By Tiffany J. Le Gal
Petite, fiery and friendly University of Wyoming student Molly Markow holds passion for people, art and life. When she first decided to attend UW, Markow was unaware of all the opportunities that would be open to her. Not only is Markow excelling in both her academic and studio courses, but she also is participating in study-abroad courses and is indulging in her other passion, service.
Originally from Loveland, Colo., Markow says she came to UW for the “awesome art department” and because it was more affordable than schools in her home state. Markow is a junior studying art who hopes to graduate in May 2015.
“I am working with printmaking. That’s kind of been my focus as of lately. So, I am working with lithography,” Markow says. “[I’ve] been working with layering and collaging, and just exploring different forms and color interactions.”
In spring 2014, Markow learned how to weld in her sculpture class and studied black and white film photography.
In May 2014, Markow will travel to Turkey for a Summer Travel Programs class titled “Art - Summer in Turkey: A Creative Journey through Anatolia (Turkey),” led by Associate Professor Doug Russell. Markow then will return to Laramie to rest and relax for a few weeks before packing up her life into her car and hitting the road again.
Markow has received an Arts & Sciences Summer Independent Study Award. A limited number of awards, up to $3,000 each, are made to UW College of Arts and Sciences students for summer projects in research or creative endeavor.
Markow’s award will allow her to travel to numerous national parks in the West, including Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. She will visit the locations where painters Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt worked, painted and found inspiration more than 150 years ago.
“They are two of the most iconic American Western landscape painters, and they helped facilitate the movement of artists who made national parks and landscape imagery in the West iconic and that movement of picturesque tourism,” Markow says. “I wanted to figure out a way to travel, see new places and see beautiful things while making art, and so I thought this would be a good way to do that.”
She hopes to line up a show at UW next year to display a collection of artwork from her travels and experiences over the summer. Markow interned at the UW Art Museum in the summer of 2013 and intends to intern at the UW Visual Arts Gallery next spring.
Asked what she would say to incoming students about UW’s art department, Markow says, “Amazing—brand-new building, state-of-the-art facilities. The faculty is absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t be in half the things I am if it wasn’t for the constant support of the faculty and their willingness to help you and to be involved and to push you into new directions that you might not have gone before.”
In addition to her love of art, Markow has always been very passionate about service, community and giving back. Fortunately, she has found that she is able to explore this passion at UW as well.
When Markow was a first-year student, she attended a Good Mule Project conference on social justice and activism that is operated out of SLCE, the Service Leadership, and Community Engagement office, and she absolutely loved it. She signed up for an SLCE-sponsored Alternative Break trip to Guatemala over the 2012 spring break, which was an amazing experience and inspired her to get more involved.
As a sophomore, Markow co-led a volunteer service project trip to San Diego focused on environmental justice and sustainability. Markow was thrilled to get to share her love of service with other students at the university.
Now, as student coordinator of volunteer programs for SLCE, Markow spends her time with her co-workers organizing four large-scale student volunteering days for UW.
Markow is proud to say that she helped found The Big Event on campus last year. The event began at Texas A&M University in 1982 and has become the largest one-day, student-run service day in the nation. SLCE hopes it will grow at UW.
This year’s event will be held on Oct. 11, 2014, and students will perform tasks such as yard work and painting. “Any community member or organization can submit work requests,” Markow says. “It’s a big way for students to say ‘thank you’ to the Laramie community by completing various service projects on one day to give back and foster that connection between the greater Laramie community and the university community.”
Markow’s plans consist of graduate school, perhaps for art and public administration. “I know that no matter what, I want to be creating positive change around me, helping others and contributing to making a positive and inclusive community wherever I am,” she says. “Right now the possibilities and directions I could go are pretty endless.”
One of the 10 Cowboy Ethics adopted by UW is “Do what has to be done.” Molly Markow exemplifies this principle with her service to the community.