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A Dialogue with echo: Artist Mary Begley

Interview by Tara Sasiadek:

The Buffalo Expat Network, the Emerging Leaders in the Arts and HandsOn Greater Buffalo are pleased to present the echo:
Art Fair which connects experienced collectors and first-time buyers
with emerging local, regional and international artists in a centralized
and creative environment; the Buffalo Central Terminal. echo:
Art Fair will showcase a broad scope of fine art disciplines, including
painting, photography, sculpture, print, works on paper, video and
combined-media. echo will commence with a VIP Reception on July 8th, 2011. On July 9th, the echo:
Art Fair will run from 9:30am until 5:30pm. The After-echo party, also
to be held in the Terminal, will take place shortly after the ending of
the fair featuring live music from The Albrights, Alex Kelly, and will
wrap up with a dance party featuring DJ Cutler and AVDJ PROJEX. Here is the next in a series of Buffalo Rising interviews with one of our featured artists, Mary Begley:

Who are you, and what do you do?

Mary Begley – Painter

What are the most essential elements of your work?

Abstract Forms in space work together to create an atmosphere. I have always called them Atmospheres or Space-scapes and in my more recent UFO Series I embrace that concept and I bring forth an other worldly quality within the work and in the titles.

If you had to choose only 5 materials or tools to work with, what would they be?

Oil Paint, Canvas, Pastels, Paper and most importantly Myself.

Would you describe your artistic education as a guided or self guided journey?

Although I went to school for Fine Art at Buffalo State and UB and had some wonderful mentors along the way I feel like my education in life as well as Art is a Self Guided journey. Especially because I deal mostly in the abstract realm.

Do you have a connection to Buffalo?

I was born in Buffalo but grew up in upstate NY. I returned to my home town to go to College. I liked it so much I stayed on here.

Is there a Buffalo landmark or meal you plan to visit or have while here?

I would recommend to anyone visiting Mothers Restaurant for either dinner or an appetizer (try the shrimp fritters).

How do you define success as an artist?

The answer to this question is unique to every person answering it. There are also different levels of success. To me success is being a self sustaining artist and living off doing what you love. Until I reach that goal my everyday success is when someone feels so strongly about my work that they purchase it. I feel most successful when I can touch other people with my art work.

Can you share with a us a harrowing tale of an artistic disaster?

I was commissioned to paint a version of The Thinker by Rodin. The woman wanted a very large painting in all white. I worked very hard on it and in the end it was rejected. The woman was a doctor of sorts (sex therapist). I worked in a local record store after Grad school and she called me while I was on the floor and said I needed psychological help. I hung up the phone and went back to selling rap tapes. The painting hangs in my bathroom to this day and is a constant reminder of the joys of commission work.

Do you have a set schedule for studio time?  How do you structure your creative life?

I do not have a structure to my time spent in the studio. I try to spend as much time in the studio as possible outside of my 9 to 5 job at Righteous Babe Records. I have a third floor loft space right in my home and a room on the ground floor I call the “Studio Annex” where I can work on smaller items or drawings.

Can you tell us about where you find resources or inspiration for your work?

In my abstract work I draw from my experiences in life and the manipulation of the materials.

What quote or mantra or words of wisdom do you have for other creative types?

When I am painting I always remind my self to “let the painting happen”. That is to say don’t force it or stick to any one set formula. If something wonderful happens work with it and let it live its life.

Where can we find more of your work?

I will also be having a show at The Hardware in Allen in August 2011 and a show at Betty’s Jan-Feb 2012.

For full details on echo: Art Fair, visit the site at, or find us on Facebook.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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