The Tanne Foundation
The Tanne Foundation
The Tanne Foundation

Mari Novotny-Jones

2000 Tanne Award Recipient
Hyde Park, MA
actor and performance artist

Mari Novotny-Jones is a performance artist, actor, and teacher who has worked extensively in the Boston area for over twenty years. As a member of Mobius Artists Group, the Boston-based center for visual, performing, and media arts, Mari has created remarkable solo performances as well as collaborative pieces.

Her most recent collaborations with the group, THIS IS WATER, have centered around the theme of water as resource and artistic metaphor. Performances have included interactive visual constructions on the street and in the front gallery of Mobius in Boston. SOUNDINGS, their current piece, explores the nature of the “flow” of information, like rushing water, and the changes in perception based on how the information is manipulated.

Mari is a member of the international artist exchange program between Mobius artists and artists from Zadar,a city on the Dalmation coast of Croatia. In Zadar, Mari created a wall of hope by gathering hopes that the townspeople had written out on cloth and stuffing them into bullet holes in an old Roman wall and for four days twenty-five lanterns illuminated those hopes. To culminate the ritual, fears, also collected on cloth, were burned in a small paper and wax boat that floated on the Adriatic Sea.

With a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, she performed Millennium Labyrinth/Ariadne’s Thread; a series of interactive performances for the subway that culminated on January 1, 2000, as part of Boston’s First Night Festival and was repeated for First Night 2001.

As the lead artist/educator at City Stage Company of Boston, she has shared her art with many young people in numerous school programs and summer conservatories. She is on the faculty of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Mari was awarded a 2001 Emerging Artist/Humanitarian Fellowship from the Boston Cultural Council for her performance and teaching work. The award was presented at a formal ceremony in May of 2001 by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

“I am interested in the challenge of working with international audiences. This involves constructing vital interactive encounters, where the connection between audience and performer becomes a ritual that transends place and language, reminding us of our mutual understanding.”

This bio/description was originally published in 2000 and updated in 2013. For more current information, please refer to the award recipient's website (if provided).