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Featured Artist: Mary Alayne Thomas

Mary Alayne Thomas holding an orange cat

S&H editor Ben Nussbaum talked with Portland-based artist Mary Alayne Thomas about Santa Fe, moodiness, querencia, and more.

Ben Nussbaum: Your parents were both professional artists. So when you were young, the idea of making a living doing art wasn’t far-fetched. Mary Alayne Thomas: For me, art is the central unifying feature of my entire life. Growing up, my family traveled across the U.S. participating in arts and crafts shows. I spent days at a time wandering the isles of the fair. Each booth seemed like a magical doorway into another world. I was very lucky to be exposed to so many varieties of personal expression through creating as a child, and those experiences taught me how to use art as a way of seeing and understanding the world. There was never a time in my life when I thought I would do something other than art as a living. Ben: You grew up in Santa Fe and now you live in Portland. That’s interesting to me because I think of Santa Fe as a place where artists move to. Mary: Santa Fe was so very different from the impressions I got of the rest of the world through books, television, and the like. I wanted to see what brick houses and wooden buildings and skyscrapers looked like, and to play drums in a …

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Ben Nussbaum is the Editor in Chief of Spirituality & Health.

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