Mary Porterfield
Senior Instructor, Painting
Art + Design
College of Arts and Sciences
Mary Porterfield​ has been teaching for 20 years at schools including NEIU, Arizona State University and the Harrington School of Design. She has exhibited at numerous venues and has work in several museum collections.
Courses Taught
Studio Experiences: Drawing
Studio Experiences: Painting
Painting II
Painting III
Painting IV
Research Interests
Porterfield’s drawings on layered, translucent paper are inspired by her mother’s struggle to care for her father who has Parkinsonism. The life-sized images, which are cut out and mounted to the wall, represent the substantiality of their difficulties and resilience. The trays are used as architectural elements to support her father as he walks, confining his small steps within their framework. Her mother bears the sole weight of his mobility, both literally and metaphorically. Painting on translucent paper allows her to progressively layer her parent’s struggles and that which is outwardly hidden.

Master of Fine Art, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Bachelor of Science, Doane University, Crete, NE

Selected Exhibitions

Hofheimer Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)

Indiana University-Northwest, Gary, IN

Great River Road Museum of Contemporary Art, Potosi, WI

Packer-Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL

Selected Group Exhibitions:

Third Midwest Open, Womanmade Gallery, Chicago, IL

Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC

Dubuque Biennial, Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, IA

Sub(urban), Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Il. Evanston Biennial, Evanston, IL

Additional Information

Museum Purchase Award, Art on Paper Exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC

City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Grant (DCASE)

Juror’s Choice Award, Evanston Biennial, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL

Project Development Grant, Illinois Arts Council

Dean Alan Olson Purchase Award, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL

Center Program for Professional Development, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

Vermont Studio Center, Artist Residency and Artist’s Grant, Johnson, VT

Professional Development Grant, Illinois Artist Council Puffin Foundation Grant

Puffin Foundation Grant

Ragdale Foundation Residency

FA 252
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

Office Hours
Fall 2020 Virtual Office Hours
Tuesday and Thursday: 3:30-4 p.m.
Main Campus