Mary Ann Southworth

Bounding down the lane flanked by cool grass, a blue sky above and a safe home in the distance, the wolf comes to a threshold. The bird and rabbit seem to know what the wolf does not; that to pass through the threshold means to enter another world.
Lured by the joyous eruption of color and shape we willingly cross the threshold of Mary Ann Southworth’s paintings into a magical land that seems so familiar and so forgotten all at the same time.  And, just as in all great stories, we embark on a journey of discovery, uncovering rich currents of life, love, loss, and the deep evocative material of myth and human memory.

In Mary Ann’s work we encounter animal guides, ancestors, magic flora and fauna that reveal for example, the preciousness of simple stones collected as objects of delight and wonder, and their transformation through the hands of loved ones into emblems of warmth, connection, a selection of one out of many, a gift given and received.

Mary Ann, a Michigan artist who has exhibited nationally, from Sante Fe to Chicago, from Grand Rapids to Kansas City, was born and raised on a cash crop farm in rural mid-Michigan.  She enjoyed farm life, and loved to be outside riding her horse, doing chores or working in the fields.  Winter days were often spent in the farm shop with her father, a gifted builder, who taught Mary Ann how to weld and work with wood. He would often take a piece of chalk and draw out plans on the cement floor.  This is where Mary Ann’s love for making things began, and it is this life rooted in the earth, steeped in reading the fields, and living in kinship with the land and all the beings that inhabit it, that gives her magical soaring vision its gravitas.

-Written by Bob Koval

© Mary Ann Southworth 2018