Melissa has worked in both sculpture and drawing for over twenty years, living and exhibiting in California, Europe, and New York City. Her work is featured in a number of prominent corporate and museum collections including Dow Jones, JP Morgan, The Arkansas Art Center, American Museum of Ceramic Art and the Kohler Corporation, where she was an artist-in-residence. Her artwork was featured in the 3RD, WORLD CERAMICS BIENNALE 2005 Invitational exhibition, Icheon, Korea, Trans- Ceramic Art and 500 Figures in Clay. Her one-of-a-kind book NIGHTMARES has been acquired by the Library of Congress.
With a background in anthropology, Melissa’s work reflects both non-Western and outsider art influences. Her drawings, collages, and figurative sculptures are characterized by their richly drawn and deeply layered surfaces, as well their quirky, often dark humor.
The Talking Cure is a synthesis of Melissa’s interest in words, people and ideas. Collaborating with writers and actors was a great experiment in how people interpret what they see, read and hear. She hopes to embark on another such project very soon.
See more of Melissa’s work on her web site.
My brain is inhabited by a universe of people who look a little like you and me but tend to lack a limb or two. They are cheerful, standing tall in the face of absurdity and adversity. They balance delicately both physically and emotionally, seemingly ready to fall, but they never do.
I have long been fascinated by what goes on in people’s minds when they look at art. What stories do they tell themselves? What emotions and memories are triggered? I have made work that deals explicitly with memory, childhood and family, subjects with a strong psychological bent. I’m as interested in what others think the pieces are “saying” as in what has motivated me to make them in the first place.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
- YOU’RE SOAKING IN IT- Station Independent Projects, NY, NY
- WE THE PEOPLE- SERVING NOTICE- The American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona CA
- THE TALKING CURE , The Weisman Art Museum. Minn. MN
- LOOSE LIPS, The Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
- THE TALKING CURE, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC
- THE TALKING CURE Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
- A YEAR IN PICTURES- SOPA Fina Arts, Kelowna, Canada
- THE TALKING CURE- Akron Museum of Art, Akron Ohio.
- THE TALKING CURE- Smart Clothes Gallery, NY,NY (Catalogue)
- THE TALKING CURE- Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, WA. (Catalogue)
- NEW MATH- DRAWINGS- Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, WA.
- LIFE DURING WARTIME- HEADS- Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA.
- NEW SCULPTURE- SOPA Fine Arts, Kelowna, Canada
- STEP RIGHT UP – Bahdeebahdu Gallery, Philadelphia PA
- COMING UP FOR AIR- Fetherston Gallery, Seattle WA
- LOOSE LIPS- Drawing exhibition, Milsaps College, Jackson, MS.
- A COMMON SPACE, Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA
- ABOVE THE BELT, Studioswan, Atlanta, GA
- FAMILY VALUES, Gallery 31 North, Glen Gardner, NJ
- LOOSE LIPS -Drawing exhibition. Zihlka Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
- BIRDLAND, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN.
- FAMILY VALUES, WeissPollack Gallery, NY, NY
- VACATION, Spike Gallery, NY, NY
- MY FRIENDS, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN.
- BACK TO SCHOOL, The Children’s Museum of the Arts, NY, NY (Catalogue)
- Ballard Featherston Gallery, Seattle, WA
- THIRD GRADE, John Elder Gallery, NY, NY
- Bachelier-Cardonsky, Kent, CT
- WAX WORKS, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN
- DRAWINGS – Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA
- Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT
- Mia Gallery, Seattle WA
- Diana Burke Gallery, NY, NY
- Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA
- Art Rages, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Primitivo Gallery, San Francisco, CA
- HOMESITES, Arts Council of San Mateo County, Belmont, CA
- CHAIRS, Clodagh, Ross, Williams Gallery, NY, NY
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
- TALK TALK- Central Booking Gallery. NY, NY
- COGNITIVE DISSONANCE- Spartanburg Museum of Art, Saprtanburg, S.C.
- MONEY, WHEELS AND RANDOM LEGS.- Firecat Projects, Chicago, Ill
- PSYCHED- Central Booking Gallery, NY, NY
- COMPULSIVE NARRATIVES- Rutgers Univ. Camden, NJ
- GALLERY ARTISTS- Archangel Gallery, Palm Springs, CA.
- NAMING THE ANIMALS- Curious Matter, Jersey City, NJ
- RETROFUTUREOLOGY- Observatory, Brooklyn NY
- PARADISO CONTRAPASTO – Observatory, Brooklyn, NY
- PILLOW CULTURE – Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY
- THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT- Arthouse, Atlanta, GA – National traveling exhibition
- CONFRONTATIONAL CERAMICS, curated by Judith Schwartz, Westchester Arts Council, Westchester, NY
- FORMS OF OPULENCE- Allen Gallery. New York, NY
- HAVE A SEAT! – Beylerian Collection of Small Chairs June 28 – October 28, The Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY
- RED – Curated by Richard Notkin. Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD
- THE INNER CHILD- The Hunterdon Museum of Art, Hunterdon, NJ
- FIGURATIONS Sopa Gallery, Kelona, BC, Canada
- MOTHERHOOD: THE MYTH, THE MAGIC, THE MADNESS”- curated By Leslie Matthews. Design for Living Gallery, Phila. PA.
- “NEW TALENT 2005”, Co-curated by the Museum of Ceramic Art New York (MOCA/NY) and WEISSPOLLACK Gallery. NY, NY
- 3RD WORLD CERAMICS BIENNALE 2005, Ceramics: The Vehicle of Culture,Invitational exhibition, Icheon, Korea (Catalogue)
- PULP FICTION, bahdu bahdee, Phila. PA
- ENCAUSTIC 2003, juried exhibition, Poughkeepsie, NY (Catalogue)
- PUSHING CLAY, Univ of Southern Maine. Portland, Maine
- R&F ENCAUSTICS JURIED BIENNIAL – Kingston, NY (Catalogue)
- NEW TALENT, John Elder Gallery, NY, NY
- INTIMATE CONVERSATIONS, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA
- NEW YORK CLAY – Traveling exhibition, Stavanger, Norway (Catalogue)
- VIEWPOINTS, Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT
- NEW GENERATION, Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
- HEADS OR TAILS – Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA
- CHAIRS, Gallery of Functional Art, Santa Monica, CA
- FIGURATIVE CERAMICS, Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA
- AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE, Gallery of Functional Art, Santa Monica, CA
- SIGNS OF SUPPORT – FURNITURE FORMS IN CONTEMPORARY ART
- John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
- ARTIST’S FURNITURE INVITATIONAL, Wita Gardiner Gallery, San Diego, CA
- THE AESTHETIC EDGE, Corvalis Art Center, Corvallis, OR
- IMAGINARY LANDSCAPES, Primitivo Gallery, San Francisco, CA
- VIEWING THE FIGURE, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
- INAUGURAL EXHIBITION, Clodagh, Ross, Williams Gallery, NY, NY
- INTROSPECTIVES – AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WORK BY WOMEN – Pyramid Art Center, Rochester, NY
- THE AMERICAN CLAY NATIONAL, Downey Museum of Art, Downey, CA
- TALKING CURE, TALKING HEADS- Minnesota Daily, Sept 7, 2016
- MELISSA STERN’S “THE TALKING CURE’, South Carolina Public Radio, by Jeanette Guinn, June 21, 2016
- REDUX’S CURRENT EXHIBITION “THE TALKING CURE IS MULTIFACTED. Charleston City Paper by Connelly Hardeway July 15, 2016
- THE TALKING CURE AT REDUX CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER. Arts Daily, May 2016
- THE TALKING CURE-12 SCULPTURES, 12 WRITERS, 12 ACTORS- Charleston Art Mag, by Marjorie Rawle, May 2016
- MONEY, WHEELS AND RANDOM LEGS- The Chicago Tribune Oct. 15, 2015
- SCULPTOR INVITES WRITERS TO TELL THE STORIES OF HER WORKS AT REAL ART WAYS-
- The Hartford Courant review, March 5, 2015
- DON’T MISS- FIGURES OF SPEECH The Wall Street Journal. May 30, 2014
- “MELISSA STERN- OFF BALANCE ART”- Feature article. Wesleyan University Alumni Magazine. Fall 2013
- NEW YORK ARTS – Interview with Leah Oates, The Talking Cure Feb. 2013
- ARTnews- review of The Talking Cure exhibition. Jan 2013
- THE TALKING CURE- catalogue of the exhibition 2012
- ART FOR THE EYES AND EARS: MELISSA STERN’S “THE TALKING CURE” IN NEW YORK,
- Dujour.com. December, 2012
- NEW YORK ARTS – Nostalgic Confessions- Drawing by Melissa Stern February 2009
- AMERICAN ILLUSTRATION 26 – The Best American Illustrations of 2007, November 2007
- Review of BIRDLAND- The Memphis Commercial Appeal, Friday April 21, 2006
- BIRDLAND- Catalogue pub. in conjunction with the exhibition. David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN 2006
- CLAY IN ART INTERNATIONAL- 2006. pub. by kerameiki techni. Athens, Greece
- TRANS-CERAMIC-ART – Catalogue of The 3rd World Ceramic Biennale 2005.
- Published by Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon, Korea 2005
- 500 FIGURES IN CLAY – by Veronika Gunter. Lark Books, Ashville, NC 2004
- BACK TO SCHOOL- catalogue essay by Paul Karlstrom. Published by The Children’s
- Museum of the Arts NY, NY, Winter 2003
- CERAMIC FIGURES – by Michael Flynn, Rutgers Univ. Press – New Jersey 2002
- FORM & TRANS-FORMATIONS – by Judith Schwartz, catalogue. Queens, NY 1997
- NEW YORK CLAY – essay by Judith Schwartz, exhibition catalogue, Rogaland
- Kunstnersenter, Rogaland, Norway 1996
- THE NEW YORK TIMES – Review – Sunday, Dec. 15, 1996
- CHAIRMANIA – FANTASTIC MINIATURES by George Beylarian, Harry Abrams pub.
- New York, NY – 1994
- DAN’S PAPER – Review – Bridgehampton, NY – May 20, 1994
- EAST HAMPTON INDEPENDENT – Review – May 22, 1994
- THE NEW YORK TIMES – Review – Sunday, August 2, 1992
- CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN ART CRAFT – A COLLECTOR’S GUIDE –
- Barbara Mayer, Peregrine Smith Books – Salt Lake City, UT – 1988
- PRONTO – Cover photograph and article. Vol. 4 #5 – Tokyo, Japan – 1988
- ARS AUREA – Magazine article Berlin, Germany – winter 1988
- AWARDED ARTIST RESIDENCY- Benyamini Cneter For Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel 2014
- AWARDED ARTIST RESIDENCY, The Washington School of Glass, Washington DC 2011
- AWARDED ARTIST RESIDENCY, The Serenbe Institute, Serenbe GA, 2007
- 2001- SPONSORS AWARD R& F Handmade Paint Juried Exhibition
- 1988 AND 1990 KOHLER FOUNDATION GRANT – Artist-in-Residence Kohler Company, Sheboygan, WI
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
- International Center for Collage, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
- Library of Congress- Rare Books and Special Collections
- Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY
- The Arario Gallery, Seoul, Korea
- Bear Stearns & Co. New York, NY
- News Corp Inc, New York, NY
- Davison Collection, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
- The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, A
- Stavenger Museum, Stavenger Norway
- The Metropolitan Home Magazine Design Collection, New York, NY
- The Kohler Company Collection, Sheboygan, WI
- Designtex, New York, NY
BA Anthropology and Studio Art Cum Laude with Honors in Anthropology Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
MFA Ceramics State University of New York at New Paltz
In addition to making art, Melissa Stern has been writing about art since 2005. She was an art and culture critic and reviewer at The New York Press and CityArts in NYC from 2005 til 20013. In 2014 she joined the staff of Hyperallergic (www.hyperallergic.com) and has been happily writing about whatever strikes her visual fancy. She is also the Art Editor for Posit, an online journal of art and literature.(http://positjournal.com/)