Q&A with Arist Sherill Anne Gross
Sherill Anne Gross has worked with the Johns Hopkin University Montgomery County Campus for years as its curator. Her role is to develop art exhibits for the gallery space in the 9605 Medical Center Drive building, and to help coordinate the art and photography shows JHU does with Montgomery County Public Schools.
Several times a year, Gross identifies artists whose work is worthy of exhibition.
Now, Gross’ own work will be on display through January. The exhibit is called “The Cut Up.” It is free and open to the public.
Hopkins Happenings asked Gross about her work:
Hopkins Happenings: Tell us about yourself.
Gross: I was born and raised in Central Florida and went to school at Florida State University and majored in Studio Art emphasizing in graphic design. When I went to school, graphic design wasn’t a major yet. This is where I feel in love with printmaking, which is what led me to my passion for paper. I started out split between art and pre-med, but the art won out in the end. I am a freelance graphic designer and have been for close to 20 years at this point. I’ve done so many types of things such as the basics like business cards and fun projects like design Mai-Tai glasses and LP covers.
Hopkins Happenings: What kind of art do you do? What materials do you use?
Gross: My artwork is what I call cut-paper Illustrations. Everything I create is made using solely paper, glue and patience. Even my signature is hand cut out of the paper. Ninety-nine percent of the work is cut using a regular No. 11 X-Acto knife.
Hopkins Happenings: How’d you get into art and decide to become an artist?
Gross: Art was always in my blood. From when I was little, I was always creating something. I started doing what I now know is design work from a really young age. I started doing newspaper and layouts more in high school and kept going. I was never great at drawing and I am a terrible painter, so I had to find other ways visually to work my creative mind. Dropping from pre-med and majoring solely in art wasn’t something my family was super keen with at first. It took some time for them to see what I was creating to catch on! What I create took many years to develop into the style I am working in now, but I know this is the right medium for me!
Hopkins Happenings: What is your approach for creating a work of art? What is your inspiration?
Gross: You can find inspiration in anything and everything. It could be from seeing a color to an awesome carpet pattern. You never know when you find something that just clicks in your brain. I like to create birds and pinups a lot. I find these are two subject matters that can generally make me smile. I also am into abstract pieces. While these tend to be less popular pieces by me, they help re-center my mind.
Hopkins Happenings: Tell us about your motto that you “run with scissors.”
Gross: The tagline is - “I run with scissors - it's ok I am a trained professional” It is just something I thought was funny. It is funnier since I hardly use scissors; I am mainly an X- Acto-knife kind of girl! I feel I can cut almost anything with my knife. I chop some nice veggies too!
Hopkins Happenings: What do you hope viewers of your art experience upon seeing the exhibit?
Gross: I want everyone to smile when seeing my work. Not all art needs to be taken seriously. I think my work is bright and colorful and meant to add a bit of joy into your day.