Millicent Young

temple for grieving, 2013
wood, paper, red iron oxide, silk, rope
45 x 24 x 4″

predator, 2014
grapevine, horse hair
90 x 118 x 40″

canto 17, 2017
lead, horse hair, steel bolts
62 x 15 x 5″

cantos 15-16, 2017
lead, horse hair, steel bolts
62 x 15 x 5″ sold

cantos 8 – 11, 2017
plaster, refired glass with gold leaf and tissue, pigment, nails
13.5 x 11 x 3″ sold

cantos 4 – 7, 2017
washi paper, ink, pencil, plaster sold

canto 2, 2017
lead, mixed media on gessoed paper
30 x 30″

predator, 2014
grapevine, horse hair
90 x 118 x 40″

canto 3, 2017
lead, mixed media on gessoed paper
30 x 30″

slow violence, 2016
washi paper, ink, pastels, steel
17 x 96 x 4″

ghosts iv, 2017
steel, plaster, pigments pencil
22 x 34 x 2″

in this dream ii, 2017
steel, plaster, pigments pencil
22 x 34 x 2″


Millicent Young was born in New York City in 1958 and attended Dalton School where she began her art study. Shortly after receiving her MFA from James Madison University, she received her first of two Professional Fellowship Awards from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Exhibiting widely, her work has been recognized by curators and directors from institutions including DIA, Hirshhorn, New Museum, Guggenheim Museum and Whitney Museum. Young’s work received a top award at the 2005 Biennale in Florence, Italy. Her most recent solo, “Cantos for the Anthropocene”, was 2018 at Les Yeux du Monde Gallery in Virginia. She currently resides in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Dalton School, NYC (1964-1976)
Wesleyan University, CT (1976-1978)
University of Virginia BA (1982-1984)
University of Denver (1984-1985)
James Madison University MFA (1994-1997)

Cedartown, Georgia – summers in a deep south rural town in the early 60’s

Mexico – 1967, my first foreign travel, mesmerized every moment – the shape of the clouds, the weight of the heat, the cool of tile on bare skin, the colossal scale of the Mayan ruins alive with iguanas and story, the pungent salt of the Gulf waters, the sparkling colored light in the glass shops in Mexico City, the shop keeper who gave me 3 amethyst crystals in a turquoise velveteen pouch and a pair of wooden castanets, the taste of sangria at a taberna that was painted red inside

Truro, Mass – a refuge from the grittiness of growing up in New York City… winters, springs and summers in the solace of Nature

Biabou, St. Vincent, West Indies – my first semester of high school accompanying my mother on her fieldwork, not attending school and instead, seeing the first world through the lens of the third world and becoming a member of the larger human ecosystem

Warwick, New York – knowing Luther Barrett: farrier, dairy farmer, a wise man of few words, rooting my growing interest in the back to the land movement of the mid 70’s

Beginning in Istanbul, Turkey instead of going to my college graduation, and heading south along the coast, riding the night bus to Ephesus and beyond. Crossing the Aegean to Chania, Crete. A flight from Athens to London then on to Wales and finding St. David’s. Overland across England to the Scottish Highlands by train and on up to Orkney Island. West to Glasgow and over to Northern Ireland coming into Larne, hitch hiking north to Bally Gally and beyond for the last weeks of this solo sojourn. Mostly given a place to stay and the warmth and kinship of others, giving in return garden work or other labor or child care or simply friendship and stories, staying for days or weeks immersed in place and relationship before moving on

South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe – in the bush with a group of naturalists near the end of the second millennium, considering several endangered species, the loss of wilderness, and the troubled interface between nature and culture… this became the lens through which I also observed the artifact of my failing marriage. The carmine bee eaters and the marula blossoms in the Okavango Delta, the tall endless sky at Umfolozi, the massive acacias at Hwange became my measure

Florence, Italy – the juxtaposition of the international contemporary art scene with the oldness of place and people. Staying at Podere La Casellina, Sylvia and Michaelangelo’s agriturismo with babies, cats, and friends around the kitchen hearth in December

Ireland – exploring the west coast from the Bearra Pennisula of Co. Cork northward to Donegal in September. Learning the colors of the place – silver, green, ochre, wine – and the texture of the rain and the ancient stones

Tuscany, Italy – returning four years later for an exhibition and the grape harvest at Michaelangelo and Sylvia’s again, crushing the grapes by foot, and exploring the hill towns

Swift Run Farm, Albemarle County, VA a sanctuary of field, wood, and river and a largeness that could hold the paradoxes – the winged losses, the polished bones, the pollened wind.It became my family’s place in the late 1970’s and it became the place where I made my life and grew my language and practice as an artist for two decades. When loss of my family to death and other endings had taken all they could, my own tethers to the home and studio I had made dissolved.



2020 Columbia Greene Community College, NY “Elegies”
2019 Broken Wing Barn, NY “When There Were Birds” (installation and performance
with Iva Bittova, Steve Gorn, Timothy Hill)
11 Jane St. Art and Performance Space, NY “When There Were Birds ” 2018 Cross Contemporary Art, NY “Of This”
Les Yeux du Monde VA “Cantos for the Anthropocene”
Cross Contemporary Art, NY “Three Windows at Newberry” 2016 Sweet Briar College VA “Forms for a New Mythology” 2015 Beverly Street Gallery VA “Contemplating Koans”
2014 Hillyer Art Space DC “Known/Not Known, part 2″
2013 Chroma Projects: Art Laboratory VA “Known/Not Known” 2011 Greater Reston Arts Center VA “Vehicles and Vessels”
2007 Northern Virginia Community College VA “Epilogue”
2004 Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts “Trans-“
McLean Project for the Arts VA “Between Within” 2000 1708 Gallery Richmond, VA “Recent Work”
1999 Eastern Mennonite University, VA “Recent Work”
1997 M.F.A. Exhibition: “Possibilities of Transforming the Paradigm”

2009 Art Museum of Chianciano ITALY
2005 Museum of Contemporary Art “Hermandades Escultoricas: Mexico – USA”
Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea Florence ITALY
2021 Lightforms Art Center, NY “Facing the Unknown: Imagination in Time of Pandemic” 2020 The Re Institute, NY “Together in Isolation”
2020 Collar Works, NY “SpaceLAB”
All She Makes/WoArt “A Changing Point of View” (on line)
Unison Art Center, NY “Composed to Decompose: Sequential Responsive Transformations”
Joan Hisako Gallery DC “Material Woman: The Power of the Feminine Hand”
2019 The Re Institute, NY “Earthly Delights” 2018 100 Bogart St, NYC “Size Matters”
Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, NYC “Pop Goes the Weasel” Cross Contemporary Gallery, NY
Wired Gallery , NY “Quartet”
2016 Les Yeux du Monde “Summer Light” VA
Bower Center for the Arts Sculpture Invitational VA
2015 Joan Hisaoka Gallery “Sanctuary” DC Greater Reston Art Center “Ephemeral” VA
2014 Rawls Museum “Virginia Curated: Inaugural Exhibition” VA
Portsmouth Art Center “Changing Appalachia: Custom to Cutting Edge” VA
2013 Greater Reston Arts Center “Forty for Forty: Celebrating Four Decades of GRAC” VA Washington Project for the Arts “Options” DC
Joan Hisaoka Gallery “Alchemical Vessels” DC
2012 University of Maryland “Wood, Paper, and Fibers” MD
McLean Project for the Arts “50th Anniversary Exhibition” VA 2011 Grand Rapids Art Museum / ArtPrize MI
Washington Project for the Arts “Art Night” DC Joan Hisaoka Gallery “Vessel” DC
Chroma Projects “Farm Use” VA
The Textile Museum “Green” DC
Chroma Projects “Anthology: A Thousand Words x Four” VA
Civilian Arts Project “climate, control” DC 2010 Area 405 “41 Miles North” MD
Chroma Projects “In the Beginning” VA
Greater Reston Arts Center “Pop-Up @ SOMA” VA 2009 Art Museum of the Americas “Bilateral Engagement” DC
National Museum of Women in the Arts “Hard Copy” DC
2008 Jonathan Ferrara Gallery 2007 Brattleboro Art Museum
“Material” LA
“Four Sculptors” VT
Suffolk Museum of Art
2006 Zenith Gallery “Dimensions” DC
“Women of Steel; Men of Cloth” VA
Reeves Contemporary / Works on Paper at the Armory NYC 2006 Kim Foster Gallery NYC
2005 Kim Foster Gallery NYC Kingston Sculpture Biennial NY
Area 405 “American Clay: Contemporary Sculpture” MD 2004 Sculpture Hill Project DC
2002 NY Arts Magazine / Maryland Art Place NYC / MD
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts DC (exhibition canceled)
2001 Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts DE
2000 Grounds for Sculpture / International Sculpture Center NJ
Montpelier Cultural Arts Center “20th Anniversary of Sculpture” MD 1999 Montpelier Cultural Arts Center “Clay in Sculpture” MD
1998 Towson University “Emerging Talents in Contemporary Sculpture” MD
2017 “Homeward Bound” Taubman Museum of Art VA Juror: Bradley Sumrall Ogden
Museum of Southern Art
2016 Dave Bown Projects (on line) Jurors: Kelly Kivland (Dia) and Helga Christoffersen
(New Museum)
2013 “This Is Labor” VisArt MD Jurors: Anne Reeve, Claire D’Alba
2011 New York Art Marathon semi finalist (on line) Juror: David Gibson
2010 “Spiritual Visions” Hermitage Museum VA Juror: D. McLeod, Chroma Projects, VA
“gaps” Greater Reston Arts Center VA Juror: Vesela Stretenovic, Philips Collection “National Juried Sculpture Exhibition” Marlboro Gallery MD Juror: Molly Donovan, National Gallery of Art
2009 “Flora” United States Botanic Garden DC Juror: Lillian Fitzgerald, Independent Curator “Reform” Workhouse Art Center Juror: Claire Huschle, Arlington Arts Center, VA
Spheris Gallery VT
2008 “Aquifer” Edison Gallery DC Juror: D. McLeod, Independent Curator, VA “The Healing Power of Art” (on line exhibition) Manhattan Arts International
2007 “Equinox” Arlington Arts Center VA Juror: Lorie Mertes, Fabric Museum
2006 “Inside/Out” Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Juror: Jeff Nathanson, former director International Sculpture Center
“Sculpture 2006″ Portsmouth Museum VA Juror: Cameron Kitchin, director Contemporary Art Center of VA
“Sculpture Unbound” DC Juror: Glenn Harper, Sculpture Magazine
2002 Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts Juror: Ann Landi, independent critic “National Prize Show” Cambridge Art Assoc. Juror: Lisa Dennison, Guggenheim Museum
2001 “National Prize Show” Cambridge Art Assoc. Juror: Maxwell Anderson, director Whitney Museum
“Images 2001″ Penn State Juror: Frederick Brandt, Virginia Museum of Fine Art 2000 Maryland Art Place Jurors: Claudia Gould, Institute of Cont. Art, PA; Helen
Molesworth, Baltimore Museum of Art; Lorna Simpson
1999 “Sculpture ‘99″ Washington, DC Juror: Willem de Looper, Phillips Collection 1998 “Select: A Regional Juried Exhibition” VA Juror: Ashley Kistler, Virginia Museum of
Fine Arts
“Ceramics International Biennial” Zanesville Fine Arts Center OH Jurors: D. MacDonald, H. Gernhardt, D. Prince
1997 Pennisula Fine Arts Center, VA Juror: Jack Cowart, Corcoran Gallery 1996 “Sculpture ‘96″ DC Juror: Olga Viso

2019 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant Arts Mid Hudson Individual Artist Grant
2017 Taubman Museum of Art: Homeward Bound second place by Bradley Sumrall (Ogden Museum of Southern Art)
2016 Dave Bown Projects (on line) Award of Excellence by Kelly Kivland (Dia) and Helga Christoffersen (New Museum)
Manifest Prize: One 6 semi finalist Manifest Gallery, OH
2010 Kari Beims 1st Place Award by Molly Donovan, curator of Cont. Art National Gallery of
Art, DC
First Place Hermitage Museum by D. McLeod, director owner Chroma Projects: Art Laboratory, VA
2009 Honorable Mention in Sculpture Chianciano Biennale; International Jury 2006 First Place Award by Jeff Nathanson International Sculpture Center, NJ
People’s Choice Award Portsmouth Museum
2005 Sculpture Prize (4th) Florence Biennale; International Jury
2005 Semi Finalist The Trawick Prize. Jurors: Thom Collins, Contemporary Museum,
Baltimore, MD; Andrea Pollan, Independent Curator, DC; Olga Viso, Director,
Hirshhorn Museum
2002 First Place Juror Award by Ann Landi, independent critic
2001 First Place Sculpture Award by Maxwell Anderson, director Whitney Museum
First Place Sculpture Award by Frederick Brandt Virginia Museum of Fine Art 1998 Award of Merit by Ashley Kistler, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
1997 Award of Merit by Jack Cowart, Corcoran Gallery

2014 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Artist Fellowship Award 2003 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (fully funded but unable to attend) 2001 Vermont Studio Center residency
1999 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Artist Fellowship Award 1994-97 Graduate Teaching Fellowship James Madison University

2020 Sculpture Magazine “Millicent Young: Human Here and Now” by Jonathan Goodman 2019 FronteraD “Millicent Young: Spirituality and Consciousness in Contemporary Art” by
Jonathan Goodman
White Hot Magazine by Jonathan Goodman 2018 ArtIs interview with George Quasha
Peripheral Vision by Scott Gleeson “Encountering the Unknown”
Posit Journal #16
2017 “Remembering Awe” by Sarah Sargent
2016 Vasari21 by Ann Landi “Under the Radar”
2013 “Millicent Young Seeks a New Mythology” by Sarah Sargent
“Millicent Young’s Transformative Gift” by Gerald Ross “Solid in Vapor” by Deborah McLeod
2015-current ‘Writing into the Gap’ for Vasari21
‘A Sense of Place’ for Vasari21
’On Looking at Ed Kashi’s Images’ for Vasari 21
’A Sculptor Turns Her Eyes and Ears on the Big Ears Festival’ for Vasari 21 ‘How Did You Decide to Become an Artist?’ for Vasari 21
National Museum for Women in the Arts
1992 Bruno LaVerdiere Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, ME

1997 M.F.A. James Madison University, VA
1984 B.A. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 1976-78 Wesleyan University, CT
1962-76 Dalton School, NYC

2020 Visiting Critic University of Virginia Sculpture Department 2018 Teaching Artist Vermont College of Fine Arts/MFA program 2016 Visiting Artist University of Virginia Sculpture Department 1997-2003 Instructor: Ceramics I, Ceramics II, Ceramics III
Eastern Mennonite University Harrisonburg, VA 1998 Instructor: Sculpture
Randolph-Macon Woman’s College Lynchburg, VA 1994-98 Instructor: 3D Design, 2D Design, Art in General Culture
James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA

1993-94 Instructor: Advanced Ceramics and Sculpture Mary Baldwin College Staunton, VA
1992-94 Instructor: Ceramics I & II; Sculptural Ceramics
Piedmont Virginia Community College Charlottesville, VA
1988-89 Instructor: Ceramics I & II
Piedmont Virginia Community College Charlottesville, VA
1987-93 Instructor, Departmental Coordinator, and Curriculum Development St. Anne’s-Belfield School Charlottesville, VA


Art and Earth define us as human beings. The rupture of connection with either renders us senseless and therefore only brutal. The language of art is sensual. It can stir the heart. It can bypass rational, linear processes. Art can be a transformer. The idea that imagination begets empathy and is awakened by the senses has shaped all that I have attempted as a citizen artist.


I am interested in building a vocabulary that will one day tell a new story: a new mythology that restores mystery, beauty, silence, and imagination as central to our co-existence. My visual language favors archetype and allusion. Like dreams, it is a code simultaneously familiar, layered, and elusive. The Koan, a Buddhist teaching tool that takes the form of a paradoxical question, is another model for my work. Insight follows contemplation and the willingness to lose what one knows.

I draw what I do not know yet, what I have not yet seen. Drawing cycles (mixed media on paper) emerge when semi conscious material has built up in my imagination to an internally felt tipping point. As a sculptor, the space of a piece of paper is free of gravity and the rigors of three dimensional construction. It is a plane that captures movement into stillness and idea into form.

Materials and Process

The materials I use are both substance and symbol. As substance they are ordinary, simple, and sometimes found yet within them, there is beauty. As symbols, they do not comfortably stand for one thing. On the scent of something large, they dodge the straight line of equation. The exacting repetitive gestures associated with the crafting of much of my work make the process a meditation; however, the parallel thought flow, or its absence, that accompanies these gestures also infuses the work.

The record of time is evident though silent in my work. Slowly taking form through accretion, thousands of horsehairs are individually threaded through hundreds of holes drilled in vines or tiny dowels. In the White Luminous Room, each of the 1500 ten foot long strands are made by tying and gluing tiny bundles of hair to a long thread. The liquidity of plaster is recorded in its hard celestial surface. The flow of ink is remembered by the contraction of the washi paper in the drying. Every ring of ink on each of the 80 hammered lead pans is a record of the evaporation of that single pool – concentrated, diluted, rinsed, repeated – until the right mark is made. Hatch marks on the skin of paper, wax, clay, or lead tally another atrocity of this Anthropcene.