Home > Feature > Glass Houses 31: Mary McCleary

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For 30 years, the artist Mary McCleary taught at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, where her students included Emily Sloan, Matthew Sontheimer and O.Rufus Lovett. McCleary’s work is included in the collections of Museum of Fine Arts Houston; The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; the El Paso Museum of Art; the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont.

McCleary’s distinctive collage technique involving dense layers of small objects is the result of decades of considering the visual qualities of otherwise trivial materials, which she has collected into carefully organized bins in her Nacogdoches studio. Her home is likewise an admixture of thoughtfully considered objects, books and art, and a testament to a life well lived. Last month the photographer Everett Taasevigen visited McCleary for our Glass Houses series on artists’ homes.

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McCleary in her studio.

 

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This engraving Last Words of Nathan Hale, made in 1858 by Scottish artist Alexander Hay Ritchie, was selected by McCleary for her 10th birthday.

 

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By McCleary, when she was 16. It’s an unfinished painting of the Milroy House in Houston.

 

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The painting behind McCleary: a Cuzco School painting of St. Ursula.

also by Everett Taasevigen
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