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Maria Cunningham


Maria Cunningham

My practice involves making hand-sculpted, one-of-a-kind toys and packaging. Although I call them toys, they are not meant to be played with or opened. My toys are witty, comical, and most of the time inappropriate. My work says what everyone is thinking but may be too polite to bring up. Through these toys, I am able to speak about topics that are scary, frustrating, and uncomfortable to deal with.

The toys of my youth made adulthood look easy. They didn't tell us what went into getting the dream house and convertible. There was no mention of the debt, small apartments, and long hours at the job. My toys present a packaged reality of how life actually is. Sometimes it's hard but most of the time there's something to laugh about. My toys draw upon childhood nostalgia to riff on contemporary society while providing the catharsis of childhood play. My toys use humor and sarcasm to deal with events far outside of my control.

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Address: 5020 NE MLK Portland, OR 97211

OIl | Mixed Media 2D
Community: NE Portland
Studio Number: 41