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Alumni & FriendsA photo of Carrie Marill and Matthew Moore in a sepia tone. An aerial view of Matthew Moore's latest large scale project: an entire subdivision recreated in crops. A photo of one of Carrie Marill's paintings on a museum wall: a tiny water tower and tree. Top photo by Kerry Loewen (MFA, '03) , bottom left and right courtesy of ASU Art Museum

Going With the Grain

For Matthew Moore (M.F.A., '03) and Carrie Marill (B.A., '02), balancing their farm chores with their work as artists is cut-and-dried. "Sometimes a field needs to get mulched, and other times a video needs to be edited," Marill says. She and her husband Matthew plant and harvest crops at his family farm in Waddell, Ariz., and share an artist's studio in Phoenix.

Their artwork deals with human influence on the natural world. Marill, a Bay Area native, works primarily in acrylic paint. For Moore, the landscape itself often serves as his canvas. After finishing his degree in sculpture, Moore watched his family sell a large piece of farmland to housing developers and was inspired to create his largest work to date. On an adjacent piece of property still owned by his family, Moore re-created in crops the entire planned subdivision, complete with "houses" made of sorghum and black-tipped wheat "streets." It was a statement of mixed emotions. Although Moore says the sale was "a personal loss," he remains "optimistic about the new histories that will be created on the same grounds" where his family has farmed for four generations.

Images of the recently harvested project (see top of page) and paintings by Marill are featured in "New American City: Artists Look Forward," an exhibit running through Jan. 27 at the Arizona State University Art Museum ("the single most impressive venue in the state for contemporary art," according to Art in America Editor Raphael Rubinstein).

Marill's work, painted directly on the museum's walls, offers her take on the landmarks of Phoenix, a city that lacks traditional "built monuments." Visitors are encouraged to find her paintings (including the water tower above) in unexpected areas throughout the museum.

Assistant Professor Paul Mullins is proud of his former students. "Carrie and Matt are models of successful young artists," Mullins says. "It's critical what you do right after graduate school, make or break time, and they've done a lot."

For more artwork: and


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