Melissa Morris is an American artist, working and living in Florence, Italy since 1999.
She received her BA from the University of Michigan in 1989 and subsequently moved to Europe, learning both French and Italian and guiding cultural tours in several countries. In 1999, she began studying with the artists and art educators Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky (also known as the artist duo Rosenclaire) in Florence.
Over the last decade she has participated in several international artists residencies, which have included teacher training, and continues to work with Rosenclaire and other artists and art educators in an on-going collaborative project. She is also co-founder of Slow Mile, organizing workshops and events which bring together teaching of art practice and creativity with slow travel, and has organized and led events in Tuscany, Spain and Portugal.
In her work, through drawing, painting and mixed media, she uses language (in the form of words, symbols or marks) or a familiar structure (geometric and otherwise) as a starting point, and then applies a strategy such as shifting, removing, re-arranging and repeating in order to interrupt a linear, atomistic way of thinking and move beyond conditioned thought patterns.
In these re-arrangements, and in their placement in the space, she presents another kind of order, one that is based on qualitative, not quantitative measures; where seeming opposites co-exist.