Mary Antonia Wood

Transcending the past and the present, Mary Antonia Wood's paintings and constructions also transcend the boundaries of painting and sculpture. Her work reflects a deep interest in the eternal mysteries of existence, which know no beginning or end ­ life and death, darkness and light, time and space, nature and the supernatural. "My work is an act of discovery ­ a journey through mystery, legend, and myth. It is a sort of spiritual archeology, which eventually leads to the barest elements, the hidden essence within," the artist states.

Wood grew up on the Arizona/Mexico border, spending time with family on both sides. The movement between these two worlds has added a richness and perspective to her life and work. "Among my inspirations are the Pre-Columbian civilizations of Mexico and Central America, particularly their amazing use of symbolism and ritual in their art and everyday lives. These cultures were able to transform literal realism into objects and structures that became metaphors ­ universal symbols with a profound sense of power that can still be felt today. I'm striving for a similar balance of passion and precision in my work."

 Mary Antonia Wood photo
portrait © Jennifer Esperanza

 Wood's two and three-dimensional work is created using plaster applied to wood panels. The process is time-consuming and exacting. A single piece can take several days or even weeks to create. Each layer is carefully dried and polished before the next is applied. Several coats of natural beeswax protect the finished pieces and add a subtle luster. The results are rich, tactile, patinaed surfaces, which can be experienced with the hand as well as the eye. "I love to encourage people to touch the pieces that they find intriguing ­ their carved, satiny surfaces reveal deeper levels of experience beyond the purely visual."

In summarizing her work, and the creative process, Wood recalls Octavio Paz, the legendary Mexican author who stated, "Art is not an end in itself, but a bridge or talisman ... a medium of transmission of forces and powers that are sacred. The function of art is to open for us the doors that lead to the other side of reality."

Mary Antonia Wood received a BFA degree in 1981 from Northern Arizona University. She has participated in several museum exhibitions, including "Flor y Canto ­ Reflections from Nuevo Mexico" at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, "Ahora ­ New Mexican Hispanic Art" at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and is preparing for a solo exhibition at the same facility in 2005. Wood was the exhibit designer for "Flor y Canto," and will design her own upcoming exhibition at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. She resides in Los Ranchos, New Mexico, and her work is represented in Santa Fe, NM and Scottsdale, AZ by Chiaroscuro galleries. For more information, or for photos of works available please contact the artist or the galleries.



439 Camino del Monte Sol Santa Fe, NM 87501 505.992.0711
7160 E. Main St. Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480.429.0711


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