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
Melissa Blythe Knowles is a teaching artist, photographer, and exhibits curator working in the fields of education, health and human rights. She teaches and photographs children, the elderly, and vulnerable communities locally and overseas, as well as coordinating programs for museums, galleries, and nonprofits. Her work always marked by human contact, empathy, engagement and creativity.
She has a particular ability to inspire a confidence in each individual's creativity, at the same time helping each individual to use their creativity to help the wider community. Her work with children is based on experience and research in general education, music education, art education, and arts (including photography) in health, through both traditional and alternative pathways, including personal study with John Diamond, M.D.
She offers uniquely creative solutions as a graphic designer and exhibit curator and has created photography and art exhibits for professional and amateur artists, book layouts, marketing materials, arts products, and study guides for organizations focused on promoting health, human rights, and education.
Her special interest is in using the exhibit space as a powerful platform for advocacy and healing. With skills in post-production, collections management, professional printing and picture framing she creates intimate exhibits to celebrate a shared humanity, to give voice to the vulnerable, and to help others to see themselves in the daily lives of others.
She works as a board director for Media Voices for Children, a children's human rights nonprofit. She curated their flagship exhibit, "Beneath the Barcode," which exposes child labor as an economic consequence of our spending. It is on permanent display at the Department of Labor in Washington, and tours galleries and schools across the country. With support from The Dodd Center for Human Rights and The Business and Human Rights Program at University of Connecticut, The International Labor Affairs Bureau at the US Department of Labor, and The Child Labor Coalition it has been developed into a study guide for middle and high school students.
More recently, the exhibit "Our Children," opened alongside a screening of the documentary "Children of Bal Ashram," and offers audiences the chance to celebrate children from all over the world. Melissa is currently developing a photography exhibit of portraits of Tanzanian children, educated and cared for by Precious Project.
She believes that children are our greatest teachers, and that what we learn can and should become central to how we respond as a local, national and global community