Cover Artist Phoenix Marks


A Mystical Experience

By Lucy Arnold,  Art Editor

“Loxahatchee Sunset” by Phoenix Phoenix Marks, a.k.a. Phoenix SpiritDiva

Phoenix Marks, Fort Lauderdale Branch president, attempts to fix the extraordinary beauty of nature in time — using photography as her art. An award-winning conservation photographer, she has spent years taking photographs in national parks throughout the country.

As a native of Miami, she focuses primarily on South Florida’s wetlands and the Everglades. Last fall, however, Marks expanded beyond that — by completing a monthlong Artist in Residence stay at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located at the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.

“Working at a national park was a childhood dream ever since I experienced Yosemite National Park at 13 years old,” she said. “This residency allowed me to further my personal mission: using the power of photography to raise awareness and inspire conservation of the fragile beauty of nature for the enjoyment of generations to come.”

Marks, who uses the name Phoenix SpiritDiva for her online presence, submitted six images with her application.

“The Artist in Residence selection panel really loved Phoenix’s work and appreciated the strong images shared. She was the super scorer on our panel,” said Sheridan Roberts, parkwide volunteer coordinator for the national park.

Marks presented public service programs for visitors, students, and faculty as part of her residency.

"White Out at Morton  Overlook.”

“White Out at Morton

This is her second artist residency— she previously spent a month at the Olive Stack Gallery. The featured artist for the “Endangered” exhibition in England, she has received numerous awards, including the Broward Cultural Council’s Creative Investment Program Grant (twice).

“Being a nature photographer is a mystical experience. Like a meditation of light, color, texture, structure, pattern, and composition, it awakens an inner peace and knowingness,” she said. “Every vision I capture reflects my heart being touched by the soul of wild places and their inhabitants. The importance of nature is more than a scientific necessity for creating air, clean water, and producing food. It is a sacred necessity for healing and bringing peace to the human soul.”


“Blazing Sunset Over the Smokies,” featured on the cover of Spring 2020 The Pen Woman.