Born and raised in Portland, Mary graduated with an arts degree from University of Oregon and then studied illustration at The Art Institute of Boston. Living in the charming seaside town of Nahant, Massachusetts, she encountered an incredible group of artists who encouraged her to exhibit her paintings in Boston. She continued showing her work in the West when she and her husband returned to raise their family here, with her paintings appearing in galleries and shops in Portland, the Oregon Coast and Napa Valley. She also contributed her unique cut-paper sculptures to various publications, winning several national awards for her work in magazines. Today her recent paintings and cards can be found at Domaine Trouvere in Dundee, Oregon, in the heart of wine country.
Mary was hired in 2007 by Frank Extaniz, the visionary founder and first director of Children’s Healing Art Project, and soon became the lead hospital teacher. It was a thrilling and challenging time, those first years, she says – working with countless people to stabilize CHAP so the program could flourish and be replicated anywhere. Now she teaches part-time in the hospitals and is grateful to listen and learn, especially from such brave graceful children, that creativity can be the greatest joy and light in the darkest of times.