Maxine Hess (b. 1941) is a mixed media artist originally from Boston, Massachusetts who currently lives and works in Woodstock, Georgia. She completed her initial studies at Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Atlanta College of Art. Hess has exhibited nationally and internationally including Shenyang, China, New York City, Los Angeles and other major cities in the U.S. Hess’s work can be found in several private collections in the U.S.
Hess’s Hidden in Plain Sight series is driven by challenging personal and current social issues often not openly discussed, such as the restricting and sexualizing of women, gun violence, and sex and human trafficking. Her art is rooted in the quilt-making of marginalized female populations such as 18th century Eastern European women and the African American Freedom Quilters of the 20th century. She uses quilting as an expression of empowerment and considers herself a visual sociologist. Hess seeks to make sense of inexplicable experiences by contrasting frayed, transparent fabrics and loose unfinished stitching with the tactile construction of quilting and repetitive use of patterns, as in her wallpaper prints and her installation, The Reading Room. The combination of the feminine with the harsh realities of the content are intended to provoke the viewer’s thinking and influence intellectual and emotional dialogue with others.