Grace Cross (b. Zimbabwe 1988) is a trans-global material painter who enactments symbols that represent questions about home and land, about assumed gender roles in the domestic sphere, and about security of space today for the foreign body. The material interplay of Cross’s work makes shifting recipe’s rooted in history and African cosmology, to reflect her cultural transmission across national boundaries. Drawing images through fibre and paint, that have been excavated in part from the past, creates a present generative site. Her work conjures a deep history, bringing transformative cultural wisdoms and materials together to excavate and perforate boundaries of the ‘homeland’. 


2016  MFA, Studio Arts, School of Art and Art History

University of Illinois, Chicago

2012  BAHons, English Language and Literature Honours

 University of Cape Town

2011  Post-Grad Business Diploma, Business Acumen for Artists

Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town

2010  BFA, Michaelis School of Fine Art

 University of Cape Town

Solo Exhibitions

2016  Cave Canem, Solo Special Projects, FNB Art Fair, Johannesburg

A cavern, in the middle, a boiling cauldron, Gallery400, Chicago

2015  Pleasuring Ground, Smith Studio, Cape Town

Group Shows

2016  Ellerman House Art Angels auction, Cape Town

Exile Inside Out, Heaven Gallery, Chicago

Hot House, 2nd Floor Rear Festival, Chicago, curated by myself and Aaron Walker, an Uptool project.

Stovetop H/earth, Hairpin Art Center, Chicago, curated by Jesus Javier, part of the 2nd Floor Rear Festival

Sketch, Smith Studio, Cape Town, curated by Amy Ellenbogen

2015 Not from Here, 70 Juta Street, Johannesburg

Current, Smith Studio, Cape Town, curated by Amy Ellenbogen

2014  Bugatti Dreams Park Free, University of Illinois at Chicago

2013  Cube-Route: Beggin’ for Change, an Open Drawer Projects project

2012 {Impression : Sunset}, Salon91, Cape Town, curated by Monique du Preez

2012 Fire Horizon, AfrikaBurn Festival, Tankwa Karoo, an Open Drawer Projects project

2011 Part 1: The Drawing Room, Spin Space Gallery, Cape Town

2010 To Intervene in the Forest of Signs, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

2010 One Night Affair, A Word of Art Gallery, Cape Town

Awards & Acheivements

2015 Grant from Office of Sustainability, University of Illinois at Chicago, for Uptool project

2014-5 Board of Trustees Fee Waiver, University of Illinois at Chicago

2013 Visual Art grant from National Arts Council South Africa for ‘Cube-Route an Open Drawer           Project

2010 Co- awarded the Judy Steiner Painting Prize, Michaelis School of Fine Art

2010 Mentor Program at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town

2007-10 Dean’s Merit List, University of Cape Town

2007 Golden Key Member, University of Cape Town

Professional Memberships

Member of the Femme Gems, an interdisciplinary fierce, feminist artist collective with Liz Cambron, Sara Condo and Rachel Glass.


Co-founder of Uptool with Aaron Walker; an art programming series inside the University of Illinois at Chicago's Greenhouse and Plant Research Laboratory. The program serves to highlight the work of cultural producers who find themselves on the edges of anthropology, ecology and the arts, through informal thematic lectures, screenings and demonstrations held within underused portions of the facility. /


Co-founder of Open Drawer Projects an artist collective with Io Makandal, Jessie Hammond and Sammantha McCulloch. Open Drawer Projects is a collective concerned with investigating the contemporary drawing mark within South Africa through experimental art making.

Works in Collections

University of Cape Town

Nandos Arts Trust

Spier Arts Trust

Art Angels