Mary Mackey began her career in the visual arts with a distinct focus on photography. She earned an Associate Degree from the Colorado Institute of Art, and went on to work and teach as a professional photographer in Berlin and London during the early 1990s. "My background in photography;' Mackey says, "supports the importance of composition in my painting. While the elements differ, their relationships are crucial."
With this background in photography and with influences consisting primarily of the post-war modern American artists, Mackey's work thus far has been exclusively in abstraction. In the mid-eighties, her interaction with Mark Lunning of The Open Press introduced her to the world of printmaking: "In the beginning, I successfully incorporated photographs as collage elements into the monoprinting process, which in turn led me to focus solely on printmaking."
Recently, Mackey's work has taken several exciting turns. She now experiments with new printing surfaces such as mylar and vellum. She is also exploring different types of paper while using a mixture of grease pencils and oil paints mixed with mineral spirits. She has also made the dramatic shift from non-objectional abstraction to recognizable images such as landscapes, still-life, and simple forms, which, as she puts it "are rich in form, color, composition, and texture." Mackey's works have been exhibited in Canada, Japan, New York, San Francisco, Texas, and Denver. Her pieces are featured in numerous corporate collections around the globe.