As a child
MaryAnn, 81-years-young, remembers her first ‘ah-ha’ moment of loving art. As a small girl, four years of age, living in Washington D.C., MaryAnn’s mother brought her to her Aunt’s house and they went for a visit to the next door neighbors. It was there where MaryAnn was surrounded with child-sized easels, painting tables, sandboxes, and all things that this little girl could imagine. MaryAnn instantly played and created, dreaming up all possibilities that her mind’s eye envisioned. Not knowing there was such a thing as an ‘artist,’ in that day’s playtime, MaryAnn knew this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. In following that dream, through childhood and young adulthood, MaryAnn found that art was her way of expressing herself, her story, and connection with nature. Her work included many art forms of painting, collages, weavings, sand casting, and sculptures.
Starting an Art School
Settling in Maryland, MaryAnn noticed that the schools were not teaching the arts in the way that she had experienced them. The schools were teaching technique, however not the soul of the work. MaryAnn long believed that every person carries creativity within them. She desired to make the opportunity of creative expression available to her community and with that, MaryAnn opened an art school.
Her first students ranged from 8 to 80 years of age, and as she taught them, they blossomed like a field of flowerseach revealing their own unique style and expression. The school grew to include five teachers and had quite a range of art media instruction. After five years, MaryAnn was recruited to lead touring art exhibits and workshops around the country. She was commissioned to do art projects along the way and one in particular led her to San Diego which started her journey into sand casting and sculpting.
In 1989, MaryAnn and her husband Brock, were asked to come to the Hawiian islands to assist Herb Kawainui Kane in the creation of multiple sculptural works for the Grand Wailea, Maui; a project that required many months of close collaboration and an opportunity to discover symbiotic talents. Their personal friendship and professional relationship was fortified by a mutual passion for sculpture and a sensitivity and respect for the spirits of the islands. MaryAnn applied her technical knowledge and unyielding dedication to meticulous craftsmanship and Herb, his anthropological knowledge of the Hawaiian culture and extraordinary skills as a master sculptor. It was here that MaryAnn’s voyage with Pele began.
MaryAnn’s intuitive nature taps into the very essence of Pele, as if chosen to bring all the dimensions of Pele forward. When MaryAnn began to create art in Hawai’i, she realized this was a culmination of all her beliefs. As MaryAnn’s turquoise blue eyes deepen with conscious understanding, she says, “The power of creativity is in all of us, we are born with this power and it is the essence of who we are.