Maggie Brown

Class of 2021

Brown’s work—small, sculptural pieces, paintings, and rather informal pencil-drawings—center around materials and subjects from nature; stones, living mosses and lichens, leather and fur, dead insects, and a variety of flora and fauna.  

With a background in biology, Brown draws inspiration from scientific accuracy, conservationists and museum taxidermists like Carl Akeley, and terrarium builders like Tanner Serpa—whose works marry accurate depiction of complex natural systems with graceful composition and an intent to educate their audiences.  

Using this background, Brown’s work aims to illuminate a connection between humanity and the cycle of life, death, and decay in nature. She calls on personal experience in farms, kitchens, and natural spaces as well as cozy, nature-adjacent media such as Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro, Nintendo’s Animal Crossing videogames, and Bill Watterson’s Calivn and Hobbes as inspiration to try to foster the same friendly, thoughtful, and joyful interaction with the outdoors.  

Brown hopes to convey in her work a combination of curiosity and affection for the “little things” in nature; small animals, intricate lichens, tiny stones, and fleeting moments that bring to mind the undeniable connection between all living and dead things that share the earth, and the value of taking time to seek out these connections in improving our local ecosystems and our own health and sense of empathy.  

See more of Maggie's work here.

Photo of art work by SU student Maggie Brown installed in the Vachon gallery

Installation View, Mixed media, 2020