|Occupation||Artist, Designer, Model, Activist|
Maria Snyder is an artist, designer, model, activist and entrepreneur. Snyder's artistic background began in her youth as a painter and sculptor. She is the daughter of industrialist real estate developer, Arthur T. Snyder, who was an early pioneer in the revitalization of Portland, Maine. Maria attended school in Athens, Greece, studied at the American University in Paris and received a master's degree in 20th Century Art History.
While in Paris, Maria was discovered by Yves Saint Laurent, after Marisa Berenson introduced her to Saint Laurent's muse, Loulou de la Falaise. Maria quickly rose to fame within the fashion industry as one of Saint Laurent's chosen models. This launched an international modeling career and work with designers Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Gianni Versace, Moschino, Armani, Emanuel Ungaro, Calvin Klein and Geoffrey Beene. She has also worked with photography giants Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, and Matthew Rolston and worked closely with legendary David LaChapelle. Maria was a muse to celebrated artist Alex Katz and to one of the greatest fashion illustrators in history, Antonio Lopez. She is featured as the cover art of Lopez's book, "Antonio's People". After moving to New York, Andy Warhol encouraged Maria's art. When embarking on a fashion career, Warhol remarked that "A photo of you is all people need to see to launch your career." Maria was also featured in Norma Kamali's campaign with Andie MacDowell and Dolce & Gabbana's campaign with Monica Bellucci. Maria was immortalized in the Dick Tracy comic strips as the inspiration for the "designing woman" character in the series.
Maria's career in fashion was spearheaded by Anouk Aimée's daughter, Manuela Papatakis. She introduced Maria to Diane von Fürstenberg, who gave Maria her first exhibition featuring her jewelry as art. Maria's pieces, which included both costume and fine jewelry, were shown in Estee Lauder and Revlon advertising campaigns. Maria then launched a fashion business. She developed collections featuring hand painted silk, elegant bead work and graphic prints. She showcased her collections in Paris and New York and began shipping to specialty and department stores around the globe. She also worked on a line of jewelry for Emilio Pucci and created fanciful bracelets for New York's Museum of Modern Art. Felissimo then partnered with Maria and featured her wearable art and jewelry collections. Maria was hailed by Felissimo for being "one of the first designers to introduce an exclusive eco collection from recycled materials." Her designs were worn by celebrities, models and aristocrats including: Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Cindy Crawford, Christie Brinkley, Anne Hearst, Mrs. Henry Ford, Princess Olga of Greece and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece.
Maria's most recent brands, Eco Boys and Girls, EcoBrands, A Message of Love and IAM, deliver messages of environmental awareness and interconnectedness. In 2010, Maria launched Eco Boys and Girls, an educational tool for children to learn, engage and participate with simple but direct messages of love, peace and environmental awareness. Eco Boys and Girls premiered at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey on April 24, 2010. Since then, the National Education Association (NEA) has adopted Eco Boys and Girls lesson plans into their curriculum. The NEA and Friends of the United Nations have also welcomed the Eco Boys and Girls as pro-environmental advocates. The NEA's Green Across America Program features the Eco Boys and Girls as icons. In 2011, Eco Boys and Girls were featured presenters in Grand Central Terminal's Earth Day 2011 celebration, as well as featured partners at American Renewable Energy Day 2011 in Aspen, Colorado, August 2011.
In addition, the Eco Boys and Girls short film has been selected to present at Global Peace Film Festival, Sustainable Planet Film Festival, Artivist Film Festival and presented at American Renewable Energy Day. Friends of the United Nations presents Eco Boys and Girls, the Millennium Kids at the United Nations to share awareness of UN Millennium Goals. In September, 2010 the Association of Science and Technology Centers presented the Eco Boys and Girls as participants in their call to action for science education to support the Millennium Development Goals.
Leading a new generation of artists
Maria is receiving increasing recognition as "Leading a New Generation of Artists for Peace". In 2009 the Fulbright Center featured Maria's HeartsUnite painting at The Global Symposium of Peaceful Nations in Washington, D.C. Her MandalaLoveBubbles triptych artwork is on permanent display at the Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The American Public Health Association (APHA) at the annual conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania describes Maria's art "as an emerging body of work that spans graphic, advertising, and fine arts in techniques and media while discussing the challenges of bringing images and ideas about peace into the modern mainstream after decades of marginalization." Maria's 35-foot (11 m) mural, Wall Of Peace'n Love, was installed in the entranceway to the new Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Maria Snyder was a speaker on her PeaceART at the Newark Peace Education Summit. Her discussion Global Call to Action through PeaceART is a project that helps empower children around the world through art and action, utilizing murals, film, and prose.
Honors, boards, awards
Tiffany and Co. announced Maria as "One of America's Hottest Fashion Designers" along with Isaac Mizrahi and Anna Sui. She has been recognized by the Encyclopedia of Costume Jewelry as "one of the few top jewelry designers to collect." Maria has been nominated to the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the International Best Dressed List. She has been named Ambassador of Arts to the Middle East Peace Civic Forum and is an advisory board member to the International Committee against Mental Illness.
- Liberty Science Center's page for Eco Boys and Girls http://www.lsc.org/ecoboysandgirls
- "NEA - Eco Boys and Girls". National Education Association. NEA.org.
- "NEAMB | NEA Member Benefits". NEAmb.com.
- "NEA's Green Across America Campaign". NEAmb.com.
- "EARTH DAY New York". "EarthFair Outdoors Grand Central Terminal". EarthDayNY.org.
- [American Renewable Energy Day 2011] http://www.areday.net/areday_2011.html
- "Eco Boys and Girls shown at the Global Peace Film Festival". Peacefilmfest.org.
- "Sustainable Planet Film Festival". Sustainable-planet.net.
- [Artivist Film Festival video coverage of Eco Boys and Girls] http://onewayzlunchecoboysandgirls.eventbrite.com/
- "American Renewable Energy Day 2010". Areday.net.
- "Friends of the United Nations". Fotun.info.
- "Maria Snyder News: PEACE ART and Maria Snyder" (blog post). Mariasnyder.com. 2009.
- "Newark Peace Education Summit". Newarkpeace.org.
- "Middle East Project: Staff and Board of Directors". Middleeastproject.org.
- "Notes on Fashion". New York Times. June 2, 1987.
- "Middle East Project: Staff and Board of Directors". Middleeastproject.org.
- "American Public Health Association Event sponsoring Maria Snyder's "Peace Art". Apha.confex.com.
- "April 24, 2010: Liberty Science Center celebrates Earth Day 2010". An introduction of Eco Boys and Girls: earth-friendly educational animated characters created by visionary top model, fashion designer and artist Maria Snyder.
- "Maria Snyder's Eco Boys and Girls for Earth Day". Huffington Post article dated April 20, 2010.
- "Liberty Science Center website". LSC.org.
- "Pamela Peeters: Meet Maria Snyder on April 24th at Liberty Science Center and get introduced to her Eco Boys & Girls". Pamelapeeters.tumblr.com.
- "Newark Peace Education Summit Panels and Workshops". Newarkpeace.org.