I am a Vermont Artist: Misoo
Though born in the Bronx, Misoo spent most of her early years in Korea. At eighteen, she returned to the United States and began painting as a way to communicate her feelings.
Misoo graduated from Florida Atlantic University, receiving an MFA in painting in 2014. She lives in South Burlington and continues to show her work, give artist talks, and attend artist residencies around the world.
Misoo shared her thoughts about being a Vermont artist.
How has living as an artist in Vermont affected your creative process?
Living in Vermont as an Asian female artist helped me to see the world from a minority point of view. Although Vermont is liberal and filled with open minded people, I often find myself in situations where I am judged by my race and gender. The repeating stereotypical comments and conversations prompted me to create a series of work, The Giant Asian Girls, which contemplates the gender-based violence and racial stereotypes that face Asian women living in the United States.
What is something about your art that has changed over time?
My work has changed with the uncovering of my traumatic memories and the recovery after. It started as portraits of vulnerable females in fairy tale like settings, but since, it has matured into the voice of a grown woman. Through the artmaking process, I gained control of the previously overpowering memories that defined me. As the work’s creator, I became a storyteller of female survivors’ personal redemption.
What is your vision for the next several years?
My new series of work is titled, The Giantess. It is a series of acrylic and collage paintings that represents empowerment of minorities, domestic violence victims, and women who’ve survived trauma. For the next several years, I plan to exhibit the series as much as possible to raise awareness of the mental, physical, and social violence that women experience in daily life.
The “I am a Vermont Artist” series explores how artists’ creative expressions reflect their experiences of ethnicity, gender identity, religion, disability, or age. Covering all artistic disciplines, and a range of backgrounds—from New Americans to the state’s first residents—we hope to amplify voices that deepen our understanding of what it means to be a Vermont artist.