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Artist accepts commissions.
I have always been a maker of symbols and stories. Combining a fascination with signs, words, and abstract concepts with the physicality of materials and textures, I seek to explore the relationships between external experience and the structures we create internally to understand that experience.
I use a combination of drawing, painting, printmaking techniques, and found objects to overlap layers of text and images, play with legible and illegible text, and construct my own symbols and structures. An extension of my own process of making sense of different emotional realities, my practice blends the systematic and reasoned with the intuitive and the provisional, or make-shift. My process of engaging with materials echoes this: the serendipity of found objects and chance occurrences—wood grain, blooms of ink in water, paint drips—speak to a greater and more intricate sense of meaning than I could contrive on my own.
Much of my work until recently centered on binary oppositions in language and the gap between what is said and what is meant, informed by personal anecdotes and automatic writing. Currently, I have begun to create a personal lexicon of symbols to explore states of being that cannot be easily contained in a word. I combine flower meanings, fairy tales, medical texts, and travelers’ signs into images that investigate cycles of loss, grief, and regrowth.
Stylistically, my work alternates between realism, particularly organic images with a bend toward the surreal, and abstraction in the form of signs and symbols. I move back and forth across this spectrum as a means to draw connections between inner and outer realities; to bring images from my mind into the complexities of physical being, and to distill some of those complexities into a clearer form.
Marissa Cook is an emerging artist living in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Raised in southeastern Michigan, she studied art and English at Alma College, wandered briefly into the realms of graphic design and children’s book illustration, then continued to study art at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Along the way, she was able to explore her interests in both literature with visual art, a synthesis that informs her practice today. Marissa currently spends her time creating art and illustrations while teaching at Alma College.
2020 - March - 28th Annual Poetry Art Night, Village Fine Arts Association, Milford, Michigan
2020 - January - Satellites, Alma College
2018 - August - Masters Show, University of Dundee, UK
2017 - Spring - Synergy, Pine River Anthology, Alma College, Michigan
2015 - Branching, Pine River Anthology, Alma College, Michigan
2015 - Spring - Small Colleges Show, Adrian College, Michigan
2014 - Spring- Small Colleges Show, Albion College, Michigan
2018 MFA Art and Humanities from University of Dundee, UK
2016 BA Art and English from Alma College, MI
Visiting Professor of Art and Design, Alma College, MI
Arts Instructor, French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, Hancock, NY
Graduate Assistant for Visual Arts, International Academy, Bloomfield Hills, MI
abstract artist, signs and symbols, surrealism, art with text, organic art, found objects