Q&A with Artist Ashley Mary

The work of Minneapolis-based artist Ashley Mary looks like it belongs in Palm Springs, with its bright colors and sunny motifs. We’re thrilled that she made her way to the desert for Modernism Week 2019, creating large scale murals at one of this year’s featured homes, Eichler Palms. Eichler Palms is a newly built Desert Eichler home by KUD Properties in Palm Springs that is owned by our friends Heather and Brad Fox, who also call Minneapolis home but will now be spending a lot more time in the desert! Heather and Brad have a new show on HGTV called Stay or Sell — we’ll update you with the official air date once it’s announced!

Eichler Palms atrium mural by Ashley Mary // photography by Tyson Crockett

We’re happy to share some insight from Ashley Mary into her artwork and the Eichler Palms mural project, as well as some of her favorite desert spots!

Palm Springs Style (PSS): Can you share a little bit about yourself and how you got your start as an artist?

Ashley Mary (AM): I’m an abstract artist, designer, muralist  and illustrator living in Minneapolis, MN, where I work from my studio in an old industrial building called Northrup King Building, that now houses over 200 artists. I started painting collages eleven years ago, but always just on the side of my 9-5 job. Eventually I went back to school, got my masters in graphic and web design and have now had my own business under my name Ashley Mary since around 2015. Now I focus on my time on paintings, product design, mural work,  and fun partnerships/collaborations with other brands I love.

Ashley Mary at work on the Eichler Palms mural // photography by Tyson Crockett

PSS: How would you describe the style + aesthetic of your work?

AM: It’s a colorful mess. I use thick acrylics to paint very textured works that celebrate big bold shapes and playful patterns. My work seems to live in a summer-state of mind. I also do collage work that influences my paintings and murals. All my work kind of fuses a graphic sharpness with organic, imperfect mark making and simple shapes.

Eichler Palms living room mural by Ashley Mary // photography by Tyson Crockett

PSS: What was the inspiration behind your murals at Eichler Palms?

AM: First and foremost COLOR because Palm Springs…duh. But I wanted to be really intentional about incorporating the colors that Heather and Brad were already decorating with in the house. Heather has an original painting of mine that is a rainbow shape and when she asked me to incorporate a rainbow into the wall, I used that as my visual anchor point to build from. The main wall is inspired by a smaller collage I had made and marker drawings. I used the dots as a way to bring the eye from the main wall to the atrium. The atrium mural was unplanned actually. Once I got to the space to install the indoor mural I saw the atrium and immediately texted the Foxes to see if I could play outside. They gave me the green light and I used it as an opportunity to tie in the rainbow shapes again. That rusty orange shape pulls in the rich color of the leather couch you can see inside. This mural evokes a sense of balance and play and I hope it brings that kind of energy for the home’s guests!

Eichler Palms atrium murals by Ashley Mary // photography by Tyson Crockett

PSS: Any new favorite spots you discovered while in Palm Springs?

AM: I loved drinks at the Del Rey at Villa Royale, and had the best spicy cocktail at Azucar in La Serena Villas. The best burger I had was definitely at Workshop. I found the most fabulous silver sequin blazer at Revivals (I’m a thrift lover!). And my fav local shopping was The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five. The front vintage space, Lindy, I could poke around forever in and snagged an old wooden hand-carved vase from.

You can see more of Ashley Mary’s work here and on Instagram. Eichler Palms is now available as a vacation rental home so you can experience the murals in person (and the whole home is an Instagram dream, with gorgeous Hygge & West wallpapers and furnishings by Room & Board!) — more info about the home is available here.

Header image: Ashley Mary in her Minneapolis studio // photography by Eric Pierson

All other photography by Tyson Crockett

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