Detail from  Skye and Her Swatches , oil and colored pencil on canvas

Detail from Skye and Her Swatches, oil and colored pencil on canvas

13FOREST Gallery is pleased to present Mia Cross: Second Skin, an exhibition featuring the work of Mia Cross.

Last September we celebrated 13FOREST Gallery’s tenth anniversary with TENFOLD, an exhibition which featured nine artists who had grown with us over the past ten years, and one new artist who would help us continue to grow in the future. Our summer exhibition highlights the development of that new artist, Mia Cross, since her introduction in TENFOLD.

After finishing her degree in painting and sculpture at Boston University in 2014, Cross began establishing her artistic practice. She was awarded multiple prestigious residencies, and has been curating group shows and exhibiting in numerous art spaces. Cross’ captivating figures drew us to her last year for TENFOLD, and her continued experiments with color and form have kept us intrigued. We are excited to showcase her burgeoning career with her first solo exhibition, Mia Cross: Second Skin.

Cross’ recent work dissects some of the most elemental concerns of an artist: color and human figures. She is particularly interested in how color relationships play out on the faces of her subjects. Isolating individual shades found in the delicate skin around the eye and weaving them into new designs, Cross encourages the viewer to question how we perceive skin. How are the identity implications of skin affected when it is separated from the body and broken down into its tonal components?

Cross further questions our perception of skin by altering it completely in some of her pieces, exchanging familiar fleshy pigments for energetic floral patterns. She extends this exploration to her sculptural work as well, creating new skin for her models with vibrant textiles and painted canvas. By playing with the tones and patterns on the human body, Cross allows us to imagine what would happen if someone was given new flesh.

July 15 - September 8, 2017

Sat 7/15, 4-6 pm: Sangria social and opening reception

Sat 7/29, 4-6 pm: Outside|In - The Rhetoric of Opposites, Nilou Moochhala

Sat 8/12, 4-6 pm: Under Your Skin - a conversation with Mia Cross

Wed 8/30, 6-8 pm: Outside|In - Flutter, Claudia Ravaschiere and Michael Moss

Outside|In is a series of artist talks about public art in Arlington.

About the Artist

Mia Cross graduated from Boston University's College of Fine Arts in 2014, where she majored in painting and sculpture. Since completing her degree, Cross has participated in the Arts Letters,& Numbers residency in Averill Park, New York, and shown in a variety of galleries and museums, including the Danforth Museum of Art. 2016 proved to be a tremendously fruitful year for Cross: she received the Emerging Artist Award at the Danforth Art Annual; a Juror's Award for her work in Framework at the Arsenal Center for the Arts; and a Blanche E. Colman Grant for New England artists who demonstrate considerable talent. Cross recently participated as a Goetemann resident in the historic artist colony of Rocky Neck in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Cross curated the exhibition Alchemy for the Rocky Neck Cultural Center, for which she received a Bruce J. Anderson Foundation Grant. In January 2017, Cross received a Mass MoCA Matched Savings Grant. This fall, Cross will be participating in the Vermont Studio Center Residency, with support from a Boston University Alumni Fellowship Grant. Currently, Cross works at her studio in Framingham, Massachusetts.

My recent paintings focus on figurative work and an exploration of the human face. I am fascinated by the challenge of portraying a person: their character, their mood, their subtle idiosyncrasies. I also enjoy the possibilities that come with depicting flesh. With such a range of hues, could there be a more exciting place than the skin that encircles an eye? It is in these moments that I push and create color relationships—sometimes harmonious, sometimes dissonant—stitching them all together like a quilt.

I practice a technique in which paint is layered, leaving hints of former stages within the finished painting. Whether it is keeping the first spontaneous mark, or allowing a small peek into a past pattern, I encourage the viewer to search for and gradually uncover the work's story. This notion grew out of my love for collecting vintage objects and clothing. I am intrigued by the stories that these mysterious objects have to tell. If we are lucky, sometimes clues are left behind. I hope to capture this sentiment in my work, that it has been places and taken on many forms. With time, it will reveal itself to you.

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