Crystal Murley - Artist, Teacher, and Visionary

Crystal Murley is a mixed media painter and fused glass sculptor based out of Houston, Texas. She received her MFA at Houston Baptist University and her BFA in painting and design from the University of Houston. In addition to having her work published in Studio Visit Magazine, Indie Soleil, and Voyage Houston, Crystal was one of the top 10 finalists in The Hunting Art Prize. Her art has been shown in various group shows including shows in Woodstock, NY, Albuquerque, NM, and Chicago, IL, and Salzwedel, Germany. In her home state, her art has been displayed in Plano, Dallas, Conroe, Rockport, and Houston, Texas.

Stating that Crystal is a modern renaissance woman is just a small way to describe the prolific artist and abstract visionary she has become in the last two years. When defining her artistic style, she balances between Maximalism and Minimalism. While a paradox, these conflicting styles can be seen in the way she utilizes negative space, color theory, and mark making in her works. Art, to Crystal, has no set medium having worked with oil, acrylic, ink, fabric, print-making, photography, and most recently fused glass. The glasswork is both wearable, in the form of glass jewelry, and sculptural, in the form of fused glass wall instillations.

The Hive, her MFA thesis series from Houston Baptist University, currently consists of thirty works on paper and fused glass, that take their inspiration from the psychological and emotional impact her grandparents’ passing had on her life and the structure of her family. Each fused glass and paper work is 11 inches by 11 inches and is framed simply in black or white, allowing the emotive abstraction to be the focus for the viewer. Just like a honeycomb, each piece is a part of the larger work, but can easily stand on its own. Using these smaller works as drafts, Crystal extrapolated her ideas for the Hive into six larger pieces that measure 50inches by 50 inches.

Giving back to the community is a key part of Crystal’s work ethic. In her time in Houston, she has given consistently for the past 14 years to local charities and organizations through art donations, service projects, and fundraising efforts. Animal protection agencies, LGBTQ, and youth arts involvement are causes that are near to her heart. In addition to the charity work, Crystal enjoys mentoring new and young artists by providing private classes to enhance and enrich their craft.   

Crystal owns her studio in Houston and opens her doors to the public several times a year. She welcomes new artists to join her in these shows, allowing them a chance to receive feedback from the public and receive exposure in the Houston arts community. As Houston continues to gain national and international recognition for its artists, Crystal is excited and proud to be one of the many emerging artists that calls Houston home.

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