With the Grain
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: www.carriemarill.com