Mary has practiced art since she was very young, developing her skills through high school and college. She grew up homeschooled and then attended Westside High school part-time, through her teenage years. She has many siblings and has worked as a nanny, so she has experience working with a wide variety of age groups. Since Mary did not go to traditional school, her parents made a point to send her to many extra curricular programs, similar to the 402 Arts Collective. She attended mostly private art lessons, as well as dance and music lessons. She studied under a variety of teachers as she was growing up.
Mary appreciates what a small class or one-on-one class can do for a student, in helping them grow their love for the arts. She believes it is why she chose to pursue art in her later years and ultimately made the decision to make it her career.
Mary recently earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2D and Drawing, with a Minor in Art History from UNO. Her thesis was an exploration of the Female Figure In Black and White, using only pigment mediums to achieve a high sense of realism.
"Drawing seems to be preparatory for many programs, and leads to painting and design in the future. I see drawing as the final project. Rendering a drawing to completion is something not taught in many programs and something I would love to aid in teaching students." ~Mary Heldridge