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 Bayard White, Bay Area sculptor, mixed disciplines artist, and educator, works in the realms of environmental and social justice, community arts, and place making. Her work is often collaborative and interdisciplinary. Each project is different.
Mary grew up in Haverford, Pennsylvania, the South Side of Chicago, Iowa corn fields, Indiana hills, Colorado Rocky mountains and England, as a daughter of a water resources geographer. She was drawn to the colors, matter and motion of each place. Her early travels seeded a passion for the creative process, nature, and caring for the earth’s creatures and natural resources.
Mary earned a BFA 1970 in Spatial Arts: Ceramics, at California College of the Arts (formerly, California College of Arts & Crafts) in Oakland, studying with Ruth Tamura, Viola Frey and Marvin Lipofsky. Following graduation, she taught screen printing, graphic design, drawing, and painting at Oakland High School. Mary also built and maintained one of the first hot glass studios in the Bay area run by a woman, and after eight years, she left teaching high school art to earn 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, as leader and instructor for the Glass Area. She hosted many international artists, and created many outreach projects: including two California Glass Exchanges and the 1995 Oakland Glass Art Society meeting. She retired in 2005. From 2002-2012 she was co-head of the Crucible Glass program and helped build the glass studio and programming.
Starting in 2005, Mary returned to Colorado to lead a collaboration with scientists, artists, engineers, city officials and ecologists to design and build an18 foot high flood level marker with flood education signage in the high-risk downtown floodplain of Boulder, CO.
As a Fulbright Scholar at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland 2009-2010, Mary partnered with graduate art/design students and Irish Craft Council cohorts to produce a two-semester seminar and symposium focusing on craft as a vehicle for social justice.
From 2013-2015 Mary worked on social practice projects and taught classes at St. Mary’s College, working with students to make environmental art in their permaculture garden. In 2015, she helped the Ghost Ranch Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico, redesign a new glass studio after a devastating flood, and taught stained glass workshops for several years.
In 2018 she completed The Birthplace of the Silicon Valley 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. In 2019, she completed a partnership with Akataka tribal youth in Grand Bayou, Louisiana, to design and build new art glass windows for their new church after their original church was destroyed by the Katrina storm.
In 2021-22 Mary received a Berkeley Civic Arts Grant and was fortunate to work with young artists at Youth Spirit Artworks. > Youthspiritartworks.org
Mary serves as the co-director of WEAD, Women Eco Art Dialog, an online artists directory, archive and magazine. She is focusing on helping raise women’s voices through exhibitions and events related to Eco Art. > WEADartists.org
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.
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