Carol Ross grew up on Long Island studying painting and sculpture in the studios of Long Island artists. She studied at the Art Students League and spent summers at Buck’s Rock Work Camp, a creative camp for teenagers. It was a total immersion in an artistic life. Back in the city the Buck’s Rock group met in Washington Square, playing guitars and singing the folk music of Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Kingston Trio. It was the Greenwich Village of the 60’s, a potent time to be a young artist. Her first painting studio was a short walk from high school. In summer she painted at The Provincetown Workshop.


She studied fine art at The University of Michigan, and received Bachelor of Science in painting. At the university she joined The Once Group, a new media performance group that mounted a festival of happenings, contemporary music and dance on the roof of a parking structure in city of Ann Arbor. Artists Claes Oldenburg, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Trisha Brown came to perform with The Once Group. She studied with the avant-garde artists Milton Cohen and George Manupelli, both engaged in film and multi media.


Soon after, Carol found herself in Greenwich Village, in a 2nd floor apartment with a garden, the beginning of her personal connection to gardening. Two years later she got her M.A. at NYU. While continuing to perform with contemporary dance groups, her primary expression was painting. Involved in the downtown art world and Max’s Kansas City crowd, a club, where she met the most accomplished artists of the day, John Chamberlain, Martha Diamond, Frosty Myers and Robert Smithson regulars in the front room. While looking at art in all forms, almost daily,  she met John Coplans, founder and editor of ART FORUM Magazine.  John became interested in Carol’s work and came to her studio frequently, where they discussed her large complex shaped paintings and his revolutionary photographs. As part of his group of young artists, she went to Paris when John received the honor Chevalier des Arts.  They were friends for life. 


It was a great time for artists. The art world was small, few galleries, few artists. At openings everybody knew everybody and they were all living in industrial lofts in Soho.


Moving to Columbia, Missouri to teach at Stephens College. She had a studio in the tower of the oldest building on campus.There was a group of talented young faculty, among them the poet Heather McHugh. The group met every evening to watch the news of Vietnam War. Camping and canoeing were part of life. The landscape of river bluffs inspired calligraphic paintings on raw canvas. Carol also made paintings from the tropical flowers in the greenhouses of The University of Missouri, where she took classes in botany. She was a member of The Stephens College Faculty Senate. Returning to NYC she taught at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY., The Putney School in Brattleboro, VT and at The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.


Carol joined AIR Gallery, the first feminist gallery in NYC and exhibited there for a decade. The shaped canvases led to wood reliefs. At first a series based on elementary forms then an exploration of free forms. Reliefs led to 3D sculpture with aluminum laminate surfaces followed by larger work of welded aluminum coated in auto-body paint. This elegant work garnered much attention and a series of installations began 1997 at Muzeum Kischelli, Fovarosi Keptar, an ancient church in Budapest, “New York-I Szobrasz” with a catalog essay by Peter Fitz, museum director. In the year 2000 she had an exhibition at The Las Vegas Museum of Art. For the catalog "Incident in The Desert", she  made 35mm slides of the Red Rock Valley landscape around Las Vegas she transferred images of her sculpture and wood reliefs into the landscape with essay by Ronald Kuchta. 1999 "Metall Skulpturen” Im Völkerschlacht Denkmal, Leipzig, 2003 The Museum of Art Pensacola, Florida “Form Meets Figure”, catalog essay by Lilli Wei. In 2006 The Musee Maillot with John Coplans, “Oeuvres Croisees” Paris, catalog essay by Marcia Vetrocq. 2007 "Hortus Conclusus" at The Spazio Thetis, Arsenale Novisimo at The Venice Biennale with catalog essay by Marcia Vetrocq. 2012 The Watermill Center, Watermill, NY “The Path of Icons” with catalog essay by Gary Indiana. 2016 Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY., “Sculpture in The Garden” catalog essay by Chistina Mossiades Strassfield. During those years her work was frequently reviewed by some of the most influential Art critics. Gary Indiana wrote “Intelligent Design The Art of Carol Ross” for Art in America, Donald Kuspit wrote "Abstract and Empathy-Once Again" for Sculpture Magazine, "Say No-Mo to Po-Mo" by Peter Plagens in Newsweek and Mario Naves "Rooted in Myth Pointing to the Future" in The NY Observer. Carol’s love of painting brought her back to painting. Dedicating several years of work before arriving at the current image.

“A touch, Pencil-To-Paper—there is unique connection. It is immediate and lasting.
between the time of making sculpture and paintings, throughout my artistic life,
I’ve been looking forward to the time of working on drawings. Those times are like a
tranquil haven, intimate and deep within myself.”
—Carol Ross

During 2020-22 living on Noyac Bay, the visual experience changes by the hour. The work is about water, quiet lapping tide, rolling waves, crashing storms and extreme rain. Inspiration unedited, a response to weather brought out her most exciting paintings. Another important part of life is her garden. Over 25 years of planting, planning and tending it became extraordinary. It is a 4 season job to cultivate a densely packed flowering space.  Carol took thousands of photographs and in 2018 with her husband a designer, she published "Ecstatic Gardener."