Meet this week’s featured artist, Penny Knobel-Besa, new member:

ME: Originally from Baltimore, for the past twenty years I’ve lived on a mountain ridge in Western Maryland in a little spot called, (no laughing please) Flintstone; yes Farmer Flint is mentioned in George Washington’s diary so it’s an old area. My husband is Hilmar Gottesthal, international sculptor, painter, and stain glass artist. We share a woodland studio across from our home. Visitors are always welcome. My background is theatre, first as an actress, then director and playwright. I founded a theatre company and produced a successful play off-Broadway. My theatre degrees included art studies, graduate of Towson University, MPA, University of Baltimore, post-graduate studies at Yale and Johns Hopkins University; photography at Loyola College in Baltimore, HJC, in Hagerstown, B & W Dark Room at Delaplaine Center, Frederick, and Advance Adobe Photoshop at ACM.

Through the years I received encouragement with my photography. I won several awards in the 1990’s including being named Maryland “Photographer of the Year” by the Maryland Your Beautiful Program and from the National Big Sister & Brothers; so when I retired from Theatre in 1998 I pursued photography..

MY ART: I’ve always been a candid photographer from the start and drawn to photographing people in their natural environment when their moments unwittingly create an interesting image. To build a body of work I drove myself alone, camping, to Alaska interviewing women in Laundromats and people everywhere along the way. I added a southern trip to New Orleans within the same year for a total of 13,000 miles and had exhibitions and several photos published in literary magazines. Because of my theatre background I sometimes set up realistic scenes with a model; maybe playing cards, putting on perfume, or brushing their hair. I also find satisfaction in creating new art within the computer. I exhibit abroad in Vienna, Austria 2011 and around the region; Gilchrist Museum.  See more of my work in my portfolio on the MFA website:

“Odalisque”, archival inkjet photo, Penny Knobel-Besa

MFA and ME: I’m a new member of MFA, drawn by my love of Annapolis from living and working here in the past. I’m pleased to say that I just received accolades and won a “Jurors Award” in member show.


Spread the word about…YOU! Every week, we feature an MFA member for “Me & My Art Monday.” If you would like to be featured, please submit a photo and three paragraphs: one each about YOU, YOUR ART, and MFA & YOU totaling approximately 350 words, to


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