NEWS CENTER MAINE PORTRAITS is a series created to spotlight what it means to be a "Mainer." We are excited to introduce you to Mainers that have a special bond with this great state we call home. Meet Mary Kearns. Mary has found many outlets for her art, including henna tattoos for Maine cancer patients. Share her story to celebrate our Maine connections!

Maine Portraits | Kevin Stone
Maine Portraits | Jason Johnston
Maine Portraits | Christi Holmes
Maine Portraits | Jason Paige Smith

Mary Kearns had never been to Maine before attending Maine College of Art. Little did she know; a Mainer was born.

Until you live here, it’s hard to realize how Maine is more than just a place. It’s a feeling; a state of mind; a home that people are proud of -- for good reason.

“I think Maine has so much to offer. Not only the trees or the ocean but this feeling of being quiet and finding yourself.”

In herself she found creativity, and Maine became her canvas.

“When I started doing henna for cancer patients, it was really rewarding to see them feel a sense of beauty again for themselves when they were in the place of pain, or a dark time, when they weren’t feeling like themselves anymore.”

In her travels as an artist, Kearns has been tempted by other communities with different ways of living.

“I travel a lot for my work –down south or out west – and I think, ‘Oh, I want to live somewhere warmer, or I want to be somewhere where there’s more activity or more opportunities.’”

That all sounds good on paper. But Kearns found those things pale in comparison to how she feels when she’s surrounded by other Mainers.

“The community supports people as individuals here, where I don’t find that anywhere else. It’s really an amazing feeling.”

That, in turn, spurs her imaginative mind, creating more positive messages for the community to take home with them.

“I come home, and I just feel more present in myself. It gives me that opportunity to continue to grow and expand my business because I think Maine is just a wonderful place to be supported.”

The scenery, natural beauty, and resources are just some of what makes Maine famous. But it’s the people in each community that help bring this place we call home to life.

Do you know a Mainer who should be profiled? Do you know someone that embodies what it means to be a Mainer? We would love for you to forward us nominations. Please forward all emails to portraits@NEWSCENTERmaine.com