Painting by Amy Ross
In an art studio in the SOWA District of Boston, Amy Ross had her paintings spread out on a table. There were bunches of cut up illustrations strewn out underneath them. “Don’t worry about these… I’m working on some new ideas.” she said. The inspiration can be felt around her as she smiled and began to tell us about her artwork.
MM: How did you get involved with art?
AR: I have thought of myself as an artist since I was a child, but it wasn’t until I was in graduate school for religious studies that I began to take myself seriously as an artist. I started out taking night classes at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, then at Massachusetts College of Art, and then after I got my theology degree, I enrolled in the Diploma program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston. The rest, as they say, is history.
MM: What have been the most memorable moments in your art career to date?
AR: I had a lot of lucky moments early on, where I was in the right place at the right time, or I entered an art competition that was juried by a curator who saw my work and put it not just in the juried show, but also in other exhibitions. Getting picked up by Allston Skirt Gallery in Boston changed my career, as did signing on with a gallery in New York a year ago. I would also say that perhaps the biggest turning point for me was being invited to do a site-specific wall mural at MassArt for a group show revolving around Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. That project changed my life as an artist. It introduced me to a whole new way of making and thinking about art.
MM: Where do you find your inspiration for your art?
AR: I am the mother of a very imaginative five year old, and I like to try to see the world through her eyes, which is a very magical place where surreal, otherworldly things can happen. This is a fantastical place where people have the heads of animals, where sheep and goats can spring forth from magnolia buds, where birds and mushrooms intertwine their parts. I’m also inspired by scientific discoveries and experiments that involve altering nature, such as Dolly the sheep, or the scientist who grew a human ear on the back of a mouse. I have never been very scientifically inclined, but I think that the media coverage of cloning, genetic engineering, and so forth, caused these ideas to infiltrate my work almost inadvertently.
MM: What are your plans for the future?
AR: It’s been a while since I installed a mural, so I’d like to line up another one soon. I also feel like I’ve hit a bit of a plateau in terms of the size of my drawings and paintings on paper, so I want to work much larger. Right now I’m preparing for a few West Coast shows that open in the Spring, and then I have other shows in Los Angeles, New York, Richmond, and Boston farther down the line, Despite having a full exhibition schedule, I want to be able to slow down and make less work better. I would like to not feel so frenetic all the time.
MM: Have you ever been in a show outside of this country?
AR: I have a bunch of leads right now for some international projects that are brewing, and I’ve shown in London at an art fair that my Boston dealers participated in. I do have a lot of work in international collections, thanks largely to the explosion of online sales, as well as the art fairs that take place in Miami every December, which attract an international audience.
Painting by Amy Ross
Amy Ross is represented by
Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, http://kopeikingallery.com/
Jen Bekman Gallery in NYC, http://jenbekman.com
Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA, http://stevenzevitasgallery.com
Amy Ross’s work can also be seen on these select websites…
Mixture Magazine Interview by Mark Donavan