Project Space, Headlands Center for the Arts, CA

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Email: melissa AT mmd DOT ca.

ARTIST STATEMENT & BIO

I am a British-Canadian interdisciplinary artist, educator, and co-founder of The Wall of Song Project, a participatory and collaborative multi-media singing platform that includes a series of large-scale video installations, public events, cathedral and sports stadium performances. Recent work explores the power and expressive possibilities of art, sport, and the rituals of collective singing for women’s sport, mental and physical wellbeing, and social change efforts in collaboration with Dr Akilah Carter-Francique, San José State University Institute for the Study of Sport, Society & Social Change, affinity partners, and hundreds of participants. Earlier video work grappled with amateur singing, often pairing endurance with song: a marine veteran rolling down a hill while singing a hymn about peace anything but peacefully; a couple treading water while singing until exhaustion; a durational video layering hummed singing every decade. 

Currently based in the San Francisco-Bay Area, my multi-media work has been shared individually and collaboratively with venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Film Festival (San Francisco); Provident Credit Union Event Center, San José Museum of Art (virtually), San José Institute of Contemporary Art (San Jose); The Berlin Office and Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus Open Studios (Germany); Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley), Redhead Gallery and Peak Gallery (Toronto); and The Trafalgar Hotel (London). She has participated in a number of residencies including Stanford University’s Experimental Media Arts Lab, Headlands Center for the Arts Alumni New Works Award and UC Berkeley MFA Fellowship, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus (Schwandorf, Germany), and The Lab (San Francisco). Other honors include the 2019 Silicon Valley Creates Artist Laureate Nexus Award, San Francisco Foundation’s Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts, and the Eisner Prize in the Creative Arts from UC Berkeley. I founded an IDEO-Awarded Youth Fellowship in collaboration with the Djerassi Resident Artist Program and have curated a number of exhibitions including an experimental video program for V-tape‘s Curatorial Incubator in Toronto, Canada. Currently an Adjunct Faculty at San José State University, previously at UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and University of Toronto Mississauga/Sheridan College, I hold an MFA from UC Berkeley and a BFA from Queen’s University, Canada with a year’s scholarship exchange to the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. // www.wallofsongproject.com

CURATORIAL WRITING EXCERPTS