Melissa's work with a broad range of domestic and international non-profits and schools, is marked by human contact, empathy, engagement and creativity. She is a social activist that brings herself to the people and organizations she's interested in helping, and engages people directly through photography, art and song.
Her particular innovation is in her ability to inspire a confidence in each individual’s creativity, at the same time as helping each individual to use creativity to help their wider community.
She has an extensive background as a humanitarian photographer and therapeutic-arts educator, and creates exhibitions that give voice for vulnerable children, and give others a chance to understand something of their life circumstances, providing a potentially powerful platform for advocacy and healing.
She believes that we can learn from children, and that what we learn can and should become central to how we respond as a local, national, and global community. She believes that all individuals are capable of being creative, given the necessary opportunity, freedom and support. An individual’s creativity is pivotal in their own advocacy, wellbeing, and sense of community.
A gifted public-speaker, her presentations are designed to involve the public in finding more empathic and creative ways to discuss global issues, inform conversation and drive action.
A professional picture framer, and fine art and photographic printing specialist, Melissa
designs and implement advocacy and educational projects, from the press of the shutter to exhibit installation.
She has worked with Media Voices for Children, for the past three years, as a board member, photographer and curator of educational photo exhibits, including "Beneath the Barcode", currently on display at ILAB, and now being developed into a national curriculum for grades 9-12. Prior, she personally studied and worked with John Diamond, M.D., a pioneer in the field of creativity and health, as & Assistant Photographer & Art Director. His work inspired her development as a photographer, artist, and teacher, alongside becoming a professional picture-framing and fine art & digital printing specialist.
She is currently abroad undertaking art and photography projects in rural Tanzania, with the Precious Project.
Publicity, Exhibits, Awards
Human Rights Photography/Art Education Grant from the Umberto & Clorinda Romano Foundation
Art in the Arboretum Exhibit at Polly Hill Arboretum (2019)
http://mvcenter4living.org (photographs on website)
Mass Audobon Picture This Photo Contest 2018, Honorable Mention
Zero Waste Art Installation, featuring her own and students work, West Tisbury School