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Mary Vernon: Painting is Drawing

  • The Grace Museum 102 Cypress Street Abilene, TX, 79601 United States (map)

Main Gallery
September 15, 2017 - January 6, 2018

Artist reception Saturday October 7

In the world of still life and landscape, conceptual events meet one another – the structural meets the narrative, the small stands in the space of the large, and color has a chance to navigate these meetings, changing everything. All my paintings show this shifting world.
—Mary Vernon
MARY VERNON,  Coney Island Garden , 2016, oil and graphite on Yupo, courtesy of the artist and Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Dallas, TX.

MARY VERNON, Coney Island Garden, 2016, oil and graphite on Yupo, courtesy of the artist and Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Dallas, TX.

The Grace Museum is pleased to present a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Mary Vernon, artist and art educator with a fifty year track record of success as a professional artist and a valued mentor and teacher of artists and art connoisseurs of all ages.  

The 2017 Dallas Art Fair and Neiman Marcus recently honored Mary Vernon in celebration of her retirement from fifty years as professor of art and art history at Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts. During her years in the classroom, she was named the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor by her peers and voted favorite SMU professor ten years straight by her students for her coveted painting, drawing, color theory, art history classes. In 2015, donors established the Mary Vernon Painting Prize to be awarded each spring for the best body of work by an SMU undergraduate in honor of her successful career as an artist and professor. She was also selected as a Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Cultures, member of the Board of Directors to the National Council of Arts Administrators, Texas Biennial Advisory Board, Board of Trustees of the Dallas Museum of Art. Vernon’s civic and academic accomplishments run parallel with the development of her own work as an artist, giving her the rare designation of artist - teacher who has exhibited nationally and internationally.


A couple of years before Professor Mary Vernon’s retirement in May 2018, Meadows School of the Arts and a group of donors established the Mary Vernon Painting Prize to honor the veteran art and art history professor and to help launch the careers of top art students. Now, Meadows seeks to endow the prize fund so that, in perpetuity, students can benefit from the prize’s financial boost and recognition as they enter the competitive and challenging art world.  READ MORE...


Mary Vernon has a great deal of respect for observation, for opening up to one’s creative self and for people who are diplomatic and kind.

After 50 years of teaching art and art history at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, Professor Vernon will retire in May 2018. Over the years, she has chaired both the art and art history departments and taught hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to be successful artists, authors, curators and collectors. She has presented dozens of lectures to art and civic groups, written for various publications and journals and served on arts boards.


This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project is supported by a grant from the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council and the City of Abilene.

Earlier Event: September 15
Allison V. Smith PLAIN VIEW
Later Event: September 15