Mary Matthews was born and raised in New Jersey until the age of 18. As an adult she journeyed westward finally reaching Fairbanks, Alaska where she has lived since 1980.
She resides in an unconventional home in a forest of birch and spruce. Her work is influenced by her relationship to all things discarded and every bit of nature encountered while out walking.
As a child she made a shell doll, some mud pies, a rooster out of beans, played with crayons,scissors, stuffed monkeys and paper dolls. She was heavily influenced by Kaptain Kangaroo and a book called The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.