BIO:


Melissa Stern is an artist and journalist living in NYC. Her traveling museum show, The Talking Cure, opens at the Weissman Museum in Minneapolis in August.

Melissa has worked in sculpture, photography and drawing for over twenty years, exhibiting throughout the US as well as Europe and Asia. Her work is featured in a number of prominent corporate and museum collections including News Corporation, JP Morgan, The Arkansas Art Center, the American Museum of Ceramic Art and the Kohler Corporation, where she was an artist-in-residence.

With a background in anthropology, Melissa’s work reflects both non-Western and outsider-art influences. Her drawings, collages, and figurative sculptures are richly drawn and deeply layered, with quirky, often dark humor.

“I work like a handyman cobbling together drawings and sculptures from elements found, borrowed, and imagined. I use a wide range of materials from encaustic to clay, pastel to steel. The drawings and sculptures, often made in tandem, resonate with one another, the ideas in one reinforcing the themes of the other. All of my pieces share a thematic thread. Childlike and goofy my figures live in a dream world, cower in relationships or stand tall in the face of adversity. They are at once dark and funny, expressive of the absurd world around them.”

Stern serves as a contributing writer for Hyperallergic, the Brooklyn-based digital arts publication, working at the intersection of the arts, culture, and politics. She has covered major exhibitions on assignment throughout the world. She served earlier as the principle art critic for The New York Press. She is a past Board Director of The Children’s Museum of the Arts in NYC, Watershed Center in Maine and curator of the Human Rights Film Festival from 2008-2015.

click here to download a pdf version of the cv

    Selected Solo Exhibitions

    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 Fina 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. (Catalogue)
    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
  • Ballard Featherston Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • THIRD GRADE, John Elder Gallery, NY, NY
    2000
  • Bachelier-Cardonsky, Kent, CT
    1999
  • WAX WORKS, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN
    1997
  • DRAWINGS - Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA
    1996
  • Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT
    1995
  • Mia Gallery, Seattle WA
    1994
  • Diana Burke Gallery, NY, NY
    1993
  • Mia Gallery, Seattle, WA
    1990
  • Art Rages, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    1988
  • 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

    2016
  • TALK TALK- Central Booking Gallery. NY, NY
  • COGNITIVE DISSONANCE- Spartanburg Museum of Art, Saprtanburg, 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- Arthouse, Atlanta, GA - National traveling exhibition
    2008
    CONFRONTATIONAL CERAMICS, curated by Judith Schwartz, Westchester Arts Council, Westchester, NY

    2007
  • 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
    2006
  • FIGURATIONS Sopa Gallery, Kelona, BC, Canada
  • MOTHERHOOD: THE MYTH, THE MAGIC, THE MADNESS”- curated By Leslie Matthews. Design for Living Gallery, Phila. PA.
    2005
  • "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)
    2004
  • PULP FICTION, bahdu bahdee, Phila. PA
    2003
  • ENCAUSTIC 2003, juried exhibition, Poughkeepsie, NY (Catalogue)
    2002
  • PUSHING CLAY, Univ of Southern Maine. Portland, Maine
    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, Santa Monica, 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
    PUBLICATIONS / REVIEWS

  • 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 INVITESWRITERS 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. Jan 2013
  • NEW YORK ARTS - Interview with Leah Oates, The Talking Cure Feb. 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 published 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 – by 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 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 EXHITION
  • 1990 AND 1994 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
  • Dow Jones & Co 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, Connecticut
  • 1982-1984 MFA Ceramics State University of New York at New Paltz