Maggie Perrin-Key is an artist based in Roanoke, Virginia. She attended Hollins University where she studied painting. During her undergraduate time, she had the opportunity to spend a semester studying at the Accademia Italiana in Italy. As a student at a liberal arts college, this semester of taking almost all studio classes had a large impact on her drive and work ethic as an artist. She has been showing her work regionally in juried exhibitions since she was still a student, and had her first solo show this year. Painting has been Maggie’s primary medium for exploring abstract spaces.


Painting is a way for me to explore and create abstract spaces; places that have shapes and colors and a visual depth of field from our world, but where physical laws don’t necessarily apply. I play with forms and shapes on wood and canvas, using oil paint to change their positions and build up layers. When I start a painting the shapes usually start in one place on the canvas, and by the time I’m finished with the piece it’s moved somewhere else. From start to finish a painting is a like a dance; as I block in color, the shapes move and shift, leaving traces of their movements behind the layers of oil. In these spaces where semi-organic, semi-geometric shapes move, float, and interact with each other, a comfortable and familiar place is created. My visual language reflects and illustrates places where emotions go to live within us; abstract, undefined, messy places. 

The main visual inspiration for my work comes from my paint rags. Instead of throwing them away, I save the bulk of the paper towels and torn up old sheets I use to clean my paint brushes, and use them as guidelines for new paintings. They are a universal byproduct of painting, an incidental marker of a thing created. I see them as something to explore - a microscopic landscape waiting for me to spend hours studying. In my work, shape and form work together to comment on the physical characteristics of our world, prompting thoughts like, ‘ those kind of look like plant shadows. Isn’t that what the underside of a cloud looks like?’ And then pushes past them into a space where shape and form float and move without physical laws. I strive to find and create worlds within our world; abstract places based on ethereal and elusive feeling space. 



BA Studio Art, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA


Study Abroad Semester, Accademia Italiana, Florence, Italy


Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (Studio Art courses)



Radius 250 8th Biennial Juried Regional Exhibition, ArtSpace,  Richmond, Virginia 

Sacred Debris, Solo Exhibition,  Aurora Studio Center, Roanoke, Virginia 


The Influence of Women, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke, Virginia

Group Exhibition - Recent Works, Logan Gallery, North Cross School, Roanoke, Virginia

The Floyd Center for the Arts 16th Annual Juried Exhibition, Floyd, Virginia

Taubman Museum's 60th Annual Sidewalk Art Show, Roanoke, Virginia

Solo Exhibition - Recent Works, Greene Memorial United Methodist Church, Roanoke, Virginia


Seven in Seventeen: Senior Studio Art Majors Exhibition,  Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia


New Voice, Young Innovation, Invitational Exhibition, The Floyd Center for the Arts (formerly the Jacksonville Center for the Arts) Floyd, Virginia

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