Maria Hoch always knew she wanted to be an artist. Regardless if she did it or not, it was who she was. Born in Melbourne, Florida in 1953, she moved around with her family to follow her father’s engineering career with Martin-Marietta and Boeing. She lived in Maryland, New Mexico, Germany, then Alabama, and finally returning to Florida in 1982 with her own young family.
As a young child, Maria would sneak out of her room and stand behind the door to watch the show, “The Untouchables”, playing in the living room TV. She loved the drama and the suits that represented a distinctly American genre. People and the costumes they wear then and now always intrigued her and have become a major subject matter of her work.
In later years, Maria took art instruction in several disciplines: Auburn University for design, University of Alabama in Huntsville for painting and drawing and Pensacola State College for ceramics. Whereas she found art classes to be a valuable source of information about technique, and in a couple of instances, had teachers who resonated as lifelong sources of inspiration, eventually to her, making art becomes a self-taught endeavor of experimenting on one’s own in the studio.
In 2000, Maria served as Artist-In-Residence for all middle and high schools in Escambia County. She admits, "I taught one day of art in each school. It was a true eye-opening education about how hard teaching is. "Even with the many challenges, she firmly believes that exposure to the arts makes our society culturally rich and healthy.
Today, Maria Hoch enjoys making art for herself, seeing it as a language to communicate what she wants and how she sees the world.
As an artist, I’m drawn to the emotional dichotomy of tragedy/comedy and all things in between. This is something that may originate from early childhood, where societal and religious mores were difficult for me to understand; they seemed random, arbitrary and unfairly gender-biased. So, I set about observing the human dramas playing out around me, and tried to make sense of it all through line and color. Or maybe I just wanted to escape into a world of my own making, shaped by language that made sense to me.
Exhibitions and Awards
Red Clay Survey: An Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art
Juried show, Huntsville, Alabama; 2000
Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Pensacola, Florida
Award: 2nd place in painting, 1990.
Award Of Distinction; 2014
A Series of Phases: Stages in the process of Discovery
Artel Gallery In The Vault, Pensacola, Florida, 2016
Cinco Banderas Permanent Collection
Purchase prize: “Beach Pose” (pastel) 2007
“Ego Soup” (mixed media) 2010
“The Party” (oil on board) 2014
Debbie Geiger and George Percy Collection
Specializing in Florida art
Coast To Coast: The Contemporary Landscape in Florida
Published in 1998 by Gary R. Libby
An accompaniment for a traveling exhibition of 50 artists from the Debbie Geiger and George Percy Collection
Po10tial Magazine: Feature article, November 2012 issue: photography and words by Katherine Quarles