As a young Fine Arts major, I quit mid-stream to find myself. That discovery process really began when I first visited Indonesia. In the mid-80s I was fortunate to be hired as a hotel executive in Jakarta for a prominent Japanese corporation. Eventually, my need to work in the arts won out and I left the world of travel and business to further my education and work in the world of art. I have a BFA (Wayne State University: 1992) with a concentration in painting and sculpture, a MA in South and Southeast Asian Studies (The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: 1996), and a Ph.D. in art history with a concentration on Southeast Asia (The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: 2002). I am currently an Associate Professor of Art in the Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University.
My interests meet at the intersection of art making, art thinking, and ethnography. In the art world I have worked as a curator, an artist, an art consultant and dealer, a research scholar, and a professor. Life experiences and scholarly research percolate into my art and the topics I focus on in my teaching. I have curated exhibitions of historical textile arts and contemporary art, as well as published on ancient, historical and contemporary arts. I have often collaborated and facilitated with the exchange of artists, scholars, and students between the US and Indonesia. At this point, I am passionate about the potential of multiple viewpoints and unrestrained curiosity.


Mary-Louise Totton