Melissa Kennedy

ARTIST PROFILE

Melissa Kennedy was born in Saint John, NB, and spent most of her childhood a short distance away in Hampton, where she graduated from high school in 2001. She subsequently attended the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton from 2001-2006 and graduated with a diploma in fashion and a Bachelor of Applied Arts. During her studies, she received the Saint John Arts Club Scholarship in 2001, the IODE Scholarship in 2002, and the Governor Thomas Carleton Scholarship in 2004.

Upon graduating, she worked until 2013 when she decided to return to school to develop stronger techniques in drawing and sculpture. She was delighted to be accepted into the sculpture program at the Florence Academy of Art, in Florence Italy, where classical methods of figurative art are taught. She graduated from the Academy in 2016 with a Certificate in Sculpture. During her studies at the Academy she received two scholarships, was chosen to be a teaching assistant for the sculpture drawing program for the 2015/16 school year, was awarded a merit award for the 2015/16 school year and received the “Best Drawing in the Sculpture department” award for 2014/15.

Since graduating in 2016, she was asked to remain at the Academy, as a drawing instructor in the sculpture program. During the summer of 2017, Melissa returned to New Brunswick, where she was chosen to be an artist in residence for both the Fredericton Arts Alliance and the Fredericton Region Museum.

She currently has a sculpture included in the "Figurativas" exhibit in the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM museum) in Barcelona.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My first experience of drawing the human figure from a live model was in college. Since that time I have continued to have a strong interest in representing the complexity of the human form with my art, perhaps because the body is already a natural way that we communicate and express ideas. It is something that we all have experience with, are drawn to, and with which we feel a connection. Like so much of nature, the human form is full of diversity, subtlety, complexity, and beauty.

For these reasons, I have decided to make the figure the focus of my study in art. My desire to pursue an accurate and knowledgeable version of the human form has led me to study at The Florence Academy of Art, and my education there has taught me a variety of methods and techniques to use in my work, in addition to the technical accuracy that I attained while studying.

Upon completion of my diploma at The Florence Academy of Art last year, I have had the privilege to remain at the school as an instructor of drawing, where I also have a studio. Having the extra time in that environment has been an incredible learning experience beyond the school curriculum, allowing me to be in an space that contains so many opportunities and knowledgeable artists.

My focus since graduating has been to include more expression in my figurative work, and how to introduce or convey thoughts or emotional responses to the viewer, while continuing to develop the skills and techniques that I learned at the FAA. Asking myself questions such as what choices can I make as an artist to share my ideas, in a way that those thoughts will convey somehow to an audience, yet still remain subtle and aesthetically pleasing.

Melissa Kennedy, 2017