Mary Jane Ward

Mary Jane Ward was born in Eugene, Oregon. She had a nine year career as a professional ballet dancer and has worked closely as a collaborator and assistant to her partner, artist Amery Kessler.

Primarily self taught as a visual artist, she studied from 2012-2015 at the Grand Central Atelier in New York City, under Jacob Collins. The program is a collaborative studio space, pursuing the methodology of historic ateliers to create drawing, painting and sculpture from life. Mary Jane was part of The Hudson River Fellowship in 2015, which models itself after the traditions of the Hudson River School. In 2017 she was an artist in residence at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, in Bainbridge, Ohio.

Mary Jane teaches portrait and plein air classes at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center and is a member of the Ohio Plein Air Society. She prefers to draw and paint from life and finds inspiration in the presence of her subjects. Whether sitting in a studio with a model, or fully immersing herself in a landscape, the hours spent are meditative and transformative.