Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Jarvis.
Mary, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in the desert of Texas. On my walks to school I would find fossils, rocks and shells, I’d bring home my treasures and show them to my Dad. He told me, “You know Mary, Texas was an ocean millions of years ago.” I was astonished and began to visualize all of us under water. Since then, I continue to look for and study objects of nature with wonder. I have been drawing and making things since I was a child. My grandfather was blind, yet that did not stop him from carving and making fanciful objects and toys. As I watched him work with his hands, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I loved to draw, but mostly I wanted to make things, and I still do both.
My career in Graphic Design began during the “unplugged” era of computer aided graphics. I was working with photographers for images, drawing my own illustrations, “cutting rubylith” then would paste everything up on large white mat boards. I was designing, drawing and making with my hands. The introduction of the computer made all of this so much “easier” but this left my hands itching to “make.” In 2000, I discovered the art of flameworking glass on the small scale. I studied with various glass masters and soon I was making glass beads and selling them to jewelry makers worldwide on the internet as well as locally. This led to my desire to learn metal smithing.
I studied under Sandra Zilker and Jan Harrell at the Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas. During a workshop at Glassell I met Professor James Thurman, Lead Faculty Associate Professor of Design II and Metals at The University of North Texas, Denton. After my divorce, I moved to Dallas in 2014. James invited me to consider the MFA program in Metals at UNT in Denton. I took him up on his offer and now my MFA/ Metals & Drawing diploma hangs on the wall in my home studio where I am creating wearable art using stones, fossils and shells that I carefully set in sterling and fine silver, working elements from my drawings into each piece.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My art reflects my fascination with our natural world, specifically fossils, ocean creatures and amoeba. I make primarily wearable items but also make large drawings. In my drawings and metal work I am working to create work that is full of form, texture: all playfully balanced. My work is abstract, yet is grounded in my fascination for water creatures, how they grow, and attach to other water structures. Wearables of art is important to me because it goes out into the world in a personal way. The wearer of an unusual brooch, necklace or earrings will be approached with questions and a lively conversation will follow. Therefore, wearable art connects people. All Art is a form of communication.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
My advice for other artists is to keep working on your art no matter what is going on. Creating art is my passion: the thing that makes me feel the most alive. When I go without it… I feel starved and unhealthy. Artists need a community of other artists. Find a group of two or three+ other artists and meet once a month, or every week. Share your ideas, work, failures, successes. Respectfully critique each other’s work. Take these critiques bravely however, feel free to dismiss any comments from the general public. It is also important for us to cross promote each other’s work. Fight for your artist life: the world needs your work.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Currently you can see and purchase my work on my Facebook Business Page: Mary Jarvis Designs, and Instagram: Mary Jarvis Designs. Website: www.maryjarvisdesigns.com. I also will accept custom work. I am interested in creating Murals. Inquire about anything you see on my website.
- Address: Denton, Texas
- Website: www.maryjarvisdesigns.com
- Phone: 318-469-1815
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryjarvisdesigns/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmetalsmith/
Melissa Gamez-Herrera Photography.