Mary Veronica Sweeney, MFA, MA, Ed.M, is a long-time instigator of excellence for learning, human development, and community-building through the Arts. A self described “teaching artist passionista,” Sweeney is an award-winning painter, muralist, filmmaker, educator, writer, curator, arts education researcher and strategist working in old and new media in the Visual Communication Arts. Since 2016, Sweeney has partnered with multiple organizations to bring the Arts to NEPA and has been collaborating with respected researchers, such as the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education, to optimize the Arts in STEAM learning initiatives.
Sweeney earned her MFA at the PA Academy of Fine Arts, an MA in Cinema Studies with painter/film director David Lynch, and an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she was a Hobbs Fellow researching the arts, technology and innovation in learning. Sweeney leads Power City Arts programs with Luzerne County Community College and the local Arts and Humanities Academy students to design and produce multiple large-scale community murals.
“In my undergraduate years at UArts in Philadelphia, I took to heart that the optimal educator is one who maintains a working studio from which to teach how actual creative professionals work in the industry. It has been a rich career of collaboration with some amazing heroes and taken me across the globe and back and forth to my hometown state. It is always a deep privilege to mentor young talent as they carve out ways to be Executive Producers of their own imagination! I love empowering emerging and more seasoned artists on this trek through a complex world to higher levels of making, evolving and connecting!”
Sweeney has exhibited nationally and internationally and is well-known for her portrait commissions. She co-curated an exhibition for the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, “The Visual Literacy of Bernarda Bryson-Shahn: Developing a Social Conscience” and was featured in the 2006 traveling exhibition and book “Visions of the Susquehanna: 250 Years of Painting by American Masters.” Sweeney delivered the keynote commencement address about the invisible superpower of creativity to the Pennsylvania State University graduating class of 2017.