I believe in the magical power of the creative process, the creative art flux that can bring diverse people together to work and learn from each other and nature. It is the power that can bring forth the best in each individual thru looking and seeing anew, that can bring forth new visions and new ways of dealing sanely with critical environmental and social problems facing us. Art making brings forth curiosity, collaboration, hope, humor, appreciation, affection, some of my favorite states of being
At this time in my life and career as an artist, I am most interested in the intersection of art making, natural sciences, environmental perception, arts education and peace making. The abilities and characteristics of glass: polarities and dichotomies: interior edges, reflections, transparency, magnification, brittle and molten, sharp and dull, smooth and rough, opaque and clear, rapid transformation to many forms, have served me well as one of my main mediums to address the confluence of environmental issues, art and science.
Mary grew up in Haverford, Pennsylvania, the South Side of Chicago, and in the mountains of Colorado. She was drawn to the matter and motion of these places, inspiring her to make ceramic mugs, enameled earrings, chicken drawings, and the desire to bike and hike everywhere. She continues to be passionate about the creative process, nature, and caring for the Earth.
She earned a BFA in Spatial Arts and Ceramics, at California College of the Arts (formerly, California College of Arts & Crafts) in Oakland. Following graduation, she taught screen printing, graphic design, drawing, and painting at Oakland High School. After eight years, she left teaching high school to study for her MFA in Glass and Painting at CCAC. She then taught for nineteen years at San Jose State University in the School of Art and Design, running the Glass Area. She retired in 2005. From 2002-2012 she was co-head of the Crucible Glass program and helped develop the glass studio.
As a Fulbright Scholar from 2009-2010, she taught at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland.
She returned to the mountains of Colorado, and from 2006-2011—in collaboration with science, art, and other community members—designed and completed an 18’ high cast glass flood-marker on Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado.
From 2013-2015 Mary taught classes at St. Mary’s College on making environmental art in the permaculture garden.
In 2015, at Ghost Ranch Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico she helped redesign a new glass studio after a destructive flood, and frequently teaches stained glass workshops.
Mary serves as Board member of the Women Eco Art Dialogue (WEADartists.org) and helps create exhibitions and events related to Eco art. In 2019, she completed a large collaborative stained glass commission with the Akataka Tribe in the Grand Bayou, Louisiana for their church. In 2018 she completed a project with collaborator Vickie Jo Sowell, constructing three 18 ft. high outdoor metal/glass sculptures in the form of diodes and transistors, installed on the site of the historic Shockley Lab on San Antonio Road in Mountain View, commemorating the birthplace of the Silicon Valley.
Mary believes that combining art making and environmental study is a healing magical process and potion that guides people to new mutual understanding and helps them to find their true spirit.
Download a copy of my resume for more information:
Mary White Resume July 2020.docx