Mara Light, was born in New York in 1970, and raised in Southern California from the age of three. She comes from a family of visual artists. “Painting seemed very natural to me since my early years growing up,” says Mara.
She considers herself extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be around parents who look at the world in an artistic, visual way. She was encouraged, and at times pushed, to make her very personal artistic expression part of her life. She recalls a point after graduating high school when her mother encouraged her to go ahead with college at the local art school, and they would make it work. So many student loans later, she received her BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena,very close to home.
Mara’s focus at the Art Center was conceptual art in the Fine Art department. She explored installations using nature as her medium of choice. Painting was in the background, as within the conceptual art boundaries, learning the critical and aesthetic understanding of painting and drawing for a distinct artistic vision, was not part of the curriculum. She did however fit in some drawing and a few painting classes, as, she began in the Illustration Department.
In the years after college, she had various art related jobs while painting in her spare time whenever possible. During her formidable painting years, she worked full time in a photo-realistic style as part of a job for six years. This was a big change from her expressive brush strokes that came naturally.