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Atlanta's Pottery Center
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Mary Mar Keenan

Mary Mar Keenan

Mary Mar Keenan gives equal attention to form and spontaneity in her whimsical, colorful clay designs. Working out of a studio in San Francisco, Mary creates functional vessels for the table filled with pattern, color, design and texture…. She doesn’t like white spaces and fills them with playful, multi-colored drawings of birds, trees, polkadots, and stripes.

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Mary Mar Keenan at MudFire

Gallery group show Bay Area Pottery Posse, June 2009


Mary Mar Keenan Artist Bio

Mary Mar Keenan earned a degree from Roanoke College (BFA, 1996) and studied ceramics in Florence, Italy (Studio Art Centers International), Anderson Ranch Art Center in Colorado, and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Her work has been published in Lark Books 500 Teapots. Mary Mar co-owned and operated Verdigris Clay Studio and Gallery (1999-2007) where she shared studio space with the other two owners and exhibited the work of over 30 bay area ceramic artists. She is currently exhibiting work in several shops and galleries throughout the country and can be found working in her studio in San Francisco's very popular Hayes Valley district. Mary Mar's pottery can also be found in some of San Francisco's finest restaurants including Tablespoon, A16, and Myth. She also runs Purple Bird Designs, an online business specializing in customized baby plates and bowls. She is an exhibiting member of the Association of Clay and Glass Artists (ACGA).


Mary Mar Keenan Artist Statement

As I get older I find that time passes faster. As human beings we seem to abandon things that take a lot of time therefore losing the art of some of those activities. We are more concerned with getting things done quickly than we are artfully. This is one reason I make pots. In a society where quantity seems more important than quality, I opt for the latter. I have chosen to continue the tradition of making pottery in order to hold on to an art form that has been around since the beginning of time. I find great satisfaction in that. As a potter, I feel that I am preserving something finite . . . to be a part of that is calming.

I once read "you are what you eat off of". After thinking about this a moment I realized that ultimately this is the reason I make pots. Handmade pottery is for those who enjoy the finer things in life. It is for those that are willing to slow down to enjoy a cup of tea and maybe even take the time to hand wash the delicate vessel that they were drinking from. But frankly, I make happy pots. I enjoy it. Plus, everyone knows that happy pots make happy people and as simple as that sounds, it is something I feel good about.

Mary Mar Keenan Artist Resume

2004 Archie Bray, Clay and Chianti ,Josh DeWeese , Tuscany, Italy
Anderson Ranch, A Lifetime of Clay , Paul Soldner and Peter Voulkos, Snowmass, Co
1998 Penland School of Crafts, Ceramics, Sylvie Granitelli, North Carolina
1997 Ruby's Clay Studio, Advanced Throwing, Tamerlaine Burwell, SF, CA
1996 Roanoke College, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Salem, Va
1994 Studio Art Centers International, Painting andCeramics, Florence, Italy
2003-08 Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, Palo Alto, Ca
2004 Saratoga Fine Art Festival, Saratoga, Ca
2004 Half Moon Bay Art Festival, Half Moon Bay, Ca
2004 Danville Art Center, Blue, Danville, Ca
2000 Verdigris Gallery Opening Exhibit, Bay Area Clay, San Francisco, Ca
1999 Olin Gallery, RC Alumni Artist Exhibit, Salem, Va
1998 Ruby's Gallery, Works of Whimsy, San Francisco, Ca
1996 Olin Gallery, Thesis Exhibit, Salem, Va.