BIO Melissa Johnson received her MFA and BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as a BS in Rural Sociology from Cornell University. She is an abstract painter, making ambiguously narrative paintings. She has exhibited at the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY, Lightner Gallery, Keuka College, Keuka Park, NY, the String Room Gallery at Wells College, Aurora, NY, the Wilson Gallery at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY, Willard Straight Hall Gallery at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Mahan Gallery, Columbus, OH, and the Beverly Art Center, Chicago, IL. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, and studied at the Instituto Graphica in Mexico. Her work is in the collection at the Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University, as well as several private collections. She teaches art at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, NY.
ARTIST STATEMENT My paintings are about a particular day, color or feeling. They are narrative, even if that narrative is ambiguous. My rounded forms are characters and I make a space for those characters. I see a relationship between the stacked forms, as they press and crowd each other or when forms come very close to touching, but not quite, making the viewer more aware of the space in between. In other paintings I want a sense of sparseness with few forms and it becomes more about the space around those forms. The common threads connecting my paintings are layered color and the relationship, both formal and metaphorical, of the forms in the space.