Mary McCoy

My work ranges from large site-specific sculptures made with natural materials such as vines, branches or oyster shells to small, intimate artist’s books, drawings and paintings frequently including found natural materials. I am a writer and often include short phrases or poems in my works. I choose to create art that is both visceral and purposefully non-intimidating with the aim of stirring a personal, felt response. It’s important to me to acknowledge life and death, impermanence, change, and the passage of time. Because I feel that nature is our first and best teacher, touching us in direct, physical ways that inspire curiosity and the primal sense of child-like wonder and belonging so lacking in our urbanized and digitalized world, I work to make art that is antidotal to the increasingly self-referential nature of our culture.

I am an artist-in-residence at Adkins Arboretum and have exhibited in the U.S., Ireland, Wales and New Zealand. In addition to many handmade artist’s books, I recently published The Turning Year, a book of poems, drawings, paintings and photographs, which along two previous books, Iceland and Tree Tales, are available at The Bookplate in Chestertown, MD and at I am a former art critic for The Washington Post, Sculpture, New Art Examiner, American Craft, and The Washington Review. Currently, my reviews and article appear in The Chestertown Spy, The Talbot Spy and other publications.

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