Materials: all oil on canvas
Location at Summa: Ground floor hallway, outside Radiology Department, Williams Tower
These works, acquired in 2012, are now part of the Summa Health System — Akron Campus Wayfinding Project.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Mary Deutschman also lived in Boston and Pittsburgh, and then returned to this area. She had an early career as fashion illustrator and designer (and mother) and was was inspired by travel to Paris to begin to study painting, at first on her own and then by seeking out significant artists as teachers.
On her website, Deutschman reminisces about family traditions and outings that shaped her early life and development. She remembers that her favorite treat was when her mother brought home a fresh pad of drawing paper. Today, she continues to sketch as inspiration and, along the way to creating a painting, as a way of trying out certain formal and color ideas. Into this practice she has incorporated both photography as a means of recording specific moments, and even more recently digital tools (hardware and software) for continued experimentation.
The artist’s paintings for Summa focus on the Cleveland Metroparks across the seasons. In these works, Deutschman combines a degree of abstraction, distilling details into broad areas of color bounded by firm outlines, with an invitation to the beholder to enter the landscape, often via a winding path or river, as in Metroparks and Reflections of 2007. We might find some of her inspiration in the late paintings by the post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne, who showed subsequent artists how to flatten landscapes by the same means [note similarities and differences in comparing with Cézanne’s Bibemus Quarry of 1900.
Deutschman uses color expressively – a blue bank next to a stream, purple shadows cast across a walk – and also descriptively, delighting particularly in the hues that foliage takes on beginning in late summer. She delights, too, in exploring with the beholder the many ways that water reflects its surroundings, such as in Down by River Bend. These canvases afford her the chance to play with vibrant or sometimes peaceful hues - she has a wonderful command of greens that reveal sun or shadow filling grassy lawns, as we see in Park Shadows. And occasionally she represents a few strollers or bikers meandering through the middle ground, reminding us that the Metroparks, both in greater Cleveland and in Summit County, are indeed enjoyed and re-created by thousands of locals every year.
Where you can see more of this artist’s work
You can begin with the artist’s website, https://www.marydeutschman.com, where we get a sense of the range of her work, including still lifes, market scenes, views with architecture, and a series of portraits of jazz musicians at play and work. Mary Deutschman has exhibited widely in Cleveland and throughout northeastern Ohio, where her work has frequently been recognized with awards, as well as in Cincinnati, Chicago, and Columbus, and in the Plevin Gallery at Chatauqua, owned by another artist in the Summa Collection, Gloria Plevin. Mary Deutschman’s most recent solo exhibition, at BAYarts, featured further paintings of scenes from the Cleveland Metroparks.
Individual and groupings of works by this artist are also found in the corporate collections of the Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland State University Law School, Baker and Hostetler Law Firm, the Cleveland-Hopkins Airport, and the Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters, among many others. Her paintings have been featured on four floors of the Gordon Building at Crocker Park since 2012.
The artist has also written and published a number of instructional books and overviews of her work to share her ideas.