MARY BETH MCCALLISTER
1953 - PRESENT
Mary Beth McCallister is a designer, illustrator and sculptor who sees the world in technicolor. Since childhood when her garden turned magical, her experiences were unto themselves a creative genre in need of expression. A student of Fine Arts at Marymount College and Richmond College in Surrey, England, McAllister found her European wanderings, primarily through France, a natural inspiration for many of her later creations. She entered the glamorous world of publishing as part of the launch of Conde Nast’s Self Magazine and created a line of floral accessories presented by Vogue, Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel under her own label. She designed promotional
gifts for Oscar de la Renta Fragrances.
A marriage and move to the country nudged MB into painting murals in residential and commercial interiors from Nantucket to Key Largo. In 2014, Mb produced her 4th installation for the juried Mansion in May Designer Showhouse at Blairsden, Peapack, NJ. The concept for her balcony design space was a checkerboard of lettuce & moss populated with her large growing seed-packet sculptures, The Garden Keepers, based upon her
original drawings. To complete the room, Mb designed a French breakfast table, her first foray into furniture and topped it with her sap green ceramic berry cups and luncheon plates. She designed and painted a French garden inspired floorcloth and insisted her white fondant cake be surrounded by peas. A raccoon ate it on the first day of a 30 day show, May Day.
Mb’s work has been exhibited on the East Coast and is in many private collections. She adores her custom work for private clients. Les Gardiens du Jardin (2015) a collection of gouache and ink drawings relate to all things French,
gourmand and garden. Her love of storytelling in her work is reinforced by the quirky, alternatively snarky and humorous sub-titles. In 2017, Mb suddenly felt compelled to paint in oil and her tiny familiar garden characters made the leap across genres. She is writing and illustrating an herbal cookbook and imagines it being published in Paris. In October 2017 Mb’s Les Gardiens
du Jardin notecards hit the market and are being sold on her website and at Kitchen Arts and Letters, NYC and Laura Clare Design Bernardsville NJ.