Mara is a UW Milwaukee graduate with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. She earned her teaching certificate as an Art Educator from UW-Green Bay and received a Master of Arts in Education from Lesley University. Some of her early influences as an artist included instruction and vision from Leslie Vansen, Adolph Rosenblatt, Tom Uttecht, Bill Williams and Laurence Rathsack. Mara’s current studio is in her home in Escanaba MI. She recently retired from a 24 year career teaching art at Ashwaubenon High School. Mara has a long history as a painter. Her early memories include a figurative painting class in 7th grade where Tom Seagard was her teacher. During her years in Milwaukee Mara and artist friends ran a pop up gallery space called Verge. They caught the attention of local media and were covered in the press on several occasions. Exhibits at Verge were exciting happenings and included art work, dance, music and poetry readings. After leaving Milwaukee Mara spent some time in the New York borough of Brooklyn in an up and coming neighborhood called Dumbo. Here, with some of the artist’s from Verge and the addition of new friends she was able to continue her painting and participation with the alternative arts scene during the late 1980’s. Following the birth of twin sons she and her family moved back to Wisconsin to the Green Bay area so they could raise their boys and pursue careers in education. During this time Mara continued to paint and make connections in the art community in Green Bay. As her children went off to college and her teaching career began to come to a close she has focused more on her own work. Mara’s exhibition resume includes purchase prize awards in several juried exhibitions as well as a 2nd place overall in the Northern Exposure exhibit at the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba MI in 2012. Mara has had solo shows at the Hartwig Gallery at Bay College in Escanaba and at Mr Helsinki in Fish Creek. Her painting has been included in several Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors juried exhibitions. Most recently Mara’s work was selected for Art Prize 2016 in Grand Rapids MI. Mara’s work has been collected by Bay College and community members from Escanaba, Manitowoc and Beloit WI.