Artist’s Statement

I grew up  in New York,the child of European immigrants. It was this place and time that shaped the structure and content  of my creative play: inspired by nature, drawing based and highly personal.

My sculptures are talismans of a forgotten religion that I am remembering as they come to life in a variety of materials, each appropriate to concept.

I make art in order to make sense of my experience using fragments found along the way.  My process is more reactive than active in that it is often in response to elements found rather than a process of imposing myself upon a blank canvas or block of clay.

Metal casting is the alchemic process that transforms fragile natural forms and tenuous fabrications of memory into lasting testaments of engaged existence.

Many mediums are employed to bring my images to life: Metal, clay, stone,plaster, wood, bone, glass and fiber are but a few.    The use of recycled materials has become my most recent obsession. I find that discarded objects carry a history and  most accurately convey the values that  define us.

The content of my work has often been perceived as dark and reflective of the shadow side.

The images I bring forth are uncensored reflections of my inner world where, like in nature, there are no judgments.

Over many years, I have shared my passion for art through teaching sculpture at the university level. During my four year stint as an art therapist, I became keenly aware of the healing power of creative work. This transformed my teaching and increased my awareness of  art making’s role in my own life.  These are the possibilities that i continue to explore.


Mary Tartaro


1992       M.F.A. in Sculpture, San Jose State University, San Jose ,CA.

1988       B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting, State University of New York, Oswego, N.Y.


2016 -2018    Arts Commissioner, City of Santa Cruz, CA.

2015-2016    Faculty Director, Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, Art and Art History,                              San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

2014-2015     Instructor-Santa Cruz Mountain Art Center, Ben Lomond, CA

2007-2011     Art Programs Coordinator- Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2006-2007    Workshop Coordinator, The Lost Foundry, Blacksburg, VA.


2002-2006     Adjunct Professor of Art, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.

2006                Adjunct Professor of Art, Bluefield College, Bluefield, VA.

2001-2003      Adjunct Professor of Art, Radford University, Radford, VA.

1998-2001      Art Therapist, Tekoa School, Pilot,VA.

1998-2001      Founder and Gallery Director, Altared Space Artists’ Coop Gallery, Floyd,Va

1991,1992        Teaching Associate, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.

1989,1990      Graduate Teaching Assistant, San Jose State University, San Jose,CA.

%d bloggers like this: