Denise Weaver Ross is an artist, poet, and muralist. She has created seven murals in the Albuquerque area, and her poems have been published in anthologies both nationally and internationally. As an artist, she explores her understanding of the world through images richly layered with mythological, natural, cultural, and historical references. For her, the magic happens when disparate images combine to make a new and unexpected image with layers rich with hidden meaning. Denise is known for her large thematic series such as House of Cards, Legendary Creatures, Art of the I Ching, and her newest series, Postcards to America.
In the House of Cards series, she reimagines a deck of cards in 56 large-scale works-on-paper in which spades become bones and fossils; diamonds become stars, heavenly bodies, and constellations; clubs become trees both real and symbolic; and hearts explore her personal experiences in the matters of the heart using Tarot and Egyptian imagery. Her series Legendary Creatures explores worldwide legends and myths from A to Z, and 64 Hexagrams combines symbolic and mythological imagery with the yin and yang lines of the I Ching, the 2,000-year-old Chinese divination system. Denise’s latest series Postcards to America explores events and systemic problems in each of the fifty states, in which the postcard dream of America is in direct conflict with its reality. In these images, she layers idealized images from vintage postcards with images taken from current and historical places and events.
Denise has lived and worked in Albuquerque since 1996. Notable achievements and honors are listed below:
- 2024–CALIFORNIA: The Homeless State was selected to be part of the Arts North International 29 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Minnesota, a juried exhibition.
- 2023—completed sixth and seventh murals: Sea of Life at The Next Best Thing To Being There, 1315 Mountain Road NW, and the Secret Garden at Marble and 15th Street, both in Albuquerque. She also had work featured in three nationally juried exhibitions in Georgia, Louisiana, and California.
- 2022—completed fifth mural at The Next Best Thing To Being There, An eclectic shop for handmade products, located at 1315 Mountain Road NW in Albuquerque. She was also one of the artists selected to represent Albuquerque in VIVID: A Sample of Today’s Albuquerque Art Scene, an exhibit at the Attleboro Arts Museum in Massachusetts. MICHIGAN: The Great Divide won an Underdog Prize in the 2002 Arts Prize competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- 2021–received Honorable Mention for her work-on-paper Georgia: On My Mind in Dynamic: d’Art’s First Annual Contemporary Artist Exhibition, a National Juried Exhibition, Norfolk, VA, 2021
- 2019–completed fourth mural at the Orpheum Community Hub building at 500 2nd Street in Albuquerque. This mural celebrates the history and cultural of the Barelas neighborhood.
- 2018–designated a Local Treasure by the Albuquerque Business Arts Association and led a team of artists including Roe LiBretto and Joel Davis in creating a 24×90-foot mural that wraps around the Tortuga Gallery in Albuquerque. The mural was part of Mural Fest 2018 and celebrates the flora and fauna of Albuquerque’s Rio Grande Bosque. She showed the I Ching Hexagram series in a one-person show at Tortuga Gallery
- 2017–commissioned to do the poster painting for ¡Globalquerque!, Albuquerque’s annual world music festival, where she also exhibited her String series based on musical instruments. Earlier in 2017 she completed her second mural entitled We the People that depicts dancers from many cultural traditions along a 40-foot wall on Tapia Road in the South Valley.
- 2016—won Best in Show for The Jacks of Jupiter from her House of Cards series in the Las Vegas International Juried Art Competition at Jana’s RedRoom Gallery and exhibited her Legendary Creatures series at the Tortuga Gallery.
- 2015—her House of Cards series of fifty-six 26×40-inch paintings was displayed in at Tortuga Gallery. Three pieces from the series where also displayed in Times Square as part of the international SeeMe competition. She also painted her first mural at The Source Forest in Albuquerque.
Denise graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a Master of Fine Arts degree. She has exhibited in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally. A prolific artist, Denise is also a poet, with poems published in many anthologies as well as in five books of her own art and poetry.