Mary Oros

Mary Oros

Mary Oros comes from a creative background. Both her parents were industrial designers during the era of mid-century modern design. She attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she was awarded an honorary scholarship for one year and a partial scholarship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the summer of 1975 and was awarded the Purchase Prize. In 1977 she earned a BFA in Sculpture from the Cleveland Institute of Art and received the Agnes Gund Award. While at Skowhegan, she met sculptor William King, who became a mentor and friend when she moved to NYC for a few years after art school. Through Bill, she had the opportunity to show one of her sculptures at the OK Harris Gallery’s show “In the Event of Living Sculpture.” Going to NYC’s galleries and museums was completely eye-opening and inspiring, but in 1986 Mary moved to Santa Barbara, where her family had relocated.

Sculpture has always been Mary’s first love, and she feels grateful and fortunate to be making sculptures full-time. In 2005, after participating in a group show with Pacific Rim Sculptors and as a gift of the Seward Johnson Atelier, her sculpture “Henry Takes His First Steps” was replicated in aluminum and installed at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. Her sculptures have been shown at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, throughout the Bay Area, in Southern California, at Art San Diego 2018, and Art Market San Francisco 2022 with Desta Gallery. Since 2020 her sculpture has been represented by Desta Gallery in Mill Valley, California. In 2023 she was awarded third place in the prestigious 81st Crocker Kingsley exhibition. Mary’s sculptures have been featured on the cover and in Benicia Magazine as an advertisement for Grounds for Sculpture in Sculpture Magazine and are in several private collections.

Artist Statement
I begin my sculpture by drawing in space with my armature material. Each line drawn is an emotional response to the previous one. I usually have a general concept in mind and a formal consideration that is a carryover from my last completed piece, but no specific plan for the final result. I am an observer as the sculpture evolves. My main concern is for the piece to work well in the round so that there is a continuum of form anywhere I pause. It’s not until after or well after the completion of the sculpture that I am able to articulate its meaning according to what was going on in my life at the time, so I title the works based on the movement of how the form unfolds in the round.

Once completed, the armature is very close to the final form. I coat and pack the armature with my mix of concrete – a recipe given to me by an engineer involved in bridge building. It is structural, stronger than I need, has some flexural as well as tensile strength, and allows me to work fairly thin, which keeps the weight down, currently between 30-76 lbs. When the base coat has set, I topcoat it with decorative concrete with integral color, and for a soft satin finish, my pieces are lightly sealed, waxed, buffed, and suitable for indoors.

Artist CV