Thank you 4Culture for supporting my new project: Witness
My grandma lived a hard life and worked as a milliner. Her beautiful hats were shared amongst her six sisters who all had their own collections. Over the years, the women in my family have passed down their hats and I have come to have a large collection of beautiful, wacky, sophisticated and esoteric hats. I am using the hat as an icon of women to tell their stories.
There’s a lot of talk currently referring to mid century as “the good old days”. These harsh and difficult times were good for a privileged few. Witness shares the stories of the other women. I have been recording women in conversation both here and in Ireland. The stories speak to the female condition, those who have passed along mixed with stories of elders and younger women coming of age. I have found certain themes through collecting the stories, with similarities through time.
I’m excited to see where this goes. It’s a work in progress.
Looking out my window in Cill Rialaig (c.1790). The small cottages sit high on a cliff in the Gaeltacht area of Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry, Ireland. The peaceful quiet is inspiring and feeds the spirit. I wrote, drew, and recorded my writing in the voices of my residency cohort, accents from several countries. The beautiful and compelling sound will be used in an installation about the landscape.
This evolving installation is part of a trilogy of shows that have transformed at each location. Silent Salinity started at Museum of Northwest Art as part of the Surge exhibit. The gallery with three installations focused on a haunting ghost meadow, a wire salt encrusted journal turned fishing net and a ruin akin to an archaeological dig. The show evolved at 950 Gallery in Tacoma as Silent Salinity: after the dig. The ruins were catalogued and presented as artifacts. New work added includes a video installation of an eerie desert island of salt projected onto as if underwater. In Groundswell Coss brings this eeriness into this stories conclusion as she constructs a monumental wave that transforms the initial installation encompassing the gallery with misty fabric and projection.
I will be in residence at METHOD Gallery Monday through Friday March 1-20 as I transform the space from a stark dystopian landscape of salt laden grass into a churning, ethereal swell reflecting our current social climate.
I’m so pleased to be included in ArtSlant’s 10th Year of Awards. Vow has won the Sculpture Category in ArtSlant X Round One Juried Winners.
Vow is a 10′ tall upside down Pelvic Bone. Thirteen wedding gowns cover the frame to tell the story of birth & rebirth, ties that bind, a union of souls. Originally part of an installation with sound “Traces” shown at METHOD Gallery.
Join me as I share slides in discussion of my inspiration and trajectory. I’ll be showing my new work in progress, talking about my process and speaking about my the relationship between my studio work and my public work.
I’m an Interdisciplinary artist working across mediums. My artistic voice melds metaphor with culture and politics. I draw from topics that have been in my visual vocabulary for years: gender politics, stress on nature, and lifting a veil on taboo and our common secrets. My work is a fusion of contextual and visual layers. My practice incorporates traditional processes of drawing, bronze casting, and the use of digital sound and video projection. I embrace collaboration partnering across disciplines with other artists and incorporate performance and interactivity at times to deepen the viewers experience.
Cross Disciplinary Artists in Residence Mary Coss, Daemond Arrindell, Dani Tirrell, and Anastacia Renee Tolbert collaborate at Cornish Arts Incubator
The artists explore the idea that Joy is a form of Resistance through the Lens of Water
Free Performance: Sunday February 4, 6:00pm; Alhadeff Studio at Cornish Playhouse
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” – Rumi
#BlackJoy: the understanding that even finding a reason to smile is also a form of resistance in a system that was neverdesigned for us to thrive. – Kleaver Cruz When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness…all the good things. – Maya Angelou
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. – Isak Dinesen
In today’s divided society, where being a part of a marginalized group (people of color, female, LGBTQI, etc.) can put you at risk – be a danger to your mental health, your well being, even your life – happiness can be hard to come by, especially if one ascribes to the belief that it is only achieved through financial gain. We ascribe to the belief that joy is a state of mind: an intentional choice of empowerment, not in spite of our identities, but as a celebration of them. We see joy as a form of resistance and transformation, against what our capitalistic society has taught us. But how do we engage it? How do we reach this state of mind, intentionally? As artists we asked ourselves these questions and the conclusions that arose focused on digging into our intersectional identities. We plan to undertake a journey together to explore the critical, historical and personal metaphors inspired through the lens of water. We will experiment with how these ideas can be expressed within a permutation of written and performed poetry, dance, and visual art. Our intention is to explore water as a vehicle for joy and transformation. We share a common practice to pull back layers to explore the humanity and the conditions in which we live. We believe in transcending labels to search the underlying meaning and to interpret these ideas through a visceral expression that explores and examines transformation. Through open discussion we have found a working path together. This path allows inspiration not limited by one’s personal practice, but a collective practice that feeds upon ideas and imagery and manifests without boundaries of skill sets. While each of us is constantly growing and progressing within our respective art forms, we also have each amassed a vast knowledge base and level of expertise. The act of including each other in our creative processes encourages us to examine our methods and rationales and what makes them effective for us.
We are excited to learn how this collaboration can expand our individual practices, to see how discussion and different perspectives can impact and challenge the boundaries of our creative process. Evaluating your art through uninitiated eyes gives new points of view and fuels critical analysis to strengthen your own expression.
In October 2018 the Borealis Festival of Light will debut in Seattle. The featured event will be at the Museum of History and Industry on Lake Union for five nights, October 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14. An international showcase of videomapping on the MOHAI facade will be curated by Maxin10sity of Budapest, Hungary. This event will be free to the public and open to all ages.You can see examples of the work of Maxin10sity here: https://www.maxin10sity.net/bolshoi
Borealis will bring together artists and the technological world to create this inaugural, annual event in Seattle. I am thrilled to be invited to curate the art installations for this event. In addition to the video mapping we will have a combination of artistic light features that will be identified on a map that will guide you through the festival, or you can choose to join one of our guided tours.
Borealis Outpost is a series of featured light installations created for the large plazas, parks, and water by local professional artists, in some instances partnering with creative technicians. There will also be an outpost at MadArt.
Borealis Aura is a group of artistic light installations that will be designed by local professional lighting designers.
Two passageways meandering between buildings in the neighborhood will host a string of light art. There will be an open call for art, sculpture, and interactive installations that use light as a media for these throughways.
Borealis Perimeter is a series of sites around the city with light and projection based installations that will open a few weeks prior to the festival. We are looking to these events to draw attention and build interest in the festival, to launch it. They include sites such as Fantagraphics in Georgetown and METHOD Gallery in Pioneer Square.
Inspired by the fact that the suffragettes communicated via chalking, I readily accepted an invitation to be part of the inaugural Pacific NW Chalk Fest. My idea to revisit Public Debt to the Suffragette was to bring attention to the current attack on voting rights. Across the country, politicians are engaged in voter suppression. They are creating obstacles to registration, limiting early voting and requiring strict voter ID, including requirements that weigh heavy on communities of color. Then as summer hit, the president pushed his mythical voter fraud claims to a new high by appointing the voting rights suppressor in chief Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to lead the voter fraud commission, Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
In late August, several women dressed in Victorian era white costumes joined me in Redmond at a new chalk festival organized by Terry Morgan of Modern Enterprises. We created a 16’ wide chalk drawing that included a flag with a cut out of the US filled with pictures to tell a history of voting rights. We drew images of historical voting rights advocates while talking with visitors about their roles in preserving the right to vote. Several young girls were shocked to hear that women weren’t able to vote before the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote in 1919. Young boys of color were also surprised to hear that they were kept from voting until 1975 when the Expansion of Voting Rights removed many limitations.
It is a long tough battle that is still being waged (or raged). I invited the League of Women Voters of Washington to join us and they set up a booth to register voters. They also ran a mock election for children to vote for president, Wonder Woman won. The Chalk Festival ran three days and broke all records of visiting public to Redmond Town Center.
Thank you suffragettes Jamie Peterson, Maura Donegan, Teresa Getty, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Anna Macrae, Jane Speleers Herrera, and Alison Farmer for your dress and creative drawing skills. And thank you to Bridget Kruszka of the Washington League of Women Voters for organizing your contribution.
I create artwork in response to the social climate. In this version of Public Debt to the Suffragette we take to the streets with chalk. I engage a cohort of diverse women artists to promulgate the right to vote through drawing and social engagement at the Pacific NW Chalk Fest (concept drawing above).
With limited funds and technology, the suffragettes used chalk to write messages, slogans and to disseminate times and locations for meetings. Inspired by the Suffragettes practice of chalking, we chalk to draw attention to current day issues of voting rights. The suffragettes of 1917 are transported to 2017 to reaffirm this basic right, currently under scrutiny by the newly formed “Election Integrity” Commission. Clad in white Victorian dress, we will engage the public in conversation while we chalk a patriotic drawing that features key figures from voting rights history, such as Susan B. Anthony, John Lewis and Frederick Douglas. The images appear within a map of the United States, within the US flag. We will actively register people to vote while creating our painterly tribute.
My fantastic performing artistic partners: Alison Farmer, Anna Macrae, Esther Ervin, Jane Speelers Herrera, Lisa Myers Bulmash, Maura Donegan and Teresa Getty.
Join us at the Pacific NW Chalk Fest at Redmond Town Center August
Thank you Seattle Office of Arts & Culture! I’m thrilled to be on the new Public Art Roster. And not to forget ArtsWA. Looking forward to creating art with the state too. You can see some of my work at the Public Art Archives here