Melissa fair

Artist Statement    

Who do you want be? 

What is your history? 

What did you lose? 

What do you want?  

My work explores Identity and Memory – both of which are malleable and permutable – and Loss and Longing.  These four canons create the lives we had, the lives we have, and the lives we will have.  What we believe at any moment is what is True.  My creative hand fishes these dark rivers and pulls what survives there to the surface. 

I am a self-taught mixed media artist working primarily with assemblage, encaustic and paper clay.  As a Native Floridian, my work is influenced by the weirdness, mystery and oddball nature of my home state.  It is adorned with my personal fascinations: Bones.  Nests.  Tintypes.  Numbered things.  Rust.  Teeth.  Trains.  The brain.  Words.  72.  36.  Poems. 

I used to be a Poet.  Now my voice is quiet, and my hands turn the words into things. 

Biography  – MELISSA FAIR 

Melissa Fair calls the Tampa area home though she has lived in several states throughout the South East and as far west as Montana.  She began her creative life as a poet and performer but turned to visual art after wanting to be quieter and let her art speak for itself.  She is self-taught and works in various media such as encaustic, acrylic, assemblage, paper clay, and anything else she can get her hands on.  

Her work has been selected in juried shows and group exhibitions and most recently has been featured on the cover and in the pages of Art Doll Quarterly magazine.  Esther Hammer reviewed her work for the Tampa Tribune in the two-artist show ‘dis/Order’, noting “she is skilled at creating tension through composition”.  She was an emerging artist at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts and has been a guest on Art in Your Ear and The Women’s Show on 88.5 WMNF Community Radio Tampa.  Melissa also instructs encaustic workshops and teaches the history of the medium and how to make your own, in addition to the myriad techniques and possibilities the medium holds. 

 She also served over two years on the Arts Council of Hillsborough County’s Artist Advisory Committee, which included her time as Chair.  During her tenure, Melissa cofounded Five X Five (5 x 5), an annual, one-night event hosted at the Tampa Museum of Art that raised funds for the Individual Artist Grant and general education for artists. 

Currently she is represented by the Florida Craft Art gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a current member of the Tampa based-female collective Creatives Exchange.