Artist In Focus: Maggie Murphy

Maggie Murphy, Mixed-media Artist and a 2024 Artist Support Grantee

What are the conditions for epiphany?

Is a seed an archive?

When should I stop hurrying?

Maggie Murphy, a mixed-media artist, librarian, and 2024 Artist Support Grantee uses questions to prompt reflection in her printing, bookmaking, and quilting, addressing significant issues and inviting the viewer into the narrative.

Murphy grew up in New Jersey, where she got involved in art classes in a visual and performing arts magnet program, focusing on darkroom photography. Her college years saw a shift to printmaking, influenced by a familiar connection to the punk and DIY music scenes she grew up around. Printmaking’s playful combination of text and images, and the ability to create low-cost multiples like signs and zines that can be posted publicly, all contributed to her creative exploration

After college, Murphy’s artistic practice expanded when she moved to Brooklyn and learned fiber arts techniques like quilting and small-scale weaving through the Brooklyn Skillshare, a community-based collaborative. Prints, zines, artist books, and textile or fiber-based works – all of these creative products make up Murphy’s body of work today.

Found materials and creative exploration play a key role in Murphy’s process. Central to her creative practice is a deep engagement with craft production methods, particularly those involving paper making, marbling, letterpress printing, and quilting. Her ethos of reuse and experimentation ties into the conceptual side of her art. “All of us have questions or fears or things that worry us that we would rather not dwell on”, says Murphy. “Working through those issues is really important”. Through her creative practice, she brings those questions to the table for thought and reflection. As a librarian, Murphy is always asking and answering questions and working with public domain materials. The intersection of her librarian and artist roles is built on a commitment to inquiry.

This year, Murphy received an Artist Support Grant to help purchase letterpress type and other printmaking materials, enabling her to participate in her first artist residency at Directangle Press in New Hampshire.

“Until recently, I'd been afraid to identify as an artist. I didn't feel like I had any legitimacy in that identity. I applied for an Artist Support Grant, and it's the first thing in a long time that has helped me identify myself as an artist. The confidence and community that I have gotten from receiving a grant have allowed me to submit my work for different exhibitions. I recently received a fellowship and stipend to go to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts this summer for an arts workshop. I probably wouldn't have applied for that if I hadn't gotten the Artist Support Grant”.

To explore Maggie Murphy’s work, you can visit her website at or follow her Instagram at legs_benedict

The ACGG’s Artist Support Grant program is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.