Mary P. Kerr

Artist / Art Educator

    Born in New Orleans, Mary and her parents  (Lamar and Cecile Price) moved back to their home town of Meridian, Mississippi where she was raised with her four brothers and two sisters.  She attended St. Aloysious Catholic School through the eighth grade and graduated from Meridian High School and Meridian Junior College.  She went on to Mississippi State College for Women where she received a BFA in art.  She married Gary Kerr and they moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where they still live.  They have two children and five grandchildren.

    Mary became interested in teaching art and attended The University of Alabama where she earned teaching certification and MA and PhD degrees in education.  Most of her thirty-two year teaching career was with junior-high students in the Tuscaloosa County Schools, but she also taught at The University of Alabama and in the Tuscaloosa City Schools. Mary actively pursued painting during the years that she was teaching and raising her family.  She is now retired from teaching and is enjoying spending more time as an active artist.

Artist’s Statement

    When we take the time to really look, there is so much to see - a shape, an expression, a color, a reflection, light playing across a surface.  Seeing is a delight and I hope to share that delight through my paintings.  With a painting, one gets to experience, not only the represented object, but also the richness that comes from the painting materials and the way they are used.

       Every painting is a new experience; a new beginning.  Not only am I trying to relate the character of the image, but I am searching for the best way to balance between being true to the represented object and being true to the nature of the materials; maintaining that it is, first and foremost, a painting.  This keeps my experiences ever challenging, ever fresh.  There is always one more thing I want to see if I can capture; one more problem to solve.

    God has gifted us with many visual wonders and the sight to enjoy them.  I hope my art will awaken all who view it to enjoy sight, not just as utility, but to embrace what is seen.

    I work in oil in my studio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  I work from life and from photographs which I have taken.  In some paintings, especially landscapes, I work from multiple photographs of one setting to help me better represent my experience in that place.