Mary B. White is a California Bay Area sculptor/arts educator. Her focus is to link art making and environmental issues. She is a Board member of WEAD (Women Eco Artists Dialogue). Mary started working in ceramics and glass in 1968 at CCA, receiving her BFA, and Secondary Teaching Credential. In 1973 she started one of the first women run glass hot shops in CA and taught graphics and screen printing at Oakland High School. After returning to CCA for her MFA, she was head of the San Jose State University’s Glass Program from 1985 to 2005. She was one of the first women faculty to run a glass program in the nation. 1994-96 she served on the Board of the Glass Art Society, and co-organized the Oakland Glass Art Society conference, and the California Glass Exchange in 2002. In 2015 she was awarded the Life time Membership Award from the Glass Art Society. From 2006-11 Mary designed and built a 18 foot high glass and stone Flood Level Marker for the City of Boulder, Colorado, her biggest large scale public/ private collaborative art project. 2009-10 Mary was a Fulbright Scholar at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD0 in Dublin, Ireland, co-facilitating, with graduate students in ceramics, glass and metal, an experimental seminar on critical thinking, and developing student-led exhibitions and symposium on the topic of Craft and Context. 2002-2012 she was Co Head of the Glass Program and instructor at The Crucible in Oakland and 2012-15 Mary taught art/ environment courses as an adjunct at St. Mary’s College. She is currently working on public art projects.
At this time in my life and career as an artist/ educator, I am most interested in treading on the lines of intersection between art/craft, environmental sciences, arts/science education and peace making collaborations. My early training is in the field of craft, specifically glass and ceramics. The joy and challenges of practicing the “seeing and making” process are vehicles to evoke the magical power of creative inter-change, to stimulate the rich art flux that can bring diverse people together to talk and learn from each other, that can bring forth the best in each individual thru looking anew, that can bring forth new visions and new vehicles for finding innovative approaches to critical environmental and social problems facing the earth and its residents. Visual inquiry brings forth curiosity, hope, humor, appreciation, and investigation, some of my favorite states of being.
In my work I have often used the image of the house form to explore human relationships to the natural environment and concepts of shelter and home, exploring the built structure and its context within nature. It is so important to know the places where we live, to know our neighbors, the land, the plants, the creatures, the water, the sky and the air.