TPCAC | P.O. Box 863 | Troy, AL 36081 | (334) 670-2287

Mary Ann Casey - Spaces, Places and People

Lower Level Galleries: May 1 through 31, 2014

Alabama artist Mary Ann Casey creates art in mediums such as acrylic, mixed media, assemblage, and clay, utilizing salvaged materials that she has collected for years. One of her favorite working materials is tin, especially the old, rusty pieces. For this show, Casey will be exhibiting mixed media, 3-D assemblage, and paintings.

Her creative process begins with rude sketches, usually with a ballpoint pen, which evolve into numerous drawings of one piece.  “The sketches serve as a reminder of the direction I’m going,” Casey explains, “because, otherwise, I can very easily get lost in a piece and end up with something totally unlike the sketch. Sometimes, I’ll stop and start over and other times I’ll follow the new direction and finish the piece.

Describing the title of her exhibit, she explains, “Spaces don't have to depict physical places.  Space can be within or spiritual or intervals; like in music.  Places can depict locations like New Mexico or a place in our hearts or spirit.  People can be those we see or imagine or remember or a composite of a perfection or historical figure.  I urge the participant to view these pieces freely without preconceived ideas and imagine their stories.”  

Mary Ann Casey was born in Rehobeth, Alabama and professes to paint, “with her heart.”  Growing up in the Deep South she has been very influenced by the times and the people, but, through her work, has found that her world isn't contained to only one region.  “While I love to paint the Southern Experience, I know that art transcends race, nationality, and language—pain is pain, love is love, loneliness is loneliness, war is war,” she says.  “Art transcends time, space and people.   Many of my images are of women familiar to me, but I don't really know them. I want my art to empower; for the viewer to have a companion in his crossroads, an acceptance that we all have within us this tremendous capacity to be more than we ever imagined. We can walk through that tight valley of high walls that close us in, the walls of prejudice, jealousy, greed, media, social standing, and abuse. Those who have gone before us show us that there is a way out of our personal prisons.”

Casey says that she wasn't around art while growing up. In college, she was told that art was not a career choice and she chose instead to be a teacher.  “I embraced my art as a career late in life and it continues to challenge and excite me,” she explains.

“Before I sketch or prepare to work, I go into a quiet place to think.  I use music, books, poetry, and nature to take me from the noise and thoughts of daily life.  I paint from this place.  This inner space expands as I give it voice and life.  I don't always understand exactly what my pieces are saying, but they are familiar, like people around me, like memories of my childhood or stories I may have heard, or a feeling I noticed when passing a stranger.  My works are like the poetry that I try to capture on paper, but often only get a glimpse. My paintings are only a small part of a bigger world that I couldn't grasp.   I must become almost reclusive to produce work.  I rely heavily on my faith and often use my painting time as prayer vigil. This ‘surrendering’ is necessary for me.”  

Recently, Mary Ann has shown her work at:

  • The 2-D, 3-D Invitational, Jan Dempsey Art Museum, in Auburn January, 2014;
  • Fine Folk Art, Shelby County Art Center, Columbiana, January, 2014
  • Ann Rudd Art Center One-Woman, Welcome, Ozark, 2013
  • Selma Arts Revive, March, 2014 (First-Place, Painting)
  • Bragg-Bell Art Gallery, One-Woman, November 2013
  • Eufaula Pilgrimage, April, 4 and 5, 2014

Coming Up:

  • TroyFest, April, 26 and 27
  • Second Annual Southern Makers, Montgomery, May 3.
  • Mary Ann Casey Art and Possibilities, (permanent gallery space) Opens April 11, 2014 Next to Gnu’s Room, (a non-profit bookstore and much more), 108 South Eighth, Opelika.
  • Opening at Small Space Gallery in Perch, next to Mama Mocha's and Amsterdam Cafe on Gay St, Auburn, April 17th.
  • Open Doors and Possibilities,  (mixed media, collaborative, three-woman show), Auburn, details to be announced.