News & Reviews


NEWS: 2017
Mary is currently working oil on paper studies for a 15 piece series on the Psalms of Ascents.

In addition to visual work, Mary has spent the last six years crafting “Markers,” her first solo publication. It is available on Amazon by the end of July.

NEWS: 2016
The Chief Curator at the Frist Gallery in Nashville, Mark Scala highlighted Mary’s watercolor “Promise of Latter Rain” in his talk at the McKinney Juried Show in Jonesborough, TN. Mary received an honorable mention for this piece.


NEWS: 2015
In June, Mary was invited to give a lecture on “The Roots of Western Art” at the Qingdao University of Science and Technology, People’s Republic of China.

NEWS: 2014
Mary’s piece “Achor” won third prize at the Appalachian Art Show In Kingsport, TN. See the image HERE and the blog post where I wrote about it HERE.

NEWS: 2013
Seven of Mary’s pieces have been selected to be shown in “Envisioned Landscape” at the Tipton Gallery in downtown Johnson City TN, sponsored by the Department of Design at East TN University in partnership with the Women’s Studies Program. This show involves 10 artists from around the country, and will be up the entire month of October. The reception and artist’s talk is October 4th, First Friday, from 6-8 pm.

Also, sponsored by the Women’s Fund of East TN and the Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts is a special exhibit “Journey’s of Women” opening October 18th and remaining up until Nov. 2 in Jonesborough TN at their newly refurbished McKinney Center. This show is the first of its kind and The McKinney Center looks promising for the arts in our region.

NEWS: 2012
Mary’s piece “Selah! To Take You In” has been juried into the Monotype Guild of New England’s 3rd Monotype and Monoprint Exhibition, at the Barrington Center for the Arts, Gordon College, Wenham MA, February 23- April 6, 2013.

12 of Mary’s monotypes were selected for showing during the academic year, 2012, at Cairn University, Langhorne, PA.

Her cold wax piece “Go Forth Abraham” has been selected into CIVA’s travelling show entitled “Scribes of Hope II,” juried by Timothy Botts.

NEWS: 2011
November. and December 2011 at the White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, White Stone Gallery.

Mary exhibited in the East Tennessee State University’s “Positive Negative” national show, the regional “Mountain Visions” show at the Reece museum on the same campus, and the Appalachian Art show in Kingsport, TN, all juried shows. She also showed a 66 piece series called VOX at Grace Fellowship Church, Johnson City, TN in February 2011.



I confess it took me a long time to understand that I was looking at portraits
of people in transformation and all that torments our souls as I glanced
at the fractured landscapes and electricity-filled voids that are the subjects
of Mary Barton Nees’ recent prints.

Despite the serious message, there’s a calmness to the imagery that required
study and eventually made me understand, but didn’t make me uncomfortable.
She’s an intellectual artist, not one who tries to shock. The layers of
meaning and layers of imagery reveal themselves slowly, which symbolizes
becoming and seeing what we haven’t before. Art is a journey like life is, she seems to say.

Allison Alfonso, 4/29/07, writer for the Johnson City Press, Johnson City,


(Mary’s) work highlights both personal and universal symbolism, dealing
with the difficult concept of spirituality. Many of her pieces enjoy the
freedom of combining techniques, utilizing color nuances and structural
symbolism. I hold her in the highest regard in terms of her artistic and
teaching ability, dependability, communication skills, listening skills,
enthusiasm and motivation.

Ralph Slatton, Professor/Printmaking, and former department chair, Art
and Design; East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN


She brings an important degree of life experience to her work. She is
constantly seeking out new methods, new aesthetic input, and new experience…a
quality of Mary’s that one might term “mature calm excitement.

Dr. Deborah Bryan, PhD, MFA, Assistant Professor of Art, Tusculum College,
Greenville, TN


Mary is a very talented person in the physical arts possessed of enormous
creativity and developed talent. She is a true artist of conceptions who
can capture reality in unique and penetrating ways.

Dr. John Hannah, Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology, Dallas
Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX