Three Questions with Artist Mary Hong

Mary Hong has caught worldwide attention of contemporary art enthusiasts with her unique use of recycled glass, color palettes and bold composition. Her world travel as an 18-year veteran flight attendant, brought her creativity, imagination and inspiration. The artist’s work has been featured in local, regional and national media outlets both in print and on television. Mary earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a well-established, award-winning artist and entrepreneur in Northwest Florida. A professional artist for 23 years, she has participated in group and solo exhibitions in the U.S. and France and was the recipient of the 2014 Artist of the Year award from the Walton County Florida Tourist Development Council.

The passion for glass began during a trip to Greece. “It was 1999 when I caught the bright glint of cobalt blue glass from a bead shop in Greece. I had to have it and I had to learn how to create it! Glass was my thing! I was hooked! I fused it in a kiln, wrapped it around a mandrel, and created full wall mosaics with it,” enthuses the artist.

John-Richard will be debuting new artwork by Mary Hong at High Point Market this April. We recently touched base with the artist to ask her about her inspiration and the current color combinations that appeal to her.

1. Your use of recycled glass creates unique textures and refracts light in unusual ways. What are the artistic and environmental reasons that you chose to include mosaics of glass in your work?  I have always loved glass…it’s permanence, it’s beauty when light passes through it. I’m a glass artist first, painter second. I love how glass can add another dimension to a painting. Glass can pick up any subtle light and magnify it. And, it’s all around us! It’s not difficult to find it! I love the challenge of taking an ordinary glass bottle, and turning it into art on canvas. Since I’ve taught thousands of people my process, I’m pretty sure we’re making a dent in how much glass goes out the door!

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2. How does living on the Emerald Coast of Florida inspire and influence your work?  Living on the Gulf Coast of Florida has definitely influenced my work. I lean towards the brilliant blues and aquas, always trying to find that soft subtle hue to balance it. I challenge myself sometimes by trying to create an image using only white paint and clear glass. It’s amazing what you can do with just those two things! I recently opened a gallery in Nashville TN and have begun a new series of work with much stronger colors. I love them! It’s a big change for me!

3. What are you currently working on and what are the color palettes that appeal to you right now? AH! See above! I’ve shared pictures so you can see the strong colors! I literally finished them yesterday!!

Mondays with Mary flyerTo learn more about the artist Mary Hong, visit www.maryhongstudio.com
Follow Mary on her social channels:
Instagram: @maryhongstsudio Pinterest: wiredglass.com
Facebook: Mary Hong Studio
*Join Mary for her Facebook Live ‘Mondays with Mary’ on the 3rd Monday of every month at 10:30 am.