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AUnder The Same Moon


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Unknowingly, Maurice Sendak, author of the classic children’s tale “Where the Wild Things Are” described the journey of local artist Marjie Risk, from grounded to ultimate creativity when he wrote, “…and she set off through night and day, and in and out of weeks, and almost over a year to where the wild things are.”

Marjie started her life in a very practical way, growing up in the Tempe/Phoenix area. Growing up, she was always fascinated with Arizona’s variety of environments and its wide variety of natural resources. Marjie went on to earn her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Environmental Resources from Arizona State University. Soon after graduation, Marjie set off, with her eyes on future horizons, working in a career of water conservation/efficiency. Lucky for many of us, living in the Southwest, she played a major role for over 25 years at the local, state and national level in water conservation. In 2009, Marjie left Arizona for an environmental job in Texas. One year later, after experiencing four life-threatening occurrences within a three-month period, Marjie found herself returning “home” to Arizona. It became painfully clear that the Universe was whispering, “There must be more to life than just having everything you thought you wanted.” 

The “Wild Things” began to emerge from the recesses of Marjie’s past. She had always found her inspiration in the life and energy of Arizona’s natural beauty: sparkling natural waters, gleaming copper, and the deep blue/green hues of its turquoise specimens. She decided to rediscover her creative roots in the rich terra cotta tones of the earth. Marjie resumed her ceramic and metal creations that were always a comfort to her. Strengthened by the encouragement of friends, who suggested she take advantage of her creative side, she turned to her art full time, but this time Marjie’s focus would be in “sustainable art,” actually, a concept she had explored extensively since childhood, creating items from found objects.

Today, Marjie uses her background in natural resources with her keen eye for recycled metals, searching salvage yards for those perfect pieces to repurpose and bring life to a variety of whimsical sculptures and creatures. Her pieces combine ceramics and scrap metals, as well as copper and steel, with the added interest of turquoise and other natural stones. She has exhibited in Vail and Breckenridge, Colorado and is currently waiting for word from a show in Durango. Marjie is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and will be showing and working at Dragonfly Studios in Cave Creek during the Hidden in the Hills Studio tour in November.

Her Web site,, is a connection to her grandmother who said, “Wherever we go in life, we are always connected by the fact we look upon the same moon.”  Get connected with Marjie Risk’s imaginative spirit, unlimited creativity, and sense of fun, in a place “where only the things you want to happen come to you.” Visit and begin your journey to where the wild things are.

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at