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Molly McGrath

Pencil Drawing

Molly McGrath (b. 1982) makes drawings. Her extensive body of work includes collages of children’s album covers, drawings of Chicago transit system signs, fiber art, painted bottles, portraits of dolls, and Sesame Street memorabilia. Her work directly responds to her environment with her everyday experiences becoming her starting point.


Her concentration of late has been dolls. These works are a pinpoint of a moment in time, where the empath in her comes through in the expression she gives to the doll’s face.  Molly is challenging the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience; she absorbs the tradition of actively remembering into her art practice.


When not in the studio, McGrath enjoys attending plays, lectures and the opera, and loves dining out all over the city of Chicago. She joined Project Onward in 2006 and lives in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood.


A meticulous writer, McGrath pays careful attention to documenting each of her drawings and creating lists of artworks to be made in the future. Like other artists with autism, she is especially fixated on series and segments, or parts of the whole, as exemplified by a recent series of drawings, Parts of the Shirt, a conceptual work dissecting in detail a green oxford shirt. Also part of the artist’s experience living with autism is her consistent interest in themes that she developed during childhood. For example, McGrath has been watching Sesame Street episodes for so long, that she is able to easily reference what season and episode number pertain to any drawing she makes, as well as the year it originally aired.

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