Mary Vernon is a Dallas-based artist and former educator. Mary spent nearly 50 years at Southern Methodist University where she taught art history, painting and drawing, as well as SMU’s noted color theory course. Originally from New Mexico, she completed her undergraduate degree at Cal Berkeley and her MFA at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Mary’s paintings reflect the color theories she so famously taught at SMU. One of her most recent works (“Albers’ House”) is a 36-foot-long oil painting on yupo which was featured in a retrospective at the Grace Museum in Abiliene. Mary’s work can be found in notable local collections, such as The Belo Foundation, The George W. Bush Presidential Library, Meadows Museum, Dallas Country Club, and the U.T. Southwestern Medical Center. Mary is represented in Dallas by Valley House Gallery.
I recently sat down with Mary at her Dallas studio where we discussed early inspirations, Berkeley in the ‘60s, her love of art history, the evolution of the Meadows collection, her impact on generations of art students, her love of yupo and a run-in with Georgia O’Keefe.