NE Oregon Arts

Mary Chlopek

A Gathering Place for the Arts in Wallowa County

Mary is a native of New Orleans, though not raised there long enough that any accent would suggest it.  After many moves the family ended up, of all places, in Central Illinois where Mary earned a B.A. in Biology from Southern Illinois University.  She met her husband John in Illinois and after marrying, they explored the special joys of newlywed life in the humidity zones of southern Louisiana and Texas.  After a short, moist, bug-filled couple of years, the desire for a less oppressive climate drew them to the west, settling first in Hood River, then later in Portland in the late 80s.

After a brief but memorable stint as a high school science teacher in the south, Mary settled into the thrill-a-minute field of medical transcription, starting her own transcription service and retiring in 2015.  Along the way, she developed an interest in several outside-the-cubicle endeavors including snowboarding, rock climbing, rafting, hiking, and more recently dabbling in a variety of artistic interests, including pottery, fabric art, mixed media collage, and writing.

Mary and John are new to Wallowa County, having purchased a small ranch outside Lostine in 2017, and are totally in love with the area.  She looks forward to settling into the community and making a contribution to the art center and its wonderful people.