I would like to paint a series of portraits of people from the neighborhood surrounding the studio in Berlin. I hope to stage a series of impromptu street interviews, and find people who would be willing to work with me through a series of sittings. The paintings will incorporate motifs from their material lives, imagery referencing their life stories and/or cultural lineage, and hopes for the future.
Molly Must is an American artist with a long-standing interest in storytelling, collectivism, monuments and public history. She is a figurative painter and muralist, working in oil and paper on canvas, and acrylic on concrete.
Originally from rural West Virginia, Must moved from her family’s off-grid mountain home in her late teens to Asheville, North Carolina. There she was heavily involved in mural painting and community activism for nearly ten years, working under highways, in alleys, and public parks, aiming to illuminate marginal local histories and transform uncared-for public spaces.
Today, Must is mostly engaged in studio work, painting largely from perception and grounding her imagery in a deeper inquiry of her own lived experience. She continues to examine her own relationship to land and public space, and explore notions of responsibility versus ownership within larger narratives of national identity.
The New York Studio School, 2019
Teaching Artist Summer Institute; Bronx Community Word Project. 2018
Regents Bachelor of Arts, West Virginia University 2018
2019 Sid, Hero of the Mine Wars Office of Public Art, Charleston, WV
2015 The Great Disruption West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial
Commission, Pocahontas County CVB & County Commission
2013 Triangle Park Mural Asheville Design Center, Just Folks Community Club
2011 Gone But Not Forgotten Office of Public Art, Charleston, WV
2011 The Last Forest Pocahontas County CVB & County Commission
2011 The Chess Players, Interstate 240 Underpass Mural, Asheville Mural Project, North Carolina, Department of Transportation, Asheville County
Commission & Office of Economic Development
2010 Chicken Alley Mural Asheville Arts Council
2008 Lexington Ave Gateway, Interstate 240 Underpass Mural, Asheville Mural Project, North Carolina, Department of Transportation, Asheville County
Commission & Office of Economic Development
GlogauAIR, Berlin, Germany April-June 2019
INTERNOS, Santiago, Cuba, January 2010 and 2016
WORKSHOPS / PUBLIC LECTURES
2018 Fibonacci; Art & Math Workshop Yew Mountain Center, Hillsboro WV
2014 Collage Workshop Unitarian Universalist Congregationof Asheville, NC
2012 Lecture: Art in Public Space University of North Carolina at Asheville
2012 Lecture: Murals as Memorials YMI Cultural Center, Asheville, NC
2011 Lecture: Storytelling through Public Art Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC
2010 Mural Workshop Asheville Middle School
2009 Lecture: Asheville Murals Asheville Art Museum
2008 Lecture: Cooperative & Emergent Art Asheville Design Center
AWARDS / GRANTS
Jane Chace Carroll Scholarship, The New York Studio School, 2019
Osher Scholarship, West Virginia University, 2016-18
Greenbrier Valley Quarterly Zenith Award, 2014
North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artists Project Grant, 2010
Undergraduate Research Grant, University of North Carolina at Asheville, 2008
2018 Museum Educator/Teaching Artist, Cranbrook Art Museum
2014 Cafe Manager/Events Coordinator, The Spring: Appalachian Advocates Community Cafe
2011-’13 Community Arts Coordinator, Asheville Design Center
2007-‘11 Mural Coordinator Arts2People/Asheville Mural Project
WVU College of Education and Human Services Magazine; “Inside the Artist’s Studio;
RBA Student Molly Must explores history, culture, and community through art,”
by Lindsey Kudaroski; Spring 2018 Issue
WV Public Broadcasting; “Inside Appalachia Road Trip: Art and Murals Across
Appalachia’s Backroads,” by Jessica Lilly & Roxy Todd; Jan 15, 2016
Greenbrier Valley Quarterly; “Art Class 2014; Molly Must,” by Josh Baldwin; Spring
2014, Vol 36.
WNC Magazine; “The Big Picture: Muralist Molly Must Uses Public Art to Tell
Community Stories,” by Joanne O’Sullivan; May, 2014.
Asheville Citizen Times; “Living Portrait series: Asheville’s Molly Must,” by Michael
Carlebach; May 8, 2014
Asheville Citizen Times; “Memories Through Murals; Artist Molly Must and downtown
neighbors bring The Block’s rich history to life through the Triangle Park Mural,” by
Barbara Blake; Sun, May 5, 2013.
Bold Life Magazine; “Painting the Town,” by Ursula Gullow; August 8, 2012.
Mountain Xpress; “History is Now,” by Paul Clark; July 3, 2012
Asheville Citizen Times; “New mural will draw on Asheville’s African-American
history,” June 16, 2012
Allegheny Mountian Radio; “Molly Must Shares Her Love of History and Community
Through Her Art,” interviewed by Heather Niday; Dunmore, WV. February 10,
Verve Magazine, “Molly Must; Asheville is Her Canvas,” Nov 2008.
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