Mary Hanrahan, a 2013 graduate of the MFA in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts, was recently hired at The Harwood Museum in Taos, New Mexico. Working with the Director of Development to produce a new exhibition, Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West, this show will start in Buffalo, New York in 2016 and then eventually return to Taos.
Mary Hanrahan’s new employer, The Harwood Museum, is the home of the Agnes Martin Gallery. Martin is one of America’s foremost abstract painters who lived in Taos for several years until her death in 2004. The octagonal gallery is reminiscent of and has been compared to the Matisse Chapel in Vence, France and the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. At the heart of Agnes Martin’s work lies temporality; repetition and symmetry were fundamental to her process and practice.
As a long-time resident of Taos and a gallery aficianado, Mary developed an affinity to the iconic Martin and her paintings. Martin’s life and work had an instrumental impact on Mary as she began her studies at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Many of Mary’s works throughout her tenure in the MFA in Graphic Design reflect this inspiration, evident in her use of contemplative patterning and line, as well as the overall shape of the work—hexagonal. As Mary stated in her graduate thesis, “[m]akement, is the graphic design process redefined through meaning, making, and movement.”
Working at The Harwood Museum is a dream realized for Mary. She will be learning about museumoperations in several departments, some of which include foundations, donor relations, collections, curatorial planning, grant preparation and research, catalog design and collaboration with other museums. One might say she’s come full hexagon to get there.