Melissa Richard | Bull Run Restaurant

The artworks below are currently on display at the Artist Walkway at the Bull Run Restaurant, located in Shirley, MA.

Melissa Richard

Artist Biography

Melissa is a New England artist, born and raised, and is currently working from her home studio in Southern New Hampshire. Melissa studied art at both the University of Massachusetts and the University of New Hampshire, graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 2000 with a degree in Studio Art. In 2012, Melissa enrolled in Boston University’s Masters of Art Education program, graduating with her Master’s degree in 2014.

Since she was a child, Melissa has taken an interest in both the arts and in working with young people. Melissa began working with children while still in high school and seriously pursuing art, receiving the Rhode Island School of Design Annual Student Artist Award her senior year. Throughout her career as an artist, Melissa has taught art privately, in museums and enrichment programs, as well as in the public school setting. Her dual careers as Artist-Teach have been symbiotic in nature and much of her work is focused on themes of Childhood and Memory.

Since the mid-2000s Melissa has been exhibiting work both locally in the New England area as well as nationally in live and online gallery shows. In 2016 Melissa had a solo exhibition “Lost and Found” at the Zephyr Gallery in Salem, MA, as well as a two-person show “Figuration Amalgam” at the Ayer Lofts Gallery in Lowell, MA. Melissa’s work is also on rotation at the Gallery Z in Providence, RI, and her work has graced the cover of local Indie Rock band Nemes’ April 2016 live studio album release.

The current collection of work showing at Gallery Sitka is primarily abstract mixed media that explore the emotional qualities of color and texture. Working from very small canvases, to gessoed paper, to larger canvases, Melissa interprets her inner voice about life, love and complex relationships into vivid layers of textured papers, acrylic paint, and oil pastel.

Artist Statement

Alive Exhibition-

“Bloom Series – five acrylic transfers of original photography featuring digitally manipulated images of flowers. These are the most recently created works in the show and represent my personal and emotional growth over the last year.
Feelings Are Messy Series – This series was created in late 2020/early 2021 when I was still working through some difficult emotions especially after the loss of my dad in January 2021. I think of them as “messy” but hopeful.
Pieces 1 & 2 – These works were born out of a period of experimentation and I think are a very good representation of my growth process as an artist and personally and emotionally as I navigated some very complex relationship dynamics and mental health issues this past year. In the end, to me they symbolize something a friend said to me that “when we allow ourselves to fall apart, we get to choose how we put ourselves back together.” I think that is a beautiful thought.
Still Alive Series – these four pieces are my other most recent works. Again, using original photos featuring imagery of flowers and plants, these incorporate photography printed on transparency film and mounted over mixed media collage on black matboard. This series of photos were taken after a period of rain and I was struck by the beauty of the flowers covered with raindrops. The metaphor of figurative rainy periods in life resulting in growth and beauty was not lost on me, or on my Instagram followers who commented similar sentiments when I posted the original photos. I feel these gorgeous images over the messy and chaotic mixed media elevates this idea and accurately reflects my journey to healing from a long episode of depression and trauma.
Searching Series – This little series on paper are the first works made in this group of art.  I was literally searching, not just for a direction to go with my work, but a way out of my depression and some complicated and very toxic relationships I felt trapped in. They, like much of the work in the show are messy, but hopeful, and are a visual representation of my journey over the last year.”