Artprize 2010 2nd Place Winner Mia Tavonatti and her foundation "Svelata" are currently recreating creativity by reinventing how artists work, and by revealing the true nature of creativity and the transformative power of beauty! Watch the video "Recreating Creativity" here:
Mia earned her BFA and MFA from California State University Long Beach, where she majored in Illustration. She has also studied in Paris at the Sorbonne, Parsons School of Design, in the studio of renowned French impressionist Monsieur Relange’, and in Italy and Greece numerous times with the California State University International Study programs with such renowned international painters as Dominick Cretara, Johnny Cariachi, and Demitri Mitsanas.
Mia has been creating art professionally for twenty years, and her work can be found in numerous public, private, institutional and corporate collections including those of Marriott Resorts and Harrah’s Casinos. She has earned much recognition including winning 2nd Place at Artprize 2010, the world's largest art competition, with her 7' x 13' stained glass mosaic entitled "Svelata", and exhibited extensively in the US, Italy, France and Greece. Mia has also had work chosen for exhibition at the American Museum of Illustration in New York and by the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators for their annual juried exhibitions. In 1999, her book Cramped Quarters was nominated for the Golden Kite Award by the Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Society, while her numerous art instructional books have been published in over 20 countries.
In 2007, Mia moved to Italy to unveil her humanitarian project Svelata, a monumental series of oil paintings on canvas at the ancient Museo Arsenale in Amalfi. Over 6,000 people from thirty countries witnessed her European solo debut with an overwhelmingly positive reception. In June of 2008 Mia was one of twenty artists chosen worldwide for an exhibition at the Cesi Palace in Acquasparta, Italy, where she was awarded “Best of Show.” Mia has since returned to California and has formed the Svelata Foundation For the Arts and is currently producing the first Svelata World Tour, an international traveling exhibition of 22 paintings housed in its own custom 17,000 square foot, fabric and steel truss nomadic structure.
In 2006 Mia was invited to join the Air Force Arts Program in Washington, where her first mission was to document the training missions of the 550th Search and Rescue Special Ops teams at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mia's most recent mission was to document the 50th anniversary of the T38 jet trainer at Randolph AFB in Texas. In exchange for each mission, Mia creates a painting that becomes part of the US Air Force permanent collection, for inclusion in rotating exhibitions between various Air Force institutions including the Pentagon, Smithsonian and National Airspace Museum.
As an Illustrator, Mia has created the art for over twenty books, eight of which she has also authored, and the covers for sixty plus young adult, children’s and art instructional books for publishers such as Walter Foster, Harcourt Brace, Simon Shuster and Troll Associates. Mia has also worked on various editorial illustrations for trade and mass-market magazines, and projects for corporations including Lysol, Marriot, Toyota, Tomy Toys, Seagram’s, Martha Stewart and Bravo/NBC.
Mia has been said to “paint with glass…” Her intricate stained glass mosaics weave her experience as a painter with her love of high renaissance glass mosaics. She has created numerous mosaics for restaurants, private residences, corporations and public works projects throughout the US over the last thirteen years.
Mia has taught painting at Laguna College of Art + Design in Laguna Beach, California for fourteen years, where her and her students have been responsible for the creation of five public murals in California. Mia currently resides in Santa Ana, California.