Mary Pettis

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Mary Pettis

ARC Living Master TM


Born 1953

  • Artworks
  • Biography
  • Awards
  • Galleries
  • Event Listing


In her work, Mary Pettis, Expressive Realist, draws heavily upon her classical training and Russian influence. Mary has been juried into and won awards in national and international painting events and exhibitions from New York City to Scottsdale and Maui to Barcelona.

Designated in 2017 as an ARC Living Master™ (ARCLM™) by the Art Renewal Center, Mary is also a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society (AIS), Oil Painters of America (OPA), and the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA).

Her art has taken her to the far corners of the world: China, Russia, and much of Europe. She has exhibited widely, including the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and collectors of her work reach across the globe. Mary is recognized as an eloquent and respected speaker, teacher and mentor, teaching in the Upper Midwest, Tuscany, Venice, France, and Hawaii.

Early in her career, Mary studied with Hungarian painter Bela Petheo; Richard Lack, at Atelier Lack; and Daniel Graves, who later became the founder of the Florence Academy of Art. In the 1990s, Jim Wilcox introduced her to the “wet-in-wet” plein air approach and she moved her studio outdoors. Over the years she continued her studies with various teachers including Zhang Wen Xin, Kevin MacPherson, Jove Wang, and James Shoop.

Now she divides her time equally between the studio and outdoors. Her decades of training and the experiences from hundreds of plein air paintings are a catalyst for a symbolic visual language of expression that celebrates the beauty, dignity and worth of this world and its inhabitants.

Mary and her husband Randy live along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in Minnesota. Her work, along with information on galleries, exhibitions, and workshops can be found on her website at

There is a Spirit, a soulfulness, a connectedness within and among everything light can touch. I love the inherent beauty and language of paint itself, and to share my impressions of this elegant world. — Mary Pettis 

Awards and Major Exhibitions, 2016-2018

  • March 2018 - Solo Exhibition, “Color Harmonies”, 30+ works inspired by Lyadov’s “The Enchanted Lake”, Respighi’s “The Fountains of Rome”, and Debussy’s “La Mer” performed in tandem by The Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN
  • February 2018 – 13th Maui Plein Air Invitational, Lahaina, HI, Honor Hawaii - Honor Maui Award
  • January/February 2018 - 13th Annual International Art Renewal Center's ARC Salon Competition, Honorable Mention, Finalist
  • January 2018 – Salmagundi Club’s “Landscapes: Day and Night” Exhibition, New York, NY, Royal Talens Best in Show Award
  • September 2016 to January 2018 - American Society of Marine Artists 17th National Exhibition, Hosted by 6 Museums
  • November 2017 – Solo Exhibition, Edward Curtis Gallery, The Minneapolis Club, Minneapolis, MN
  • October 2017 – EnPleinAir Texas Fourth Annual National Juried Plein Air Exhibition, San Angelo, TX, First Place, Mini-Pearls Award
  • September 2017 - Art Renewal Center’s ARC Salon Traveling Exhibition, European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), Barcelona, Spain
  • June 2017 - Solo Exhibition, "Beyond the Surface", 25+ works inspired by Debussy's Images, performed in tandem by The Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN 
  • June 2017 - Salmagundi Club, Landscape Exhibition, New York, NY
  • June 2017 - Il Chiostro's 12th Annual Art Exhibit, “The HeArt of Italy, New York, NY
  • May 2017 – Art Renewal Center’s ARC Salon Traveling Exhibition, Salmagundi Gallery, New York, NY
  • May 2017 - Oil Painters of America’s National Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Cincinnati, OH
  • April 2017 - BoldBrush Painting Competition, Finalist
  • February 2017 – 12th Maui Plein Air Invitational, Lahaina, HI
  • January 2017 – Art Muse, Master Class, Finalist
  • January 2017 - The Sedona Art Prize, Finalist
  • January 2017 - BoldBrush Painting Competition, Finalist
  • December 2016 - BoldBrush Painting Competition Finalist
  • December 2016 - Oil Painters of America's Fall Signature & Associate Online Showcase,  Honorable Mention
  • November 2016 - 12th Annual International Art Renewal Center's ARC Salon Competition, Third Place winner, Plein Air Magazine Award, Honorable Mention, Finalist
  • November 2016 - The Mountain Oyster Club's 47th Annual Auction and Exhibition, Tucson, AZ
  • October 2016 - The Sedona Art Prize, Finalist
  • October 2016 - EnPleinAir Texas Third National Juried Plein Air Exhibition, San Angelo, TX, Texas Ranchland Award
  • September 2016 – The Sedona Art Prize,  Finalist
  • September 2016 - American Impressionist Society's 17th Annual National Juried Exhibition, Seattle, WA
  • September 2016 -"Making Waves: An Exploration of the Maritime World of Art" Exhibition, Williamsburg Art Gallery, Williamsburg, VA
  • August 2016 - The Artist's Magazine 33rd Annual Art Competition, Animal/Wildlife category,  Finalist
  • July 2016 - Duluth Art Institute's "Paint Du Nord" Plein Air Event, Duluth, MN,  Best Sense of Place Award
  • July 2016 - "Truth in Nature" Plein Air Painting Exhibition, Ford Family Gallery: White Bear Center for the Arts, White Bear Lake, MN
  • June to September 2016 - Outdoor Painters of Minnesota Exhibition of Plein Air Painting in Minnesota, MSP International Airport
  • May 2016 - Oil Painters of America's National Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Dallas, TX
  • April 2016 - American Society of Marine Artists North Regional Exhibition, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona, MN
  • February 2016 – 11th Maui Plein Air Invitational, Lahaina, HI,  Pioneer Inn Award

Please visit Mary's website for Awards and exhibitions prior to 2016

01 June 2018 to 01 June 2018

The Atelier hosts Mary Pettis "Landscape Master Class" - Lecture

1681 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN

75 USD

01 June 2018 to 03 June 2018

The Atelier hosts Mary Pettis "Landscape Master Class" - Workshop

1681 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN

495 USD

21 September 2018 to 23 September 2018

The Artistic Anatomy of Trees, Water, Rocks, and Sky workshop

Taylors Falls, MN

375 USD