Maria Markham

Maria Markham - Nua Collective - Artist - 2023

Maria Markham

Maria Markham is an Irish artist who lives in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. Her artistic practice is amplified by over 30 years work in the nonprofit sector with diverse groups and communities in the U.S. and internationally . She is currently completing an MFA in Art Practice at the School for Visual Arts (SVA) in New York.

The in-between space, the neither here nor there quality of my identity as an immigrant, is something I am exploring in my work. This otherness is a perspective that I value and has provided me with many opportunities to understand life differently. This entanglement with both cultures and the complexity of being an immigrant in the US at this moment seeps into many of the drawings, paintings, videos and writing. The video Shroud with voiced-over narrative poem explores some of this complex emotional and visceral landscape.

Above: “Shroud” by Maria Markham
2021, video 2 min 46 sec

Exhibition View: New Ways of Doing Things:

‘Ghost in the Machine’
(Fragmented Modernities), Maria Markham, 2023
Canvas, acrylic, thread,  steel galvanised wire, copper wire, red coated copper wire (all 28 gauge), Dimensions Variable

Lately, my explorations have turned to the anthropogenic disasters that we are facing. The drawings from the Contemplating Loss project in my portfolio reflect these preoccupations but also offer hope at our ability to “make with” the non-human creatures that share the planet with us and the remarkable beauty of the natural world. This concern with the impact of human activity on our planet is also reflected in an exhibit I recently co-curated at the Gramercy Gallery of SVA in New York: “Sympoietic Encounters: Making With-in the Sixth Great Extinction.”

Installation view of “Sympoietic Encounters: Making With in the Sixth Great Extinction” exhibit featuring work (from left to right) by James Jaxxa, Maria Markham, Erin Hayde and Luis Valenzuela.

I currently  live in New Haven, Connecticut with my family. A career spanning 30 years in the nonprofit sector working to try to solve problems like hunger, health care and social engagement has given me a keen and profound sense of what is not working well for people in the U.S. Because of my commitment to social justice and equity, along with this professional experience, my work also wrestles with questions of brokenness and creative solutions for the future.


Maria Markham


I work in a variety of media including video, sound, sculpture, drawing and fibre. My experience as an immigrant has provided me with a distinct perspective and frame of reference. My cultural entanglements and the complexity of being an immigrant in the US at this moment seeps into much of my work. The video Shroud with voiced-over narrative poem explores some of this complex emotional and visceral landscape.

Other preoccupations in my work include the Anthropocene and the failures of capitalism that are causing the climate crisis and global economic inequities and instabilities. Drawings from the Contemplating Loss project along with a recent exhibit that I co-curated “Sympoietic Encounters: Making With-in the Sixth Great Extinction” reflect these preoccupations. Based on this work I am exploring possibilities for decentering the human in my work and “making with” the other forms – biotic and abiotic – that share the planet with us.

I am deeply curious about movements and evolutions of people, animals, plants and place through space and time. These curiosities have led to a focus on displacement in a current project and to creating more complex artworks that include installations. I am also interested in interrogating what we carry unbeknownst to us within our souls, psyches and bodies. I centre these concerns in the body because this is my most fundamental starting place. The Body Doesn’t Ask Why is an example of this. Exploring the nature of body and life in multimedia, I ask the viewer to think about what is and what might be possible.

Above: The Body Doesn’t Ask Why, Maria Markham, 2023
Oil, pigment (Prussian Blue), charcoal and paper, 36 x 66 inches

ARTIST’S Accolades


  • School of Visual Arts, New York, NY Master of Fine Arts program (2022-Present)
  • The Alternative Art School, Online, 2021  Courses with Hito Steyerl, Janine Antoni, Yael Bartana, Marinella Senatore, Zoe Butt, Mark Dion, Cassils and others
  • Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS and University of Toronto Scarborough, ON   2021 Socio-ecologies and Economies of Latin American Migration
  • New York Studio School, Mar 2021 Painting/Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson

Studies from 1995 to 2002

  • The Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, DC 
  • The Art League, Alexandria, VA 
  • The Museum School, Boston, MA
  • The Art Institute of Boston, MA
  • Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
  • Harvard Extension, Cambridge, MA 

Other Education

  • Masters Nonprofit Management   Brandeis University, Waltham – 1992
  • B.Sc. Human Nutrition and Dietetics  Trinity College, Ireland – 1987


  • Opening Exhibit, Pollinator Gallery, Philadelphia, 2023
  • New Ways of Doing Things, SVA Flatiron Gallery, New York 2023
  • Sympoietic Encounters: Making With in the Sixth Great Extinction, SVA Gramercy Gallery, New York 2023, Co-curator and participating artist
  • Artist Group Exhibition, The Alternative Art School, Online 2022
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