Mari recalls having had a very happy childhood and one of her earliest memories was at home, of anticipating her Dad’s return from his evening work. She was a “night owl” and awaited his arrival knowing, however late the hour, he was bearing gifts. Gifts of any and all kinds, of art tools, papers, pastes and colors, fostered her burgeoning interest in drawing and painting, so much so, that it became her college focus. Upon graduation from Syracuse University and University of Creative Arts, UK, with a degree in Environmental Design, she began a forty year career in interior design and architecture. Her first positions were in New York and Philadelphia with a focus in health care design. Her work was of ‘applied arts’, a.k.a. interior architecture. When opportunities presented however, she jumped on them and personally applied her painting skills on several projects while she moonlighted as a mural painter for life care and pediatrics facilities.
In 1986, she moved to Orlando, Florida, to work for internationally recognized architectural firms, HLM-Heery, AE-COM/Spillis Candela DMJM and C.T.Hsu+Associates. A LEED accredited professional, NCIDQ certified and a licensed design professional, in 1994-1995, she established Mari Frith Associates, a certified woman-owned business. Coincidentally it was in 1994 that her Grandmother, her greatest mentor, passed away. It was then that Mari uncovered her Grandmother’s note in a reunion application asking what she would do differently if she could make a change in her past. Mari’s Grandmother was a very accomplished painter, not formally trained, but born with inherent talent inherited from Mari’s Great Grandmother, also naturally gifted. What her Grandmother wished she could change in her 80 year life’s past was to have devoted more time to painting. That day, May of 1994, Mari made it her mission to devote whatever time possible to her true passion: To create fine arts and objects inspired by all nature, but especially from gifts of the sea.
Throughout Mari’s design business years little time could be devoted to her fine arts, but the dream stayed alive. However as a design professional specializing on prominent and large scale commercial projects, her skills of drawing and graphic interpretation continued to develop. Computerized drawing took over manual rendering, but her advancement and use of new technologies later became applicable to her fine art work product expanding the options for use of her original artwork. In 2004 she was appointed by Orlando’s Mayor to serve as Vice-chairperson of the City of Orlando Public Art Advisory Board. During this period, she founded the Orlando Arts Round Table, an annual summit of the Community’s varying Arts organizations.
A realization unveiled.
It was 19 years later in 2013 that the dream became realized and time found to produce her first painting entitled Sebastian Beach December Day. With its unveiling, her friends’ and loved ones’ appreciation became the springboard and motivator to move on to many other works. It was especially her late Stepfather who encouraged living of one’s dreams, and like her childhood’s Father, he supported it…gifting her again with the latest artist books, brushes and paints. Mari’s work has been exhibited at Orlando Museum of Art AEC (Architect-Engineer-Constructor)’s Gala each year since its inception with plans for future exhibits in Brevard County.
Mari’s sea-spirations are works in progress, showcased herein, in production for local fairs and festivals. In addition, her print media is available in card, giclee and poster formats by order. Commissioned work is an awesome honor and may be arranged by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.