Merrill Mahaffey Biography

Merrill Mahaffey Biography

 

Merrill Mahaffey, Canyon Reflection (Vishnu Cornerline), Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 56"

Merrill Mahaffey, Canyon Reflection (Vishnu Cornerline), Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 56" 

 

Merrill Mahaffey was born in 1937 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By the age 8, Mahaffey was already creating color pencil drawings of landscapes near his family home in Grand Junction, Colorado. His college training includes: Mesa Junior College in Grand Junction, Colorado; California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland; Sacramento State University, California where he earned his Bachelor of Art degree in 1959; and Arizona State University where Merrill Mahaffey received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1965.

 

Merrill Mahaffey, Autumn Mountain, Acrylic on Canvas, 46" x 64"

Merrill Mahaffey, Autumn Mountain, Acrylic on Canvas, 46" x 64" 

 

Merrill Mahaffey taught design and art history at the Phoenix College from 1967 until 1983. His reputation as a landscape painter in Arizona began developing in the early 1970s. Merrill Mahaffey's work has evolved from an earlier abstract style to his present realism, reflecting the best traditions of American landscape painting. With lithography and serigraphy, Merrill Mahaffey maintains the same expansive, panoramic quality found in his paintings, rendering certain basic yet complex abstract relationships in nature with the visionary technique that is uniquely his own.

 

Merrill Mahaffey, Channel Entrada Diptych Part I and Part II, Acrylic on Canvas, 30" x 44"

 

Merrill Mahaffey's awards have been numerous: Colorado State Fair, Arizona State Fair, Southwestern Fiesta Biennial Exhibition, 10th Arizona Annual, Four Corners Biennial at the Phoenix Art Museum, Tucson Art Museum and the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. His art has been shown at the Denver Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His painting "Toroweap" is in the Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

 

Merrill Mahaffey, Las Animas, Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 60"

Merrill Mahaffey, Las Animas, Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 60" 

 

Articles have been published about Merrill Mahaffey in publications including Southwest Art, Southwestern Art, Art in America, Art Week, Phoenix Magazine, and Arizona Highways. Northland Press published a book about him titled "Monumental Landscapes" by Rudy Turk, with a forward by Arizona's Governor Bruce Babbitt. Mahaffey's largest commission was given by the City of Phoenix for a 7-by-20 foot painting titled "Panorama From Bright Angel Point". It is displayed at the International Sky Harbor Airport terminal.


Education:

  • Mesa State College, Colorado
  • California College of Arts and Crafts
  • Sacramento State University- B.A., 1959
  • Arizona State University- M.F.A., 1966


Public Commissions and Awards:

  • Federal District Court- Denver, Colorado
  • Chandler Fine Arts Center- Chandler, Arizona
  • Colorado State Legislature- Denver, Colorado
  • Phoenix International Airport- Phoenix, Arizona
  • Artist-in-Residence- Rocky Mountain National Park


Selected Exhibitions:

  • 2017 "25th Anniversary Celebration" Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ
  • 2013 - Landscapes of the West, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ
  • 2012 - Landscapes of the West, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2012 - 4th Annual Small Works Show and Sale, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2011 Plein Air on the Rim, Kolb Studio, Grand Canyon, AZ
  • October - November 2011, The West Select, Phoenix Art Museum, AZ
  • 2009- Grand Canyon Modern Masters Invitational, Kolb Studio, Grand Canyon, AZ
  • June 2008 - Fifty Year Retrospective on Merrill Mahaffey, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona
  • 2007 - Arizona: A Millennium of Arizona Art, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ
  • 2000- Palm Springs Desert Museum- Palm Springs, CA
  • 1998- Mesa Southwest Museum- Mesa, AZ
  • 1992- Chandler Fine Arts Center- Chandler, AZ
  • 1991- Foothills Art Center- Golden, CO
  • 1987- University of Utah Museum of Fine Art
  • 1985- Museum of the American West- Houston, TX
  • 1985- Art Institute of the Permian Basin- Odessa, TX
  • 1983- Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • 1982- Tucson Art Museum
  • 1981- Portland State University- Portland, OR
  • 1981- Fresno Center for the Arts- Fresno, CA
  • 1981- Northern Arizona University- Flagstaff, AZ
  • 1980- Arizona Bank Galleria- Heard Museum Benefit
  • 1970- Scottsdale Center for the Arts- Scottsdale, AZ


Selected Collections:

  • EXXON
  • Robert Redford
  • United Energy Resources
  • Valley National Bank
  • Hughes Aircraft
  • Phillips Petroleum Company
  • Guiness Beer
  • Phoenix International Airport
  • Phelps Dodge
  • University of Utah Museum
  • Arizona State University
  • United Airlines
  • Allan Houser
  • US West
  • Smith and Olsen, Ltd.
  • Palm Springs Desert Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Museum of American Art - Smithsonian Institution
  • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • Phoenix Art Museum
  • Tucson Art Museum
  • Phillip Morris Corporation
  • IBM Corporation
  • Security Pacific Bank
  • Atlantic Richfield Corporation
  • Callahan Mining
  • Corpus Christi National Bank
  • Colorado State Legislature
  • Southwest Forest Industries
  • Arizona Supreme Court
  • Chandler Fine Arts Center
 
Merrill Mahaffey, Vishnu Corner, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 24"
Merrill Mahaffey, Vishnu Corner, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 24"