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Artist Statement


Mary Long was born in Ohio and has lived in Tennessee since the mid-1990s. Following studies in graphic design and painting, she began working in encaustic in 2001. “I grew up near Canton, where there is a crazy-quilt patchwork of rural farms and factories. It’s a juxtaposition of architectural grayness against expanses of happy saturated colors that inspires my work to this day,” she says. Long often begins her paintings with marks drawn in oil stick, over which she applies many layers of wax combined with oil paints. “I scrape down in between the applications, revealing some of the marks, while leaving others faded or hidden in little worlds that have an element of history to them. The paintings begin in what I call a chaotic, adolescent phase and grow as layers of color and additional lines weave the elements together.” In the latest work I am decompressing, exploring more of the spaces in between. They don't simply represent topographical maps but also time and space, the painting acts as a 'slice' or a 'snapshot' of something continuous,” says Long.


Mary Long is an encaustic artist whose use of that technique brings to her work elements that are both solid and transparent, those that are easily and immediately understood positioned next to those that are evasive and subdued. The wax medium allows her to further explore the painting in a tactile way by selectively scraping, incising and scarring; the mediums and materials are broken down only to be rebuilt and reshaped, making the work an extremely personal psychological reflection and reaction to the subject matter presented.


Solo Exhibitions


2015          Plot Lines, Jay Etkin Gallery, Memphis TN

2012          David Perry Smith, Memphis TN

2011         Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN

2008         Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis TN

2007          Sagefarm Art & Craft, Taos, NM

                   Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis TN


Group Exhibitions


2019         Wome of Abstraction, Tinney Contemporary, Memphis, TN

2018         Size Doesn’t Matter: Small Works Exhibition, Owen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM

2018         Mary Long | David Baca, Owen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM

2017         Potluck- Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN

2016         Flowers and Fields - Mary Long | Daniel Phill, Owen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
Creative Transition Group Exhibition, Owen Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM


2015         Conversations on Color and Abstraction, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Rhythm and Hues, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Nature of Color, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM


2014         Wax Duet: Mary Long and Ellen Koment, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Words Matter, Jay Etkin Gallery, Memphis, TN


2013         Surface Beauty Group Exhibition, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Waxworks, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Burgeoning, DPS Gallery, Memphis, TN

                   Hanging Participles, Marshall Arts, Memphis, TN

                   Southern Abstraction, Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN

2012         Holiday Show: The Art of Giving, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Fall Preview: New Works, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Art of Science, in conjunction with SJCRH, Memphis, TN


2011         Excavated Passages, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Tour of the Homes, ARTFeast Annual event, Santa Fe, NM

                  Eighteenth Annual Red Show, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

                   Fragments, Harrington Brown, Memphis, TN


2010          Exposure, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM


2009          Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN

                  Cooper-Young Invitational, Memphis, TN

                  Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis, TN

                  Husband & Wife Show, Askew, Nixon & Ferguson Architects

                  Art Access Gallery, Bexley, Ohio

2008          Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis, TN

                  Art Access Gallery, Bexley, Ohio

2007          Red Dot Art Festival, New York, NY

                  Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis, TN 2003 - 2009

2006-03    Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis, TN

2001         Artfarm, Memphis, TN

                  COYO, Memphis, TN

2000          COYO, Memphis, TN

                  Cooper Young Gallery, Memphis, TN


Juried Exhibitions


2009          Everywhere, Nowhere, Somewhere… A Power House Director’s Choice Group Exhibition, Memphis, TN

2008         Featured Artist, Brooks Museum of Art ‘Art of Good Taste’ Memphis, TN

2007          River Arts Festival, Memphis, Tennessee

                  (Jurors Discretionary Award)

1999          L’Exposition Regionale Pyrenees-Cote Basque, Puyoo, France (Second place winner, Acrylics)




2015 “West Coast Fresh”, Western Art and Architecture,Oct/Nov 2015 p.89 Eliza Cross

“An Urban Cherry Creek Home a Lifetime in the Making”, Colorado Homes and Lifestyles, June 2015, p.85

2011 “What Lies Beneath”, Albuquerque Journal, July 22, 2011 p.S4, Kate McGraw


Corporate and Permanent Collections


         Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN

The Art of Community, Janet and Jim Ayers’ Collection of Tennessee Art at the new First Bank office in downtown Nashville

Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Canada, PLLC, Nashville, TN and Birmingham, AL

Iberia Bank, Memphis, TN

Pinnacle Bank, Nashville, TN

         Eli Manning of the New York Giants, NY

         Jane Shelton Designs

         Lincoln International LLC, NY, NY

         Commercial Bank, Memphis, TN and Southaven, MS

         Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects, Memphis TN

         NSA, Memphis, TN

         Service Assurance, Memphis, TN

         Bass, Berry and Simms PLC, Nashville, TN

         Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks

         Private collections worldwide

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