Featured Artist: Mary “Sis” Keenan
Mary “Sis” Keenan grew up in Lancaster County, PA where she studied art under the late abstract artist, Ned O. Wert, a former professor of art at Indiana State University of Pennsylvania. During the Summer, she attended the former Schneider School of Fine Art in Ontario, Canada.
Mary holds a BS in Nursing, a MA in Education Leadership from Castleton University (Vermont), and a MS in Adult and Technical Education from Marshall University, WV. Her professional career entailed nursing home administration and regional management, consulting for health care facilities, nursing management and training. She also served as Health Occupations Coordinator for Monongalia County Technical Education Center and Associate Professor of Vocational Education for WVU institute of Technology.
Sis and her husband Dale settled in the Weirton area approximately twenty-two years ago, along with an assortment of dogs and cats. She was sidelined by extensive back surgery in 2006, which spurred her to return to creating art.
She has shown her art and won several awards throughout Northern and Northeast Ohio, Western PA, and WV, including The Artworks (Wheeling), numerous Crosscurrents exhibitions, Best of WV at Tamarack, Allied Arts Council (WV), and Steubenville Art Association shows. She was even featured in the first edition of (WV) State of the Arts Magazine.
In addition to being a member of the Top of WV Arts Council (TWVAC), Sis is a trustee of the Steubenville Art Association, and a member of the NOAPS (National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society.)
“Being part of the TWVAC enables me to connect with other artists in the area and be part of the art community,” Sis replied when asked about her time with the council. “I’d like to see the TWVAC continue its mission to support and inspire the arts in our area. There are many great artists in the Upper Ohio Valley, and to continue showcasing them and educating the public about art would be great.”
“A community without the arts lacks a soul. Art represents a community’s life and creates a cultural identity. It helps express our values and brings its members and others into an awareness of our place in the world.” Sis said. “Art is integral to life. We are given the desire to create by our Creator, and we are worshipping Him by doing so. To appreciate and create art is man’s connection to man and to the Spirit within each of us. It makes us human.”