BIO:


Melissa Stern is an artist and journalist living in NYC. Her multi-media installation exhibition, The Talking Cure, has been traveling to museums around the US since 2012.

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

    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