December Artist of the Month at Thibault Gallery: Mary Jane Martin displays contemporary artwork

Mary Jane Martin, an established, award-winning contemporary artist, will be presenting new works during the month of December.

Her work is contemporary mixed watermedia. She incorporates texture into her work as well as some collage, creating layer upon layer on canvas, paper or wood. Her subject matter varies from Lowcountry inspiration to her childhood being spent on the farm. She works in series. “ I have a tough time confining myself to one subject matter or even to one medium or style,” Mary Jane admits.

She was born and raised in Indiana on a dairy farm. She married a South Carolinian and has called South Carolina home for the past 37 years. Moving from Camden, SC, to Beaufort over 17 years ago inspired her to retire from teaching and begin exploring her own art.

Currently, she is concentrating on two bodies of work. One series is inspired by a walk through the Beaufort National Cemetery. The symbols denoting faith on the markers has turned her mind to expressing the sacredness of all faiths through the use of symbols, mixed media and a bold palette that uses contrasts of opaque and transparent color. Working on canvas and paper, she expresses her impressions of these symbols and dedicates each one to those who have made it possible for her to be free to express herself.

The second body of work is inspired by where we live — the Lowcountry. Abstraction of the marshes, beaches, palms and wildlife have led to signature works of bold bright colors while making statements of our environment. Again, the artist expresses an appreciation of what has been gifted from above and attempts to communicate the awe of where she lives to the viewers.

Mary Jane graduated from Purdue University with an Art Education/Fine Arts degree. She has taken many workshops with nationally known instructors and recognizes that each instructor has had a profound influence on her painting style.

“I am grateful to each one for their sharing of philosophy as well as techniques,” she said.

Mary Jane has won awards locally, regionally, statewide and has been juried into national shows. She has had several one-man shows in South Carolina. She has achieved Master Status in the South Carolina Watermedia Society and Nautilus Fellowship Status in the International Society of Experimental Artists.

Mary Jane will be available at the gallery on December 5 for First Friday After Five, which coincides with Night On the Town. The public is invited to stop by for refreshments and visit Mary Jane in her studio and see her original works.

Remember, art is a gift to be given. Support the arts and come by Thibault Gallery on Bay Street.

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