Artist and Writer

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About Mary

This Is What They Say About Me


Born and raised in Medford, Massachusetts, Portland artist and author Mary Pacios has lived in various parts of the country, from New England to the Northwest and parts in between. A former resident of Boston’s Columbia Point Housing Project, Pacios worked nights as a waitress in Boston’s premier jazz club Storyville while attending the Massachusetts College of Art, earning a BFA in 1962. She was the first single mother of children to be admitted to Mass Art as a freshman. Pacios later devised an individual major in Art and Social Change for her MA at California State University, Stanislaus (1977), where she began working in the medium of relief prints. The hand-rubbed, large linocuts by Pacios have received numerous prizes and awards. Her artwork, shown throughout the United States and internationally, has been acquired by several museums as well as by numerous private collections.

An anti-war activist during the Viet Nam War, Pacios and her then-husband Cliff Humphrey were steering committee members and spokespersons for the first San Diego, California anti-war teach-in. During the late 1960s, the couple, along with Betty Schwimmer and Chuck Herrick, formed the environmental organization Ecology Action. The historic organization’s files are now housed in the Special Collections of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Pacios donated the research files from her first book Childhood Shadows: The Hidden Story of the Black Dahlia Murder, to the Medford Historical Society, Medford, Massachusetts.

Settled for the past 18 years in Portland, Oregon, Mary Pacios now enjoys a semi-active life, printing a couple of days a week at Portland State University, taking a nightly Tai Chi class, meeting weekly with the Park Blocks Writers group, all the while partaking of an occasional happy hour with friends and keeping her toes wet in the waters of social change. 

Photo Credit: Katherine Fitch 


Salon    “Citizen Killer? 

Street Roots     “Always an Artist” 

IMDb   “Mary Pacios is known for her work on Night Rain”  

Portland Tribune    “The Dahlia Divined” 

Globe and Mail (Canada)   “Black Dahlia Legend Growing Strong” 

Oregon Live   “The Geezer Gallery celebrates Portland's creative class,,,”  

LA Weekly   “The Top Ten LA Crime Books”  

New York Times    “FILM; Dark Moment In the Harsh Hollywood Sun” 


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