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New Paltz, NY, USA


Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mari is a classically trained artist whose journey was shaped by the vibrant hues of her homeland and the formidable women who surrounded her. Under the guidance of her aunt, Maria Cristina Romero, Mari honed her painting skills, growing up in a household dominated by strong female figures. Witnessing the resilience of her grandmother, Mary Calcaño, Venezuela's first female aviator, instilled in her a profound appreciation for the power of womanhood. In 1989, her family relocated to Princeton, NJ, where Mari spent her formative years. After earning her B.F.A. from Laguna College of Art and Design in 2001, Mari ventured into advertising while nurturing her artistic passion through exhibitions in New York City. Today, Mari balances her role as a professional artist with teaching English to migrant students, fostering their linguistic skills and confidence. Mari's studio, nestled within her home, serves as a sanctuary for creativity, where she finds solace in painting amid the joyful chaos of family life. Inspired by the women who have shaped her identity, Mari delves into diverse themes and compositions, currently focusing on a series celebrating female strength and resilience. With each stroke of her brush, Mari strives to amplify the voices and stories of women, crafting a vibrant tapestry of empowerment and inspiration.


Painting portraits of women from diverse backgrounds is a celebration of their strength, individuality, and the captivating stories told through their gaze. In these portraits, I strive to capture not just their external beauty but a glimmer of their brilliance, the inner strength that unites them in the face of life's many challenges, creating a vivid array of the toughness and individuality that defines womanhood across the world. Through my work, I aim to empower women and reflect on the empowerment they have given me. As a painter, my journey has been an exploration of the connection between brushwork, color, pattern, and emotion. My paintings serve as a medium through which I translate my perceptions into visual expressions that resonate with viewers on a personal level. I want to enrich the legacy of portraiture by infusing vitality into the remarkable women I portray. Guided by the belief that colors can evoke emotions, I immerse myself in the world of pigments, patterns, and textures to add visual energy to my subjects.

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