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Oak Park, Illinois 60302 
(708) 386-9853 

The Oak Park Art League is partially funded by grants from the Oak Park Area Arts Council and the Illinois Arts Counci Agency.

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September Spotlight: Mary Jo Parker Ohearn

September 1, 2017


Mary Jo Parker Ohearn lives in Oak Park, and  has been an Artist Member of OPAL for about 15 years! Mary Jo has been creating art since she could hold a pencil and now works primarily with acrylic and charcoal.


Share a little about yourself, your ideas, and process. How did you approach your work? What motivates you as an artist? Are your passions or interests reflected in your work?


I have had no formal art education, only independent classes and learning from the artists that I have worked with. I started as a fashion illustrator and artist model at Chas. A. Stevens in Chicago in 1965 where I learned to properly draw the figure. Several years later I worked for a local newspaper and then the Chicago Tribune doing illustration and layout for advertising and a little bit of political cartoon. As my family grew I spent about 10 years as a muralist and tromp l oeil artist. Some of my work is featured in a chapter of "Sophisticated Surfaces" by Karen Aude. Now that I am retired I can focus entirely on my work. 

I started out concentrating on figurative work but over the last ten years abstraction has intrigued me and much of my work has been in that genre as well. My new work is a combination of figurative and abstract.


Describe the work you will be sharing in this exhibit. Is it a new series? Are you exploring a medium, theme or subject? Do you have a title for this body of work? 

This new series combines my love for the figure and human interaction with the complexity and balance of abstract painting. Each piece begins as a complete abstract painting. Once I am happy with that piece I search for the figurative element , the human or animal hiding between the lines. Then I watch them evolve and tell their story. My hope is that there will be an interaction between those in the painting and the viewer.


Discover more on Mary Jo's website:

On instagram as mjparkerohearn


Please click on the images for a slideshow gallery view with titles







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