About Mary

Mary has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Studio Art from Western Washington University. She has spent 20 years working as a professional artist and has a large piece displayed at The Mount Baker Ski area. Her art is exhibited nationally at shows and in galleries and she is represented locally by the Chuckanut Gallery. Mary creates two- and three-dimensional art out of recycled materials. Her work is designed to honor diversity and to celebrate community. She has also worked with students in kindergarten through 8th grade in Bellingham public and private schools through grant-funded projects.

Teaching Experience

Mary teaches art to students ranging in age from kindergarten to adult. Her adult workshops include techniques of collage, copper, jewelry-making, and  assemblage.  She also trains parent volunteers and teachers within their school art programs.

In 2007, Mary received the Mayor’s Arts Award and the Nooksak Salmon Enhancement Award for “Noisy Waters” an all-school art project at Whatcom Middle School.  She also received a Bellingham School Board award for the “We are All Under One Sun” copper art installation at Alderwood Elementary School in 2008.

Teaching Philosophy

Mary feels that collaborative thinking with students, parents, and teachers is the key to a successful experience. She celebrates diversity, working individually, and coming together as a group to create art. She especially likes to work with projects that are for a specific school, space, and student body. Mary believes kids need to know that they play an important role within their community. She likes to use their ideas because they are amazing and it gets them to take ownership of the project.. She believes everyone has art to contribute.

Art is a chance to shine, to stretch your imagination and to discover hidden talents in everyone.

Lesson Plan

12 Hour Lesson Plans (For 5th Grades Only)

Collaborative Self Portraits: Students write bio poems related to self-discovery: values, fears, hopes, how they fit in their community of school, family, Bellingham and their personal goals. The poems are then used as a “recipe” for designing self-portraits. Picasso’s work is used to inspire the artists. Portraits are drawn using geometric shapes and colored in using watercolor crayons. Symbolism, texture, and color theory are introduced and discussed. Parts of their poems are stamped onto the portraits as an example of collage technique and to add elements of texture to the final pieces.

Inside/Outside: Creating Identity Boxes Using Reclaimed Materials, Collage, and Assemblage – Students discuss the difference between their inner and outer selves and how they are each an important member of the community. They create lists of words that describe both their hidden and exposed sides. The words are translated into symbols including shapes, words and colors. Recycled boxes are used to create assemblages that speak to these two sides. Students learn collage techniques for covering their boxes as well as stamping techniques, use of various tools and different ways to attach 3D elements to their boxes. Students sign and date the boxes as they will become a time capsule for their experiences during this period in their lives.

Postcard Poems: Students create a series of postcards based on where they live, a place that they imagine, and somewhere else that they would like to visit. They are introduced to the work of artist and author Nick Bantock, and discuss his imagery and design choices for the postcards that make up his book trilogy. Drawing, color theory, collage, text and rubber stamp design are all taught. Students write poems that are used as the messages on the postcards which may then be sent to another school or classroom as decided by the teacher and class.

Vinyl Banners: Students learn drawing techniques including shape, line, form and space. A theme is selected (Example: sea life, gardens, one world, peace).  Students draw an individual piece on paper, after looking at work by both contemporary and historical artists. Drawings are transferred onto vinyl banners using sharpie markers and acrylic paint is used to fill in the spaces. Banners can be designed to hang with both sides showing, they may be hung against a wall, or can be created in the shape of Tibetan prayer flags and strung together in a line.

All School Projects

Vinyl Peace Flags: Each student creates a flag that represents an affirmation for the future, a hope for the world, or something they are grateful for. The pieces are painted so that they fold over a line and there is artwork on both sides. Sign vinyl would be the substrate and a combination of colored cut out pieces with paint would create the designs. Words would be added to the flags using stamps and ink. The flags could hang at the entrance to the school.