Ed Gross: Alchemist

Ed Gross is an Alchemist of sorts.

At his studio at the Crown Cork and Seal Complex is Highlandtown, he works tirelessly transforming metal into gold. Now, much like the alchemists of ancient times, Gross creates gold of the spiritual and psychological variety—the gold that emerges from the joy, play, and discovery one feels when encountering his creations. See his creations at his website www.edgrossart.com

When you step into Ed Gross’s Studio, you find yourself entering into magical realm, where imagination reigns free. With the artist as your tour guide, you get introduced to a cast of characters and a collection of strange objects, which did not exist until Ed Gross came along and released them from his mind.

Gross’ path to full time artist has been just as unusual as his creations. Long before he stepped into his role of creator, he spent over 50 years as a meteorologist. In fact, Ed Gross was one of the chief meteorologists responsible for bringing us The Weather Channel. And, just as Gross’ work embodies the spirit of transformation, he himself transformed along his path, from scientist to artist.

In the early 1990’s when he first started to work as an artist, Gross began going on treasure hunts, collecting old farm equipment that was fashioned years ago of hand-wrought metals. During these expeditions, he also discovered great sources of steel, aluminum, copper and other metals, which would become the basis of his work.

Gross, who is self taught with no formal training in art, retired from meteorology in 2007, and began focusing primarily on making art. His early creations were large and industrial, emerging from the synthesis of machine parts and a playful, creative spirit. These eclectic and whimsical assemblages are engaging and fun, and feel like something the surrealists would have been proud to claim as their own.

“The timeworn quality of the old farm implements that I have been collecting helped form the vision for my work,” says Gross. “The objects are very sculptural in themselves. I tried to preserve the integrity of these artifacts while assembling them into forms that appeal to me”

In the latest phase of his work, Gross has begun creating functional furniture as well as a large series of 3D metal collages. Choosing from pieces in his vast collection of old metal and wood, his furniture series features cocktail and other tables using oak from an old German log cabin built in Indiana during the 1850’s, and old copper from his friends Yellow Barn Farm in Zelienople, PA .Old painted gutters and downspouts come from an upper Baltimore County house and the local junk yards that let him explore provide some of the other findings for his work.

“It is really exciting to find these treasures with all their natural color and beauty and to be able to integrate them into new works of art,” says Gross. “In searching for a way to show off the beauty of these artifacts, I found that juxtaposing these well-used parts with the textures and intricacies of modern day machine parts along with wood and other materials, allowed me to create something entirely new: a work of art that enhances the complexities of each.”

To this day, Gross continues to search through junk yards, which he calls “the goldmines for the objects that become my art.” Like an alchemist in his laboratory, he transports his finds to his Highlandtown cave, and explores new ways to make them come alive. Ed Gross is a creative spirit who should be celebrated for his unique aesthetic, and his equally unique path to being an artist.

If you would like to step into the cave of a modern day alchemist, and meet the wizard himself, Ed Gross invites you to his studio THIS Saturday, December 8th, for a Holiday Show and Sale.

The event runs from 10am- 4pm at EDGROSSART Studio (Bldg 45, third floor, 3E) at the Crown, Cork and Seal Complex in Baltimore (Highlandtown), MD. Directions: http://edgrossart.com/contact

Through his inclination to search for a diamond in the rough, Gross will also be selling American Primitive furniture and other antiques which he and his wife Linda have collected over the years.