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 studio is part of the stone shop at Hilgartner Natural Stone Company where he undertakes and directs commissioned stone carving, restoration and design, as well as his own sculptural works. Many of his works involve 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 at MICA.

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

Since the program’s inception, Sebastian has been a Let’s Make Partner at the American Craft Council’s annual Baltimore show. In 2015 Sebastian was one of five artisans selected by Anthony Bourdain to be part of The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection tour.

For a current catalogue, gallery information, or to schedule at studio visit, please contact at prime@sebastianworks.com.

THE WORK

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...

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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...

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Baby Steps

Obviously, as a kind of extension of the Soft Step Series, I wanted to make a sort of mini-stoop that would be more appropriate for my (then) one year old son. He loves to stoop with us, but his feet dangle uncomfortably off the full size stair steps. To be fair, at...

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Salvaged Marble Stoops: Now Permanent Game Tables

This public art piece is part of the redevelopment project in the Barclay neighborhood. I was contacted by the sculpture department at MICA who was asked by the developer, Telesis Corp, to assist with reincorporating the salvaged marble stoops from the neighborhood...

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More New Construction . . .

Ever since I showed the first New Construction piece (the cinder block), people have been telling me: "You should carve a brick! You should carve a brick!" People are always telling me what I should carve and sometimes they are right. But in this case, honestly–that...

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Piggy

This second “Birthstone” is based on the beloved former toy of a couple’s small child. The original “Piggy” was literally loved-to-death. The little tike pulled on Piggy’s music string so many times that the once cheerful tune morphed into a kind of “funeral dirge,”...

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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