Melissa Furness received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa with minors in both sculpture and printmaking. Her work has been most influenced by her experiences of travel, which have included artist’s residencies in Beijing, China; Mexico City; County Kilkenny, Ireland; Gdansk, Poland; and Balatonfured, Hungary, as well as those in the U.S. at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California and the Corporation of Yaddo in upstate New York. These experiences have led her on numerous creative adventures, some of which can be read about in the artist’s blog, titled “translocalities”. Furness’ current strain of work in painting and installation is influenced by history and infused with personal narrative.
Furness regularly exhibits her work both nationally and internationally, with international group exhibitions and open studios in Beijing, Mexico City, Budapest, Swansea, Florence, Lecce, Zurich, Korea, Cape Town, Palestine and Sarajevo, amongst others. She was selected to participate in the 2015 Biennial of the Americas, through which she resided in Mexico City for 10 weeks as an art ambassador, and has additionally participated in 2016 Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Karala, India through A.I.R. Gallery of New York.
The artist is an alumni of A.I.R. Gallery as well as a current member of the Artnauts Collective, both of which use the visual arts as a tool for addressing global issues. Her work was recently published in New American Paintings edition #132 through the Open Studios Press. Furness is currently an Associate Professor of Art Practices at the University of Colorado Denver and Associate Chair of the Visual Arts Department.