Mary Lou Diekmann featured at the Holy Cross Art Gallery

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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TRYON—The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross has announced that it is featuring local artist Mary Lou Diekmann in its Art Gallery. The gallery, at 150 Melrose Avenue in Tryon, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during services.

Mary Lou’s art education started in 1958 at the age of 8 when a couple from New York City moved next door. Elinore was a visiting fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design and Don a modernist designer employed by Gorham. Some of his work in silver eventually ended up in the Museum of Modern Art. 

“Elinore asked me to model for her, and by letting me hang around and use paints in her studio, she introduced me to the process of ‘creating art,’” says Diekmann.

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Though she went to the University of Rhode Island on a music scholarship (flute), she ultimately earned a degree in speech pathology and practiced in the Rhode Island school system for 40 years. 

“While in school, I continued painting—a VW bus for a rock band—and portraits of my friends,” she says. “After graduating, I started working in a pottery studio and eventually became co-owner of a large production pottery business, where I was designer, potter, and instructor.”

In the 1980s, she returned to painting professionally. 

“I painted a series of landscapes of Narragansett Bay where I lived, launched a successful portrait career and produced a line of sculptural jewelry that incorporated pottery pieces, heirloom fabric from my grandmother, and semi-precious stones into brooches, pins and hats,” she says. “My painting falls into three broad categories – abstract, landscape and portrait. Portraits include traditional commissioned work of humans and animals as well as a series I call ‘vacation portraits’ capturing people in more natural poses. Since moving to Tryon, I’ve branched out into creating multi-media works incorporating stones, metal, fabric, photos and most anything I find interesting.”

The show will be on display until the end of April. 


Submitted by Lori Walter