Melissa Webb is a fiber artist working in the areas of site-specific installation, large-scale participatory environments, and performance.
She is a three-time Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize semi-finalist and the recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Grant. Her work has been featured at venues such as sindikit projects, Vis-Arts Rockville, School 33 Art Center, The Maryland Institute College of Art, The Creative Alliance, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Theatre Project, and at art festivals such as Transmodern, Philadelphia Fringe, and Artscape.
Melissa has curated many regional contemporary art exhibitions, serving as curator and Exhibitions Manager for School 33 Art Center from 2014 - 2019. From 2010-2018 she built and taught a number of courses within the Fiber department at the Maryland Institute College of Art, with a focus upon garment and performance. Melissa is currently based in Detroit, Michigan.
My work is multi-disciplinary, bridging the pursuits of textile, installation, photography, and video. I employ a responsive process of making motivated by the identities of materials, people, and space. Layering accumulations of handmade and manipulated textiles and textures, I covet, collect, and combine pliable materials, incorporating traditional fiber processes such as immersion dyeing, crochet, and surface embellishment. Detailed, immersive scenarios emerge as participants are encouraged to react and improvise, resulting in the creation of material residues and images.
I am interested in exploring the utopian and the dystopian with respect to nature and the domestic space, human re-engineering of the natural world and our own bodies, and our struggle to cope with and understand our relationship to history and mortality. In the face of deteriorating environmental and societal stability, this work imagines a future where human beings and the natural world find ways to thrive in symbiosis.