Photo Caption: Mary Gates Dewey
Mary Gates Dewey passed away on December 7, 2013 after an extended illness.
Mary called Athens County home for the last 33 years, much of it spent living "off the grid" and well off the beaten path where she set up her ceramics studio and willed herself to make a living on her artwork. She did just that, creating the beloved ceramic cats for which she is so well-known, as well as lesser-known ceramic sculptural work.
Mary's art career began when she finished her degree in painting from the Cleveland Art Institute, but was set aside to marry and raise a family. She discovered her love of ceramics while her husband taught at the University of Alabama in the early 60s, although she continued her work in the 2-dimensional plane until the 70s when she began working almost exclusively in clay.
While living in Zanesville, Ohio, Mary opened a studio and gallery where she taught classes and carried the work of other Ohio artists. In Zanesville Mary also discovered her activist self, where she became very outspoken on women's issues and equality. She remained very politically active throughout her later life.
After leaving Zanesville, Mary taught ceramics and sculpture for a couple of years at Muskingum College in central Ohio before finally settling in her beloved hills around Athens, Ohio.
Mary leaves behind a daughter, Robin Dewey (Matt Rapposelli) of Athens, a son Bob Dewey (Jamie) of Athens, brother Louis Gates and sister-in-law Jane, both of Spokane, Washington, nieces Shelby Cutter (Dennis) of Spokane, Washington and Susan Polizzi (Steve) of Wenatchee, Washington, nephew Rick Lawrence of Bethel, Vermont, and many more family members and close friends too numerous to name. She cherished all.
A public memorial will be held at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio on Sunday, March 30 from 3-5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that a donation be made to your local hospice program or to the Dairy Barn Arts Center.