Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1950, Yoni Park began her career in the arts as a classical pianist almost five decades before becoming a painter. In the late nineties, she taught herself how to paint by copying images from watercolor instruction books. She became so proficient, it became difficult distinguishing the book paintings from her own. Wanting to create original works, her sister, violinist Mi-Young Park, and brother-in-law, conductor Marc Mostovoy, approached their friend Nelson Shanks about starting an art school in Philadelphia so Yoni and other gifted artists could have access to the best possible teacher. Shanks accepted the challenge and in 2002, he and his wife, Leona, together with Mostovoy, founded Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art. Yoni and others like her, looking to attain expressive freedom through the mastery of artistic skills, was their impetus. Yoni was a member of the school’s first ‘graduating’ class.
Yoni Park (third from left) painting with colleagues at Studio Incamminati (2003).
Studio Incamminati: Certificate of Achievement
Awarded on June 18th, 2009
After a few years, she began to receive important commissions, including a posthumous portrait of Navy SEAL, Medal of Honor winner, Lt. Michael Murphy that hangs at Fort Hamilton, NY. In 2016, Yoni was commissioned by the Ben Franklin Global Forum to paint a posthumous portrait of Admiral Charles LeMoyne, the first two-star Navy SEAL admiral and founder of Naval Special Warfare Command. She was unable to finish it due to serious health issues and asked her friend Leona Shanks to complete it for her.
Specializing in figurative and still life paintings/drawings, Yoni Park’s works are included in several public and private collections. Renowned artist Nelson Shanks said of her art: “I have profound admiration for Yoni Park’s work; wonderful honesty and enormous capability." Although she was only able to paint for 18 years before falling ill, she produced many beautiful works treasured by those who own them. She passed away in October of 2017 at 67 years old.
Yoni Park’s artwork is being documented on this website for the historical record. Included are finished works, as well as studies, sketches and unfinished works--considered by her peers as beautiful in their own right. Please click ‘CONTACT’ for information about documenting, acquiring, or donating a work by Yoni Park.