Mia Cross: The Figure and Unlikely Materials Meet

While you may have seen her work earlier this year as a guest artist during her exhibition with Cory Munro Shea, we are so happy that Mia cross  has joined the FSFA Family as a core member! Below she tells us more about her concepts and process.

  I am 24 years old and currently live in Framingham, MA which is also where I grew up! I attended Boston University where I double majored in painting and sculpture and graduated in 2014. Although students were encouraged to pick one medium of focus, I found a love for sculpture, so I decided to pursue it alongside painting. While in school I studied fine art abroad in Venice, Italy for five months. The work of my professors has greatly influenced my work: Harold Reddicliffe, Richard Raiselis, Kitty Wales, Dana Clancy, Sachi Akiyama,and Batu Siharulidze to name a few. Some of my favorite artists are Euan Uglow, Kiki Smith, Alex Kanevsky, and Gustav Klimt. 

I have a few different things I’m currently focusing on. I’ve always been drawn to the figure, and skin in particular, so that’s been a feature of my painting for a long time. I love to examine color relationships, and lay down paint in pieces, as if I'm stitching together pieces of a quilt.  I also recently got back from a month-long residency at the Rocky Neck artist colony in Gloucester, MA—there I continued to expand my body of portraiture, but also began sculpting again after a year away from that medium. Sculpture allows me to use unlikely materials and depict the figure in other ways besides paint. Sometimes I’ll use found materials—for example, I scoured the seashore each day while in Gloucester, and built a life-size sculpture with the maritime treasures I found there! Other times I’ll use more traditional materials like fabric, paper, wire and the like! My pieces always lay emphasis on narrative, pattern, color, and form. 

Typically, I always begin my work with a clear concepts/idea, and usually with a reference photo. Although I have worked from live models, at this point in my career, photos that are not paid by the hour and that stay still are just as good. Concepts for paintings and sculptural pieces often start with a title or a phrase. I allow my pieces to evolve as I create with the original intent in mind. Some pieces are finished in two weeks, while others I’ll labor over, here and there, for months—usually the piece will tell me when it’s done. As an example; "Blue Baby" was complete within a couple of sessions, while "Fish Boy and the Case of the Roving Ear" kept bothering me, so a  year-and-a-half after it was declared 'done' I repainted a few things (the whole face!) and I’m much more satisfied now! That’s somewhat atypical, but I allow each piece to take on a life and process of its own.