Today: Mary Bayard White at the Oakland Museum of California

Living on Fault Lines and Pacific Currents. 2005. Found glass, steel, 67.5 x 24 x 20 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of Evans and John Wyro in honor of Mary Bayard White. Photo credit: M. Lee Fatherree
Mary Bayard White (b. 1947). BFA California College of the Arts, 1970; MFA California College of the Arts, 1982; Studied under Marvin Lipofsky at California College of the Arts, 1968, 1969. Studied under Robert Fritz, early 1970s. Fulbright Scholar (Dublin, Ireland), 2009–2010.

The intersection of art making, environmental science, arts education, and peace making attracts me. I am particularly drawn to the interfaces between the physical natural world and the human built environment. My work investigates habitats, and, in this piece, the west coast earthquake zone. Habitat is “the place of residence of a person or a group” or “the place or environment where an organism naturally or normally lives and grows.” Investigating the meaning of the structures we live in can be revealing and informing. How can we live in accord with natural extremes, rather than
dominating nature? What are the currents that run through our homes and lives? What do we need, and what do we desire in our homes? What is the meaning of the inner light, the light that fuels the inner habitat?

For me, visual inquiry evokes magical metaphor. It can stir new meaning into the “embodied object.” The creative flux can gather diverse people to learn from each other, can bring forth the best in each individual thru looking and seeing anew, and can bring forth new visions and approaches to critical social and environmental problems facing us. Visual inquiry brings forth curiosity, hope, humor, appreciation, and affection, my favorite states of being.

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