In her wood designs, North Carolina-based artist Morgan Hill grapples with the dark – and celebrates the lighter side — of life and her evolving identity.
Artist: Born and raised in Arkansas, Hill studied fine art and interior design at two different colleges before earning a BFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design from the University of Arkansas Little Rock under the guidance of Mia Hall and David Harper Clemons, a master metalsmith.
After college, Hill spent two years (2015-2017) in the Core Fellowship Program, a work-study fellowship for early career artists, at Penland School of Craft, NC. In 2018, she was an ITW Windgate Fellow at the Museum of Art in Wood in Philadelphia.
Company/studio: Morgan Hill for her sculpture and Bad Habits by Morgan Hill for her production jewelry line, which explores the pleasure of excess and indulged desires.
Hill creates her work at Treats Studios, a studio cooperative she co-founded in downtown Spruce Pine, NC, near the Penland School. The coop provides affordable rental space for 18 artists.
Art & materials: Wood sculpture and objects. Also lightweight jewelry (earrings, brooches) made from wood, mostly holly.
What’s popular: Right now, earrings ($70 to $200).
Other favorites: Larger conceptual wood sculpture ($12,000) shown in exhibitions.
Favorite tool(s): Bandsaw, but starting to love using the CNC router. CNC stands for computer numerical control.
- Pop culture from my childhood and beyond.
- Dreams and trauma.
- Cult movies, costume and set design.
- Other artists she works with and the Penland community of makers.
Fun commission: A jewelry collection with a Miami Vice theme.
Recent awards/honors: Selected for the 2022 Chrysalis Award, an award given annually to an emerging artist by the James Renwick Alliance for Craft (JRACraft).
Recent projects: Two solo shows (her first), one in Chicago and the other in Cincinnati in 2022.
In her spare time: Designs costumes.
- “White Gloves and Party Manners,” an exhibition of stained gloves, embroidery thread and beads, at the Penland Gallery & Visitors Center, March 28-June 4. The gloves represent a celebration of mess, creativity, and self-acceptance, said Hill.
- “Witness,” an exhibition of 37 mirrored wall sculptures of various sizes, at ArtFields (artfieldssc.org), an annual art competition and festival in Lake City, SC. April 19-29. For Hill, the mirror is a tool of renewed self-reflection.
Where to buy: Morganhillcreative.com
- Instagram: @morganhillcreative and @badhabitsbymorganhill