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As if they could step out of the picture


Stephanie Balih impresses with large-format portraits, she sings with Alex Dolphin in her band THE KNUTSHERS.

It is no coincidence that the beekeeper Roland Heinzle approached the artist couple to realize the bee pavilion in Klein Pöchlarn. Stephanie Balih and Alex Dolphin, who are newly married on a farm, are dedicated to the love of nature in many facets of life: She is a painter with her own studio in Artstetten, he is a filmmaker, among other things - and together they are the music formation THE KNUTSHERS. With their album "Beat of the Universe" and songs like "Peace on Earth" or "Vollmond" they don't want to "convert, but encourage conscious living", they say.

The album cover already tells of her philosophy of life: A girl in an imposing skirt is thoughtfully leaning on a planet. The picture bears the "signature" of Stephanie Balih, who impresses with large-format works. In doing so, she succeeds in capturing not only the people with brushes and colors, but also their movements and their emotions. "My specialty is portraits because I'm interested in faces and biographies," she says. This was also the basis of a remarkable cooperation with the Zwettl private brewery: parallel to the 2017 state exhibition in Pöggstall, it presented portraits of charismatic personalities from the Waldviertel with “Art on the Beer Mat”.

With chalk & guitar. Growing up in Bavaria, Stephanie Balih was drawn to Vienna when she was young; She studied graphics (Prof. Gunter Damisch) and artistic teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts, completing both studies with distinction. She already pursued her creative goals as a child: "My crayons were my sanctuary at the age of four," she reveals. "I also started making music at the same age." Her instruments became her voice, guitar and zither. In her major diploma exhibition in 2014, she combined her pictures with her own songs. The best feedback: "My professor, who was very sparing with compliments, said when we left: If you continue like this, everything will be fine, then you will be successful," says the artist.
In the same year, the duo was formed with her current husband. THE KNUTSHERS is a Denglish original creation, "the name says what's important to us: love and humor," explains Alex Dolphin. This combination is spot on, for example, on International Kissing Day on July 6th; That was also the case at the Hotel Schachner in Maria Taferl, where the couple enriched the specially created 5-course kiss menu with their music for the second time this year.


Mag. Viktória Kery-Erdélyi


Editor, Mag. Viktória Kery-Erdélyi

Click here for the online article in the Niederösterreicherin:

Photos copyright 2018 Viktória Kery-Erdélyi

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Bee pavilion opened in Kleinpöchlarn!

Six months of work, 50 watercolors in DIN 1 format, a bee pavilion and 3 photo walls!

KLEIN-PÖCHLARN. After months of work, beekeepers and initiators Roland Heinzle, Tobias Hundertpfund, the artist Stephanie Balih - who created the 50 watercolors for the park - and the filmmaker Alex Dolphin were able to open the new bee pavilion in the bee park. In the entire area you can now find out about the busy bees and take souvenir photos on three funny photo walls.

Mother Earth with all her inhabitants is happy about this successful art and environmental protection project!


Press article :

The Big Buzz by Viktória Kery-Erdélyi​

Article in the Lower Austrian pages 42 and 43

Bee pavilion in Klein-Pöchlarn to raise awareness

Article by Daniel Butter in the district newspapers Melk, June 2018


Related Links:

Kleinpöchlarn Bee Park

Arcotel Bee Park


Photos copyright: Philip Baumgartner and the bottom photo by Daniel Butter


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Wall painting at the Waldgasthof Steinbründl

Forest green hens spotted in Maria Steinbründl!

Since April 2018, the picturesque cult forest inn Steinbründl has shone in a new guise. The rooms have been lovingly renovated. I too was able to make my contribution to the new contemporary face of this iconic inn: humorous murals on the theme of the inn: the tasty fried chicken, for which the guests travel from far away.






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Project "VALUABLE"


“Valuable”, – an exhibition
about the precious things in life


In cooperation with the children of the Artstetten-Pöbring elementary school, Artstetten Castle, the Artstetten Village Renewal Association,
filmmaker Alex Dolphin and
by the artist and initiator Stephanie Balih

Opening on April 30, 2017

as part of the opening of the Lower Austria State Exhibition:
at 10:00 a.m., Artstetten Castle, A- 3661 Artstetten
Free entry to the exhibition
on April 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m

Place of issue:
Artstetten Castle, Schlossplatz 1, A- 3661- Artstetten,
Phone: +43 (0) 7413 / 80 06

Duration of exhibition:       
April 01, 2017 to November 01, 2017

Opening hours: daily from 09:00 to 17:30


What is valuable to us? What is of real personal value to us?

Is it material objects like a mobile phone or the PC or is it relationships, people or animals? Or objects that remind us of very special experiences, such as a specially shaped stone
the vacation?

Under the direction of Director Steinwendtner and Prof Leonhartsberger, 22 children from the Artstetten-Pöbring elementary school dealt with their valuable objects and wrote texts about them. In front of the camera of the well-known film company STUDIO DOLPHIN, the children were allowed to tell what makes their object so valuable. Following this, the children, guided by the artist and initiator of the project Stephanie Balih, painted their most valuable things on canvas.
All of these valuable objects (texts, paintings and film) can be admired and appreciated in the course of the Lower Austrian State Exhibition 2017 at Artstetten Castle in the special exhibition from April to November.


Financed by the culture connected program


Winner of the Lower Austria Village and Urban Renewal Award in the category

"Young Village Renewal"


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Lower Austria Open Studio Days 2017

Those were the Lower Austria Open Studio Days 2017 at Atelier Balih!
Christina Martin, from the organic farm Stieger,, was visiting with her two children, who let off steam artistically at the painting table. She is one of the models for the current "Art on the Beer Mat" series 2017 by the private brewery Zwettl and the artist Stephanie Balih.
In addition, Johannes Ertl, the organic fruit farmer who not only makes juice, visiting with his family and took his original painting home with him.

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Art on the beer coaster edition 2017 presentation

The academic artist Stephanie Balih created eight motifs for the Zwettler private brewery

PÖGGSTALL/ZWETTL. "The greatest artists painted or sketched their best works of art on serviettes or even beer mats," emphasizes laudator Carl Aigner from the State Museum, emphasizing the importance of restaurant utensils for a special presentation at the Pöggstall state exhibition venue. This is exactly the line of thought that follows Zwettler private brewery for years and gives talented artists a platform in the form of beer coasters.

Balih the first non-cartoonist

For the 22nd edition of the "Art on Beer Mats" campaign, however, a different path was taken for the first time. Instead of caricatures, you will now find portraits of the next two years Artstetten painter Stephanie Balih. She portrayed eight personalities from the exhibition region. “It was six intensive months where I sometimes worked day and night. I also thank my models, who needed a lot of patience,” says Balih, laughing.

Extremely likeable personality

"We didn't just choose Stephanie because of the state show, but because she is an extremely likeable personality and her works of art are something special," explains Zwettler Bier Managing Director Karl Schwarz how the decision was made.

The portrayed themselves, the Artstettner was allowed to portray herself due to a refusal, are enthusiastic about the end product. “Unfortunately, as a beekeeper, you are not so much in the foreground. Thanks to Stephanie, that has changed,” emphasizes Pöggstall beekeeper Stefan Gerstbauer. "I just wanted to tell people's stories with the pictures and I succeeded," beams the painter. By the way: With her "The Knutshers" partner Alex Dolphin, she was allowed to "bless" the guests musically at the event.

Text and photos: Copyright Daniel Butter, district newspapers Melk

ORF article:

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In memoriam Gunter Damisch exhibition 2016/2017

in memory of Gunter Damisch
a group exhibition in the x-posit of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

With the alumni exhibition series xposit, works by graduates are presented in the rectorates every semester on the recommendation of professors from the academy.

In the 2016/2017 winter semester, xposit two sixteen is dedicated to the memory of the artist, teacher, human being and friend Gunter Damisch.

x-posit, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna,
Schiller Platz 3, 1010 Vienna

Duration of exhibition:
October 14, 2016 to May 22, 2017

Information on the academy's x-posit

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Artstetten library

The Artstetten bookstore has been open since autumn 2016. Initiator and organizer was the Artstetten village renewal association.

The concept:

Anyone can borrow books from the library around the clock. Everyone can bring there and classify well-preserved books, the content of which they consider worth reading for the community. Anyone can sit in the library and read.

The aim is to establish a place for knowledge and culture exchange.

As a member of the village renewal association, I designed the facade and the logo, which is intended to refer to this place, with the characteristic owl and books.

You are cordially invited to visit the library in Artstetten!