Melissa Dunn

I see the world through shapes.  What fascinates me about a circle, square, or triangle is its mutability when it comes in contact with color, pattern, and placement. I do a lot of drawing to explore these relationships, and once I’ve hit on a compelling configuration I’ll draw it repeatedly so it’s a part of my muscle memory as I paint.  My paintings vary from one shape scenario to another, but what connects them is my relationship to color. Source materials for the colors I choose are everywhere - from childhood photographs with 70s oranges, to a piece of wall paper, to drag makeup tutorials on Youtube.  The way I use color to push, pull, and manipulate shapes is hopefully an entryway into an experience.


Solo Exhibitions

2017 Love Song, LRoss Gallery, Memphis, TN

2014 You, Me, and Us, LRoss Gallery, Memphis, TN

2013 Old Bridge, New Bridge, Delta Arts Gallery, West Memphis, AR

2011 Looking for One thing, Finding Another, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN

2007 Foster Ave Paintings, Material Gallery, Memphis, TN

2005 38 N. McLean Paintings, Material Gallery, Memphis, TN

2000 To Bavaria, Swampland, Regensburg, Germany

1998 Recent Work, Otherlands, Memphis, TN

1996 New Paintings and Prints, Otherlands, Memphis, TN

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 Homeward Bound, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN

2018 Studio Exchange: Memphis, Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville

2016 Assembled, ArtsMemphis, Memphis, TN

2016 Coat Check, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis TN

2015 Terrain Biennial, Memphis, Kyle Stratham’s Front Yard, Memphis, TN

2014 Pandora’s Child, Clough Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN

2014 Inspired Resistance, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN

2013 Material Anthology, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN

2013 Pyramid Scheme, Leadership Memphis, Memphis, TN

2013 Present Tense, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN

2012 I Can See Your House From the Highway with Carl Moore, L Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN

2011 The Art of Science, with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis,TN

2011 Permission To Roam, Levy Gallery, Buckman Performing Arts Center, Memphis, TN

2010 We Like Each Other, Marxhausen Gallery of Art, Concordia University, Seward, NE

2010 52nd Annual Delta Exhibit, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR

2009 Contemporary Abstraction, Amanda Schedler Fine Art, Birmingham, AL

2009 Fourth Annual U8l, Sopa Fine Arts, Kelowna BC, Canada

2009 Tennessee Abstract Painting, Cheekwood Museum, Nashville, TN

2008 Price Is Right, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis, TN

2007 Class of 2007, Lantana Projects, Memphis, TN

2005 Annual Winter Group Exhibition, Second Floor Contemporary, Memphis, TN

2001 Art Farm Group Exhibition, Art Farm Gallery, Memphis, TN

2000 New Artists 2, Delta Axis @ Marshall Arts, Memphis, TN

1999 SOMA Group Show, Troy Glasgow Images, Memphis, TN

1996 White Trash/Black Velvet, Tobey Gallery, Memphis, TN

1994 New Absurdist, Marshall Arts, Memphis, TN

1992 Windows and Walls, Rainbo Club, Chicago, IL


Walls Divide Press, artist zine ‘Puppies, Puppies, Puppies’, December 2016

Pinch Literary Journal, Spring 2016


Commerical AppealMemphis, Fredric Koeppel, “Melissa Dunn paints ‘Love Song’ to artistry at LRoss Gallery”, March 2017

Commercial Appeal Memphis, Fredric Koeppel, “Domestic Focus for Carl Moore and Melissa Dunn at LRoss Gallery”, May 2012

Commercial Appeal Memphis, Fredric Koeppel, “Artist Does Much With Color”, 2007

Memphis Flyer, “Material Man – A New Art Space Showcases the works of Melissa Dunn”, Chris Davis, December 10, 2005

Bluff: Memphis Arts Papers, Fall 2000 (cover illustration)


Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis – Commission in honor of Dr. Rosie P. Bingham

Iberia Bank, Memphis, TN

Artist in Residence

Calumet Artist Residency, Gary, IN – August, 2014

Professional Experience

Flicker Street Studio, Art Instructor, 2010 – present, Memphis, TN

Carpenter Art Garden, Art Instructor, 2013- present, Memphis, TN

Wayne County Ramblin’ (Feature Film), Production Designer, 2000, Memphis, TN

17” Cobras (Short Film), 2003, Production Designer, Memphis, TN

Forty Shades of Blue (Feature Film), Art Department Assistant, 2004, Memphis, TN

Walk the Line (Feature Film), Art Department Assistant 2004, Memphis, TN

Sam Rosby Ceramic Studio, Studio Assistant, 1987-1990, Chicago, IL

Carol DeForest Ceramics, Studio Assistant, 1996-1997, Memphis, TN

Arts Advocacy

Artsist Advisory Council, ArtsMemphis, 2014 - 2017


BA, University of Memphis, 1994