I was born in 1977 in Great Falls, Montana. A mixed blood descendent of the Oglala, Lakota tribe, I was raised in western Montana and earned a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of Montana in 2004. I learned beadwork at a very early age as well as hide tanning, sewing and traditional clothing design. Much of my work stems from a combination of traditional Native arts and modern art.
Molly Murphy Adams is an exhibiting artist specializing in contemporary sculptural beadwork and printmaking. Murphy Adams was raised in western Montana and earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts from The University of Montana in 2004. Murphy Adams’ work illustrates the blending of culture, identity, and histories. Murphy freely borrows from multiple disciplines to create fiber and mixed media arts pieces reflecting diverse backgrounds and traditions.
My work serves as a cultural narrative, an expression of personal experience, and an exploration of form and function. I choose to use specific materials and designs as a way to connect with tribal art forms from antiquity while embracing the reality of mixed heritages. My designs originate from older, more traditional sources while material choices reflect the effect trade goods had on esthetic and fashion. These physical elements create a specific textural and tactile experience necessary to tell my stories. The liberties I take with materials, line quality, and design elements reflect my interest in contemporary art and the development of abstraction in the Western art tradition. I use the visual language of color and shape to articulate new observations on politics, history, and identity.
I'd like to thank the great print assistants we had on this project: Jason Clark, Shelby Hanson, Tyler Brumfield, Ellen Zanetos and Kourtney Zeigler.
This project is made possible with the generous support of the following:
Molly was the second of four upcoming printmaking residencies that culminated in the 2018 exhibition at the Missoula Art Museum of works created at Matrix, surveying contemporary American Indian approaches to abstraction.