Mary Josephson

Vertumnus and Pomona, a new body of work by Portland based artist Mary Josephson. This recent exhibition is comprised of works created in a variety of mediums, including mosaics, embroidery and painted ceramics.

Joesphson says of her work, "For many years my work has reflected the cyclical nature of the world through changing seasons, planting and harvesting. Vertumnus and Pomona is a story of seduction and deception from Ovid's Metamorphoses, a popular source of imagery for artists throughout recorded history, Vertumnus, the Roman god of seasons and change, assumed multiple guises as he attempted to woo the recalcitrant wood nymph Pomona, guardian of cultivated orchards, fruit and harvest. In this exhibition I revisit the myth of Vertumnus and Pomona, paying homage to the compositions of other artists then adding my own vision in glass, clay and fabric".  

Josephson earned a degree in Painting from the Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR, and attended the Parsons School of Design, Paris, France. Her work has been placed in numerous collections including the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, NM.




From the beginning I wanted to capture in my paintings more than a likeness of the individual.  I wanted the painting to tell about the character or spirit of the person depicted.
These paintings tell the stories of people caught up in the heroics of everyday life, the commonplace events that color our lives and shape our days.

I feel humans are godlike, possessing Olympian qualities.  We each have our myths, the tales of our lives.  These stories are the subject of my work.

People of every race color and creed are represented in my paintings in a manner meant to inspire and empower, to fill the viewer with hope. They are strong and capable, often visually monumental, reflecting their inner stature.  I see them as fragile, yet profoundly resilient, vessels immersed in life and surrounded by the people and things that have most deeply affected them.

Their tales are woven together by family, friends, animals, birds, fruits, flowers and labor.  They comprise a visual mythology grounded in a world filled with color. Good humor pervades these images, along with a faith in the ability of an individual to rise above adversity.
As time passes, I have come to recognize that I will never lack for subject matter- life provides a myriad of stories, I need only record them in paint.

< Back