Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Maria is a Jeweler, Art Instructor and Art Therapist currently residing in West Palm Beach, Florida. She received her BFA from Texas State University in Photography and in Studio Art with an emphasis in Metals/Jewelry before receiving her Masters of Art in Art Therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. During her years working in arts education and art therapy, Maria has worked in a variety of settings which span age ranges 3- 101 years of age and population types from assisted living/skilled nursing care, to youth camps to incarceration. Maria is on the Board of Sa Voix-Haiti, a secular non-profit that empowers young women transitioning out of orphan care. Sa Voix is a special tribe of women empowering each other through listening, mentoring, creating and growing as a collective.
As an artist she draws on the life around her as inspiration—people, experiences, architecture, nature—anything that strikes a cord in me. When she is photographing, she looks for the things forgotten or unnoticed. The corner of an old window. A forgotten building. The bridge that is passed by hundreds everyday but never really looked at. The kind person on the street or in the market. Her images are dark and moody yet full of life, abstracted slightly by the rich dark tones.
Implied lines in nature, architecture and construction materials; southwestern designs, art deco and various indigenous patterns inspire each of her jewelry designs. She treats all of her pieces like line drawings, using flattened patterns and line breaks that imitate aspects of her inspirations without replicating them. She keeps her construction clean and simple in order to focus the viewers’ attention solely on the design while keeping their eyes moving seamlessly around each piece.
As an art therapist she practices from a client-centered, relational perspective. She believes in a spectrum of practicing, that there is no one “right” way to practice, she allows the client to determine what they need from therapy and then she tailors how she works to meet their needs. Her goal is to use the therapeutic space and the art materials as a baseline for conversation and an arena to practice creative problem solving skills that parallel skills necessary in everyday life.
Her goal is not to give anyone the answers but to give her clients the tools they need to start a conversation.