., spiral stone staircase. Greenwich, CT. Layout, fabrication, carving.
  • William Donald Schaefer Memorial base, Baltimore Inner Harbor, MD. carving.
  • Loyola University, new entrance sign. Baltimore, MD. carving.
  • American Trial Lawyers Association, Hall of Fame Plaque. carving.
  • Iwo Jima Memorial, Quantico, VA. carving and restoration.
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, VA. carving.
  • Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge entrance sign, VA and MD sides. carving.
  • National Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C. carving.
  • Duke University, Perkins Library, Durham, NC. carving.
  • Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington, D.C. carving.
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. carving and restoration.
  • National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA. carving.
  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. carving and restoration.
  • Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. carving and restoration.
Work Experience

2008 – present

  • OWNER/EMPLOYEE
    Atlantic Custom Carving, LLC – Trading as Sebastianworks, Founder and owner
  • PROJECT MANAGER/CARVER/CONSULTANT
    Hilgartner Natural Stone, Baltimore, MD, Resident sculptor and carver

2008 – present

  • STONE CARVER/CONSULTANT
    Hilgartner Natural Stone, Baltimore, MD, Resident sculptor and carver

2012 – present

  • INSTRUCTOR
    Adjunct professor at Maryland Institute College of Art
    Classes include: Intro to Illustration, Drawing as Illustration, Illustration I, Intro to Graphic Design/Illustration, Intro to Stone Sculpture

2002 – 2006

  • APPRENTICE
    Manassas Granite & Marble Inc., Manassas, VA.
    Training and practice in the methods, material and techniques of stone carving, restoration, fabrication and installation.
Education

2008

  • MFA Rinehart School of Sculpture, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

2003

  • BFA, Illustration, Magna Cum Laude, Founders Scholar, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY