Born in Quincy, Mass., Mary Ellen, was raised and educated in Westchester County, New York. After graduating from The Ursuline School and The College of New Rochelle, she married her U.S. Military Academy Cadet fiancé’ new Lt. Richard Bitner and began her career as an Air Force pilot’s wife and elementary school teacher. Much of her time was spent raising her two children and teaching school until she retired several years ago.
Mary Curran Bitner PSA
“When I paint, I become a part of another world where time stands still and music flows through my consciousness.” That is how this award winning eclectic artist approaches her art. After getting a degree in English Literature, Mary Ellen taught elementary school for 30 years. During free time, a rare commodity for a teacher, wife, and mother, she taught herself to draw and paint. You might ask why she did that. Always longing for fine and beautiful original art to enhance her home, she was compelled to create her own. Since childhood she was immersed in the musical and performance arts, she then turned her artistic focus to the visual arts and she soon found her true calling.
Mary Ellen’s award winning work has been represented in galleries throughout Florida and Alabama and has been accepted in the Sound FX Show at the Tampa Museum of Art and many other juried and shows in Florida as well as many other states. Some of her has won awards and been sold both locally, nationally, and internationally. Recently, Mary Curran was elected as a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. She was juried in as a Finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s 2013 Annual Competition in the Abstract and Experimental Category.
Her abstract pastel, “Symphony to an Unruly Child,” was juried into the 40th Annual Pastel Society of America Exhibition, “Enduring Brilliance” at the National Arts Club, New York, New York.
Our artist is a founding member and the Vice President and Events Chair. She has been responsible for the many NTAL shows and events that have been appearing around Tampa over the past two years. Recently Mary Ellen has been named the Art Curator for the beautiful new Carrollwood Cultural Center and is presently busy planning the Visual Art side of the Grand Opening Gala set for March the 2nd featuring The Florida Orchestra and many of the Visual artists of Tampa.
Mary Ellen’s work is influenced by her favorite artists, DaVinci, Cezanne, Chagall, O’Keeffe, Kahlo, Joan Mitchell and Jay DeFeo. With her many years dancing the ballet, she has become very conscious of line, form, color, music, and drama which she expresses in her paintings.
Artist Statement: I am passionate about creating paintings that are relevant to the meaning and experience of being alive in this magnificently beautiful world. Trying always to celebrate the beauty of life and all of creation, I endeavor to create art that lifts the spirit and mind to higher realms and raises our consciousness to recognize that beauty and life are meant to be treasured.