Photo by Sarah Achor

MARY JANE WARD is a draftswoman and painter, and lives in Columbus, Ohio. Mary Jane teaches portrait, figure, and studio landscape, and plein air landscape painting classes at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. She has taught a master copy class for a small group of painters at the Columbus Museum of Art. She has given drawing and painting demonstrations for many Central Ohio art clubs and groups, including Central Ohio Watercolor Society, Ohio Pastel Artists League, The Riffe Gallery, The Columbus Museum of Art in conjunction with their Ohio Plein Air Society show, and at the Cultural Arts Center as a part of the Columbus Arts Festival. 


Before moving to Ohio, Mary Jane had a nine year career as a professional dancer, dancing for classical ballet companies as well as small modern companies, individual choreographers and interdisciplinary projects, including Ballet West, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montréal, Ballet Memphis, Ballet Idaho/Eugene Ballet, and Gleich Dances in New York City. She has worked with her partner Amery Kessler, assisting with aspects of his interactive, relational artworks. She assisted him with a nationwide tour of his artwork Drum Casket in 2012, which was fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Artspire program, facilitating interactive Drum Casket sessions for small groups all over the country.


Mary Jane studied drawing and painting at the Grand Central Atelier in New York City, under Jacob Collins from 2012-2015. The program is a collaborative studio space, pursuing the methodology of historic ateliers to create drawing, painting and sculpture from life. Mary Jane was accepted into The Hudson River Fellowship in 2015. In 2017 she was one of three artists in residence at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, in Bainbridge, Ohio. She is the recipient of several Artists in the Community grants from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and serves as a Trustee for the Ohio Plein Air Society. Mary Jane’s work has been shown at Eleventh Street Arts in New York City, The Columbus Cultural Arts Center, The Columbus Museum of Art, The Riffe Gallery (Columbus, OH), The Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH), The Southern Ohio Museum (Portsmouth, OH), and Keny Galleries (Columbus, OH). She is represented by Keny Galleries.

Portrait drawing demo at Grand Central Atelier Open Studio 2014.

Photo by Mariana Hernandez-Rivera.

Teaching a drawing workshop at TAMUK, 2013.

Photo by Amery Kessler.

Mary Jane Ward and Claire McKeveny (Schaal) dancing for Julia Gleich at Camp Pocket Utopia, Rouses Point, NY, 2011. Video stills.