Visiting Artist

June 15 – 28, 2023

Mary Coss

Mary Coss is an interdisciplinary artist known for her monumental sculpture and multimedia installations that explore culture and society through allegory. Born in Detroit and based in Seattle, Coss received her MFA from Syracuse University, Dept. of Experimental Studios. This hybrid sculpture/media program, coupled with a minor in sociology, inspired a life-long commitment to create cross disciplinary socially conscious work.

Coss’ extensive exhibition record spans galleries, museums and sculpture parks. Honors and recognition include awards and grants from NEA, Ford and Puffin Foundations, 4Culture, and Artist Trust. Her installation, Public Debt to the Suffragette, received an “Art to Change the World: Inspiring Social Justice” ACLU Award. Her collaboration with scientist R. Fuller examined global warming and resulted in Silent Salinity, a broad body of work exploring Pacific Northwest ecology and the salination of fresh water. Net Loss was purchased by NOAA and hangs at the interpretive center at Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Residencies include Cill Rialaig and Greywood Arts in Ireland and Willapa Bay, Playa, San Juan Sculpture Park, James and Janie Washington Foundation, and Cornish Incubator Residency in the US.

Coss’ public art ranges from large-scale commissions to local social engagement. Her award-winning sculpture Ghost Log, featured prominently on the Tacoma waterfront, demonstrates her collaborative process with the community. She worked with the Puyallup Tribe to incorporate their Indigenous language and craft, including a vintage artifact to encompass the broader history of the site. The work has a companion sound piece that can be accessed on site and generated a 7-episode podcast series.

Coss has built international partnerships that include exhibits at Candyland Arts in Stockholm, Sweden, and Museo Civico di Palazzo Della Penna in Perugia, Italy, with residencies throughout the US, Turkey, Guatemala, and Ireland.  She is cofounder of a Rape Crisis Center (REACH), a youth arts Program (SEEDarts) and METHOD Gallery in Seattle. She serves as a leader amongst the Seattle arts community by mentoring, teaching, curating, and leading projects that infuse the arts with social justice.

Artist statement

I’m an Interdisciplinary artist creating sculpture and installation. I investigate the intersection of the natural and cultural worlds and look to history for context and contradiction. I am interested in identity and social culture examined through a lens of memory, time and life cycles, reflecting on the past, questioning the present, and challenging the future. 

I speak a visceral language. My work is a hybrid of traditional and experimental materials fused with light, sound, and poetry.  The use of altered imagery evokes a range of allusions and associations to question contemporary cultural myths and relates personally to the viewer. 

At Good Hart, I am interested in examining how climate change is impacting the eco and social systems of the region. I will record sounds of the natural environment and interview local women. I am interested in collecting history through the female lens to understand how the area has changed physically and socially through time.

Community Event

< 2023 Residents