About the Artist

M A R Y  J O S E P H S O N
Born in 1953 in Biloxi, Mississippi, multimedia artist Mary Josephson is known for her expressive, narrative portraits, vivid color palette and strong sense of design. Her portraits explore human frailties and weaknesses, often cast in the most positive of light. As the artist notes, 'I like to document the heroics of everyday life...life has so much drama, and I am intrigued by it. Each day is a battle, for some more than others. We all have disappointments and unrealized dreams.'

Josephson studied in Paris, France, at the École National Superior des Beaux Arts before receiving a BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has been exhibiting her work since 1983 including shows at the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Health Sciences University, the University of Austin in Texas, and the Bellevue Art Museum, WA. Prominent collections include Safeco, Microsoft, Oregon State University, Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Portland Art Museum. Commissions include work for Southern Oregon University, the Tigard Public Library, OR, Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Portland Fire and Rescue in conjunction with RACC, OR, Oregon Food Bank, Multnomah County’s Juvenile Justice Center in Portland, OR, and the Arnold Rue Community Center, in Stockton, CA.



Mary Josephson

M A R Y  J O S E P H S O N
"Painting was my first love. Over the course of my career my techniques and materials have evolved, but I remain in love with the act of telling stories and celebrating human experience though my artwork.

From the beginning, painting people meant more than achieving a physical likeness. I wanted the work to tell a story about the person depicted, what was going on below the surface-maybe a specific story or just the suggestion of a rich inner life - getting to the heart of the matter.

My family moved often during my childhood so I had the opportunity to meet people whose culture and experience were different from my own.  Through this I came to realize how alike human beings are in their needs and desires.  Expressing this knowledge about humanity became the central theme in my work."