Mary James Ketch

Is a painter living in Norman, Oklahoma. With a background in filmmaking, she paints figures in a lyrical, dream-like world. 

artist statement

"I paint as a way to connect myself to awe and wonder. I am heavily influenced by evolutionary psychology, and while my artwork is about particular things that have happened to me, I am also looking for images that have a universal appeal. The characters in the paintings are rarely portraiture—rather, it’s about an experience of being human. I want the viewer to be able to enter into the painting fully, and have it call upon their vast wellspring of memories and emotions, which is why the images are often ambiguous and the figures missing faces. 

I unabashedly love beauty and mystery and love. And my life seems to go much better when I can focus on these things rather than pain and sorrow and want. When I focus on the mystery, I feel humble. When I focus on beauty, I see it everywhere. And when I focus on love, my heart seems to leave the boundaries of my body. My aim is to create warm and approachable paintings that gives others some of the same joy I feel when creating them." 


University of Southern California, School of Cinema-Television, MFA, Film Production

University of Oklahoma, BA, Film and Video Studies

Selected Exhibitions

2017        Kindred, Leslie Powell Gallery, Lawton, OK

2017        IAO Juried Show, Individual Artists of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City

2016        Utopia Current Gallery, OKC

2016        Concept: Survey Hardesty Arts Center, Tulsa

2016        Fringe Annual Show Graphite Gallery, OKC 

2015        Illuminate Mainsite Gallery, Norman, OK

2015        Fringe Annual Show, The Project Box, Paseo, OKC

2015        Husbands, Wives, and Lovers (solo exhibition) The Project Box, Paseo, OKC

2015        Choices, Cowboy Hall of Fame, OKC

2014        Solstice, Istvan Gallery, OKC

2014         Wings of Art, Istvan Gallery OKC

2013         Swoon, Istvan Gallery OKC

2013         Deep Six, Individual Artists of Oklahoma, OKC

2013         Reverie, a.k.a gallery, OKC

2013         Locus, Istvan Gallery, OKC