Veronica Cross is New Orleans-based visual artist whose practice includes painting, video, and installation. Ms. Cross also works as an independent curator, event director, and arts writer. From 2017-18, she was the director of programming at The Gallery at the Tigermen Den in the Bywater.
The recent return to her childhood city has paralleled the trajectory of her work, retracing serendipitous pathways steeped in ritual, affect, and poetry. Her ongoing fascination with representations of a theatrical femaleness was ignited early on by her great uncle's French Quarter pin-up paintings on velvet. Initially trained as a printmaker, working for master printer Kathy Caraccio (New York), Ms. Cross gradually shifted to painting to address the surface quality of her large-scale stencils of burlesque queens (1997-2000). Over time, her paintings would develop into storyboards for time-based narratives. The environments within the storylines would then take on their own significance to inform her installation works.
Ms. Cross lived in New York City (1989-2006) where she exhibited frequently and was represented by the Barbara Ann Levy Gallery in both its Chelsea and Cherry Grove locations. She attended the School of Visual Arts, SUNY at Stony Brook, SUNY Empire State College, and the Art Students League. An early internship with painter and mentor Stephanie Rose developed into an important friendship. Other alliances with artists evolved into curatorial exchanges; initial artist visits between Brooklyn and Cardiff, Wakes (UK) resulted in a series of international exhibitions, such as 2001's Stimulata, held at the University of Wales in Cardiff. Ms. Cross received an Emerging Curator's Program Grant (with co-curator Christine Callahan) from the Ise Cultural Foundation (NYC) in 2004. She then went onto parlay her tenure in various punk/alt music scenes (Ms. Cross is a former employee of the historic music club CBGB's and a D.J.) into larger multimedia projects. Additionally, the vocabularies of a broad range of music continue to serve as valuable touchstones in her artwork.
In the ten years in Maine that followed, Ms. Cross worked as an antiques dealer, becoming engaged with the personal-as-political narratives of old objects discovered during sojourns through yard sales and car graveyards. Of those objects, the motif of the decaying, vine-covered car became an important signifier of disempowerment, memory, and generative takeovers, influencing a series of photographs, paintings, and ultimately, her first narrative video, PASSENGER, 2016. Ms. Cross also developed and directed a large scale arts/antiques/high crafts festival, Maine's Dooryard Festival (2013), in addition to continuing her curatorial practice.
Veronica Cross received her MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016, after consolidating her college credits into a BA in Art and Entrepreneurial Studies (magna cum laude) from the University of Southern Maine. She is represented in Maine by Elizabeth Moss Galleries and resides Uptown.