Mary L. Harden is a passionate artist and a gifted educator.
Among Mary’s accomplishments is her work to inspire and motivate artists to “give back”and to build public awareness about the beauty and fragility of our plant kingdom. Curating educational exhibits for the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture at Strybing Arboretum and for the SF Conservatory of Flowers have furthered this work.
The creation of her highly original and successful Botanical Illustration Curriculum, which to date numbers 11 different courses of sequential curricula, began with her work for the SF Botanical Garden Society at Strybing Arboretum. The Mary L. Harden School of Botanical Art is now a project of Neighborhood Parks Council.
Mary began teaching Watercolor classes for the Sharon Art Studio in Golden Gate Park after retiring from 32 years of teaching for the SFUSD. As a teacher of great versatility she instructed in Gifted and Talented classrooms as well as Dropout Prevention Programs.
The creation and development of art curriculum is the cornerstone of Mary’s engaging and highly successful classes. Her personal drawing and painting practice reflects dedication to this process.
A lifelong gardener and an interest in botany led her to field studies and botanical illustration. Forever inspired by local artist Chantel Decleve, printmaking became a focus for Mary’s artistic exploration.
With extensive coursework in printmaking, design, and art history, and a voracious appetite for new ideas about the creative process, Mary displays her ability to teach with a broad interdisciplinary brush.
Mary holds a BA in Sociology and American History, a Lifetime California Teaching Credential, a CELTA Certificate from Cambridge, and Certificates in Surface Design and Landscape Garden Design.