mary lou ferbert

Artist & Author


Mary Lou Ferbert embarked on her career as an artist long after most people "receive the call" to paint. Since then she has exhibited and been applauded throughout the country. For over forty years, she has used her extraordinary talents to paint dynamic and challenging subjects in transparent watercolors, stretching the medium far beyond what would normally be considered its outer limits.  She elevates the ordinary to new heights of perception, challenging the viewer to see the everyday world with fresh eyes. It is well worth the journey to explore her work.


Ferbert works in a studio that her husband had built for her in 1980 over the garage at their home in Rocky River, Ohio.  A wood stairway without a railing (to facilitate moving paintings in and out) leads to the work area.  A slanted window across the north side of the room overlooks a view of the garden and the house across the brick court and driveway.  The floor is bare.  If a very large painting is in progress it fills nearly the whole of the east wall.  When there is a smaller painting on the easel one can see a bright green alligator, a memento from a project at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, stretched on the floor beyond.


In her signature there is a small “f” separate and distinct from her name. It stands for Fred, her husband, who had been her ally and advocate.  It was due to him that the director of Gallery Madison 90 in New York asked to look at her work. Visiting there some years ago, Mary Lou and a friend were in the downstairs gallery while Fred Ferbert was upstairs talking to the director.  Looking at the paintings on display, he said, “They are good but you should see my wife’s paintings.”  And that is how Mary Lou Ferbert’s first New York gallery affiliation began.  She had a one-person show there in 1987.  At the present she is associated in Cleveland with The Bonfoey Gallery and is represented by several agents.


Lakewood Hospital is proud to include two of Mary Lou’s paintings in its collection.  Flower Market, commissioned for Lakewood Hospital by Dr. & Mrs. Robert W. Kapp in 1987, hangs in the hospital’s third floor atrium.  It was Ferbert’s goal to lift the spirits of Lakewood Hospital patients and their families, the staff and visitors.  The other, Sunflower and Glass Blocks, was commissioned in 1990 by the Callinan Family in memory of Dr. John L. Callinan, a beloved member of the hospital’s Department of Pulmonary Medicine.