“Big Chocolate” by Marilyn Murphy

Nashville artist Marilyn Murphy has been creating and teaching art for more than 30 years. As a professor at Vanderbilt University, she was the first woman and studio artist to be named chair of the Department of Art and Art History, and her work has been featured in more than 380 exhibitions around the world.

“Intermission” by Marilyn Murphy

Her latest show, titled “Wind Mischief,” brings her to Louisville’s Moremen Moloney Contemporary Gallery, and the artist will be in town this weekend to promote the exhibit. It officially opens tonight, June 16, from 5:30-8 p.m. with an artist talk scheduled for 6:45 p.m. The gallery will host a second reception on Saturday, June 17, from noon-4:30 p.m.

Murphy works in oil paintings and drawings, and her pieces often depict everyday situations that imply a grander theme. She also explores dualities — like safety and danger, peace and turmoil, fire and water.

Susan Moremen, co-owner of Moremen Moloney, says she’s been a fan of Murphy’s work for quite some time, and she’s thrilled to share her work with Louisville.

“Marilyn’s drawing and painting techniques are impeccable, but her ability to interject magic and intrigue is what makes you pause,” she tells Insider.

In her artist statement, Murphy says she’s often inspired by film noir and magazines from the 1940s and ’50s, and she likes to create dreamlike atmospheres where objects can be both symbolic and actual.

“Adjusting the View” by Marilyn Murphy

Moremen says she reacts to Murphy’s work on many levels.

“I am always intrigued and impressed with an artist’s creative process and how their own life experiences influence their work,” she says. “I love that I can see the Great Plains landscape in her work, as well as the iconic images and tensions of the ’60s.”

“Wind Mischief” continues through July 22. Moremen Moloney Contemporary Gallery is located at 939 E. Washington St. in Butchertown.

Sara Havens

Sara Havens

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."