Beyond The Surface - Solo Exhibition

Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN
June 8, 9, 10th, 2017 • Hours: June 8th - 9:30am to 2:00pm • June 9th and 10th – 6:30pm through concert

In Beyond the Surface, artist Mary Pettis draws upon the music and philosophy of Debussy to create a series of paintings to celebrate his  Images For Orchestra, being performed by the Minnesota Orchestra on  June 8, 9, 10  at the beautifully refurbished Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

By invoking the works of the past to inspire works in the present, Debussy and Pettis have created a collaboration across time, his fluency of the musical language inspiring her paintings. Pettis emphasizes the musicality of visual arts as a vehicle of deliberate expression. And like Debussy's compositions, this exhibition is designed to satisfy the viewer on both an intuitive and a technical level. It is for this reason that  Beyond the Surface  exemplifies a large, ground-breaking movement in contemporary art: Expressive Realism.

This movement is a fusion of the purest elements of art (such as color, texture, and form) and familiar, timeless subjects. Debussy (who always wanted to be a painter) is an appropriate choice for this  show.  As  Debussy invited his audience to look for images in the music, Pettis invites the viewer to see music in the images.  Debussy often used nostalgic images and songs as source material for his tradition-breaking style. Mary uses a similar approach: she translates the visual world into evocative sensory experiences. Expressive Realism employs, rather than shuns, the artistic language uncovered by the modern art movement. The result is an intensely fulfilling visual experience, both for the art novice and for those who are drawn to spend the time to look beyond the surface.

While seeing the MN Orchestra's performance of Debussy's "Images" requires tickets, Mary's exhibition is free and open to the public.

Of course, if you can do both, it offers the opportunity to explore the experience of the intersection between his beautiful music and the paintings inspired by it.

Click here to order tickets to the Minnsota Orchestra performances of DeBussy.

1111 Nicollet Mall   |   Minneapolis, MN | (651) 465-7012


Largo - With Expression

St. Croix River in Winter, oil on linen, 24x48


The Cycle of Lilies (Sold)

Oil on linen, 29x48

Fine Art Connoisseur article featuring
June 1, 2017 –Fine Art Today featured article, "Seeing Music, Feeling Beauty" about Mary's solo exhibition June 8,9, and 10.


May/June 2017 - Fine Art Connoisseur "Off the Walls" PDF about Mary Pettis' Beyond the Surface exhibition.


Fine Art Connoisseur article about solo exhibition by Mary Pettis
June 6, 2017 – featured article, "Music, Painting and Debussy: Beyond the Surface" about Mary's solo exhibition June 8,9, and 10. To view the article as PDF, CLICK HERE.


The paintings exhibited in Mary's solo exhibition "Beyond the Surface" and are still available for purchase are (viewable here), and those that are sold are (viewable here).