“I am a painter and sculptor mostly known for my clay works inspired by the human figure. My interpretation of the human experience on a physical, emotional and spiritual level is revealed in each of the sculptures I create. Their shapes are elegant and organic, with geometric surfaces of primarily colorful glazes and incised lines. When my sculptures are experienced in person they reveal a distinctive presence, personality and energy, each conveying real human qualities and emotion. It is my intuitive process of turning clay into something tangible and meaningful that has intrigued me over the past thirty years.
My colorful, multi-layered, abstract paintings are constructed with layers of color and amorphous shapes that move in a free form style. As you look closely, images reminiscent of humans, animals, unusual life forms and habitats appear. A wonderland of sorts with boundaries; in the form of hard-edge line and bold geometric blocks of color, giving order and harmony to the experience. My sculptures and paintings share common qualities; physically in the architectural influences of my past and emotionally in their shared strength, depth and energy, profoundly affecting most who experience them.” - Mary-Ann Prack
Mary-Ann Prack was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. As a third generation member of an architectural engineering family, art and architecture were a strong component of her early life experiences and surroundings. Thus an appreciation of the arts was thoroughly instilled in her throughout her childhood. This richly creative environment became the essential basis from which Mary-Ann developed an appreciation, respect and love of art and her favorite period in art history - the Abstract Expressionist Movement.
Prack began her formal fine art education at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, continued at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Florida Atlantic University, where she studied both fine art and interior design. Although Prack's interest and passion was always with fine art, she chose to practice interior design in order to make a living. By 1986 Mary-Ann was able to transition into creating art on a full time basis. She says, "It has been a challenge to balance the integrity of my artwork with the need to make a living. I feel I have not allowed my artistic growth to be compromised no matter what the circumstances nor challenges. I have been able to maintain my enthusiasm, commitment to high quality and focused energy that has been evident in my sculpture from the beginning."
Mary-Ann explains, "I was drawn to clay as a sculpture medium for many reasons, from childhood remembrances of modeling for my mother as she sculpted me in clay, to the discovery of its unlimited potential for creative expression and to the fulfillment that comes with having complete control over every stage of the artistic process." For over 30 years Mary-Ann has worked with clay as a pure sculpture medium. There is nothing traditional about her approach to or use of clay in terms of subject, design, scale or glazing techniques. Prack creates sculpture that is distinctive, precise, and with geometric purity of surface and form. She hand builds each piece using specially formulated clay that has a stone-like hardness, strength and consistency suitable for her large scale clay constructions. After bisque firing she glazes the surfaces and fires once again, and or uses cold-colors that are permanently sealed. The sizes range from approximately two to nine feet in height. Each of her sculptures are original, she takes great care with each as if it were the only one.
Prack’s interest in painting began as an alternate art form to her sculpture, when in 2004 an illness briefly left her unable to do the heavy work sculpture requires. Since then painting has become as important to her artistic expression as sculpture. Though different in approach, the energy, spirit and artists presence is evident when her sculpture and paintings are experienced together.
Mary-Ann’s home, studio and sculpture garden are located in the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.