About The Artist


Born in California in 1961, Mary Tuma began sewing and crocheting with her mother at an early age. Her love of these processes led her to begin her formal study of art as an apprentice at Beautiful Arts Hall in Kerdassa, Egypt, where she learned to weave tapestries. Later, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Costume and Textile Design from the University of California at Davis, and then went on to study women’s fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In 1994, she earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona, where she studied with Professor Gayle Wimmer. In 1997, she began teaching art at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, where she now serves as an Associate Professor and the head of the Fibers Program.

Tuma has shown her work in various venues in the United States, including the Crocker Art Museum, the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, The Bridge in New York City, the Station Museum in Houston and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI. Outside of the US, she has shown work at Al Wasiti and Al Hoash in Jerusalem, the International Center of Bethlehem, Birzeit University Museum, Birzeit. West Bank, Kid Aileck Hall, Tokyo, The Maruki Gallery in Hiroshima, among others.

Tuma’s work has appeared in Art in AmericaDar Al-HayatThe New York Times, The Christian Science MonitorCounterpunchNYArts,Mother JonesThe San Francisco ChronicleWorker’s WorldThe Jordan Star, and many others.

She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her two adorable dogs, Monkey and Lulu.


The Artist's Studio, 2009

The Artist’s Studio, 2009




1994 Master of Fine Arts, University of Arizona


2008 Wall Stories, Jerusalem Fund Gallery, Washington, D.C.. March 28 – May 2
2007 Homes for the Disembodied II, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Ca. March 24 – May 24
2005 Minuet, Invitational, Gertrude Herber Institute of Art, Augusta, Ga. January 21 – March 18
2004 Three Ones, Invitational, Space 301, Mobile, AL. July 30 – August 30
Internal Power, Al-KhafGallery, Interntational Center, Bethlehem, West Bank. June 17 – July 12
Passages, Inspace Gallery, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI.
2000 Passages, Watkins Gallery, Queens College, Charlotte, NC.
Clothing the Land, Dressing the Bones, Al Wasiti Art Center, Jerusalem. July 15 – August 2
1998-99 Topographia: Passages Between Worlds, Charlotte International Airport, Charlotte, NC.
1994 Shapeshifters, MFA Thesis Exhibition, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tuscon, AZ.
1993 Memory and Loss, Local 803 Gallery, Tuscon, AZ.


2008 The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces, Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder, CO. Curated by Jennifer Heath Collom, May 16, traveling through 2011.
The Olive Project Exhibition, Maruki Gallery, Hiroshima, Japan. April 6 – June 6
2007 Sucka Free Jams, The Remainder Gallery, Birmingham, AL. September 22 – 30
Imagination Taking Form, Cleveland County Arts Center, Shelby, NC. May 10 – June 7
Cycle, Al-Haosh Gallery (Palestine Art Court), Jerusalem. March 8 – April 8
Ethnographic and Art Museum, Birzeit University, Birzeit, West Bank. May 1 – May 30
Textile Monuments, Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, NC. March 10 – May 10
The Olive Project Exhibition, International Center of Bethlehem, West Bank. January 25 – February 26
Ethnographic and Art Museum, Birzeit University, Birzeit, West Bank. March 1 – March 30
Al Hoash Gallery, Jerusalem. April 1 – June 30
Japan Bank Building, Hiroshima, Japan. July 4 – July 16
2006 The Olive Tree Project Exhibition, Kid Ailack Gallery, Tokyo. May 8 – May 30
North Carolina 2004-05 Grant Recipients Exhibition, Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC. Curated by Virginia Spivey, March 31 – July 9.
Made in Palestine, The Bridge, New York, NY. March 14 – April 15
High Fiber: Transforming Material, Bank of America Plaza, Charlotte, NC. Curated by Joie Lassiter, Feb 6 – Nov 5
2005 Made in Palestine, T. W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT. Oct 18 – Nov 20
The Subject of Palestine, The Jerusalem Fund Gallery, Washington, D.C. Curated by Samia Halaby, Sept 9 – Oct 10
Made in Palestine, SomArts, San Fransisco, CA. April 7 – 21
The Subject of Palestine, De Paul University Museum of Art, Chicago, IL. Curated by Samia Halaby, February 24 – May 6
2004 Three-person show, Invitational, Ada Gallery, Richmond, VA. April 2 – April 30
Piece Process, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, Athens, GA. January 16 – February 28
2003 23rd Annual Faber Birren National Color Award Show, Stanford Art Association, Stanford, CT. Juried by Dana Miller, October 4 – November 13
A Sense of Place: Continuity and Change in the New South, Gertrude Herber Institute of Art, Athens, GA. Juried by Tom Nakashima, September 9 – October 24
Arte de Decartes IV, Stables Gallery, Taos, NM. Juried by Larry Bell and Maye Torres
Made in Palestine, The Station, Houston, TX. Curated by James Harithas, Tex Kershaun and Gabriel Delgado, Catalog, May 3 – September 30
Visceral: Images of the Internal Body, Invitational, Institute for Contemporary Art, Athens, GA. Curated by Lizzie Zucker Salts, January 11 – February 16
2002 Piece Process, A.R.C. Gallery, Chicago, IL. Juried by Geant Amit, Catalog, September 4 – September 28
Fiber Arts 2002, Gallery 510 Arts Guild, Ltd, Decatur, IL. Juried by Naomi Whiting Towne
Will’s Creek Survey 2002, Saville Gallery, Cumberland, MD. Juried by Amy Schlegel
Fiber Celebration 2002, Licoln Center, Fort Collins, CO. Juried by Amy Evans
Women’s History Month Exhibition, Women’s Center, Boise State University, Boise, ID.
2001 Wichita National 2001, The Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, KS. Juried by Albert Paley
2000 Group Exhibition, Al Wasiti Art Center, Jerusalem.
7thInternational Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition, Invitational, University of Hawaii at Manoa Art Gallery, Honolulu, HI.
1999 Fiber Art International ’99, Pittsburg Center for the Arts, Pittsburg, PA. Juried by Jason Pollen, Rebecca Stevens and Bhakti Zeik
17th Annual September Competition Exhibiton, Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA. Juried by Beth Handler
Stitches, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL. Juried by Renie Bresken Adams
Stitching Outside the Lines, Three-person exhibition, Rowe Arts Main Gallery, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.
1998 Loss and Grief, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL. Juried by H. Marie Aragon and Patricia Otto
1997 10th Annual Fiber Arts Exhibition, BASF Fibers and Creative Arts Guild, Dalton, GA.
Phoenix Exhibition, Phantom Galleries, Sacremento, CA.
1996 Texas National ’96, Stephen F. Austin State University Gallery, Nacogdoches, TX. Juried by Faith Ringgold
1995 13th Biennial Invitational, Dinnerware Contemporary Gallery, Tucson, AZ.
67th Annual Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA. Juried by Phyllis Rosenzweig
1994 ParticipArt, National Juried Exhibition, Galeria Mesa, Mesa, AZ. Juried by Diana Purdue and Rebecca Akins
Encompassing Women: Perspectives on Process, Central Arts Collective, Tucson, AZ. Juried by Bailey Doogan, Barbara Penn and Ellen McMahon
Intuition: The Direction in Craft, Pan-American Juried Exhibition, Galerry of Artifacts and Treasures, Daytona Beach, FL.
Paper/Fiber XVIII, Iowa City/Johnson County Arts Center, Iowa City, IA. Juried by Karen Stahlecker
1993 Reclining Woman: Constructed, Installation, Sixth Congress Gallery, Tucson, AZ.
Women and Madness, Congress Street Gallery, Tucson, AZ.


Kheyyam Collection
Made In Palestine Collection
Crocker Art Museum, Sacremento, CA


2004 North Carolina Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship
Junior Faculty Research Grant, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
2003 Honorable Mention, A Sense of Place: Continuity and Change in the New South, Gertrude Herber Art Institute. Juried by Tom Nakashima
2002 Second Place, Will’s Creek Survey. Juried by Amy Schlegel
First Place, Non-Functional Three-Dimensional category, Fiber Celebration 2002, Licoln Center. Juried by Amy Evans
2000 Junior Faculty Summer Research Grant, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
1999 Junior Faculty Summer Research Grant, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Juror’s Award, September Exhibition and Competition, Alexandria Museum of Art. Juried by Beth Handler, assistant curator, MOMA, NY
Joanne Purrington Folley Memorial Award for Excellence in Needlework, FiberArt International ’99, Pittsburg Center for the Arts
1994 Juror’s Award, ParticipArt, Galeria Mesa. Juried by Diana Purdue and Rebecca Akins


Associate Professor, Fibers Area Head
Department of Art, University of North Carolina at Charlotte



2008 Encyclopedia of Arab-American Artists: Artists of the American Mosaic, by Fayeq S. Oweis, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT
Artistas Palestinas: La Tierra = El Cuerpo = La Narrativa, Reem Fadda, Ed., Palestinian Art Court- Al Hoash and Spanish Consulate General and Fundacion Tres Culturas, Jerusalem
2005 Transnational Artists: Arab American Artists Remapping the Boundaries of Art , by Salwa Mikdadi in Neighbours in Dialogue, edited by Beral Madra and Ayse Orhun Gultekin, Norgunk Publishing, Istanbul
2004 Made in Palestine, exhibition catalog by James Harithas, et al., Ineri Publishing, Houston, TX
2001 American-Arab Artists and Multiculturalism in America, by Salwa Mikdadi Nashashibi, in Displacement and Difference: Contemporary Arab Visual Culture in the Diaspora, edited by Fran Lloyd, Saffron Press, London


2008 Al-Siyasah Athaqafiya, Kuwait. March 3, by Abed. p. 33, Mary Tuma Migrates from Color to Black: I try to highlight heroism of Palestinian Women
Al Khaleej Al Thaqafi (Gulf Culture) Kuwait. February 25. Title not yet translated
NY Arts, NY. July/August, by Andrzej Lawn. Made in Palestine
Art in America, September, by Kathy Zarur. Looking at the Levant
Charlotte Woman, NC. May. pg. 91
ArteEast (website), NY. By Jessica Wright. Palestinian Art: Moving in from the Margins
Workers World, NY. April 23, by Charlotte Kates. Thousands turn out to view “Made in Palestine” exhibit
Columbia Daily Spectator, New York. March 21, by Iggy Cortez. Exploring Palestinian Identity with Mixed Media
Carolina Arts, NC. March. Trizec Properties in Charlotte, NC, Offers Exhibition at Bank of America Plaza
The New York Times, NY. March 24, Page B29. Art in Review, by Holland Cotter. Made in Palestine: Contemporary Palestinian Art
2005 Vermont Woman, Vol. 3, Number 3, December, by M. Fifield and M. Michniewicz. Made in Palestine: Meditations on Truth
Seven Days: Vermont’s Alternative Webweekly, October 26, by Kevin J. Kelley. Looking Homeward
Counterpunch Magazine (online), October 24, by Kathleen and Bill Christison. A Struggle for Palestinian Identity: US Foreign Policy and Palestine
The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, VT. October 21, by Anne Galloway. Palestinian artists bring plight of their people to Montpelier
Dar Al-Hayat, London, UK. October 17, By Maymanah Farhat. Mary Tuma: Dancing Girls, Passages and Homes for the Disembodied
Counterpunch Magazine, April 8, by Rob Eshelman. Made in Palestine: The first exhibition of contemporary Palestinian art in the United States arrives in San Francisco
Bidoun: Arts and Culture from the Middle East, NY. Autumn, pp. 140-141, by Alison Bing. Made in Palestine: The Show Behind the Headlines
Mother Jones Magazine (online), May 11, by Onnesha Roychoudhuri. Made in Palestine
Al Jazeera (English edition), April 20, by Linda Isam Haddad. Palestine US exhibit stirs controversy
Bay Area Guardian, CA. April 5, by Robert Avila. History in the Waking
The Daily Star, April 5, by Ramsay Short. Palestinian Artists create facts on the ground in America
San Francisco Chronicle, CA. April 3, by Jonathan Curiel. Unknown Face of Palestinian Art
2004 The New York Times, NY. November 21, by Peter Applebome/Our Towns, Page 30. Palestinians, Jews and the Art of Getting Bent Out of Shape
Al Damir A Conciencia, Santiago, Chile. July, No. 35, by Ingy El Telawi Kanj, pp. 18-20. Palestina a trave’s del arte: Mary Bahji Tuma—Una forma de despertar la conciencia
Mobile Register, AL. October 1, by Thomas B. Harrison. Are artists liberal by default?
Flagpole, Athens, GA. February 25, By Debbie Michaud, p. 13. Piece Process: ATHICA Exhibit Explores Conflict and Peace in the Middle East
Marquee-Athens Banner-Herald, GA. January 22-28, By Melissa Link (cover story, inside cover, centerfold pp. 1, 2, 8-9). Piece Process: ATHICA exhibit explores Israeli-Palestinian issues
Marquee-Athens Banner-Herald, January 15-21, p. 3. announcement of show with b/w of piece and two descriptive paragraphs. From Around the World
2003 Revolutionary Worker, November 30, No. 1221 (Vol 25 No. 26) pages 8-9. The Artists of “Made in Palestine”
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November, Vol. XXII, No. 9, by Delinda C. Hanley. “Made in Palestine”: A Stirring Art Exhibit Rocks Houston and Hits the Road
Artlies, Summer 2003, No. 39, by Ileana Marcoulesco, pages 78-79. Houston Review: Made in Palestine-Station
The Christian Science Monitor, Wednesday, May 28, By Kris Axtman An. artistic “road map” to progress: In a Palestinian art show in Houston, some see a promise beyond pictures
Artlife Limited Editions, Vol. 23, Issue No. 248. Contains Made in Palestine catalog
Houston Chronicle, TX. May 17, by Patricia C. Johnson. Stirring Exhibit Gathers Political Statements, Personal Narratives, All “Made in Palestine”
Art Papers, Atlanta, GA. May/June edition, by Robin Dana.
Marquee, Athens, GA. Jan. 16-22, by Mary Jessica Hammes. Anatomical explorations: ATHICA show focuses on the what’s inside us
2000 Creative Loafing, Charlotte, NC. December 2, by Linda Luise Brown. Memento Mori: Images of Bloody Conflict Hit Close to Home
Creative Loafing, Charlotte, NC. November 18, by Linda Luise Brown. Best in Show: Women Add Strength to Current Art Scene
Creative Loafing, Charlotte, NC. September 16, by Linda Luise Brown. Holding the Fort (UNC Charlotte Faculty Exhibition Review)
Al-Ayyamm, Ramallah, West Bank. August 10, by Tahseen Yaqeen. Mary Tuma: Structural Art in a Vacuum (Arabic)
Al-Quds, Jerusalem. August 4, by Mohammed Abu-Khader. Clothing the Land, Dressing the Bones (Arabic)
7th International Shoebox Exhibition Catalog
1999 The Jordan Star, Amman, Jordan. August 5, by Ghassan Joha. Mary Tuma’s Installations: Personifying Feminism through Artworks
The Charlotte Observer, NC. People Column, October 3. Mary Bahjah Tuma’s art is in Pittsburgh exhibition
September Exhibition and Competition Catalog (CD)
Fiberart International ’99 Exhibition Catalog
1994 Tucson Citizen, AZ. September, by Charlotte Lowe. UA showing a body of work
Tucson Citizen, Tucson, AZ. April, by Charlotte Lowe. UA student art show nervy

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