Massachusetts artist Laura Schiff Bean has always found significance in clothing, particularly in dresses. For many years she has used clothing as a stand-in for the figure, reflecting on identity and gender. For Bean, dresses have served as defining icons as she has searched for a definition of self and later for things more abstract and indefinable. Clothing is a powerful and perhaps dangerous vehicle that allows us to define people, correctly or incorrectly, without knowing any more about that person than they allow us to know. As her search expanded, the dresses underwent a metamorphosis, encompassing issues far more personal and conversely, more universal. Her ethereal paintings are a daily record of her search for the truth as well as homage to the searches of women who have come before, as the dresses reveal an interior world of unspoken secrets and leave the viewer possibly feeling a bit naked. Bean earned a BA from George Washington University, and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts from 1992 – 1998.