Paintings by Mary Dispenza

A life-long seeker after spirit and beauty, Mary Dispenza attended Catholic School in East Los Angeles then entered the convent at age 18. A nun for 33 years, Mary was a teacher and then principal of several Catholic Schools. She was honored as a National Distinguished Principal in 1988 by the Secretary of Education and in 1989 was appointed as Director of the Pastoral Life Services for the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.

Mary DispenzaDuring training for her new position Mary was challenged to live a life of truth and decided to come out. As a result, she was fired from the Archdiocese of Seattle, lost her way in the world for a while and struggled with depression. She got back on her feet through painting, photography and involvement in the community.

Mary and her partner, Mary Ann are now married in the state of Washington. They volunteered in a hospital in the village of Majengo, in Tanzania, serving women and children living with AIDS and the effects of malaria. Inspired by the beauty of Africa, Mary turned more and more to art for healing and as a way to share her joy in the world.

Today painting and photography give Mary freedom, endless joy and a deep connection to her soul. Mary believes that art contains a saving grace both for the artist and for the viewer. Truly, Art Frees.