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About Our Art
I work with forgotten and discarded family photographs. The faces speak to me and I lose myself in imagined memories. Gathering materials from various sources, favoring antique ephemera and other unusual imagery and text, I collage and paint a layered story merging past and present. I often add a written “caption” for the viewer to contemplate – a phrase from my collection of vintage materials, something remembered from my childhood, or perhaps my own personal commentary. I have found that it doesn’t matter who is pictured’ we are all so much the same.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, I lived in San Francisco for five years and found the cultural diversity and natural wonder of the Bay area to be very stimulating to my artistic process. I returned to the Midwest in 2003 and am enjoying the experience of viewing familiar places through what I perceive to be “new eyes.”
Although I have had many artistic hobbies since my childhood, art has been my focus since 2000. That was the same year I turned 40 and had a so-called mid-life crazy time; my 18 year insurance career and corporate life were simply no longer appealing. I felt certain there was something creative waiting for me. Luckily I found my passion in painting and collage.
I have shown my work in numerous juried competitions, group shows, and Open Studio events with California and the Midwest. I teach workshops nationally in collage and paste paper painting and also have a special interest in art as therapy, having taught collaborative workshops with therapists. I am currently under contract with North Light Publishing on a mixed media book that will come out in early 2011. I live in Wildwood, MO with my husband and our two cats. We are thrilled to be near our grandchildren and able to watch them grow.
Mary Beth Shaw
617 Paul Pointe Court
Wildwood, MO 63011