Illustration by Martha Rich
Detail of a work by Martha Rich, created in 2019 for a Heliotrope Foundation fundraiser

profile / alumni / illustration
May 31, 2019
Written by: Mike Winder
Images courtesy of the artist


“My mind wanders yet holds on to things,” reads Philadelphia-based artist and Illustration alumna and former faculty Martha Rich’s (BFA 00 Illustration) artist statement. “It picks out what it wants randomly and saves it for later. My mind has a mind of its own.”

Rich’s work has appeared in magazines like McSweeney’s, Rolling Stone and Snacks Quarterly and in books like Natural History Museum of Los Angeles: Wild L.A. and Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa.

This September, Chronicle Books will release Rich's The Furious Notebook: Release Your Rage, Use Your Anger for Good, and Chill the Heck Out, a guided journal the publisher describes as offering its readers "a healthy outlet for their frustration" and made "for ranting, cursing, and channeling righteous indignation into necessary action."

Alumna Martha Rich (BFA 00 Illustration)
Alumna Martha Rich (BFA 00 Illustration)

"I am giving myself permission to make useless art, and by useless I mean driven by impracticality, that is informed by moments quietly noticed and not by what is shouted," says Rich in her statement. "What is noticed now has been built upon what was noticed before, creating a chain reaction that forms a diagram or conversation about something bigger, insignificant moments that accumulate and become something significant."

Rich's work can be seen in murals across the nation and has been exhibited in venues both nationally and internationally—inlcuding a recent installation of wood cut-out word bubbles at Pasadena gallery sp[a]ce for it's 2018 show Unvarnished Truth—and she sells her work online at Martha Rich Art Projects, Blue Q and 20x200.