Presentation for Big Botany, 2018

By Mary Kay for Big Botany, Spencer Museum, University of Kansas

Botany was a sacred word in my mother’s vocabulary, and she inadvertently presented a mixed message as she conveyed its importance. Growing up in southern England between the 1st and 2nd world wars she pedaled this countryside, finding plants and flowers for her herbarium. READ MORE


Panel Presentation for KU School of Medicine Artists Open House, 2018

By Mary Kay for KU School of Medicine Open House

In these paintings for the installation “Seasons” I wish to offer the students who attend the KU School of Medicine in Salina, a place of visual meditation on the processes of living and dying. Here is a world of plant and insect, which like a human body is found within a context of constant flux. READ MORE


Crystal Bridges Exhibition to Include Kansas and Missouri Artists, 2014

By Blair Schulman for Huffington Post

Logging over 100,000 miles, and visiting with 1,000 artists, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas announced their selection of 102 artists for State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, running September 13, 2014-January 19, 2015. READ MORE


Catalog Essay for Kansas City Collection III, 2014

By Dana Self

“Always looking, trying to see, I search for badgers claw, the budding lily, the tooth of a mouse…” – A. Mary Kay.
A. Mary Kay finds a visual world in an ordinary mouse’s tooth, suggesting that she searches for something beyond a simple experience of the natural world. Kay reaches into objects to find essence, truth and a spiritual connection. READ MORE


Naturalism Two Ways, 2008

By Steve Walker for the exhibition, Mary Kay / Rebecca Morales

Though the painters Mary Kay and Rebecca Morales have never met, they democratically shared the walls of Grand Arts this spring. And though few would confuse their work, the artists were revealed to be connected spiritually in ways that both embraced and shunned expectations.  READ MORE


Mary Kay/Rebecca Morales at Grand Arts, 2008

By Elisabeth Kirsch for The Kansas City Star

Much of today’s art is awash in refuse, creepy looking organic forms and other detritus — what has been called “the abject.” The abject came to the forefront in the 1980s and ’90s, when AIDS became a worldwide epidemic. When artist Kiki Smith created wax sculptures of men and women with fluids dripping unabashedly from various orifices,  READ MORE


Mary Kay and Rebecca Morales show dirty, rotten – and beautiful – work, 2008

By Dana Self for The Pitch

Death, dying, hair, bones — that’s a lot for a two-person exhibition to pack in. But Kansas artist Mary Kay and California artist Rebecca Morales deal with the subjects in ways that are sublime, repellent, chaotic and mostly beautiful. Death, entropy and parasitic invasions are often represented by grotesque, visually disturbing images designed to galvanize. READ MORE


Remembering Today, Longing for Long Ago, Protecting Tomorrow, 2008

By Sue Spaid for the exhibition, Mary Kay & Rebecca Morales

Popular pastimes such as shadow boxes, encased keepsakes, picture lockets, pressed flowers, buried treasures, time capsules, photo albums, scrap books, bulletin boards, and memento mori demonstrate some need to capture yesterday, extend today, freeze moments, or thwart entropy. READ MORE


Nature Remains: Paintings by Mary Kay, 2003

By Mary Kay

These paintings are a meditative continuum, a place of extended looking. Each object has a history, a story: the water lily pressed between the pages of a sketchbook in a boat on Lake Memesagamasing in Canada, the pelvis of a badger — road kill buried and later dug up in the winter, a tiny bird’s wing found one blistering day in the leafy shade of the road. I build the grounds for each Piece   READ MORE


From Nature Remains: Paintings by Mary Kay, 2003

By Saralyn Reece Hardy, Salina Art Center Director

How does death accompany life in these paintings? Anger and fear reside in these images, and all that raw feeling that comes from love. The bloodlines of art and the abandoned relics of everyday life shape each page – fixing the remains of birth and destruction, presence and absence with equal force. These paintings of objects from nature record the risk, rage, joy and tenderness that pulse  READ MORE


From Histories: An Exhibition of Art and Essays, 1999

By Mary Kay

Desire has always been my motivation for making paintings. From my very earliest experiences with paint; whether it was re-painting my tricycle every spring, spooning out tempera from tins, or seeing painting by adults that had an abundance of paint on the canvas: I always wanted the experience of the physicality, fluidity, and colour of paint. It seemed very obvious. Eventually as a child it became essential to READ MORE


To Fly an Earthen Carpet, 1994

By Mary Kay for The Land Report

I was born in the Chiltern Hills forty miles north of London, chalky escarpments with pockets of clay and flint, covered in woodlands of oak, beech, ash and cherry, pasture interspersed with common land of bracken and brambles. My home town lies in a deep valley through which the Flying Scotsman ran by the side of the Grand Union Canal. It was a small market town steeped in history, READ MORE


Shapes of a Vivid Kingdom: The Paintings of Mary Kay, 1991

By John Hull for the exhibition, What Is Here: Paintings and Drawings by Mary Kay and Frank Shaw

Mary Kay’s large paintings of insects transport the viewer into an alien and disquieting world. Not unlike Gulliver in the land of the Brobdingnagians, the viewer is deposited in the midst of a foreign wilderness, all is surprise and mystery here. At the center, these paintings have something to do with the impossibility of explaining events in the natural world. The jarring impact of these pictures derives from. READ MORE