Melissa Webb is a fiber artist working in the areas of costume, performance, site-specific installation, and large-scale participatory environments. She recieved a degree in Fiber art from The Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1996. She has worked as a solo artist, as well as collaboratively with local artists and performers, creating many live performances, interventions, grand public spectacles, and two independent films. She is a three-time Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize semi-finalist and the recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Artistic Innovation and Collaboration grant.
Melissa's costumes, environments, and performance efforts have been featured at venues such as 'sindikit Projects, Vis-Arts Rockville, School 33 Art Center, The Maryland Institute, College of Art, Gallery Imperato, The Creative Alliance, The 14 Karat Kabaret, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Baltimore Theatre Project, and at art festivals such as Transmodern, The Philadelphia Fringe, and Baltimore's Artscape. Melissa also serves as Exhibitions Manager for School 33 Art Center, and is an adjunct professor with the Fiber department at MICA, with a focus upon garment and performance-based courses.
As an installation artist, I construct detailed, otherworldly scenarios where viewers are encouraged to explore and improvise. I want my work to be alive—to extend the process of discovery and reaction beyond my studio practice and into the public realm, allowing the viewer’s perception of a given space to evolve as they explore the space.
Utilizing vivid colors and complex textures often found in nature, I covet, collect, and combine structural and pliable materials that are both attractive to me in a tactile sense, and available in my everyday environment. I integrate light, sound, and/or motion along with accumulations of found objects, wood, textiles, and fibrous materials.
I allow the work to evolve and reveal itself bit by bit. While I am often initially motivated by an intuitive discovery of materials and space, Inherently, either consciously or unconsciously, my own personal or social concerns—human manipulation of the natural world and of our bodies, the feminine and utopian ideal, and the struggle of humankind to cope with and understand our relationship with death—find their way through.