about toni ross
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
From Little Gidding V, T. S. Eliot
Toni Ross was born and raised in New York City. She attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where she studied ceramics and graduated in 1979 with a BA in film studies. Toni’s life has taken many paths. Upon graduating from Wesleyan, she worked for several production designers including Philip Rosenberg and Mel Bourne. Feeling a need to return to her art making after several years, Toni serendipitously developed a friendship with Elaine de Kooning who mentored Toni in drawing and painting for the next couple of years. Then setting off for Italy to further her artistic education, Toni fell in love with Rome, spending much of her time in museums, studying, drawing and learning Italian. It was there in Italy, in a marble quarry in Carrara, that she met her future husband. They remained in Italy for another year then returning to New York where she and her husband, Jeff Salaway, both worked in restaurants eventually opening their own place on the eastern end of Long Island in 1987. Four more restaurants followed, three on the East End, one in New York City. In 1997, Toni re-committed herself to her artwork full time, immersing herself in the world of clay, one of her early passions. In 2004, Toni established her own studio where her work quickly shifted from one of a kind functional ware to sculptural forms. These new forms led to her first large-scale solo exhibition, Touchstones, which was held in 2009 at The Drawing Room Gallery in East Hampton. Touchstones was soon followed by a solo exhibition at The Ricco Maresca Gallery in Chelsea, NYC.
Toni’s work continues to refer to vessels and containers. She seeks the history of any given piece. She is intrigued by the mysteries of what lies within and what has come before. Toni’s recent work consists of grouped and individual sculptures as well as works on paper that often include clay, graphite, pastel and collage. Toni completed several private commissions in 2013: one in Long Island, NY the other in San Francisco, CA. Her works are included in the private collections of Jack Lenor Larsen of Long House Reserve, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Linda Schlenger, Annaliese Soros, and Alice and Tom Tisch among others. She is currently working on several upcoming exhibitions in New York, East Hampton and Los Angeles where she will be exhibiting both clay sculptures and works on paper. She is also exploring the possibility of working in bronze and other sculptural materials with an eye towards creating outdoor works.
Toni lives and works in Wainscott, NY with her children Noah and Sara and their dogs, George and Gracie.