The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists

By Robert Craig Bunch | Go to book overview

Mary McCleary

Received September 16, 2012
Born 1951, Houston; lives in Nacogdoches

Figure 50. Mary McCleary, Tower, 2011

Mixed media collage on paper, 64½" × 46½"

Courtesy of the artist and Moody Gallery, Houston
Collection of Mr. Daniel Cuellar and Dr. Stephen Pappan

Q You have often used self, family, and loved ones as models. To what extent is your art autobiographical? To what extent is it expressionist?

A It may be impossible to make art that is not in some way autobiographical, even if it’s just a record of the time and place in which one lives. My work is never consciously about me. I’d rather draw my subject matter from history, literature, and science—branches of learning that help me explore aspects of the world and human behavior.

For years I’ve questioned the advice well-meaning art teachers give to kids and young artists to “express themselves.” This is a dead end. Unless you are doing art for therapy, it’s better to look beyond yourself. I am finite, and if were just focusing on expressing myself, I would run out of material in fifteen to twenty minutes.

Q How did growing up in a family of collectors develop your eye for design and craftsmanship?

A The women in my family were all interested in the decorative arts, so I grew up going to antique shops, antique shows, and old restored houses. We regularly talked about design and craftsmanship, and these things were clearly valued. I was exposed to well-made things in person, not just in books.

Q What did Fine Points of American Furniture by Albert Sack mean to you? What are some other key books in your life?

A I would pull it down from the book shelves of my childhood home to study from time to time. It was my introduction to connoisseurship. There are way too many [key books] to mention; although a few that come to mind are, of course, the Bible, T.S. Eliot and other twentieth century poets, How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Use and Abuse of Art by Jacques Barzun, and C. S. Lewis. Growing up, I read lots of biographies and American history. Oh, and during the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I found a book in the library on Freud’s

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The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Margaret Adie 9
  • Helen Altman 12
  • Celia Álvarez Muñoz 14
  • The Art Guys- Michael Galbreth 17
  • Jack Massing 19
  • Frances Bagley 22
  • Karin Broker 25
  • Maureen Brouillette 28
  • Steve Brudniak 31
  • Margarita Cabrera 35
  • Eugene W. R. Campbell Jr 38
  • Danville Chadbourne 40
  • Claire Cusack 46
  • Robert Dampier 48
  • Roberto del Rio 51
  • Martin Delabano 54
  • Vernon Fisher 58
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock 60
  • Vincent Hannemann 62
  • Ann Harithas 66
  • Dana Harper 69
  • Joseph Havel 71
  • Tracy Hicks 73
  • Paul Horn 77
  • Otis Huband 79
  • Christopher Hynes 81
  • Barbara Irwin 83
  • Joy Jenkins 85
  • Norman Kary 89
  • Mimi Kato 93
  • Sharon Kopriva 96
  • Laura Jean Lacy 98
  • Marilyn Lanfear 101
  • Lance Letscher 104
  • Ken Little 106
  • Bert L. Long Jr 111
  • Jesse Lott 115
  • Edward Lane McCartney 117
  • Mary McCleary 121
  • Leila McConnell 124
  • Kelly O’Connor 127
  • Mari Omori 129
  • Kathleen Packlick 131
  • Angelica Paez 134
  • Kevin Parmer 136
  • Forrest Prince 139
  • Russell Prince 142
  • Dario Robleto 144
  • Aaron Roe 147
  • Jonathan Rosenstein 149
  • John Mark Sager 151
  • Joel Sampson 154
  • Ward Sanders 156
  • Luke Savisky 158
  • Kelly Sears 163
  • Al Souza 165
  • Julie Speed 167
  • James Michael Starr 169
  • Henry Stein 173
  • Gary Sweeney 175
  • Cecil Touchon 177
  • Patrick Turk 181
  • Janet L. Waldrop 184
  • Debbie Wetmore 186
  • Steve Wiman 188
  • Sources and Further Reading 191
  • Index 199
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