Can you hear me? 2020 Jack Straw Artist Support Program Residency!

Thank you Jack Straw Cultural Center!

My Artist Support Residency will support professional master sound recordings on my newest project. Ghost Timbre is a sound experience that will accompany my Public Art sculpture Ghost Log at Dickman Mill Park on Commencement Bay in Tacoma. The residency includes a public exhibit and a podcast. 

Ghost Timbre mixes historical sounds heard at Dickman Mill and its natural surroundings with interviews that speak to its history. These include stories from the Dickman family (previously recorded by Storycorp); interviews of Puyallup elders, documentation of a cedar gathering, tribal blessings and song; sound from a working vintage mill; worker interviews; logs splashing in water; sounds of the park’s wetland and native birds singing.  The soundtrack is accessed through a web link at the waterfront park and permanently hosted on the Metro Parks Tacoma website.

Alma Mater Tacoma has offered audio recording consultation, a public event, and a public exhibit in Milk Gallery.

A partnership with Eastside Community Center (Metro Parks) lends in kind support. Lonnie Perrin, sound engineer at The Center’s Billy Ray Shirley III Recording Studio, will help me record. Thank you partners for supporting the project!

Ghost Log & Ghost Timbre move forward

Ghost Log to be installed on Commencement Bay winter 2020/2021

Ghost Timbre is the audio component that supports the public artwork Ghost Log, a monumental sized public sculpture by artist Mary Coss at Dickman Mill Park. Ghost Log will be sited on a restored antique artifact, the head saw from the original Dickman Lumber Mill on Tacoma’s Ruston Way waterfront. The sound component is an imperative piece of storytelling. It fleshes out the relationship of the people in the community to the local lumber industry.

Ghost Log

The sculpture itself is a 40’ long corten steel form with a laser cut skin resembling cedar bark.  An 8’ wheel gear at the park end of the log makes witness to the enormous scale and contributes to a deeper understanding of the machinery and the history. The mechanical structural log transforms to the organic as it twists and turns, first to form a basket weave midway and then culminates in cedar boughs at the water’s edge. The basket form honors the tribal lands of the area. The cedar basket motif appears again in the signage. A small bronze sculpture in the shape of a cedar basket holds the interpretive engraved signage for the artwork.

The Ghost Log creates a network of reflection on the water at night. Lit within, the shadows reflect onto the water surface. The log is embedded with words to support the historical connection to the mill, the tribe, cedar, and the logging industry. The sound aids this ethereal visual quality and flushes out the stories and sounds of the park and its history.

Ghost Timbre

The sound component mixes historical sounds that would have been heard at the mill and its natural surroundings with interviews that speak to its history. This includes: stories from the Dickman family (previously recorded by Storycorp); interviews of Puyallup elders, documentation of a cedar gathering, tribal blessings and song; sound from a working vintage mill; worker interviews; logs splashing in water; sounds of the park’s wetland and native birds singing.  The soundtrack is accessed at the waterfront park and permanently hosted on the Metro Parks Tacoma website. On site, a QR code and link to the virtual sound is posted on interpretive signage. The link provides access to the audio on your phone at the pier, or later at home. 

SOLA Award

I am grateful to be a recipient of this year’s SOLA Award. Started by Ginny Ruffner and Artist Trust SOLA awards $3000 unrestricted grants to three female artists over the age of 60 “for their energy, vision, persistence, and dedication to maintaining creative momentum over the long haul. ” Congratulations to MalPina Chan and Nancy Warden for their SOLA Awards and to Sherry Markovicz for the Twining Humber Award!

4Culture Art Project Grant awarded for WITNESS

glamour shot vs film noir

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.

Cill Rialaig Artist Residency

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.

Silent Salinity: Groundswell METHOD March 1- April 6 Artist Talk March 20 6-8pm

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.

Vow takes 1st Place in sculpture at ArtSlant

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.

Artist Talk

May 8th

7:00 pm   Columbia City 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.

Joy as a Form of Resistance

 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.

An opportunity to curate art for a new Annual Festival!

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:

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
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
Borealis Aura is a group of artistic light installations that will be designed by local professional lighting designers.
Borealis Circuit
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
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.
There will also be performances and music.