Around Town | E6th St


I’m guessing there’s a story behind the artwork on this vacant building on E6th Street in Alphabet City. But I’m sorry to say I’m not going to be the one who tells it to you. This was a purely random encounter—found art—that I stumbled upon when visiting my favorite vegan ice cream shop downtown.


So dark and yet so inviting at the same time. Upon closer inspection I saw that someone had painted on canvas and then glued it to the front of this building. Unfortunately, there was no artist’s signature on any of the panels.


Medusa? I knew I should have taken that class in Greek mythology.


Just across the street on the other side of Avenue A was this super cool mural. I wish I’d gotten a better shot…note to self: get a better quality walking around camera. Anyway, I think what I like the best is the juxtaposition of the fire escape steps to the downward slope of the painted rooftops. Overall, I just love the way the muralist took on this canvas of wall with windows and fire escape and made it work really well. Kudos!


If I learn who the artists are for these works I’ll certainly add the proper credits. In the meantime, if you’re downtown, you can check these out for yourself at E6th between Avenues A and B.

Mary Maru

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Poster Design | Music: 5.1.14

Contemporaneous Ensemble poster design for Arts at The Park, NYC

I just finished the last poster for the spring performing arts season for my client Arts at The Park, a wonderful organization that promotes and hosts a variety of musicians and musical groups throughout the spring and fall seasons.

The performing ensemble, Contemporaneous, is a little different genre-wise than what I’m used to working with for AATP who typically work with music groups that are traditionally classical or gospel. I had so much fun playing with a bright color palette and using bold shapes to help convey a different and more modern story than what passersby of the Park Avenue at E85th Street venue might be used to seeing here. The concert takes place on May 10, 2014. So if you’re in town, and want to enjoy new works from this contemporary classical ensemble, order tickets on

poster design for classical musical ensemble

This is an alternate version of the poster I presented to the client. I really like this layout because it makes good use of the ensemble’s ‘cut-off’ logo in a bold and highly-visible way. And the overall feel is very clean and straightforward. But agree that the approved version is much more eye-catching. And that’s what you ultimately want when trying to grab people’s attention on a busy city sidewalk.

Enjoy the concert if you go! And thank you to my clients, Paul and Melissa for another wonderful season…love working with you guys!

Mary Maru

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Escape from NY | Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe courtyard


Some random pics from a recent trip to Santa Fe. The city is an artist’s and hiker’s mecca for viewing and for doing. We managed to do a little bit of both.



Canyon Road is only a half mile long. But I can see how it could take hours if not repeat visits to check out the hundred plus galleries that pack this artists colony.



Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch.



Frijoles Canyon in Bandelier National Monument. We all climbed into the cave rooms to see where the Ancestral Pueblo peeps used to hang out. Small and vertigo-inducing. That’s the look of fear on my face knowing that I’d have to come back down that ladder. Yikes almighty.



Home on the range.




Johnny the hot air balloon pilot slash cowboy taking us out on a ride on our last day. I was anticipating a weeeeeeee. But it turned out to be more of an aaaaaaaaaah. Nice.

Mary Maru

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Art | Maritime: 9.18.13





When Anthony and I were in Mystic earlier this month, we were planning on seeing old ships, eating some seafood and grabbing a slice of pizza. What we didn’t expect to find, especially at the seaport, was anything much in the way of fine arts or design. What a wonderful surprise to have found both in artist Laura Vila’s leaded glass works (from top to bottom): Chasing the Whale; Reading the Solar Azimuth; The Sounding Line; and Celestial Translations. Her leaded glass designs and the work of about a dozen other artists were on display as part of “Restoring a Past, Charting a Future: An Artistic Discovery of America’s Whaling Legacy by Dalvero Academy,” a collaboration between Mystic Seaport and artists from the New York-based academy. Awesome find.

Mary Maru

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Escape from NY | Mystic Seaport: 9.4.13


Never one to pass on a possible learning experience, I decided to take some of my ho-hum photos from this weekend’s getaway to Mystic Seaport and jazz them up in Photoshop—an exercise I rarely have the pleasure of enjoying since most of my Photoshop work involves simple cropping, adjusting light balance and the occasional application of gaussian blur. So after reframing these images and checking light balance, I got to work on the fun part.

In this first shot of the Emma C. Berry I adjusted the image from RGB to black and white and then added a berry colored elipse layer with 12 percent opacity on top.


For this image of three rowboats I applied the brushstrokes filter called crosshatch after making some adjustments to lightness and contrast with a visit to the levels panel and then using the curves tool.


I played with different gradient maps on the Nellie before settling on this warm orange, magenta and navy tritone. Wow, like so surreal, man.


And I’m sorry to say, for the life of me, I can not remember what I did to create this somewhat painterly effect on the lone rowboat. A bummer because of all the effects I used, this one’s hands down my favorite. No choice! I’ll have to spend some more time playing to figure out what I did.

All images were optimized for web as JPGs using the Save for Web & Devices feature in Photoshop at a setting of medium, high or very high depending on resulting quality and file size. And then dropped into ImageOptim for a final wringing out of any loose and unnecessary pixels.

Remember to do something fun this week!

Mary Maru

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