Morgan Wren Maiolie

My art explores humanity’s relationship with - and control over - the environment in which we live. I’m especially fascinated by human modification of natural processes; those sequences of events that would occur without us, but which we alter significantly in pursuit of health and prosperity. My paintings of the eroding Gulf Coast and of wildfires in the West are in this line of thought; they explore water and fire ebbing, flowing, and raging in ways that threaten human communities, but which are affected by and inextricably intertwined with the action of human hands and minds.

Environmental interconnectedness is a key component of my subject matter and, in communicating that, I often prioritize pattern and fields of blended color over clearly defined objects. I paint with oil and sometimes site specific found materials, like the ash used in the wildfire paintings. My process is to apply paint in flowing, intertwining strokes and to then scrape it away with a palette knife; a process analogous to the cyclical creation and destruction of my subject matter.

My background in architecture often leads me to paint orthogonally in section and plan. I like this form of representation because it is so often used in service of human measurement, understanding, dominion and control. Maps and plans are our tools to tame wilderness and construct urban environments - I appropriate the same forms of representation to describe subjects where humans have a lack of control. For me, diagrammatic representation presupposes that the diagrammed subject is understood and controlled, while the painting asks the question: is it?


Merit Award: Excellence in Artistic Expression for Louisiana Coast, St. Tammany Art Association Summer Show, 2015



2011:    Master of Architecture, University of Idaho, Idaho Urban Research and Design Center // Masters Project: Edge Urbanisms:  A Holistic Experience of Wilderness and Culture // Areas of Focus: Environmental Design, Urban Planning and Design, Phenomenology

2009:    Bachelor of Architecture, Minor in Fine Art, University of Idaho // Areas of Focus: Environmental Design, Graphic Communication

2009:    Study Abroad in Rome, Italy, University of Idaho // Study areas: architectural design studio, urban design, Roman history, observational plein air sketching with graphite, pen and ink and watercolor

Exhibition Record

2016:    Main Gallery, Treo Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2016:    Group Show, The Blue House, New Orleans, LA

2015:    New Orleans 10 Years After the Flood, Treo Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2015:    St. Tammany Art Association Summer Show, The Art House, Covington, LA

2015:    St. Tammany Art Association Square Foot Show, The Art House, Covington, LA

2015:    66<100 Pop Up Shop for Gender Wage Equality, New Orleans, LA

Collaborative Projects

2015:    Arts Council, Jean Lafitte Corridor Public Art Renderings, Arts Council of New Orleans, La // Developed digital renderings of proposed public art projects for three finalist artist teams and collaborated on design changes based on renderings

2015:    How to Build a Forest by Peal D'amour and Shawn Hall // Wrote and illustrated a tour guide to direct participants out into the city to broaden their understanding of the spatial and temporal environment in which the performance art piece takes place. Lisa D'Amour, Katie Pearl, and Shawn Hall edited the tour.


2016:    Lower Breton Diversion Crevasse Splay, 42" x 60," oil, wax and sand on linen // for Green Coast Enterprises, New Orleans, LA

2015:    Sagebrush, 24in x 36in, Oil on panel // for private residence, Dunn Family, Mountain Home, ID

2014:    Hailey Welcome Center Environmental Infographic Signage, large-scale three-dimensional work, 7ft x 3ft x 2.5 ft, vinyl on folded aluminum // for the City of Hailey, Hailey, ID