Hanging out recently at the computers lab at the Access Tucson community television studios (one of my major haunts for nearly a decade...the tv studio, not the computers) I have made the acquaintance of a most interesting and talented individual...Mary Alice Bennett. She'll take it from here (from her MySpace page here):
Mary Jill Alice (MJA) Bennett was born in Stony Brook and grew up on Long Island, where she learned to sail and was introduced to the world of art as a child model for the portraitist John Koch. When the family moved to Arizona in the late 1950s, MJA fell under the spell of the landscape and peoples of the Southwest which has continued to shape her art and life. She studied painting at Pomona College in the late 1960s, graduating in 1969 with an exceptional class that included Chris Burden and Hap Tivey. MJA spent the next few years in living in a cave north of Taos, New Mexico, where she became interested in Native American culture and danced in numerous Pow-Wows at Taos Pueblo and later in Arizona with the famous dance group Azteca Splendor. After returning to Arizona, MJA settled in Tucson, where she has lived for the past 30 years. MJA enjoys reinterpreting Meso-American and Middle-Eastern stone carvings in color media, chiefly acrylics, water colors and colored pencils. MJA's father was a test pilot/aviator, and her mother was a musician and an artist who devoted her life to seeking harmony within both disciplines. While in New Mexico, MJA began dancing with Native Americans in Pow-Wows and notes that this form of dancing continues to influence her work. MJA also enjoys reinterpreting Meso-American and Middle-Eastern stone carvings in color as archeological restorations. Departing from the oils she used in her early paintings, MJA currently works with acrylics, water colors, and colored pencils.