Mary graduated with her Master’s degree in Expressive Art Therapy from Lesley College in 1984. After graduation she spent eight years working with mentally ill adults at Danvers State Hospital, where she came to understand the importance of art for those who are struggling to be seen and heard.
Having seen the power of creating and exhibiting artwork that allowed an extremely marginalized group of people to tell their own stories, Mary decided to focus on adolescents and founded Raw Art Works in 1988 when RAW won a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services to design and implement the first statewide art therapy program for incarcerated youth. In 1994 she and her dedicated team of art therapists opened RAW Space in Central Square, Lynn, so that kids would not have to commit crimes in order to find a place to belong. For nearly three decades, Mary was a consistent mentor and guide to hundreds of teens, welcoming them to RAW in their first weeks of high school, celebrating with them at their graduations and helping them find their place in the world beyond.