Mary Gallagher-Stout

I wasn’t born an artist, and I never thought of myself as one.  My mother died when I was a little girl, and I was stuck with my dad and two brothers for a while.  I was angry and felt alone.  I made some terrible choices, but wouldn’t change a thing.  My son was born one month before my 17th birthday, and my life completely changed.  I had to get my life together to give him the life he deserved.

I finished high school and worked my ass off to get into college.  I studied philosophy. I wanted to learn how to think.  I wondered about the origin of my thoughts, beliefs and mortality.  I figured I’d become a professor of philosophy.  That way, I could pursue my desire to learn and earn a nice living too!  Then, life took me in another direction.  I met a boy.  He challenged and supported me, so we got hitched a year after I graduated from college.  Then came baby number two.  I went mental.  Seriously, post partum depression brought with it a large dose of anxiety and agoraphobia.  I began to paint everything in my home.  People liked what they saw, and I started a decorative painting business.

However, formulaic painting was not my cup of tea.  I felt so empty-headed that I wanted to tear my hair out.  The more I learned about paint the more I desired to explore, experiment and do something purposeful with it.  In 2007 I was accepted into VCU’s Graduate Summer Studio Program and juried into the Workhouse Arts Center as a studio artist.

With years of deliberate practice, my skills improved.  Paying careful attention to the process, Mary Gallagher-Stout Lincoln 6x6 72 dpipushing and letting go, allowing for errors.  I painted a lot of crap, but learned a lot about my own aesthetic and paint as a medium.

I make art that animates the story of our individual lives.  I believe art is a vehicle for social change, personal expression, and evidence of what matters.  To that end, I’ve produced community-centric art installations, and interactive art shows, Have A Heart Project & Art Out Loud.

My expressive paintings brighten homes and hospitals.  I create works that explore how perception influences body image, and talk to girls about what real beauty looks like.  My aim is to produce intriguing works that whisper and shout like my figures & static series.  I’ve only just begun and can’t wait to see how my art continues to evolve and delight.

I am known for large, colorful and expressive paintings of Washington, DC monuments & architecture.  I also produce mixed media work on newspaper, and paint pet portraits for UncommonGoods.

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