Mary was born and raised in Southern California where she received her teaching degree from UCLA. Following the Korean War, she petitioned the U.S. Air Force to teach art to the children of American personnel in Japan. While in Japan, she was also disciplined in Sumie painting under master Reiko Saito.
In 1960 Mary returned to the U.S. to teach in the Los Angeles School District. There she met and married architect Eric Lloyd Wright, grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom she has two sons.
In addition to teaching art and painting from their mountaintop home in Malibu, Mary and her family are hosts to many philanthropic, environmental and social fundraising events. They operate an organization, Wright Way Organic Resource Center which educates and activates people to be creative, aware, and socially and environmentally responsible. They provide opportunities for people in the Los Angeles area – especially youth – to experience the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and Organic Architecture and encourage the creative integration of Nature, Art and Community.
The 1999 and 2002 World Festivals of Sacred Music, inspired by the Dali Llama, has honored this land with large multicultural music events. There they celebrated Eric and Mary as ‘Local Heroes’.
Weekly Native American sweat lodges and Buddhist practice inform Mary’s work and enrich her Earth connection. She is a long time environmental activist, five years on the board of the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust. She’s also worked with elementary school students, creating giant puppets to animate indigenous tales to awaken the community to protect these disappearing resources.
For seven years Mary has led workshops in poetry and art with the Noetic Institute. One of her favorite lines from Rilke…
“Earth, is that not what you want, to rise again, invisible in us?”
Mary’s teaching philosophy is expressed well by one of her inspirational teachers, Matthew Fox, “The only hope Mother Earth has for survival is our recovering creativity – which is, of course, our divine power… Creativity is so satisfying, so important, not because it produces something but because the process is cosmological… There’s joy and delight in giving birth.”
A great influence in her youth was Girl Scouting. Many two week treks in the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains opened an essential door. Mary explains, “My work reaches for images that reflect the archetypal in Nature Forms. I like to be still and open my senses to wildness, places where the human realm has not yet entered. It is here that I can receive glimpses of who I most truly am.”
Of her work, architect Arthur Dyson says, “Her watercolors are a stream of experience that emphasize sensitivity to the kind of hidden structures that rest beneath the distracting glare of ordinary appearance…she has found a method to bring calm to the surface so that we may look for the riverbed.”