About the Artist: Bio and Artist’s Statement

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.

Artist’s Statement

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.

Resume

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018
THE TALKING CURE – Kranzberg Center for Contemporary Art.

2017
YOU’RE SOAKING IN IT – Station Independent Projects, NY, NY

2016
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

2015
THE TALKING CURE – Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

2014
A YEAR IN PICTURES – SOPA Fine Arts, Kelowna, Canada
THE TALKING CURE – Akron Museum of Art, Akron Ohio.

2012
THE TALKING CURE – Smart Clothes Gallery, NY, NY (catalogue)
THE TALKING CURE – Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, WA.

2011
NEW MATH- DRAWINGS – Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, WA
LIFE DURING WARTIME – HEADS – Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA.
NEW SCULPTURE – SOPA Fine Arts, Kelowna, Canada

2009
STEP RIGHT UP – bahdeebahdu Gallery, Philadelphia PA
COMING UP FOR AIR – Fetherston Gallery, Seattle WA
LOOSE LIPS – Drawing Exhibition – Milsaps College, Jackson, MS

2008
A COMMON SPACE – Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2007
ABOVE THE BELT – Studioswan, Atlanta, GA
FAMILY VALUES – Gallery 31 North, Glen Gardner, NJ

2006
LOOSE LIPS – Drawing Exhibition – Zihlka Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
BIRDLAND – David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN

2005
FAMILY VALUES – WeissPollack Gallery, NY, NY

2003
VACATION – Spike Gallery, NY, NY
MY FRIENDS – David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN

2002
BACK TO SCHOOL – The Children’s Museum of the Arts, NY, NY (catalogue)

2001
NEW WORK – Ballard Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, WA
THIRD GRADE – John Elder Gallery, NY, NY

2000
NEW WORK – Bachelier-Cardonsky, Kent, CT

1999
WAX WORKS – David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN

1997
DRAWINGS – Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA

1996
NEW SCULPTURE – Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT

1995
DRAWINGS – Mia Gallery, Seattle WA

1994
SMALL SCULPTURE – Diana Burke Gallery, NY, NY
1993
FRIENDS – Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA

1990
CHAIRS – ArtRages, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1988
NEW WORK – Primitivo Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1986
HOMESITES – Arts Council of San Mateo County, Belmont, CA
CHAIRS – Clodagh, Ross, Williams Gallery, NY, NY

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018
POP GOES THE WEASEL – Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, NY, NY
THE BIG SMALL SHOW – Drawing Rooms. Jersey City, NJ

2017
WE THE PEOPLE – SERVING NOTICE – The American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA

2016
TALK TALK – Central Booking Gallery, NY, NY

2016
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE – Spartanburg Museum of Art, Spartanburg, SC

2015
MONEY, WHEELS AND RANDOM LEGS – Firecat Projects, Chicago, IL

2014
PSYCHED – Central Booking Gallery, NY, NY
COMPULSIVE NARRATIVES – Rutgers Univ., Camden, NJ

2013
GALLERY ARTISTS – Archangel Gallery, Palm Springs, CA

2011
NAMING THE ANIMALS – Curious Matter, Jersey City, NJ
RETROFUTUREOLOGY – Observatory, Brooklyn, NY

2010
PARADISO CONTRAPASTO – Observatory, Brooklyn, NY
PILLOW CULTURE – Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY

2009
THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT, Traveling Exhibition – Arthouse, Atlanta, GA

2008
CONFRONTATIONAL CERAMICS – curated by Judith Schwartz, Westchester Arts Council, Westchester, NY

2007
FORMS OF OPULENCE – Allen Gallery, NY, NY
HAVE A SEAT! – Beylerian Collection of Small Chairs – The Museum of Art and Design, NY, NY
RED – Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD
THE INNER CHILD – The Hunterdon Museum of Art, Hunterdon, NJ

2006
FIGURATIONS – Sopa Gallery, Kelowna, Canada
MOTHERHOOD: THE MYTH, THE MAGIC, THE MADNESS – curated By Leslie Matthews, Design for Living Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2005
NEW TALENT 2005 – Co-curated by the Museum of Ceramic Art, New York (MOCA/NY), and Weispollack Gallery, NY, NY
3RD WORLD CERAMICS BIENNALE 2005 – Ceramics: The Vehicle of Culture – Invitational exhibition, Icheon, Korea (catalogue)

2004
PULP FICTION – bahdeebahdu Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2003
ENCAUSTIC 2003 – Juried Exhibition, Poughkeepsie, NY (catalogue)

2002
PUSHING CLAY – Univ. of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

2001
R&F ENCAUSTICS – Juried Biennial – Kingston, NY (catalogue)

1998
NEW TALENT – John Elder Gallery, NY, NY

1996
INTIMATE CONVERSATIONS – The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA

1995
NEW YORK CLAY – Traveling Exhibition, Stavanger, Norway (catalogue)

1994
VIEWPOINTS – Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT
NEW GENERATION – Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY

1993
HEADS OR TAILS – Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA

1992
CHAIRS – Gallery of Functional Art, Santa Monica, CA
FIGURATIVE CERAMICS – Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA

1991
AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE – Gallery of Functional Art, LA, CA

1990
SIGNS OF SUPPORT – FURNITURE FORMS IN CONTEMPORARY ART – John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI

1988
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

1987
VIEWING THE FIGURE – University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

1986
INAUGURAL EXHIBITION – Clodagh, Ross, Williams Gallery, NY, NY

1984
INTROSPECTIVES – AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WORK BY WOMEN – Pyramid Art Center, Rochester, NY

1983
THE AMERICAN CLAY NATIONAL – Downey Museum of Art, Downey, CA

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS/REVIEWS

HEC TV – A visual portrait of the artist. St. Louis, January 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BwhrXjNG30&feature=youtu.be
NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED MULTIMEDIA INSTALLATION “THE TALKING CURE”, St. Louis Post Dispatch. January 2018
“THE TALKING CURE” INVITES AUDIENCES TO BECOME PART OF THE ARTISTIC PROCESS – St. Louis Magazine, Jan. 2018
TALKING CURE, TALKING HEADS – Minnesota Daily, September 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 MULTIFACETED – 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 Magazine 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
ARTnews – Review of The Talking Cure Exhibition, January 2013
NEW YORK ARTS: THE TALKING CURE – Interview with Leah Oates, February 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: Drawings by Melissa Stern, February 2009
AMERICAN ILLUSTRATION 26: The Best American Illustrations of 2007, November 2007
Review of BIRDLAND – The Memphis Commercial Appeal, April 21, 2006
BIRDLAND – Catalogue published in conjunction with the Exhibition, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN 2006
CLAY IN ART INTERNATIONAL – Published by kerameiki techni, Athens, Greece, 2006
TRANS-CERAMIC-ART – Catalogue of The 3rd World Ceramic Biennale, 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, New York, NY, Winter 2003
CERAMIC FIGURES – by Michael Flynn, Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, 2002
FORM & TRANS-FORMATIONS – Catalogue by Judith Schwartz, Queens, NY, 1997
NEW YORK CLAY – Essay by Judith Schwartz, Exhibition catalogue, Rogaland Kunstnersenter, Norway, 1996
THE NEW YORK TIMES – Sunday Review, December 15, 1996
CHAIRMANIA – FANTASTIC MINIATURES by George Beylarian, Harry Abrams pub., New York, NY, 1994
DAN’S PAPER – Review, Bridgehampton, New York, May 20, 1994
EAST HAMPTON INDEPENDENT – Review, May 22, 1994
THE NEW YORK TIMES – Sunday Review, 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

GRANTS/AWARDS

AWARDED ARTIST RESIDENCY – Benyamini Center 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
SPONSORS AWARD: R& F Handmade Paint Juried Exhibition, 2001
KOHLER FOUNDATION GRANT: Artist-in-Residence – Kohler Company, Sheboygan, WI, 1988 AND 1990

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN.
International Center for Collage, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
Library of Congress: Rare Books and Special Collections, Washington, DC
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, AK
Stavenger Museum, Stavenger, Norway
The Metropolitan Home Magazine Design Collection, New York, NY
The Kohler Company Collection, Sheboygan, WI
Designtex, New York, NY

EDUCATION

1976-1980
BA Anthropology and Studio Art, Cum Laude with Honors in Anthropology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
1982-1984
MFA Ceramics, State University of New York, New Paltz, NY

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/)