Born and raised in Detroit in an atmosphere of politics, spirituality, and the arts, Mary Coss has made home to many cities around the US, and traveled extensively, collecting stories to tell through her artwork. She received an MFA from Syracuse University in Experimental Studios, igniting her life-long love for bringing social relevance to visual art. Now based in Seattle, Coss is an artistic leader in the community. Through studio work, public works, teaching and curating, she utilizes sculpture, sound, projection and light to weave social justice with visual arts. Her narrative inspired sculpture and installation explores the intersection between nature and contemporary society.
Coss’s graduate work garnered her a University Fellowship, two Ford Foundation Grants, and a Teaching Fellowship. Travel has been integral to her practice, including a cultural exchange and exhibit at Candyland Arts in Stockholm. Creative research has led her to Florence Italy, Istanbul, Scotland, Guatemala to work with an indigenous weaver, and on a road trip through France pursuing Eccentric Environmental Art. Grant recognition includes NEA, Puffin Foundation, Artist Trust, 4Culture and Seattle Art and Culture awards. Coss’s exhibition record includes galleries, museums, and sculpture parks, including METHOD and Bonfire Galleries Seattle, AgentC Vancouver BC, ArtPrize Michigan, The Museum of Sound, The Wing Luke Museum, Northwest Museum of Art, Franklin Furnace and NEW YORK NOW! 015. Residencies include a 3-year installation residency at San Juan Museum & Sculpture Park, Centrum, James Washington Foundation, and Willapa Bay.
Her community and public art is found throughout the Northwest and she has partnered with Affordable Housing to create numerous public art installations in Washington State. Coss serves on the faculty of Antioch University Seattle, and teaches workshops to underserved communities in southeast Seattle. She is cofounder of METHOD Gallery and actively curates shows exploring rigorous art and contemporary process.