Main prize

The main prize for the winner is an authentic artwork specially created by renowned Artist Maria Ignatiou Shiakalli who is the prestigious (branded) Award Patron and also the Arts and Culture Patron.

Artist Biography

Maria Ignatiou-Shiakalli Main Prizes Artist

Maria Ignatiou-Shiakalli studied Fine Art in the USA.



She won all the annual academic scholarships (1988-1992) at Barton University, Wilson, NC, all the annual foreign student scholarships (1988-1992) and also winning the annual Caldwell Scholarships (1989-1992).

In 1991 she was also awarded the Bessie Massengil Art Scholarship for Best University Art Student.  

In 1991, she became a member of the Alpha Chi (AX) National Honor Scholarship Society, in USA. 

She was placed on the Dean’s List, Fall 1988, Spring 1989, Fall 1989, Spring 1990, Fall 1990, Fall 1991.

She was placed on the President’s List Spring 1991 and Spring 1992.

In 1991, Maria Ignatiou was the Marshall of the Junior Class at the Commencement achieving the Highest Junior Class Average.

In 1992, she acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Painting & Ceramics with Magna Cum Laude distinction.

Accolades & Exhibitions

During her studies she was a Representative to Senate, President of Campus Christian Association, Member of Convocation, Concert, and Lecture Committee and Member of the Council of Presidents.

In 1991, she presented her awarded Ceramic works alongside with renown artists of the State at the North Carolina Ceramics Conference which was held in Spring in Asheboro, North Carolina.

In 1992 she returned to Cyprus and founded a private educational institution with a primary focus on the visual arts.

In 1998 she co-founded Kivotos Luxury Lifestyle, a contemporary luxury development company specializing in design and art consultancy together with product sourcing and supply for exclusive projects, representing world famous companies such as Versace Home and Barovier & Toso.

In 2004, she was employed by the Ministry of Education as an Art Educator and has taught Art at the St Barnabas School for the Blind, Nicosia, Cyprus.

As an acclaimed Fine Artist, she established the Art Department both in Painting and Ceramics at the School of the Blind offering professional lessons in finger painting, painting and drawing with magnifier lenses, ceramics, jewelry, fabric collage and engraving. She is a sixteen-year experienced Art Educator to students with visual impairment including blindness and dual sensory impairment of deafness and blindness.

Being the Author of the art curriculum for the St Barnabas School for the Blind, Nicosia, Cyprus, she has developed art therapy lessons and creative arts adaptions. 

Since 2012 her artworks have been the main prize for the Business Woman of the Year Awards, an established annual awards event for “National-Cyprus” and “Russian-Cyprus” marking a platform of recognition for women entrepreneurs and philanthropists across Cyprus operating under Cyprus Business Awards Ltd. In 2019 she was given the honourary title of Patroness of the Awards, due to her long service and donations to the Awards.

She has had solo and group exhibitions both in Cyprus, Greece and USA.

Her art works have been bought by private collectors, ambassadors and government officials for their residences in Cyprus, England, Greece and the USA. 

Her paintings are also in private collections belonging to the Royal family of Bahrain as well as in the Zambellas Art Museum, Cyprus, Art Prive Art Gallery, Cyprus and other prestigious establishments.

At the 11th Cyprus-Russia Gala held under the high patronage of the First Lady of Cyprus, Mrs Andri Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus on the 15th October 2017 her fine art themed “Agape”, was sold by silent auction to the highest bidder for the sum of 10,000 euros and donated to support children with special needs and their families. On the 15th September 2018 at the Presidential Palace she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the organisers of the Cyprus-Russia Gala and Radiomarathon Foundation.

Solo Exhibitions

Gallery Art Prive, Nicosia Cyprus, May 2011
Boo Art, Athens Greece, November 2014

Group Exhibitions

North Carolina Ceramics Conference, Spring 1991
Case Art Gallery, Barton University, 1989-1992

Group Exhibitions Club for Unesco of Piraeus & Islands

Greece and USA
Honorary certificates for her art exhibitions participation