Marie Cochran was born and raised in Toccoa, GA in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. As a self-described cultural pollinator, she uses visual art to convene partnerships that continue beyond the creation of exhibitions and programming. Cochran received degrees from the University of GA, Lamar Dodd School of Art (BFA) and the School of the Art Institute Chicago (MFA). She has been an art faculty member at colleges and universities in GA, MD, NJ and NC. As a visual artist in her own right, her work has been exhibited widely. Selected venues include the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library & Museum, Austin, TX; the former Center for African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; and the Studio Museum of Harlem, NYC. Most recently, her work is included in the exhibition “Appalachia Now!” as part of the inaugural reopening of the Asheville Art Museum (Nov 2019). Cochran is included in the publication, Southern Women: More Than 100 Stories of Innovators, Artists, and Icons (Harper Collins, publication Oct 2019). Cochran is the founding curator of the Affrilachian Artist Project, which celebrates the intersection of cultures in Appalachia and nurtures a network of those committed to the sustainability of a diverse region. She will be appearing at Word of South with Chuck Reece, Dom Flemons, Timothy Duffy and others.