Wendy Cross

“Born and raised in Wilton, CT, Wendy Cross was inspired to paint and draw from her grandmother who was also a painter. Her earliest influences were from children’s picture books by such illustrators as P.D. Eastman, Clement Hurd, Dr. Seuss, and Garth Williams. She later was enamored by the highly detailed, representational paintings of Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Yves Tanguy, and Peter Bloom.  

In 1989 Wendy earned a BFA from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. In school she studied Primitive painters such as Henri Rousseau and Fergus Hall, and the Regionalists Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood. Primarily painting landscapes, she depicted the American West after traveling to Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona in the summer of 1995. Her subject matter became more and more focused on the socioeconomic disenfranchisement she observed in the Midwest as factories and storefronts were shuttered due to deindustrialization and retail consolidation. She continued to explore this theme in New England, moving back to Connecticut in 2007, documenting factory ruins and economic disparity in local communities.  

Returning to the Midwest, Wendy received an Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award in 2015. Her recent work illustrates current political sentiment and conflict between classes and regions. She lives in Southern Ohio with her partner and five dogs. ”